Sometimes, chess defies logic!
Can anyone identify the game in this picture? Who were the players and how does White win? Post your solutions in the comments section below!

Sometimes, chess defies logic!

vinniethepooh
IM vinniethepooh
|
21

Chess is more than just a game. It's more than just sport, or science. It's an art. It's a battle of nerves. One can't possibly explain it, for chess sometimes defies logic and pulverizes all common sense into paralysis.

Logic says king should be protected. Logic says miracles are a myth. Logic says queen defeats a bishop. But magic doesn't. And chess, at times, can be magic.

White to play in this position. It seems like Black is doing very well, already a pawn to the good and about to pick another one on d5. Is there any way to wriggle out of this mess? 
1.c4 comes to the mind. But here Black en passants with 1...bxc3, 2.Nxc3-exd5, 3.Nxd5-Nxd5, 4.Rxd5-Be7-+ Black completes his development, picks up the exchange and is clearly winning.
After a closer look at the position though, you can find that 1.dxe6!? is another big option. Black's king in the centre so we try to act quickly. 1...Bxf3, 2.exd7-Nxd7, 3.Nxf3. What about this position?
So, White has sacrificed his queen for two pieces. What kind of compensation does White have at this point?

                                                            1) Black's king in the centre

                                                            2) The pin on the d7 knight

                                                            3) Two bishops advantage

There is no clear way for Black to continue his development. This is a very critical position. What should Black play?

3...Be7! Black is trying to complete his development! The point is that  4.Ne5 is met with 4...Qa5! and Black doesn't lose a piece. White should play 4.Bc4, threatening Ne5 with pressure on the f7 point.

4....Qa5 looks logical, but after 5.b3-0-0-0 (long castling) 6.Rhe1! All White's pieces are placed excellently and he has great compensation.

Black should play 4...0-0! Giving priority to development! Due to Black's material advantage if he is able to consolidate he is simply winning. This might seem like a mistake as White is able to play 5.Ne5. But here is where Black shows the point of his cunning play: 5...Bg5! A tempo winning move. 6.Nxd7-Bxf4, 7.Kb1-Qc7, 8.Nxf8-Rxf8, with very good winning chances for Black.

So, even this line fails to impress. Are there any other options? Let us go back to the starting position. There are hardly any possibilities... and now the idea clicks to you!

Does White have any other options here? Of course! 2.exf7!-Kxf7, 3.Nxf3. What just happened? White sacrificed his queen for a solitary bishop?

First of all, the material imbalance. White has indeed just a bishop for the queen. No even pawns for it.

So, why should we assess such a position? Because Black's king is permanently stuck in the line of fire! On closer inspection, we realise it's Black who needs to make a few difficult decisions. White is threatening Bc4 followed by Rhe1 with what looks like a very strong attack.

Have a look at few of the lines possible after this position. The engine slowly descends from giving a winning advantage of 3 pawns to Black to 0.00!

Such kind of positions epitomizes how chess is as much as an art as it is a science or a sport. The next time you hear someone saying, "Chess is going to suffer a draw death", show them this position. Or if someone claims chess is going to be solved by engines, make them read this amazing fact:

The number of possible unique chess games is much greater than the number of electrons in the universe. The number of electrons is estimated to be about 10^79, while the number of unique chess games is 10^120.