A game starts with the first move and that is the moment when we should start paying attention too. Most of the times the outcome of a game is decided rigth at the beginning. Grandmasters have paid the price of not paying attention in the opening by losing quick games to their opponents. In a way playing chess is like driving a car: you must pay attention at all times. Let's see a nice example. We have the following game:
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bg5 d5 4.Nbd2 c5 5.e3 Qb6 6.Bxf6 gxf6 7.c4 dxc4 8.Bxc4 cxd4 9.exd4 Bd7 10.O-O Nc6 see diagram
a) Name the opening (5 points)
b) Analyse the position and propose a plan for both sides (10 points)
c) White to move and obtain a winning position (10 points)
Total available points for this puzzle is 25. The answers will be published next week together with puzzle #108.
Puzzle #106 solution:
The source of this puzzle is a real game: Panov - Bondarevski, Tbilisi 1937. As explained in class it is very important in what order you analyse it: start by figuring out what happens when you sacrifice a piece; only after that you should move ahead and analyse the lines when the opponent does not accept the sacrifice.
The best answer by far is Karl's. You can see he took the time to look careful and cover all possibilities. I wish more of you will do the same!
King safety: Black’s King is way safer: all of Black’s pieces are pointing towards the White King.
Position: White still isn’t fully finished developing his pieces, while Black (having an isolated queen pawn, giving opportunities for a good attack)
is fully developed and ready for attack. White, though, seems ready to face this attack, but the question becomes: is he ready enough? The position is almost
even, Black having a tiny advantage here and there.
Plan for White: get all the pieces doing something useful, maintain the position, and attack when the time is ready. There’s not much to it.
Plan for Black: as for Black, he has all his pieces set up, ready for the final blow. That is exactly what Black should do; lead the final assault and claim victory.
Now White has three choices of taking back. These are, first:
(If 4.Kf1?? , then 4... Qxf2#)
(If 8.Kf1 ... then 8... Qf2 mates)
The second, and more likely option for White:
(If 4.Kf1? ... then 4... Qh2 followed by an unpreventable mate in 2.)
(If 6.Kf1? ... then 6... Qh2, followed by an unpreventable mate in 2.)
(If 7.Kh2? ... then 7... Ng4+ 8.Kg1 Qg3+ 9.Kf1 and Qh2, and based on previous examples, it is clear to see why this is considered a win for Black.)
and, once again, mate is unpreventable after a few checks and maybe a Qh2.
The third, and also likely option, is taking with the queen:
(If 4.Kf1 ... Black still responds with Qxh3+ like before, and White will have to move Kg1 still, making the position the same as in move 5.)
6.Qxg4! ... (the only way to save his bacon for another few moves)
Here White might try some very desperate attempts to stop Black’s attack, but after moves like Qf3+ and maybe Bc7, White is either finished, or really low in material. Black could easily win with those conditions."
Andy Q, Karl - 20 points
Alex, Andy Y, Owen - 18 points
Nathaniel - 12 points
Edwin, Humphrey - 10 points
Jeffrey - 2 points
Edwin - 20 points for puzzle #105
Andy Q - 133 points
Andy Y - 131 points
Karl - 127 points
Owen - 124 points
Alex - 108 points
Amir - 103 points
Humphrey - 101 points
Edwin - 98 points
Jeffrey - 78 points
James - 61 points
Nathaniel - 31 points
Rick, Marko - 10 points