Chess 2022 – February Top Picks

American Chess Magazine has been launched in November 2016 to help readers keep in touch with all the most significant happenings in the exciting world of present-day chess, both at home and abroad.

A month ago I presented a couple of exotic puzzles from the “Chess 2022 Day-to-Day Calendar: A Year of Chess Puzzles” month of February. You can review the article HERE. This week let’s have a look at my 2 top pics from the same month:

First puzzle
Checkmating the king in the center is not easy to do. It is the area of ​​the chessboard the king reaches in the endgame when there are few enemy pieces to chase it away. In this puzzle the king is already there and all White pieces except Ka6 and Ba2 are trapping it there. In the same time Black is covering all obvious squares that could be used by White. This was a tough nut to crack with a number of possible checkmates in 3 for distraction. The key here is to put Black in zugzwang. Below you see two possible checkmates in 2 depending on how Black responds. Please find the other ones for practice:

The second puzzle
Here I hope you will also appreciate the ingenuity of the position. It is impossible to ignore the puzzle because of that. The number of choices is much reduced, making it easier to find the solution by trial and error. If you have identified the f6-pawn as the Achille’s heel for Black, figuring out how to reach it with one of your Knights was the remaining challenge. Same as above, key is to put Black in zugzwang. Please find all possible checkmates after White’s first move for practice:

Eugen Demian

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Valer Eugen Demian

Author: Valer Eugen Demian

The player – my first serious chess tournament was back in 1974, a little bit late for today’s standards. Over the years I have had the opportunity to play all forms of chess from OTB to postal, email and server chess. The journey as a player brought me a lot of experience and a few titles along the way: FIDE CM (2012), ICCF IM (2001) and one ICCF SIM norm (2004). The instructor – my career as a chess teacher and coach started in 1994 and continues strong. I have been awarded the FIDE Instructor title (2007) for my work and have been blessed with great students reaching the highest levels (CYCC, NAYCCC, Pan-Am, WYCC). I am very proud of them! See my website for more information. I have developed my own chess curriculum on 6 levels based on my overall chess knowledge and hands-on experience. A glimpse of it can be seen in my first chess app: I can help you learn chess the proper way if this is what you seek! View all posts by Valer Eugen Demian

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