Puzzle of the week #164

Level: 
3-Bishop
Chess Diagram: 

[Event "Puzzle #164"][Date "2011.05.15"][Result "1-0"][SetUp "1"][FEN "2b2rk1/pp2R1bp/1qpp2p1/6N1/2P2PP1/3Q1B2/PP4PK/8 w - - 0 1"]

Sorry for the late posting! The annotator for this game wrote:
"White must win this game if only for the ideal position of its pieces."
Do you agree with this? Here are your tasks:
a) Analyse the position to verify if the annotator was right; explain the position of each piece in particular
b) Come up with the best possible plans for each side
c) White to move and win. What should White do when all its pieces are on their ideal position?

Total available points for this puzzle is 25. The answers will be published next week together with puzzle #165.

Puzzle #163 solution:
Bacarroni - Mazzochi, 1891. Lots of good answers this time, sign that everyone understood well the smothered mate setup and execution. This is a very useful weapon at anytime and, as I already mentioned in class, I have seen lots of games at lower or higher levels where one side missed the chance to use this combination and win their games. Daniel has the honour of explaining the solution:
a) Material: Black is up by a pawn.
Position & King Safety: at first look, the Black pieces seems better placed because the Black Queen and Rook are attacking and can check mate White in one move and at the same time the two Black Bishops and the Black Queen and one Black pawn are protecting the King. The White Queen and Rook and dark-squared Bishop are attacking the Black King, but it is not obvious that they can get the Black checkmated right away.
b) Who moves first wins. If it’s Black’s turn, then Black checkmates by playing Ra1# or Qa1#. If it’s White’s turn, then White checkmates; see solution below.
c) I should say: "A King on the rim is dim too."

[Event "Puzzle #163"][Date "2011.05.07"][Result "1-0"][SetUp "1"][FEN "r7/6p1/4b1Rp/4q2k/7b/1B6/2PB2Q1/2K5 w - - 0 1"]1.Qg4+! Bxg4 2.Rxh6+! gxh6 3.Bf7#

Correct solutions:
James, Daniel, Alex, Leroy, Ziyao, Harmony, Philip - 20 points
Frank, Jeffrey - 18 points
Derrick - 10 points
Eric, Leo - 5 points

Standings:
Ziyao - 326 points
Harmony - 322 points
James - 286 points
Philip - 278 points
Alex - 258 points
Leo - 220 points
Derrick - 182 points
Leroy - 166 points
Jeffrey - 158 points
Daniel - 152 points
Frank - 114 points
Kevin - 92 points
Eric - 29 points
Danny - 19 points
Karl - 13 points

Comment: 

Etouffe mate (3)