Chess Puzzles / Games

Black to Play

This is also one of those mating patterns everyone who plays chess should know and consider routine. Both Morphy and Marshall played this sacrifice. This is MacDonnell-Boden, 1869. Morphy, a contemporary of Boden, was the first to play the idea against Paulsen. Boden knew of the game and learned the lesson well. You should, too!

White to Play

White’s position is dominant. He has most of his pieces pointed toward Black’s castled king, while Black’s pieces seem to be on the wrong side of the board. The Black bishop in this position is often called a “tall pawn.”

Black to Play

As you can tell from the diagram, this was one heck of a game between Mueller as White and Stahlberg as Black in 1934. Stahlberg played 1…Rde8 here and the game was eventually drawn. However, he missed a winning combination! What was it the grandmaster missed?

White to Play

Some years back, White began to experiment with this line in the Caro Kann: 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 (See Diagram) and now White played the counter-intuitive 5.Ng5. The big question is what should happen after 5.Ng5? Why can’t Black just kick the knight with 5…h6? What should Black do?

Black to Play

This game, from the World v. USSR in 1970, is one of the most famous miniature games in chess history. Bent Larsen, a world class Grandmaster, has the White pieces against world champ Boris Spassky. Spassky stuns Larsen with a game that lasts just 17 moves! The fun starts with Black to play in the diagram.