Black to Play

Pete Tamburro on

Published in Chess Puzzles

As you can see from the diagram, all of the White king’s pieces are on the queenside. Usually, this means that the king will come to grief in short order. This is one of those usual times.


Pirc (pronounced “Peertz”) won this against Richter at Harzburg in 1938. Black’s first move certainly gets White’s attention—nothing like a mate threat!

1...Neg4 2.hxg4 [No better result comes from 2.Qg1 Nh5 (2...Re1is a dramatic alternative as well) 3.hxg4 Ng3+ 4.Kh2 Ne2+] 2...Nxg4 3.g3 [3.Qg1 Re1; 3.Qxg4 Re1#] 3...Qxg3 4.Qf1 g6 [Also devastating is 4...Qh4+ 5.Kg1 Re3 6.Rg2 Rh3] 5.Qg1 Qh3+ White Resigned here as 6.Rh2 Nxh2 7.Qxh2 Re1# A combination of bad piece placement, a weak back rank and weaknesses in the castled position allowed Black to take liberties with his knights.

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