Tuesday, February 06, 2007



I have been busy lately and chess has fallen by the wayside. This post may be the last one I will do for awhile.

Even though I haven't finished
1001 I know I eventually will, and I feel like I am already coming around full circle.Whenever I look at the composed problems at the end of 1001 I go into molasses mode. They are clever, cursed little buggers, and I am still getting the solutions only fifty percent of the time. I occasionally flip back to the beginning of the book and do some normal checkmates. Nothing quite like sacrificing a piece or two for checkmate :-). Here is a great example (number 5):

I think this problem is one of the best in the book, and a clear case of simultaneous advantage. Although it is in the Queen sacrifice section, it really is a Rook sacrifice problem.

The first time I saw
this problem was several years ago. I could not solve it and took me quite a while to understand the solution. I tried piecing it together by looking at c8. The c8 square appeared to be attacked twice by White and guarded three times by Black, a situation that does not usually lead to checkmate. I thought the answer had something to do with the fact that Rc8! absolutely pinned Black's Queen and simultaneously threatened Qxd8#.

Appearances were deceiving me and now I see an important advantage White has: Black's Queen is a tied down defender, unable to capture anything on c8 because of White's Qe7# checkmate threat. Rather than looking at c8 I look at d8, appreciating that Rc8! outnumbers Black's Queen with three attackers when it is protected only twice (1 of which is x-ray protection from the Black Rook on a1 after Rc8). If you still not see the answer, picture the board after Rc8! Rxc8 {maintaining protection of the Queen on d8} Rxc8 Bxc8. At this point the Black Queen is clearly outnumbered and Qxd8# is the result. Great problem, eh?

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