Test Your Insight
Here’s a set of tough positions. Each has interesting strategical and tactical elements. No computer engines! The harder you work, the better off you’ll be.
In each case, I’ll ask a poll question about it. Post your answer as a comment.
Note: 11/14/09 – I posted solutions directly inline after the diagrams.
To give you some context about position 1, this was Nakamura-Ramirez from a recent SEA-ARZ USCL match.
Consider the position with black to play.
Support your viewpoint with some verbiage or a brief variation.
Solution: 1…Rb8!! gives excellent winning chances.
In Position 2, above, we have Rini Kuijf (NED) – Stefan Kindermann (W Germany) from the 1988 Olympiad in Thessaloniki, Greece. It is white to play. This is a surprisingly intricate position with many twists and turns. Solve the following poll and post a supporting variation in the comments.
Interestingly (note as of 11/5/09) the poll answers to date are mostly wrong on this one, so it reinforces my view that Position 2 is a very hard puzzle. Leave a comment with what you feel is white’s best first move.
Solution 11/11/09: Actually both 1. b5 and 1. Nd5 are strong and should win with best play. 1. fxg6? e5! unclear is weak. But you have to be aware that 1. Nd5 Nxd5 2. exd5 Rc2!! 3. Bxg7 Qxd5! piece sac is possible and then be able to work out the path to an edge! Similarly after 1. b5 axb5 2. Ra7 it’s not a lot of fun, but you have to work out long variations defusing the dangerous try 2…Qb8 3. Rxe7 Rxc3!?.
In some sense, 1. b5 is a little bit cleaner than 1. Nd5 because black gets temporary activity after the piece sae (see above).
The solution was made harder by the confusing poll choices.
In Position 3, your task sounds ‘simple’ but it is anything but – - Maximize your winning chances as white. This is an exceptionally difficult quiz position that was an analysis variation in the game Pasalic-Rensch, USCL 2009.
Try the poll and post a comment with a supporting variation.
This is a very hard quiz and I would rate it at 2500-level.
Solution: 1. Qxe4 Qxb4 2. Nh4! is an iron-clad win in the Q&P ending.
And in Other News
The Arizona Scorpions fell to the Miami Sharks, 3-1 today in the final regular season round of the 2009 USCL. Our team felt a little bit like the following photo.
But what we really need in the playoffs is some combination of the personalities shown in the next painting.
Oh maybe just play like Eli Wallach.