The first puzzle of 2013 is dedicated to the art of attacking. Attacking is not only important, but also mandatory when possible. Nobody can win a game without attacking; when you do that, you put your opponent in trouble and force it to respond.
There is a lot of pressure going for both sides in this position. Time is a factor as both sides are running down to the last few minutes on the clock. White's last move 22.Qa4 ... is offering a poisoned Bishop in exchange for mate, so Black decides to defend with 22... Qc8. Your tasks:
a) Show the mate if Black would have played 22... dxe3;
b) Analyse the position for both sides to decide who has the advantage;
c) After 22... Qc8 continue the attack for White with the best line you can think of.
Total available points for this puzzle is 25. The answers will be published next week together with puzzle #215.
Puzzle #213 solution:
GM I Nepomniachtchi - GM B Esen, 11th Aeroflot Open A, Feb 2012, Moscow, Russia. The last puzzle for 2012 did not catch your attention as it should. I got only 3 so-so answers and it is too bad. Here are the correct answers I was looking for:
a) Queen's gambit declined, Cambridge-Springs variation;
b) Material: Black is up a pawn.
Castling: both Kings are castled and well defended against possible attacks.
The center is semi-open and both sides have a share of it. White's Bishop's pair cannot do very much in this case.
Black has an overwhelming advantage on the Queen side: 2 passed pawns (one already on the 6th rank) and more pieces available to join the action there.
The only aspect in White's favour is the fact Qf4 is kind of surrounded by enemies and blocked by own pieces. It is not trapped, but not far from it either. Considering Black's advantage mentioned above, White chooses to salvage a draw by 3 fold repetition:
28.Bg3 Qg5 29.Bh4 Qf4 30.Bg3 Qg5 31.Bh4 1/2-1/2
Daniel - 10 points
James, Derrick - 5 points
FINAL STANDINGS 2012:
James - 138 points
Daniel - 115 points
Derrick - 101 points
Danny - 82 points
Justin - 76 points
Leo - 55 points
Aditya - 18 points
Ziyao - 15 points
Richard - 10 points
Raymond - 5 points
The art of attack (2)