Moving the website to a new host and starting the upgrade work took longer than expected. I am sorry for this, but it was something I had to do. Now we are back online and like in a puzzle situation things look so clear. It was like staring at a position, doing my best to figure out the solution; once I found it, everything looks so obvious! I feel good I solved my "position"; could you solve this one though? Your tasks:
1. White to move and win
2. Explain your solution
Total available points for this puzzle is 20. The answers will be published next week together with puzzle #133.
Puzzle #131 solution:
Topalov – Lutz, Dortmund, 2002 game is the source of it. Karl sent a very nice answer (like the others), clear indication he has raised his chess understanding to a new level. However Rick's answer went directly to the point and found the real game solution. Congratulations Rick! Now you have the floor:
Material: White is up one pawn
King safety: The White King is under pressure, but at least his pieces are close by to defend. Black may look safe, but the back rank is feeble and most of his pieces are on the other side of the board.
- White has a passed pawn on the c-file
- White has a deadly battering ram going down the d-file, while black has one on the b-file
- If White sits around and does nothing, Black's attack will bring utter destruction
- Black has the better minor piece and can trade anytime
White's plan: the safe way out would be to focus on defense. A counterattack would be way too risky, right? ;-) It is up to you to decide!
Black's plan: With all his pretty pieces in place, Black should launch an all-out attack. He should try not to get distracted, for much time has been lost already.
This move was my intuition from the start, and I just knew it would work! Special thanks to Eugen for saying that your intuition is right 90% of the time. Your words gave me a reason to not give up on this idea!
If 1... Kh8?? then 2.Rd8+ Rxd8 3.Rxd8# 1-0
2.Rd8+ Rxd8 3.Rxd8+ Kh7 4.Qf8 ...
Playing 2... Kh7 3.Qf8 Rxd8 4.Rxd8 ... leads to the exact same position, so either one could be the main line. Although Black is winning by 2 points in this position, you can tell that he is in deep guano...
4... Kg6 5.Qg8+ Kh5
5... Kf5? loses to 6.Qg4+ Ke5 7.f4+ Ke4 8.Qf3+ ... 1-0
A simple move that threatens 7.g4+ ... followed by mate.
6... f5 7.Rd4! ...
Once again, White is trying to play 8.g4+ ... which mates in two moves.
By moving the Bishop out of the way, Ra6 now defends the h6-pawn, stopping the mate threat. It won't be long until Black rushes over to defend, so how does White win instantly?
8.g3 ... 1-0
Unless Black wishes to give up his Queen, 9.Rh4# is unstoppable. Yes! This tricky puzzle is finally over, and now I can get some sleep! ZzZz..."
Rick - 20 points
Edwin - 19 points
Karl - 18 points
Frank - 15 points
Jeffrey - 10 points
Frank - 20 points for puzzle #130
Karl - 142 points
Rick - 121 points
Jeffrey - 100 points
Owen - 95 points
Frank - 85 points
Edwin - 72 points
Alex - 18 points
How simple is a solved puzzle...