The 39th bi-annual Olympiad is currently being played from September 19 to October 4 in Khanty-Mansiysk which I gather is somewhere in Siberia (Russia).   Doesn’t sound like the ideal holiday destination but it could be worse.  They could be playing in New Delhi!

It’s a good time zone for Australia with the live games being broadcast from 7pm each evening.  I’ve certainly been tuning in and following Australia’s fortunes.  In round two the Men’s team was matched against the defending champions Armenia, but only Smerdon came away with half a point.   In the following round he was paired as black against IM A.Montalvo 2250 from Puerto Rico and the game appeared to be evenly balanced.  Smerdon was obviously planning to play …Re4 followed by doubling on the “e” file so his opponent was tossing up between 1.Rbe1 and 1.Ree1.   After 1…Re4 he planned to play 2.Bg1 and swap off rooks.  Today’s puzzle is which move would you advise him to play?

[fen caption=”Should White 1.Ree1 or Rbe1?]r3r1k1/pp4bp/q2p2p1/3P1p2/5P2/1P2B3/P2QR1PP/1R5K w KQ – 0 1[/fen]

ANSWER:

White chose the natural looking 1.Rbe1 and there followed 1…Re4 2.Bg1 Bc3! 3.Qxc3 Rxe2 4.Rxe2 Qxe2 5.Qc7 Re8 6.Qxb7 Qd2 7.h3 Qxf4 8.Qb5 Re1 9.Qb8+ Kg7 10.Qxa7+ Kh6 11.Qb6 Re2 12.Qd8 Qe4 0-1

Was he taking your advice or had you spotted the trap?   After 1.Ree1 the game is evenly balanced.

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