[blind-chess] Spoiler Alert Problem WAC078

  • From: "Paul Benson" <paul.benson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blind-chess@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2011 18:48:51 +0100

Hello all,
This posting is divided into various parts. You can jump to the headings of the 
sections by search/find for **, a pair of asterisks
** Positional evaluation of the problem
White: Three pawn islands. The b2 pawn is attacked by the black f6 bishop, but 
the bishop is presently pinned to the black king. The split pawns on the 
kingside are not weak in this position, but will need greater care in the 
endgame, since neither can ever offer protection to the other. The king sits on 
a semi-open g-file, but black can do little to exploit the slight exposure in 
the kingside. The Queen is actively placed, pinning the f6 bishop to the black 
king, but is also under attack from the black g6 pawn, which gives white a 
problem. The white queen is the only defence to the f4 bishop, and she has no 
safe move which keeps that piece protected. The 2 white rooks are ideally 
centralised occupying the central files, the d1 rook is attacking the black 
queen, and the e1 rook has an x-ray attack on the black e6 knight. The f4 
bishop is active on the kingside, and also has a threat on the c7 pawn, should 
the black queen move away. The knight on e4 is ready for action, either in the 
centre, or on the kingside. All the white pieces are developed, and 
contributing to the attack
Black: Two pawn islands. The queenside pawns are contributing nothing as of 
yet. The kingside pawns are controlling a few squares over there, but there is 
also a hole on g5, which could be a good location for a white minor piece, 
though at the moment black seems to have defended this square with his own 
minor pieces. The king is under pressure, and is also tied to defending the e6 
knight.. There are 5 white attacking units, all centrally placed. To counter 
this, black has only 2 minor pieces in front of the king, to offer protection. 
The queen is both unmoved, and under attack from the white d1 rook, and it is 
white to move. The a8 and h8 rooks are on their original squares, and 
contribute nothing to the black position. The f6 bishop is pinned the king by 
the white queen, and is thus paralysed The e6 knight looks a little vulnerable, 
being protected by the king, and having an x-ray threat from the white e1 rook 
hitting it
** Hints section, 5 hints
Hint 1, to find the key move
The white queen is attacked, so something must be done about that, right?
Hint 2, to find the key move
Positionally speaking, which looks the stronger piece, the black queen on d8, 
or the white rook on d1? Aha, so do not sacrifice that one
Hint 3, to find the key move
This winning sequence is a powerful light-squared invasion, but which square 
can it be on?
Hint 4, to find the key move
Perhaps Aim at a light-square weakness, and a different one may appear
Final hint, to find the key move
Check with the cavalry, to find out if this is the charge of the Light Brigade
** Proposed solution to WAC078
It might not be immediately obvious, but white has the opportunity for a 
decisive light-square invasion. The black knight on e6 is only defended once, 
and only attacked once. There is however, an x-ray attack on the black knight, 
from the white e1 rook. If the white knight on e4 was suddenly removed from the 
board, then white could solve the problem of the attacked queen on f5, by 
simply capturing the e6 knight with check. Of course, pieces can not just be 
removed like that, but there is still a means to achieve the end. White plays, 
1. Ng5+, and the knight removes itself from the e-file with check, and places a 
triple attack on the vulnerable black e6 knight. Black has no less than 6 
replies to consider. Firstly, moving the king, will lose material as follows. 
If, 1. ... Ke7, or, 1. ... Ke8, or 1. ... Kg8, white will reply to all 3 king 
moves with, 2. Qxe6+. White has just won a piece, and more material, if not 
checkmate in some lines, will soon follow. Secondly, if black tries, 1. ... 
Kf8, or 1. ... Kg7, then white replies to both these king moves with, 2. Nxe6+. 
Again, white has just won a piece, and this time with a royal fork. After any 
black king move subsequent to this fork, white can just start the liquidation 
process with, 3. Rxd8. So, 5 black king moves all lose. Ah, but after 1. Ng5+, 
there are 6 replies for black. There is definitely a triple attack on the e6 
knight, but surely, black can simply play, 1. ... Nxg5 which would stop the 
check, while saving the black knight, and white still has the queen attacked. 
Yes, these 3 factors are correct, so black just plays, 1. ... Nxg5, and white 
must think again. So, what has changed?
Firstly, the e-file has now become fully open for the white e1 rook, but the 
second feature, which makes this position winning for white, is what is perhaps 
not so obvious. The black knight is now on g5, which means the white queen on 
f5, is now supporting a rook invasion with check on the d7 square. So, 2. Rd7+, 
and black has to lose the queen for a white rook, and there are 3 ways to do 
it. Firstly, if 2. ... Kf8, then 3. Rxd8+ Rxd8 4. Qxf6+ Nf7 5. Re7, and black 
is lost. Secondly, 2. ... Kg8 3. Rxd8+ Rxd8, note if black tries to save the 
bishop with, 3. ... Bxd8, then 4. Qxg6+ Kf8 5. Re8+ is mate. So, after black 
plays, 3. ... Rxd8, white achieves a material win with, 4. Qxf6, the black 
bishop falls. The third reply, black can try, 2. ... Qxd7 3. Qxd7+ Kf8. Note 
if, 3. Kg8, white wins a piece with, 4. Bxg5 Bxg5 5. Qd5+, forking the black 
king and g5 bishop. So, white has a nominal 1 pawn plus, but can win further 
material with, 4. Bxg5 Bxg5 5. Qxc7, with a few threats. The b7 pawn is 
attacked, there is also, Qc5+, which will pick up the black bishop, and lastly 
there is, Qe5+, which forks black's bishop and h8 rook. All of these threats 
can not be parried, and it seems as if losing the b7 pawn is least ruinous, but 
black will lose more material anyway, when the white queenside pawns get rolling
** Condensed proposed solution
1. Ng5+ Nxg5 2. Rd7+ Qxd7 3. Qxd7+ Kf8 4. Bxg5 Bxg5 
5. Qxc7
** Other tactical variations considered, and rejected
Variation A: 1. Qxe6+ 
A good try for white, is to try and catch the black royalty in the centre, 
hoping to pick up material along the way. With all 5 white pieces working, 
there might be the startling, 1. Qxe6+. Well, that resolves the problem of the 
attacked white queen, but just how much activity will follow, and remember, the 
more active white pieces which are traded for inactive black pieces, is almost 
certainly relieving the pressure on black. Here, black can not avoid capturing 
the white queen, as any black king move allows, 2. Rxd8, and white has won a 
queen and knight for a rook. So, 1. ... Kxe6, and now the white e4 knight has 7 
legal moves, all unleashing a discovered attack on the black king. Remember, 
any variation where white has to recover the black queen for the d1 rook, 
leaves white an exchange down, and the attack will have dissipated, leaving 
black safe. So, 2. Nc3+ Kf7, and black is safe. Or, 2. Nd2+ Kf7, and here white 
can not even win black the black queen, the d-file is blocked, black is safe. 
Or, 2. Ng3+ Kf7, black is safe. Or, 2. Ng5+, and this is preventing the 
blacking from skulking away to f7, but he can go, 2. ... Kf5. The line could 
continue, 3. Rxd8, leaving black with a 3-way choice of recaptures. Clearly, 
the white knight on g5 would like the possibility of forking rooks on f7 if 
allowed, so black's simplest reply is, 3. ... Rhxd8, and white is an exchange 
down with no follow up, black is safe. Or, 2. Nc5+ Kf7, and black is safe. Or, 
2. Nxf6+ Kxf6, and black is safe
So, now we arrive at white's 7th discovered check with the e4 knight, which is, 
2. Nd6+, which neatly covers the f5 and f7 squares, but has similarly blocked 
the d-file, down which the d1 rook was intending to win back the black queen at 
some point. Black has 2 replies, the first is, 2. ... Be5. This move will 
return some material, in order to give the black king the f6 square for flight. 
The idea is after, 3. Rxe5+ Kf6, but now white has, 4. Ne4+ Kg7 5. Rxd8 Raxd8, 
and white has 2 minor pieces for a rook, a technical win, but requiring 
accurate technique in a long game. So, at last white has found a favourable 
line, however, black does not have to give away the f6 bishop, there is a legal 
king move in, 2. ... Kd7. Yet again, the white knight has 7 legal moves with 
which discovered check will be given. Listing them all will reveal nothing, it 
is hopefully apparent that if white is going to survive this, then a discovered 
check must be found, which allows white to regain the black queen for the 
knight, and not a rook, as in lines just given. There are 2 moves, either 3. 
Nf7+ or 3. Nxb7+, and since white will be capturing the black queen on d8 with 
the knight, the better move is, 3. Nxb7+, picking up a pawn on the way. So, now 
the black king has 2 moves to the c-file, and paradoxically, the active choice 
is the worse move. The reason for this, is the unprotected black bishop and 
g-pawn on the 6th rank. So if, 3. ... Kc6 4. Nxd8+ Raxd8+, black is trying to 
trade off an active white rook, and if now, 5. Rxd8, black must be careful. If 
here, 5. ... Rxd8, then, 6. Re6+ wins the f6 bishop, So, black must play, 5. 
... Bxd8, but the same idea again for white, 6. Re6+ Kc5 7. Rxg6 Kxc4. It might 
seem as if black is grovelling out, but here is a sting in the tail, white has, 
8. Bxc7, which leaves white 2 clear pawns up, since, 8. ... Bxc7 9. Rc6+, 
regains the bishop and wins. So, now back to the second king move which from 
the start is, 1. Nxe6 Kxe6 2. Nd6+ Kd7 3. Nxb7+ Kc8, and now the king is not 
vulnerable to a 6th rank check. so now, 4. Nxd8, and black must choose 
carefully here. The better reply is 4. ... Bxd8, since capturing with the rook 
by black, would allow a trade of rooks, and the remaining white rook will 
invade firstly onto the 6th rank, win the g6 pawn, and have a deadly threat of 
a check on the 8th rank, skewering the king and a8 rook, so black must take 
time to avoid this. White can then safeguard the queenside pawns with, b3, and 
then return to win the weak black h-pawn. So, after, 5. ... Bxd8 6. Re6 Rg8, 
and white is a pawn up, better placed, but there is still much work to do
These lines with white, 1. Qxe6 demonstrate some possibilities for a pair of 
rooks on fully open central files, combined with a couple of minor pieces, 
against an undeveloped black army. It might also demonstrate, a centralised 
knight, with numerous potential discovered checks, needs careful tactical 
calculation skills
Variation B: 1. Qxf6+ 
White can achieve a slight material gain, and also set a little trap with, 1. 
Qxf6+. Clearly, black has only one reply, 1. ... Qf6, and white now has 2 
choices. The first, is to keep trading with, 2. Nxf6, hoping for a blunder, 
since, 2. ... Kxf6, loses an exchange to, 3. Be5+. Black will not comply, and 
simply play, 2. ... Nxf4. White has the better piece development, but no more, 
this looks equal. Instead of capturing the black queen, white has an 
interesting idea in, 2. Rd7+, setting a trap. If black tries for material 
equality, white will soon crush black. For example, 2. Kf8, intending to let 
the queen go, and regaining material equality by capturing the white f4 bishop. 
Note, black should avoid, 2. ... Ke8, which loses to, 3. Nxf6+ Kf8 4. Rxe6. So, 
now white takes the black queen with, 3. Nxf6, and black takes the white bishop 
with, 3. ... Nxf4. Material is equal, but the position becomes crushing for 
white with, 4. Ree7. Doubled rooks on the 7th rank, combined with a 6th rank 
knight, set up a neat mating net. Black can try, 4. ... Nh3+ 5. Kf1 Ng5, which 
stops the threatened mate on f7. However, white attacks the defending black 
knight with, 6. h4, and any move by the black knight, allows 7. Rf7+ mate. 
Black can only avoid mate with, 6. ... Rh7, but simply, 7. Nxh7+ Nxh7 8. Rxh7 
white, a whole rook up, wins
So, after white's tricky, 2. Rd7+, black being a piece up, offers the queen 
back with, 2. ... Qe7. White can play simply with, 3. Rxe7+ Kxe7 4. Ng5, and 
the black e6 knight is pinned and lost, and white is better, but a long game is 
in prospect. Instead, after black interposes with, 2. ... Qe7, white can create 
complications with, 3. Ng5+. Black has 3 replies. Firstly, 3. ... Nxg5, which 
loses to, 4. Rexe7+ Kf6, protecting the g5 knight, but then, 5. Be5+ wins an 
exchange on h8. Secondly, 3. ... Ke8 4. Rxe7+ Kxe7 5. Rxe6+, and white also 
wins the g6 pawn, and with two minor pieces and a passed f-pawn against a rook, 
white will eventually win, but will need patient technique. The third black 
choice after, 3. Ng5+, is, 3. ... Kf6. This is very bold, sometimes moves like 
this will save the position, and sometimes they just march the monarch to his 
doom. White continues with, 4. Rxe7, and if black plays, 4. ... Kxe7, this 
transposes to a line just given, where the black knight and g6 pawn fall. 
Instead, black can try to make use of the advancing king with, 4. ... Nxf4. 
Material equality is again temporarily reached, but the position has imbalance. 
White can try 5. Nh7+, forcing the black king up the board, hoping for a mate. 
After, 5. ... Kf5, white does not have enough to mate the black king, the 
square h4 is a haven, should white try to force matters. White can instead grab 
a pawn with, 6. Rxc7, which leaves black to protect the b7 pawn, however, the 
black f4 knight covers the g2 square, so if the white e1 rook ever moves off 
the back rank, then the white king is vulnerable to a potential back rank mate. 
White is better, but must be careful
Variiation C: 1. Rxd8+ 
There is a phrase in chess which says, "Obvious, therefore dubious", I think by 
Bobby Fischer. This is clearly a generalisation, meant to make one think about 
every move carefully, and not to be lazy, in the move-decision department. 
Captures and recaptures, no matter how tempting, should not be automatic. Here, 
with the black queen attacked, it is tempting to just take her. This would be a 
mistake, both on tactical and positional grounds. Firstly, the black queen is 
not active, and the white queen is very actively placed, with good attacking 
opportunities. So, selecting a line which effectively trades queens is almost 
always certainly a poor decision. Also, more active white pieces will be traded 
for inactive black pieces. White will be slightly worse after, 1. Rxd8 gxf5 2. 
Rxa8 Rxa8, and now white has both minor pieces attacked. The only move to avoid 
material loss is, 3. Nxf6, and black can choose to capture either the f6 
knight, or the f4 bishop. The simpler move is, 3. ... Nxf4, leaving white to 
find a move for the f6 knight. Black has a slight gain in space, white must 
play carefully. The white position has lost all momentum by entering a line 
which trades 3 pairs of actively placed units 
Variation D: 1. Nd6+ 
White already has an x-ray attack on the black e6 knight, from the e1 rook, and 
now tries to be able to safely capture on e6 with the attacked queen. So, white 
clears the way with, 1. Nd6+, and now black has 3 replies. Attempting to run 
away with, 1. ... Kg7, looks awful. Simply, 2. Qxe6, and now black must take 
the knight on d6 with, 2. ... Cxd6, but now the white heavy pieces run rampant 
with, 3. Rxd6, forcing the black queen to keep a defence on the f6 bishop with, 
3. Qf8. However, 4. Rd7+, and the black king cannot move, note that the white 
f4 bishop covers h6, and now black loses bishop and queen for a white rrook 
with, 4. ... Be7 5. Rxe7+ Qxe7 6. Qxe7+. So with, 1. Nd6+, black can try, 1. 
... cxd6, which transposes directly into the line just given after, 2. Qxe6 
Kg7. Note, if the black king goes, 2. ... Kf8, then, 3. Rxd6, and the black 
queen is attacked by the rook, and the f6 bishop is doubly attacked by the 6th 
rank force of white queen and rook. The queen must move, and the f6 bishop is 
lost next move
So, thus far, 1. Nd6+ seems very promising. However, black has a shocking third 
reply in, 1. ... Qxd6. Now matters are complex. White can capture the black 
queen in 2 ways, but the white queen is also attacked. The supposedly weak 
black knight on e6, is now doubly attacked, but also doubly defended. There is 
also the white f4 bishop, which is defended once, but under a double attack 
from the black queen and knight. What this means, is that white, now a piece 
down, must find a reply which solves the problem of his attacked bishop and 
queen, and also regain material. If white tries, 2. Qe4, black can avoid the 
unnecessary complication of, 2. ... Qxf4, which should win, but simply play, 2. 
Qc6, challenging the white queen and removing herself from the white rook's 
threat. Black will then consolidate, and be winning. There is also, 2. ... Qe7, 
which seems to leave black a piece ahead, but the central white rooks and queen 
are still powerfully placed, and the black queen is hiding behind a potentially 
vulnerable e6 knight. Careful play by black will slowly unravel the position, 
but why should black permit such pressure, when, 2. Qc6, is a good and safer 
challenge. So, What has white against, 1. ... Qxd6. It seems the only chance 
is, 2. Rxd6, and black has no choice but to regain material with, 2. ... gxf5. 
Now the point of white capturing the black queen on d6 is revealed, the black 
e6 knight is doubly attacked by the white rooks, so, 3. Rdxe6, and material 
equality is re-established, though black must be more careful here, the c7 pawn 
is attacked, and the f6 bishop is presently tied down to prevent a white rook 
invasion on the e7 square. After, 3. ... c6, black can then start challenging 
the white rooks control of the e-file, and it seems black is equal
** Alarm bells
1. Black has fallen seriously behind in development. Only 2 minor pieces 
developed, against 5 active white units. Hoping to survive against these odds, 
is rather too optimistic
2. Both queens were under attack at the start. White forced matters in such a 
way, that the black queen fell, while the white queen was under attack all the 
time. This takes nerve, and confidence in one's ability to calculate
3. When so far ahead in development, it can be very tempting to analyse all 
sort of fanciful variations. The original position, offers much food for 
tactical thought. Be aware, that fantastic combinations are uncommon, and 
winning attempts like, 1. Qxe6+, analysed in "rejected moves, variation B", 
will be rare
Paul Benson.

-----Original Message-----
From: R Dinger - Email Address: rrdinger@xxxxxxxxxx
Sent On: 26/07/2011 20:17
Sent To: chess - Email Address: blind-chess@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [blind-chess] Problem WAC078

Good Morning Puzzlers,

This problem is from Mario Lang's puzzle web page at 
 and is reported to be from Fred Reinfield's book "Win At Chess" 1958.

Problem WAC078

White to move

FEN Problem Setup:
 w - - 0 1

Short Algebraic Problem Setup:
White: Kg1, Qf5, Rd1, Re1, Bf4, Ne4, Pa2, Pb2, Pc4, Pf2, Ph2
Black: Kf7, Qd8, Ra8, Rh8, Bf6, Ne6, Pa7, Pb7, Pc7, Pg6, Ph5
No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com 
Version: 9.0.901 / Virus Database: 271.1.1/3789 - Release Date: 07/26/11 

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