Test your chess: Reitstein problem 175


Black to play and win

M Kolnik v M Bleiden 1949

Black looks in a bit of a mess, with the threat of h5; however, he has his pluses, mainly the a8-h1 diagonal- the white king is potentially open, and the Rh1 sits behind the Kg2.

So, 1…Rh5! (examine all biffs) 2 Qd2 Rf5! exploits the pin, and if the rook isn’t taken, it can improve itself to f4, from where the pressure on e4 is overbearing.

When I looked at the solution, I was disappointed with myself, since I had missed white’s best defence: 2 Qc1, defending the Rh1, so that 2…Rf5? doesn’t work, though Stockfish says it is even then more or less equal- black’s dominant central pawns compensate for the material. However, after 2 Qc1 Qc6! 3 Qe3! Qf6 is surprisingly strong for black: if the Rh5 is captured, black’s pawns and pressure on e4 are too…

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