Please excuse the delay! Last night and today in the morning we had internet connection problems at home and my only chance to upload the puzzle was from the office. Some puzzles are simple, others are hard. It seems like I simplify things too much, but think about it: it is not only about the position and its unique solution.
The other important part is how inspired you are! Has it happened to you to have a quick look at a puzzle and already know the answer, or at least guess the idea behind the solution? If it did, you already know the nice feeling you get and the desire to solve more.
They say that intuition - in this case the first idea coming to your mind - plays a big role and you should learn to follow and improve it by solving as many puzzles as you can. I saw today's puzzle posted at Canadian GM Kevin Spraggett's blog and intuition told me this could be an interesting and fun puzzle for you guys too. Was I right? It is up to you to judge... The puzzle was composed in 1925 by the Czech teacher and chess lover F. Dedrle (1878 - 1957). Your task is to use your intuition and find the answers to the following:
a) White to play and win
b) What are the important elements to consider in this position?
Total available points for this puzzle is 20. The answers will be published next week together with puzzle #84.
Puzzle #82 solution:
Rick continues to provide very well thought solutions, simply being one step ahead of everyone else. Here is his answer one more time:
"a) After 31.Qxb7 Qxe5 both players have dangerous threats. Black wants to play Rd1# or Qxb2# if White's defenders move away, while White has control over the "h-" file and the 8th rank. I'll bet Black could've won if it was his turn to move, but he wasted it taking material!
32.Qa8+ Kh7 33.hxg7+ Kxg7 The "h-" pawn allowed White to crack open the "g-" file violently. White is checking with purpose and keeping the initiative the whole time. As if that wasn't bad enough, he now forms a battery out of thin air!
34.Qh8+ Kg6 35.Qh6+ Kf5 36.Qxd2 wins.
b) So what is black's best defence? Explain. At first I thought Black should defend the rook with Qc2 or Qxf2, but maybe he had something stronger. And then I saw it:
31... Qh5!! This move de-activates the White Rook, threatens back rank mate, and still attacks the Knight! White can't continue with the main line, for 32.Qa8+ Kh7 33.hxg7?? ... is met with 33... Rd1+ 34.Rxd1 Qxd1#. Black might hold the game after that, although leaving himself a pawn down. I actually did some research, and this is how the game continued:
31... Qh5!! 32.a3 Rd1+ 33.Rxd1 Qxd1+ 34.Ka2 Qh5 35.Qa8+ Kh7 36.hxg7 Kxg7 37.f4 Qf5 38.Qxa7 Nh5 39.Qd4 Qxf4 40.Qxf4 Nxf4 41.a4! Black resigned.
Rick - 20 points
Andy Q - 19 points
Owen, Jeremy - 10 points
Andy Q - 122 points
Rick - 97 points
Joshua - 71 points
Jeremy - 49 points
Karl, Wilson, Alex Ge - 39 points
Owen - 24 points
James - 23 points
Katerina, Andy Y - 20 points
Marcus - 19 points
Nathaniel - 18 points