The same as most players, I also play my share of friendly or tournament games over the internet. Quite often we reach interesting and challenging positions. Finding the best play and seeing how it unfolds gives me (at least) a lot of intelectual pleasure. Let's look for example at this game from last summer:
"1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.c3 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.e5 Nd5 6.Qb3 Nb6 7.cxd4 d5 8.Be2 Bf5 9.O-O Be7 10.Nc3 Nb4 (see diagram)"
There used to be a time when playing old openings would completely surprise the opponent and gave you an advantage. This continues to be true over the board (players facing each other live), but it is not so true over the internet. The simple fact someone can google around and find the same information as you, has eliminated the surprise factor. Still this position is very interesting. Here are your tasks:
a) Name the opening;
b) Analyse the position;
c) White continued with 11.Bd2 ...; what is the best line for Black now (no more than 4-5 moves long)?
d) What would you play as White instead of 11.Bd2 ...?
Total available points for this puzzle is 30. The answers will be published next week together with puzzle #150.
Puzzle #148 solution:
Nikitin-Kasparov, 1981. For the first time we have the pleasure to learn from Harmony's solution:
"This one is very interesting.
White has more pawns and one more Knight but all its pieces have bad positions. Both White bishops are not at attacking or defending position. Its Queen, Knight and Rook are defending. Its King has NOT MUCH room to move.
Almost all Black pieces are ready to attack. One thing I at first don’t get is how can the Black Knight jump to and then stay at f3 without being taken by the pawn. It must have jumped from e5 to f3 and White had to move back the Knight to defend h2 instead of taking the Black Knight. So the puzzle could actually start by one move back. It will be more interesting.
Noticing that Ng3 will checkmate, so the key tasks are to help Black Knight to move there:
1... Re2 2.Qxe2 ... has nohwere else to go
2... Qh2+ 3.Nxh2 Ng3#"
Here is the complete game:
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nb5 d6 6. c4 Nf6 7. N1c3 a6 8. Na3 Be7 9. Be2 O-O 10. O-O b6 11. Be3 Ne5 12. Rc1 Bb7 13. f3 Rb8 14. Bd4 Re8 15. Qd2 Ba8 16. Rfd1 Nfd7 17. Bf1 Rc8 18. Kh1 Qc7 19. Qf2 Qb8 20. Be2 Ng6 21. Be3 Bh4 22. Qg1 Bf6 23. Nab1 Be5 24. Rd2 Bc6 25. Rdc2 Ba8 26. b4 h6 27. Nd2 Nf6 28. Bxb6 Nf4 29. Bf1 d5 30. exd5 exd5 31. Na4 Ne6 32. a3 Bf4 33. c5 Bc6 34. Nb2 Ng5 35. Bxa6 Nh5 36. Nf1 Bxc1 37. Rxc1 d4 38. Qf2 Nxf3 39. Bxc8 ... (here is the puzzle position) 39... Re2 40. Re1 Rxf2 0-1
Harmony, James, Ziyao - 20 points
Philip - 15 points
Leroy - 8 points
Frank, Alex - 10 points
Leo - 5 points
Ziyao - 47 points
Harmony - 41 points
James - 40 points
Frank - 33 points
Alex - 29 points
Philip - 24 points
Leo - 21 points
Jeffrey, Danny - 19 points
Leroy - 18 points
Karl - 13 points
Kevin - 11 point
Modern opening surprises (1)