Rich As A King

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Grandmaster tactic

Black to move. What is the best continuation for Black? This is a game between 2 GMs and I purposely leave out their names :)


Yancey Ward said...

I don't have a lot a time for this tonight, but I might try Qh4 here:

1. .....Qh4
2. Bc2

I don't have time to look at white's alternatives, so this may in fact be a bad move for white. No other move really strikes me here for white, however. Continuing:

2. .....Qg4
3. Kf1

This is forced. If white puts the king on h1, black checks with the queen from f3 and then plays Bh3 and white will have to give up the queen for the bishop at f1. Continuing:

3. .....Qf3 (threatening Bh3)
4. Qa5

I don't see any other square for the queen here. The king must be given a hole at e1. If the queen plays to d1, black checks from h1 with the queen and from g4 with the bishop to again win white's queen for a bishop. If white plays the queen to c1/b1, black plays Bg4 and white will have to return the king to g1 again allowing Bh3 and loss of the queen at f1 to stop the mate. If the queen plays to d2/c3, black will mate starting with Bg4. Only 4.Qa5 prevents these threats by allowing a check at d8 followed by Kg1 and Qg5 if black has tried Bg4 at move 4:

4. .....Nb6

I am too tired to look at anything else right now. Black cannot continue with Bg4 since, as I mentioned, white plays Qd8, then Kg1 and then Qg5 to protect g2. Nb6 blocks that initial check, and again threatens Bg4. Also, the knight is threatening to get in on the mating net from c4 if needed.

5. Nb6

Again, I only have time for the obvious. White may have better defense than this. Continuing:

5. .....Bg4 (threatening Qh1#)
6. Be4

The only move I see that stops mate here. Continuing:

6. .....Qe4

If black captures with the pawn, white will be able to defend against the threats with 7.Kg1 followed by Qg5 since the 5th rank would then be clear to g5 for white's queen. At this point I am just going to have to stop. I don't really know the best defense for white from this point- he can prevent Qh1# in a variety of ways- f3, Kg1 or Ke1, for example. Which is best? I have no clue right now without a lot of work.

aam@fics said...

1... Bxg4
2. Bxc2 Bf3

now if
3. h4 Qxh4

3. Kf1 Qg5


Yancey Ward said...

I took another look this morning- and I don't really have a lot more clarity, but I did look at some of white's other move 2 defenses after black has played Qh4, and I think white can steer the game into a clean draw rather than take the risky gambit of capturing at c2 that I discussed last night:

1. .....Qh4
2. h3

In my earlier comment, I only had time to look in detail at 2.Bc2, and I think black gets enough counterplay from 2. ...Qg4+ and 3. ...Qf3 to hold the game at the very least, and likely win (I will prepare a more detailed analysis of that line later if I have the time). The only other defense I really saw last night was 2.h3, but I dismissed it without discussion thinking it was easily won for black, but I was seeing something that wasn't really there (my memory was that I thought black takes at h3 with check). I think white can now force black to take the draw via repetition:

2. .....Qh3 (alternatives later)
3. Bc2

This is basically forced now, I think. None of white's alternatives look good now- if white tries to defend with Qf1, for example, black can save his rook with Rd2 and still have a strong attack on white's king. Continuing:

3. .....Qg4
4. Kh1

Or Kh2 is ok, too, I think. With the h3 pawn gone, white has a more flexible defense and can safely play the king to h1 rather than f1 as in the line I discussed last night:

4. .....Qf3 (anything better?)
5. Kh2!

White will lose if he plays the king to g1 since 5. ...Bh3 will again force white to give up the queen for the bishop at f1 just to avoid being mated. Continuing:

5. .....Qh3 and black will just continue to check from f3, g4, and h3 for a draw by repetition unless white puts the king on f1.

Black might try 5. ...Nf6, but I don't see a good continuation after white puts the queen on f1 and the bishop on d1, but I haven't look at all the lines there, so maybe I am still missing something.

Yancey Ward said...


Your line may well be as good as mine, but black can't win with yours either, and I still see some some modest chance black will actually lose, but I can't see that deeply:

1. .....Bg4
2. Bc2 Bf3

I looked at this a while yesterday and again this morning- this is the only move I see for black. Continuing:

3. Kf1 Qg5?! (Qh4 looks better?)
4. Qc1!

Here, I still think Qa5 might be playable, but Qc1 is just easier in my opinion- the real point is to protect e3 in the line that follows:

4. .....Qg2 (what else now?)
5. Ke1

And now black has a decision to make, but I have a hard time distinguishing them since they seem to transpose as far as I can tell. The most direct is to me....

5. .....Qg1
6. Kd2 Qf2
7. Kc3! Qh2
8. Qg1

And white has a rook for 4 pawns. White has the edge here unless I am overlooking something in the position, but it will be a difficult win for white.