Today’s chess puzzle is really easy …. unless you are a grandmaster!

Picture the scene.  You are Grandmaster Abhijit Kunte (from India rating 2528) playing in the final round of the 2010 Doeberl Cup against Australian IM George Xie.  If you win you tie for second place and get lots of money.  If George Xie wins he gets a grandmaster norm, outright second place and even more money.  You are the exchange ahead for a pawn in the following position with Black to play.

(To make it a little difficult you should analyse the moves in your head without the help of a chess board.)  Your opponent plays 1…g5 attacking your R which has nowhere to go so you play 2.Rxf6 and Black recaptures 2…Nxf6.  You decide to give your opponent a friendly check with 3.Qg6+ Kh8 (not 3…Kf8? 4.Bc5+) and the puzzle is what do you NOT do now?  The choice is between 4.Qh6+ with perpetual check), 4.Kf2 to defend e2 and e3, 3.Rxb4 to exchange rooks or 3.Rc1 to threaten 4.Rc8+.
[fen caption=”What should White NOT Play after 1…g5 2.Rxf6 Nxf6 3.Qg6+ Kh8?”]6k1/1p6/4qbp1/p2p3p/Pr2nR2/3QBP1P/4P1K1/1R6 b KQkq – 0 1[/fen]


You do NOT do what GM Kunte decided to do, namely 3.Kf2?? Ng4+ 0-1 as White loses his Queen.   Was it time trouble; the pressure of all that prize-money or just forgetting to look at your opponent’s probable replies that led to this terrible blunder?  We shall never know, but George Xie doesn’t care.  He is well on the way to becoming Australia’s next grandmaster!

One Response to “Jammo’s Chess Puzzle #31”

  1. April 12, 2010 at 10:59 am, Anthony Hain said:

    Why not 1. Rxb4,axb4
    2. Qxg5,not sure what to play here for black
    3. Kf2! with the threat of Bd4 winning the knight
    Your comments would be appreciated as i worked this out in my head.
    Thanks again, Anthony