Friday, 19 March 2010

Answer to Chess Puzzle

If you haven't seen the chess puzzle yet, quickly scroll down a couple of posts and give a try; because here is the answer.

The correct response to 12. Qxa5 capturing a knight, is : 12. ... Qc8:

(Please note I have turned the board round from the usual layout, because I was playing Black).

If you got this, there are three points to be awarded, one for each reason why this is a good move:

1.  Give yourself one point if you saw that moving the queen frees up the square d8 for the bishop to attack the queen.
2. And give yourself another if you saw that moving the queen to c8 defends the last flight square of white queen, a6.
3. Lastly, and this is the difficult one, that separates the men from the boys,  award yourself a third point if you recognized that the only way White could release his queen would be to return the knight with: 13. Nxb5 cxb5.  This then provides Black's queen on c8 the open c-file, and the check at c3, winning a rook. This is this threat that prevents White simply taking the (second) b pawn, ending up with 2 pawns and a probable winning position:

This is how far I had looked when allowing white to take my knight on the twelfth move, and I was happy at the time to go into this position a pawn down, but with chances to trap White's queen, and plenty of activity.

However, when we got to the position (as the graphic above) I got really worried with White's reply 14. Bd2 a6, threatening 15. Rc1. But my opponent told me after the game that I would simply take the rook: 15. ...Qxc1! 16. Bxc1 Bd8 and I would end up with the exchange for a pawn.

So the game continued instead:  14. O-O a6  15. Qb6?? (a "50% move", which allows the Black queen to escape to c5 if I move the bishop, or to go to a7 if I move the rook, but there is a third piece I can move....:)
Nd5! 0-1.  

Hope you liked that one.