White to Play

Pete Tamburro on

Published in Chess Puzzles

This is a real Friday challenge. White (in Ivkov-Ciric, 1963) initiated a decisive attack here. The challenge here is to see the follow up moves that are necessary to see “down the road.” There are a good many forced moves in a row, so when you get to, say, move 8 in your thinking, you had best see what the key move is in that position. This is one of those take out a set and make believe you’re at a tournament puzzles. Have fun!


If you went with the direct looking 1.Qg6, it’s OK as it does win, but it takes a while. After 1.Qg6 Rf7 2.Qxh6 e5 3.Qg6 Nxc5 4.h6 Qf8, Black is fighting a losing battle, but the best solution is what is really the most forcing: 1.Rxg7+ Kxg7 2.Qg6+ Kh8 3.Qxh6+ Kg8 4.Qg6+ Kh8 5.h6 Rg8 6.Bxf6+ Nxf6 7.Qxf6+ Kh7 You may very well have gotten this far because the line is very straightforward and forcing; however, not everyone can calculate this far and when they get here see the backwards bishop move. The next aspect is that if you were thinking in a tournament the really top flight players would take into consideration the counterattack by Black. White would have to make sure he could avoid the checks, which he does. 8.Bf1 Ba6 [8...e5 9.Bh3 Bc8 10.d7 Bxd7 11.Bxd7] 9.Bxa6 Qxb3 10.d7 Rxg3+ 11.fxg3 Qxg3+ 12.Kf1 Qh3+ 13.Ke1 Qg3+ 14.Kd2 Qh2+ 15.Kc3 d4+ [15...Qg3+ 16.Bd3+] 16.Kb3 [16.Kb4 Qd2+ draws!] 16...Qg3+ 17.Ka4 and there are no more useful checks for Black. White will get his Qg7+ and after the queen exchange, the d7 pawn will queen. Now you have some idea of why tournament chess players need so much time to figure all this out!


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