27 June 2009

Find the Best Move

Assess White's chances.

White to move

For those who wish to cheat, the position stems from Leko - Kramnik, Wijk aan Zee, 2008 and was published as Informant 102/219.

Other News

I'm playing in the Spokane City Championship Contenders Tournament today and tomorrow. The winner gets to play a match against FM David Sprenkle, the current City Champion. Last year, I won the contenders tournament and scored 1/2-2 1/2 against Sprenkle.

This year I am the third seed of six. Today, I have White against Adam Attwood, then Black against Ryan Ackerman, then White against top seed John Julian.


  1. Goodluck in the city championship! Lets hope you can repeat what you did last year namely winning the darn thing. :-)

  2. This puzzle looks pretty simple (if I got it right) when you look at all the checks that white has, which by my count are only two (Nf7+ and Qg8+). Black must give up the exchange to prevent a classic smothered mate.
    1. Nf7+ if Kg8 then
    2. Nh6++ Kh8
    3. Qg8+ Rxg8
    4. Nf7#

    So, after 1. Nf7+ Rxf7
    2. Qxf7.

    With black's queen having no good squares to check from, this seems pretty safe. Also, I don't think 2... Bxf2+ presents White with any trouble he can't escape and just drops another piece.

    If I haven't blundered on this, which is altogether possible, this shows another reason that first looking at all checks is so important -- it sometimes just leads you to the correct path.

  3. The line beginning 1.Nf7+ is correct, but 1.g4 is tempting and the reason it is wrong may be less obvious. I agree that examining forcing moves first is sensible.

    Thanks chesstiger. As today's post reveals, I did not win, but cannot complain too much about the result. I've annotated my one loss.