Chess Puzzles / Games

White to Play

by Pete Tamburro
White to Play

Black has just played Nxe5, expecting fxe5 in reply so he can defend h7 by Ra7, but White has a surprise in store for him. There’s a forced mate here! Exercise great care on your first move choice to get the quickest mate!

Solution:

The key to the quickest mate (six moves as opposed to sixteen!) is not to allow Black a breather. If you play the queen check right away, you have to stop at least once to pick up the knight on e5, which delays things. It’s always a good idea to look for forced moves through checks, the most obvious being Rh8+ followed by Kxh8 and Qh7 mate; however, then you have to see what happens if Black takes the rook with the bishop. That, in turn, requires you to see the short chase and the knight mate which takes advantage of the inconspicuous rook on d1: 1.Rh8+ Bxh8 [1...Kg7 2.Qh7#; 1...Kxh8 2.Qh7#] 2.Qh7+ Kf8 3.Qxh8+ Ke7 4.Qg7+ Nf7 [4...Kd6 5.Ne4#] 5.Qxf7+ Kd6 6.Ne4# Logical, but very challenging!

Send questions and comments to PTamburro@aol.com.




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