Test your chess: Reitstein problem 198


Black to play and win

Try to do better than me: I completely missed the idea

M Kolnik v K Dreyer 1947

Not my finest day. After trying to make 1…Rh2+! 2 Kh2 Qf1 work, and missing how, I then turned to 1…Ng4! and struggled to victory. I completely missed the neatest win.

In fact, each of 1…Rh2+! and 1…Ng4! do win. Taking the latter first, if 2 Kh3 then 2…Qf1+ 3 Kg4[] 3…Kg6 and either mate or ruinous loss (Nf4+, Qf7+) follows- though Stockfish says 3…Nh6+! 4 Kg5 Qh3 is mate in five.

Before I show why 1..Rh2+! also wins, I’ll give the best win: 1…Nh4+!! which I didn’t even see- it shouldn’t be so hard to follow Purdy’s maxim of examining all biffs, but in practice, even in puzzles, it is.

Once you see it, it is clear: 2 Kh3 3 Qf1 mate; 2 Kg1 Nf3+ and 3…

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