Black to Play

Pete Tamburro on

Published in Chess Puzzles

This is a magnificent example of an attack on a castled king. For serious students, set the pieces up and put a half hour on your clock and see if you can work out all the variations of Black “cooperating” and “not cooperating.”

This game is from Sobernheim-Langleben, New York State Chess Association, 1895, although there is a dispute over who was who and whether it was a tournament or off-hand game, and some report it as Montreal! When you get to move 4, see if you can find the mate without looking further into the solution. 1...Qa3+ 2.Kxa3 Black wins if the queen is not taken: 2.Ka1 Nxb3+ 3.cxb3 Rxb3 4.Rb1 Rxc3 5.Rhd1 (5.Be2 Rc2) 5...Rxd3; 2.Kb1 Nxb3 3.cxb3 Rxb3+ 4.axb3 Qxb3+ 5.Ka1 Qxc3+ 6.Ka2 Qa3+ 7.Kb1 Bd7 8.Kc2 Qa2+ 9.Kc3 (9.Kc1 Ba3#) 9...Rc8+ 10.Kd4 Qf2# 2...Nxd3+ Truly a key move as it discovers check and prevents the white king from retreating to b2. 3.b4 Rxb4 3...Bxb4+ 4.Kb3 Be7+ 5.Ka4 (5.Nb5 Rxb5+ 6.Kc3 Nxf4 7.Qg3 Bb4+ 8.Kb3 Bc5+ 9.Kc3 Ne2+) 5...Nb2+ 6.Ka5 Bb4# 4.Rxd3 Rb1+ 5.Ka4 Bd7+ 6.Ka5 Bd8+ 7.Kxa6 Bc8+ 8.Ka7 Bb6+ 9.Ka8 Ba6# What a great finish! It seems like only moments ago the king was resting comfortably on b2, snug in his home.


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