White is ready to fire in this game
White to move, win
By Eric Morrow
In this week’s position, white’s pieces are like a loaded gun, which is ready to fire.
White has several mating themes at the ready. Black either is mated or takes heavy losses.
With this hint in mind please find white’s winning attack.
In chess notation, the board is a grid: the vertical columns are numbered “1” through “8;” the horizontal rows, “a” through “h.” Each square on the board is identified by a specific letter and number. For example, if the white knight were to move to e2, the notation would be ne2 (n=knight, r=rook, q=queen, b=bishop, k=king,+=check, x=takes, etc.).
White should first advance its f5 pawn to f6, checking black, or move its knight to e4, attacking black’s queen. The two moves are interchangeable. In the actual game I advanced my pawn to f6. The black king then retreated to h8 (retreating to g8 leads to almost identical lines). After the king retreated, I moved my knight to e4.
Technically, black’s best defense is to trade queens by moving its queen to f4. White’s queen captures black’s queen, which is in turn taken by the black knight.
White’s rook then wins the knight, giving white a winning position.
Trading queens immediately is tantamount to surrendering. If instead black asks white to prove what it can do and moves its queen to c7, as my opponent did, white slides its queen over to d2.
The white queen threatens to slide over to h6. From h6, the queen and pawn threaten to mate on g7.
Black’s best defense is for its knight to capture the pawn, only to be captured by white’s rook at f1. This stops the immediate attack, but, again, losing the piece in this position is tantamount to throwing out the white flag.
Black may again ask white to prove itself by moving its rook to g8, which prevents the queen from invading on g7. White’s queen still slides over to h6.
In this position white has two mating attacks that black cannot thwart without sacrificing its knight by taking the f6 pawn. White is posed to mate on h7 by either moving its knight to g5 or re-routing a rook to the “h” file. As long as the pawn is at f6, the black rook cannot move to g7 to guard h7. Even if black sacrifices its knight, white's attack is overwhelming.
The lesson here is to know when your gun is loaded and ready to fire.