White to Play

Pete Tamburro on

Published in Chess Puzzles

Usually, the grandmaster, Frank Marshall, who played the Black pieces here, is the one with the slashing mating attack; however, his opponent, Karoly Sterk, was the aggressor at Bad Pistyan in 1912. Sterk played two moves, and his redoubtable opponent resigned as he could see the mate down the road just as well. If you get the first two moves, then you probably see it all, too. Have at it!


Here is the whole game. It’s worth playing over.

Sterk,Karoly - Marshall,Frank James [C49] Bad Pistyan 1912

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Bb5 Bb4 5.0–0 0–0 6.d3 d5 7.Nxd5 Nxd5 8.exd5 Qxd5 9.Bc4 Qd6 10.c3 Bc5 11.b4 Bb6 12.a4 a5 13.b5 Ne7 14.Ng5 Qg6 15.Qe2 Bf5 16.g4 h6 17.gxf5 Nxf5 18.Kh1 hxg5 19.Rg1 g4 20.Ba3 Nh6 21.Bxf8 Rxf8 22.Rg2 Re8 23.f3 Qg5 24.Re1 Qe7 25.fxg4 Qa3 26.g5 Nf5 27.g6 Re7

See Diagram

28.Qh5 Nh6 29.Qxh6!! Black Resigned because he saw 29…gxh6 30.gxf7+ Kh7 31.f8=N+! Kh8 32.Rg8 mate. Black’s other moves just lead to other mates.

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