Monday, March 15, 2010

All that glitters

Back in the days when I was still improving my chess, I was always on the look out for messy, interesting positions to stretch my mind with. I'd sit down at my board, put in my earplugs, start the clock, and treat the position as if it was OTB as far as possible. This position, from Stone-Tiruchirapalli, Watford Club Championship, 2010, would have been ideal one to perform such practice with:

Put yourself in the position of the black player. White has just played 1. Rg2, a move which contains an aesthetically-pleasing tactical threat. But how serious is the threat? Does black not have a concrete threat of his own to execute? Is there an outright refutation?

Black didn't play the strongest move at the board, whilst I didn't even consider it when Andrew Stone kindly sent me the position to mull over. See if you can do better, and tell us what you come up with in the comments.


Anonymous said...

I'll play 1. ... Rb2, it looks difficult to defend that b-pawn. Does White then have to play 2. Na1?

Jonathan B said...

Little known fact:

Andrew Stone is now appearing in Sky's Pineapple Dance Studios.

Martin Smith said...

Does 1...Rxc2, followed by 2...Qe3+ and ...Nd4 get anywhere?

And do Andrew's new found twinkle-toes explain his absence from the Streatham London League first team this evening?

Anonymous said...

Nd4 is a pretty threat, leaving the knight seemingly en prise to the whole black army but threatening Rxa2 and Ne6+, but as my fellow anon rightfully says, Rb2 looks like a bit of a bugger, as Nd4 Qxd4 would protect the rook.

Anonymous said...

The threat is indeed Nd4. Rb2 is the refuation as after Nd4 then Qxd4, Qxd4 and black has the zwischenzug Rxb3+ removing itself from being attacked by the g2 rook.
Martin guessed the game continuation correctly which went down to a pawn ending I managed to draw.