Sometimes when you are in attacking mode for a few moves in a row and the opponent keeps on defending correctly, it is very hard to be patient and keep on accumulating small advantage after small advantage with the goal of reaching the point where all those small advantages will win the game. Most of the times the attacker reaches a point where he feels he should win, but no clear win is in sight. At that time he might panic and rush the attack, or simply stop attacking; both are wrong alternatives! This week's position comes from a game between Makogonov - Mikenas, Tbilisi 1941 and it seems like White has reached one of those critical points (see diagram). His position is better, but how can he bring home the win?
Your task is to show what White should do to win:
a) The winning line is 5 moves long and it is worth 5 points;
b) White might fall into a trap if he rushes the attack; showing the trap is worth 4 points;
c) What tactical element is White using in the winning line (1 point);
d) What tactical element could Black use if White falls into the trap (1 point).
Total available points for this puzzle is 11 (5+4+1+1). The answers will be published next week together with puzzle #19.
Puzzle #17 solution:
The Grand Masters playing the game in question were Tiviakov - Visser, Dutch Championship 2008. In the game both players agreed to a draw after 56... Re3, as Black could not make progress despite being up a pawn.
56... g4 looked quite aggressive and a few of the solvers thought Black was simply winning after it. However the top solvers (scoring 4 and 5 points) saw the nice tactical strike called "pseudo-sacrifice" (White sacrifices the Rook for a couple of moves and then gets it back):
57.Rxf4!! Rxf4 58.g3+ Kg5 and now 59.gxf4+! ... is the correct move. The line continues with 59... Kxf4 60.hxg4 hxg4 61.Kg2 g3 62.Kg1 ... and White holds the opposition (this was the rule I was looking for).
One interesting sideline showing how can White still go wrong is after:
57.Rxf4!! Rxf4 58.g3+ Kg5 59.h4+?? ... White will lose. Example: 59... Kf5 60.gxf4 Kxf4 61.Kg2 Kf5! (if 61... g3?? 62.Kh3 Kf3 stalemate) 62.Kg3 Ke5 63.Kg2 Kf4 (triangulation) and Black will win the h4-pawn and the game.
Jeremy, John D, Jacob, Trevor, Katerina and Algerd - 5 points
Joanne and Matthew - 4 points
Wilson, David, Frank and Karl - 2 points
TOP 10 STANDINGS
51.0 John D
12.5 Algerd ... 13 more solvers with less points
King in the corner