Since this is the last puzzle of the year counting for prizes, it is fit to see who can finish strong. A lot of times finding a good solution is not enough; you also need to follow it up with executing the plan all the way to the end. Stopping at anytime while attacking (or in whatever you do in life) will make you miss the opportunity!
The above position has been played long time ago, in a time where attacking at any costs was of major importance. White has done its share and the only question is: will he be able to finish it off, or will he lose?
a) Analyse the position and propose a plan for each side;
b) White to move following your plan for it
c) Which plan actually works and why?
Total available points for this puzzle is 30. The answers will be published next week together with puzzle #100.<!--break-->
Puzzle #98 solution:
The position comes from a game between Gelfand - Amonatov at the World Cup 2009 from Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. It proved to be a very tough one, the majority of you trying to overwhelm the White King with a pawn storm. That was definitely not necessary considering Black still had a Rook and Queen capable to work together along an open file. This is a perfect example why attacking the King directly is more powerful than attacking/ trapping pieces. The only correct answer comes courtesy of Owen:
White has: 1x King, 1x Queen, 1x Rook, 1x Bishop, and 6x Pawns.
Black has: 1x King, 1x Queen, 1x Rook, 1x Bishop, and 5 Pawns.
So White has material advantage by a pawn.
White's King looks safer because he is not pinned by anything and the Bishop can protect the f2 and f4 square. The Rook is pinning the Bishop and the Queen. If the Bishop moves the Queen is pinned, if the Queen moves out of the line the Bishop is pinned.
White has a better position because of the pin by the Rook. If it was White's turn he would win Black's Bishop in one move. The White Bishop covers the f2 and f4 squares which are under attack. Black wants to try to get the Bishop away from those squares.
Black should use his Rook to try and get the white Bishop away from the f2 and f4 square. Also Black should try to get rid of the pin.
1... Rf1 Black is threatining mate with "Qf2+".
2.Be3 Re1 Black wants the Bishop out of its diagonal to open f2 or f4.
4.h3 ... White wants to have an escape hole.
[If 5.Qb7+ Kg6 6.Qb1 Rxe3+ or 6.Qb3 Qf1 Black threatens mate.]
[If 5... Qf1 6.Qb7+ Kg6 7.Rg8+ Kh5 8.Rxg5+ hxg5 9.Qh7#]
Now black has a material advantage.
Owen - 20 points
Rick, Humphrey, Andy, Karl, Jeffrey - 10 points
Alex - 8 points
Karl - 254 points
Owen - 244 points
Andy Q - 216 points
Rick - 214 points
Jeffrey - 160 points
Humphrey - 111 points
Alex - 87 points
Nathaniel - 52 points
James - 40 points
Peter - 25 points
Katerina - 22 points
Wilson - 7 points
Storming the castle