“What Say You?” The 1 Minute Challenge (55)

A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer
Bruce Lee

A quick reminder how it works:

  • Have a look at the position for 1 minute (watch the clock)
  • Think about the choices in front of you and pick the one you feel it is right
  • Verify it in your mind the best you can
  • Compare it with the solution

This week’s puzzle is intended to test your tactical eye and visual memory. It is an attacking combination from the end of the 19th century that was considered a masterpiece at the time. Let’s see what you can do.

I strongly suggest you do this like you would play in an OTB game. That means you should figure out and play the combination in your mind. If that might be too complicated in one shot, you could put the pieces on the chessboard and play as many moves as you can see. If that is only 2-3 moves at a time, after playing them stop, look at the position in front of you and repeat the process.

What in this position tells you the attack is coming? If you observed that all Black pieces are in ideal positions, you got it right. As any good attack requires when the time is right, the infantry leads it. Here that is represented by the h-pawn attacking the main Bg3 defender. Exchanging or losing Bg3 is just another way to lose. I hope you looked at the game line where it captures the h-pawn.

With Bg3 out of the way, the next order of business should be to deflect the g2-pawn. You should do that without allowing Bh4 to come back to the g3-square in time. Sometimes I miss the old days when the opponent would just play ahead and allow you the opportunity to prove that your attack is right. When you go over the combination, please keep in mind that White obliged any sacrifice!

Close to the end of the combination there are different ways to checkmate. Go over all of them for practice. One way to do it is to write them down one after another. I am showing only the game line. Hope you like it.

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: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/chessessentials/id593013634?mt=8 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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