Test your chess: daily chess puzzle #1

allanbeardsworth

Black to play and win

WS Mackie v FH Nel 1955

It is easy to be tempted into thinking the theme was mate on the h file, and look at 1…Qh4 2 hg hg and 3..Qh1 mate, but of course 2 hg?? is a non forced gruesome blunder, and it is necessary to look elsewhere.

The real theme is that white’s queen is in a net, so that 1….Nh2!! wins the exchange – 2 Qg3 Nf1 3 Kf1. The game goes on, but black is winning. Stockfish suggests 3..h4 and 4 Qf3 f5, or 4 Qg5 Be6: in time, black wins.

If instead 2 Kh2 then 2…Bg4!! 3 Qg3 (3 hg?? hg+ wins the queen) Be2 4 Re1 and after 4…h4 5 Qg5 the queens come off and then the d3 pawn.

Stockfish finds one small but important improvement in the above line for white. Rather than 3 Qg3 white…

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