Puzzle of the week #146

Level:
3-Bishop
Chess Diagram:

Welcome to your first contest here! Hope you will like it the same way most of our past students did. We are going to start with an opening position (see diagram), a good chance for you to practice some of the things we learned at the club last semester. In this situation you are White and your tasks are:
a) Analyse the position and come up with a plan;
b) Write the best line (moves for both sides) you can think of based on your plan.

Total available points for this puzzle is 20. The answers will be published next week together with puzzle #147.

Puzzle #145 solution:
This concludes our series of puzzles for the advanced students. I would like to thank all those who continued to send solutions long after their club participation has ended in summer of 2010. They are listed below as top 4; congratulations!
Solution: game Speelman - M. Piket, 2003, Facebook chess puzzle. Karl has been by far the best solver. Here you have his answer:
"1.Rc7! Rd7
This is where I got stuck for quite a while. The attack just seemed to stop. My other try resulted in 2 pawns up, but that’s hardly a win. Black can still defend the position pretty well from there. After a while I found this move: a shockingly simple but winning continuation:
2.Qxf7+! Qxf7 forced move.
3.Rxd7! Qxb3

The Queen pin was the key to this puzzle - the fact that White already has an absolute pin on the f7 pawn. All White had to do was replace the pawn with a Black Queen and the pieces are defended no more. This is a possibility line for play:
4.axb3 Be4
5.Rxa7 Bc2
6.Rb7 Bxb3
7.Rxb6 ... 1-0

White is up an exchange and has an extra pawn, enough for a win.
The key element to this puzzle is the Bishop pin on f7. Once the 7th rank is attacked, Rd7 is forced and White can now take advantage of Black’s position. By taking the f7 pawn and threatening checkmate, Black’s only option would be taking the White Queen with his own Queen and this replaces pawn with Queen in the pin. The Black Queen can’t move anymore so the pieces that it was protecting, are now for taking. White takes the Black Rook and is up the exchange."

Former students are invited to continue submitting answers to puzzles. Use this as an opportunity to practice regardless how easy some puzzles might look like.

Correct solutions:
Karl - 20 points
Alex - 5 points

FINAL STANDINGS

Karl - 309 points - 1 year free website membership
Jeffrey - 235 points - 1 year free website membership
Rick - 174 points - 1 year free website membership

Frank - 167 points
Alex - 116 points
Owen - 95 points
Edwin - 72 points
Nathaniel - 60 points

Comment:

Achile's ankle (2)