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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

Let’s do some endgames this week! They are always the underestimated part of chess. Yet, positions pop up where you really have to know what you’re doing. Take this simple position. It’s not uncommon. What is the most efficient way of White winning here?

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

I was reading through the new release of Andy Soltis’s “The Inner Game of Chess” and found this position of interest. Actually, there are quite a lot of positions of interest in this book, and congratulations to Mongoose Press for re-introducing such a classic. Soltis revised it, and, of course, it’s now in algebraic. You will read 324 ...

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

A change of pace. A very challenging mate in 3 for White.

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Black to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

This is an old classic, but worth knowing for both sides. It starts out: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4 and now White should play 4.Nxd4 followed by castling and d3. Instead, White players have been known to go with the mistake 4.Nxe5. If you’re Black, how do you punish this mistake, although it threatens a knight fork on f7.

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

White seems to be in dire straits here as mate is coming at g2. How does he wriggle out?

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

In 1998, British Chess Magazine reported the following position that arose between grandmasters Gelfand and Lautier. Gelfand played 39.Rc5. Two questions: should Gelfand have played that move; what should Lautier’s response have been?

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

White plays a move in this game that pretty much ends the game. Michael Adams’ opponent, Giorgi Giorgadze, hung on for a few moves, then resigned. What was the move?

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Black to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

This is the last of our trio presented to demonstrate the possibility of a not uncommon queen sacrifice. Sometimes, you just get an advantage rather than mate, and that’s important to know, too. This position arose from Fish-Abrahams, Liverpool, 1929. White fell into the mate. Can you see how Fish could have made it more of a challenge?

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Black to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

Here we are, about 50 years after Morphy’s famous move you saw in the last puzzle. It’s the Janowski-Marshall match in 1912 and it’s Marshall’s move. You, of course, know the first move, but how do you know, if you were over the board, if it works. Can you figure it all out? You’ll see that even the great Marshall had some difficulties.

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Black to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

For the next three puzzles we’re going to have a unifying them that covers and attacking concept worth knowing. If you show this position to any experienced chess player, they will know exactly what the first move is without thinking. The position is that famous. The person who played and won this game was Paul Morphy vs. Louis Paulsen in the ...

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Black to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

Our position today comes from a fascinating correspondence game from 1945 won by British legend Leonard Barden, playing Black with the Two Knights Defense against Young as White. Opting out of two more solid lines, Barden spectacularly sacrifices his rook for a bishop in order to get open lines to attack the White king. It starts out: 1.e4 e5 2...

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Black to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

There is a series of moves in chess known as the Steinitz Trap. It comes out of this opening series of moves: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.0–0 Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 g5 8.Bg3 h5 9.Nxg5? [Better is 9.b4 Bb6 10.h4 Nh7] 9...h4 10.Nxf7 hxg3 [10...Qe7 11.Nxh8 hxg3 12.Bf7+ Kd8 13.hxg3 Qf8 is equal.] 11.Nxd8 Bg4 12.Nf7 [A Steinitz game, worth ...

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

One of the first attacking lessons you get from a chess teacher is the idea of playing Bxf7+ against an uncastled king. The usual first lesson you get goes something like this: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 Bg4 4.Nc3 h6? 5.Nxe5! Bxd8 6.Bxf7+ Ke7 7.Nd5 mate. Sometimes, though, the position is less clear, and you have to make a decision: “Do I take on ...

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Black to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

While browsing through Lev Alburt’s Chess Training Pocket Book II (quite as good as the first!), I ran into this position which requires you to think through several lines. It’s from Volkov-Rublevsky, 2007.

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Black to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

One of my favorite attacking players in chess history is Rashid Nezhmetdinov. Some of his combinations are so complicated and brilliant I can’t really show them here. This position is fairly straightforward, though.

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

On my facebook page, one of my posters put up the end of a 3-minute game they played. Wolff King Morrow was pretty deep into the game with probably a healthy chunk of his 3 minutes gone, yet he found a very pretty finish. You have less than 3 minutes to find it!

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

An exciting way to finish the week—a slash and burn kingside attack by Boros over Szabo back in the 1930s.

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

This composition was one of Irving Chernev’s favorites. There is a humorous point to it at the end. It’s White to play and draw. Composition by Bogdassaryanz.

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Black to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

There’s not much on the board, but a lot is happening. At Goteborg in 1955, GM Arthur Bisguier, Black, to play, is a rook and knight up, but his opponent, Boris Spassky, who would become world champion in 1969, is about to get a queen and make things interesting. Bisguier found a way achieve victory here. What was it?

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White to Play

Games / Chess Puzzles /

Yes it’s White to Play, but Black is the one to perform the mating move! Our last puzzle this week is a self-mate. White goes first and forces Black to mate him. It’s a little odd, but the solution is ingenious. It’s a composition by Shinkman. BTW, that Black pawn is there for several reasons, but the White king still has to head toward ...

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