Puzzle of the week #74

Chess Diagram: 

[Event "Puzzle #74"][Date "2009.06.19"][Result "0-1"][SetUp "1"][FEN "8/5kp1/1p2ppnp/8/3P4/r4N1P/PR2QPPK/2q5 b - - 0 22"]

Looking back at the time when I was a junior, I remember how my coaches used to say that it is easy to play when there are lots of pieces on the board. Also playing simple endgames should be easy if you have learned all concepts and methods properly. However the mastery comes into play during complex endgames. A complex endgame happens during transition between the middle game and endgame: quite a few pieces have been exchanged, but there's still some left such as Queen, Rooks, Knights and/ or Bishops. Chess mastery is required since your options are limited and the opponent dos not have to worry about threats from different directions.
The above position is an excellent example of complex endgame. It is the end of the game between Grand Masters Taimanov - Karpov, Moscow 1973 and it is offered to us by Joanne. At a first glance there's not much going on except the Black pieces are more advanced. However White seems very capable to deal with any threat. Most of us average players would play a long game and probably end it with a draw, or simply offer a draw here and get it over with. That would mean losing half a point if you were to be Black! Your tasks are:
a) Analyse the position to identify the positives and negatives for each side (10 points)
b) Black to move and win (40 points)

Total available points for this puzzle is 50. The answers will be published next week together with puzzle #75.

Puzzle #73 solution:
It was nice to see all of you have identified the correct target ("Qh6") and did your best to draw it away from defending the critical square "g7". This is a good indication your skills are improving beyond playing for a simple material advantage. This is the right direction and please continue working on it! The problem remains paying attention to little details and having the patience to calculate exactly every possibility. This time I have chosen the very nice solution by Alex Ge. Excellent work Alex! See it below:

[Event "Puzzle #73"][Date "2009.06.12"][Result "1-0"][SetUp "1"][FEN "1r3rk1/2n2ppp/p2p3q/P1pP4/5P2/2BP1Q2/1P5P/R5RK w - - 0 1"]1.Qh3! Qxh3 2.Rxg7+ Kh8 3.Rg8+ {This is the move half of you have completely missed. Your solutions went one move longer while using the windmill} (3.Rxf7+ Kg8 4.Rg7+ Kh8 5.Rg6+ Rf6 6.Bxf6#) 3...Kxg8 4.Rg1+ Qg3 5.Rxg3#

Correct solutions:
Alex Ge - 20 points
John - 19 points
Andy Q, Joshua - 18 points
Wilson, Andy Y - 15 points
Rick, Nathaniel, Karl - 10 points

John - 454 points
Joshua - 431 points
Andy Qian - 404 points
Andy Yee - 370 points
Karl - 356 points
Jeremy - 307 points
James - 255 points
Wilson - 241 points
Mark - 223 points
Humphrey - 174 points
Marcus - 146 points
Katerina - 123 points
Nathaniel - 93 points
Jacky - 80 points
Alex Ge - 76 points
Ricky - 58 points
Joanne - 47 points
Danny, Owen - 40 points
Jin-Lang - 37 points
Darren - 20 points


Complex endgame tactics