How Lucky Are You?

How Lucky Are You?

CM AdviceCabinet

To many people, it seems that good chess players are always lucky and are able to make a comeback from terrible positions. Of course, the truth is that they can find the correct resources and set up traps to ensnare their opponents. As Sam Shankland once said " is absolutely critical to bring good defense to the board, to stay focused, and to never say uncle until there is not a single resource or trick available."



In this article, I will give you 5 puzzles. Your objective is to play for the best result possible. The motifs can range from nifty fortresses to tactical tricks. Sometimes, you may have to decide if escaping perpetual check is worth the risk. Explanations will be revealed when each puzzle is completed.

Puzzle #1: Saving Sam Shankland from MVL

Puzzle #2: Holding the fortress

This is a game between Andrei Sokolov with the white pieces and Artur Yusupov playing black. You will play for Yusupov and prove that this fortress holds up despite the serious material deficit. The point is that the black king cannot be driven away from the corner (h8, h7, g8). Hence, black could just shuttle his bishop along the a1-h8 diagonal. White has just played Nd5-f6, does that change anything?

Puzzle #3: Is it safe to escape perpetual check?

This is from a casual rapid game that I played as white a year or two ago.

Puzzle #4: Elegant or erroneous?

Vladmir Simagin playing as white against David Bronstein. Does he have more than a perpetual check?

Puzzle #5: A free point for the SCC fans

In the 2019 Speed Chess Championship finals, Nakamura and So were tied at 0.5-0.5. In this second game, So's opening was a huge success and had Naka's back against the wall. It was at this moment that the popular streamer wowed the viewers by pulling a combination seemingly out of nowhere.

 How many puzzles were you able to solve? Comment below!