Puzzle of the week #103

Submitted by Eugen on Fri, 02/05/2010 - 07:28

Crossroads (1)

Chess Diagram
[Event "Puzzle #103"][Date "2010.02.05"][Result "?-?"][SetUp "1"][FEN "6k1/p5p1/1p1p1nN1/1B1P4/4PK2/7b/2r5/7R b - - 0 1"]
Every move require careful analysis and a well thought decision. It does not matter what stage of the game we are at: opening, middle game, endgame, nor it matters if there's still a lot to play, or the game is almost over. This week's puzzle gives you a chance to practice your analysis skills and come up with couple of important decisions. Your tasks:
a) Analyse the position (10 points)
b) Decide what should Black do: defend "Bh3" under attack, or move it to a safer place. Show what can happen in both cases (20 points)

No line should be longer than 4-5 moves, but the resulting position must be clear enough to prove your decision. A complete answer will surprise you in a pleasant way, proving one more time that chess is beautiful and rich in possibilities at almost every move!
Total available points for this puzzle is 30. The answers will be published next week together with puzzle #104.

Puzzle #102 solution:
The game under scrutiny was Levenfish - Riumin from the Moscow International tournament 1936. I am very happy to see the majority not being side tracked by the original comments. Here are the most complete and interesting answers this time around. They are by Andy Q and Amir:
White's positives:
-has a Queen and Rook battery
-controls the "d-" file
-Queen and Knight is attacking near the King
Black's positives:
-Queen is in White's territory
-Threatening White's Knight
-Has a good pawn formation
White's negatives:
-Knight is in danger
-Pawn formation is weak on the Queenside
Black's negatives:
-Has not finished developing his pieces
-King is near White's pieces
Even though both Kings are well protected, Black has only a Queen attacking White's King, which is not enough to checkmate. White, however,has a Queen, Knight and potentially a Rook attacking. Also, White can sac a piece to get to checkmate such as possibly Qxf8+ followed by Rd8+ when the "e7" square is protected or sacking with the Knight. White should have played something else.

b) See solution:
[Event "Puzzle #102"][Date "2010.01.29"][Result "1-0"][SetUp "1"][FEN "r1b2rk1/p4ppp/1p1Qp3/4P2N/1P6/8/P3qPPP/3R1RK1 w - - 0 27"]{Amir} 27.Nf6+ (27.Nxg7 {Leads to a better position for black}) (27.Qe7 h6 28.Nxg7 Kxg7 29.Rd8 Rxd8 30.Qf6+ Kg8 31.Qxd8+ Kh7 32.Qf6 Qh5 {Leads to a better position for black}) ({Game line} 27.Ng3 Qb5 28.Rfe1 Bb7 29.Re3 Qc6 30.Qxc6 Bxc6 {and after a few more less important moves the game ended as a draw}) 27...gxf6 28.exf6 Qxf1+ (28...Qg4 29.Qxf8+ Kxf8 30.Rd8#) (28...Ba6 29.Qg3+ Kh8 30.Qg7#) 29.Kxf1 Ba6+ 30.Kg1 Kh8 31.Qf4 {White wins}

Correct solutions:
Amir, Andy Q, Owen, Karl, Jeffrey, Humphrey, Andy Y - 20 points
Edwin, Alex - 19 points
Marko - 10 points
James - 5 points
Karl - 10 points for puzzle #101

Humphrey, Andy Q, Owen, Karl, Andy Y - 50 points
Amir - 47 points
Alex - 37 points
Jeffrey - 32 points
James - 31 points
Edwin - 29 points
Rick, Marko - 10 points