World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik thought that lightning (5 minute) chess ruined your normal chess so he advised his students against playing this fast form of the game.   I love lightning chess, but I find myself fighting a losing battle trying to persuade the players at Chess Kids On-Line that 2 minute chess is a waste of time.   “It’s a test of who can blunder fastest” is my usual comment.

Indeed chess is a strange game in that a player can have many fine wins in a tournament, yet one bad loss will be so painful as to erase the joy of many wins.  I remember stories of one Melbourne player whose initials are DH who allegedly, after a big blunder, would walk outside the Melbourne Chess Club and keep hitting his head against a lamppost!

No doubt this is how Denmark’s top player, GM Sune Hansen, must have felt after his game against world #3 GM Lev Aronian in the European Team Championship.   Hansen was White in the position in the diagram below and he has a crushing attack, but is in time trouble.   He must chose between 1.Rxg7 or 1.Rg6 or 1.fxe8=Q or 1.Ng5 or 1.Kh2.   All of these moves win except one.   Your task is to find the one losing move played by Hansen and his opponent’s reply.

[fen caption=”White to play and blunder”]4nr1k/5Pr1/b1p2p1p/p3pP1Q/P3N2P/2P1q3/2B2R2/6RK w – – 0 1[/fen]


White played 1.fxe7=Q?? and was stunned when Black replied 1…Qh3+ 2.Rh2 Rxg1+ Kxg1 3.Qf1# 0-1.

Any of the other first moves would have won easily.

One Response to “Jammo’s Chess Puzzle #107”

  1. November 17, 2011 at 10:43 am, Brendan Norman said:

    The first move that comes to my mind is 1.Ng5 since it guards h3 and interupts blacks queen from defending h6.

    After that it seems Rfxf7 should be played to avoid forced mate, but black is losing the house or getting mated anyway after something like Nxf7+, Kg8 Nh6+, Kh8 Ng4.

    There is probably a mate, but Im lazily read this from my laptop while sitting in a crowded cafe… nice puzzle anyway!