What's Black's best move?

What's Black's best move?

Zeitnot17
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6 days ago

This problem is inspired by an unplayed alternative line from a 3/2 blitz game I just played.  (I tweaked the arrangement of the pieces to accentuate the key move.)  I picked this problem for my blog because it appears confusing, at ...

Find the mate

Find the mate

Zeitnot17
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May 27, 2020

Things aren't looking good for White. Black is threatening not only White's queen but also mate in 1. It doesn't look like White can defend against both threats. But there is a way, as long as White has the creativity and courage to consider...

A rook and his knight — the Vuković mate

A rook and his knight — the Vuković mate

Zeitnot17
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Apr 18, 2020

In a prior post I explored why a queen and her knight make such a fearsome attacking tandem. A game I just played reminds me that a rook and knight pack a powerful punch as well.  Here's a mate-in-6 problem inspired from the final po...

Crazy days

Crazy days

Zeitnot17
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Mar 27, 2020

Given that we’re living through crazy times, it’s not surprising that I find myself playing some crazy games. Here’s my latest example. This game is from Round 4 of the tournament Красунчик "Яни Капу". @nutaras named the tourna...

Lost in space — a positional puzzle

Lost in space — a positional puzzle

Zeitnot17
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Dec 21, 2019

What's White's best move? Today's problem comes to us from a 3/2 blitz game I played yesterday.  According to chess.com's post-game analysis (which generated the annotations above), both sides played reasonably well with Stockfish cha...

We might as well play the best move

We might as well play the best move

Zeitnot17
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Nov 25, 2019

Once we reach a winning position, we might as well play the best move. Today's position comes from a 3/2 blitz game I played this morning. I'm up in material by a knight and a pawn so I should have the game won but I still have some issues to de...

Why bother?

Why bother?

Zeitnot17
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Nov 21, 2019

We spend our time and attention trying to reach a great position where we've got the game all but won. Why bother trying to get a winning position unless we're able to recognize it and are willing to invest the additional effort to find the righ...

Playing tug of war — resources on tension

Playing tug of war — resources on tension

Zeitnot17
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Sep 28, 2019

Lately I've been looking into the concept of tension. For beginners new to the idea, in Chess Master vs. Chess Amateur, Max Euwe and Walter Meiden offer one of the better explanations that I've seen. There exists in the center at present a s...

What's White's best move?

What's White's best move?

Zeitnot17
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Sep 16, 2019

I wish I could say I found the right move in my 3/2 blitz game. It's an elegant line.     19 Sept 2019 update — I couldn't help but notice the similarity between the pattern in my game above and the one that popped up i...

When you come to the fork in the road, take it!

When you come to the fork in the road, take it!

Zeitnot17
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Aug 6, 2019

When you're driving in a strange town, confusion can be just around the corner. Even if you might think you know where you are, where you're going and how to get there, you can get surprised. You're running late and all of a sudden you hit an un...

Order out of disorder

Order out of disorder

Zeitnot17
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Aug 3, 2019

A scrambled Rubik's cube appears to be disorganized chaos, yet if you know what you're doing, you can solve the riddle. A position on a chessboard can seem equally senseless, yet a hidden order lurks behind the confusing facade.   He...

A fiendishly difficult maze

A fiendishly difficult maze

Zeitnot17
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Jul 27, 2019

Chess can be so darn difficult. Even seemingly simple positions can present daunting challenges. When you find yourself in the middle of the maze, it doesn't matter that you know that there's an exit somewhere. It still can be hard to find the...

What's the best move? (Knights and half-open files)

What's the best move? (Knights and half-open files)

Zeitnot17
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Jul 22, 2019

This is a quick post about a position that popped up in a 3/2 blitz game I just played where my opponent and I both missed a key tactic. While this position is so far out of book that you can't even see the book anymore, it showcases a tactic th...

Max Euwe's little-known masterpiece

Max Euwe's little-known masterpiece

Zeitnot17
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Jul 7, 2019

In the summer of 1972, when Gennadi Sosonko left Russia for the West, his luggage consisted "entirely of a strong desire to leave the country, a rather sketchy impression of the world that lay beyond its borders, and a suitcase full of books." A...

Isn't chess blunderful?

Isn't chess blunderful?

Zeitnot17
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Jun 20, 2019

As much as I enjoy chess, I often find it frustrating that virtually every game I play is rife with mistakes. Every time I finish a game, I'm repeatedly reminded of my all-too-human imperfections as soon as I run a Stockfish analysis that "...

Throw out the lifeline!

Throw out the lifeline!

Zeitnot17
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Jun 9, 2019

On the weekend of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, this post is dedicated to the memory of my friend and relative Augie, a man from the Greatest Generation who after Pearl Harbor volunteered for the Coast Guard, who for his first...

The gates of paradise

The gates of paradise

Zeitnot17
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May 18, 2019

Here's a totally different type of chess puzzle for you to solve. I invite you to post your answers in the comments. The less I say about this puzzle now, the better. I'll leave it to you to figure out even what type of puzzle it is.  ...

Ain't it funny how the knight moves

Ain't it funny how the knight moves

Zeitnot17
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May 14, 2019

At times it seems like no one knows how the knight moves. Even masters find it hard to explain. Howard Staunton, the man who gave us the English opening, said that the knight's "move is one square in a straight line, and one in an oblique dire...

Reduce speed now

Reduce speed now

Zeitnot17
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May 2, 2019

Years ago, as I was doing a driving tour of castles in Wales, I suddenly found my car surrounded by hundreds of sheep as a farmer was moving his herd from one pasture to the next. That passing experience remains a fond memory and serves as a rem...

A queen and her knight

A queen and her knight

Zeitnot17
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Apr 27, 2019

As GM @DanielNaroditsky writes, "The queen and knight is a fearsome tandem, whose attacking potential is simply through the roof.... The queen and knight complement each other perfectly in almost every way imaginable. They can attack both up close...

Mikhail Chigorin, the lover of chess problems #4

Mikhail Chigorin, the lover of chess problems #4

Zeitnot17
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Apr 25, 2019

Welcome to the fourth installment of my series on chess problems that Mikhail Chigorin personally picked out for us to solve. If you're new to the series, you're welcome to start at the beginning with the first problem here. Problem no. 4 Wh...

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