Justin Tan wins MCC Anzac Day Weekender

The Australian 16U Chess Team (the “Chessaroos”) recently played an on-line match against Indonesia as part of their training for the 16U Chess Olympiad to be held in Turkey in a few months time.    Unfortunately Australia went down 3.5 – 6.5 but we did not have our strongest team playing as several players were playing in other events.

Justin Tan, our no.2 player 16U, was participating in the MCC Anzac Day Weekender for instance where he had a outstanding tournament.   He finished outright first on 6.5/7 winning the $500 first prize.  Along the way he beat the top seed, IM James Morris, who had to be content with second place and 6/7.   As well as being good at chess Justin is one of Australia’s top gymnasts in his age-group but, at the moment, hopefully chess is winning the battle for his time.

For today’s puzzle let’s see if you can match Justin’s tactical ability.  The diagram shows Justin as White in his game against Tony Davis.  Justin is trying to win a piece by trapping Black’s stray Knight.  Your task is both to win the piece and find Black’s defence.   Good luck.

[fen caption=”White to play and win”]2k4r/2p2pbp/2N1p1p1/1B6/2P2P2/6P1/1n5P/1R4K1 w – – 1 25[/fen]

ANSWER:

It looks like Black can easily pick up a piece with 1.Ne5 Bxe5 2.fxe5 Nd3 3.Ba6+! Kd7 4.Rd1 winning comfortably (as happened in the game), but Black has a better defence with 2…c6! 3.Ba6+ Kb8 4.Rxb2+ Ka7 and Black is trying hard to trap the B.   White however can hang on to the extra piece with 5.Ra2 Kb6 (threatening 6…Ra8) 6.c5+ Kxc5, the B escapes and White should win.

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