Today I have an interesting checkmate puzzle for you. If you’d like to skip right to it, the puzzle is shown below, with the solution at the end of the post (in the video).
Background to the Puzzle
I played a series of games with a very tactically oriented player today. All of the games were wild and open, and after 6 games we were even 3-3.
In the first six games, we had both attacked and blundered and regained leads and lost leads. Sloppy chess I guess, but that’s what can happen when you’re playing very sharp lines and you’re not able to calculate like the pros!
Sharp Opening Leads to Wild Game
In the rubber match, he played a King’s Gambit again. He had already played it a couple times. I had first tried the Adelaide Countergambit, which is a lot of fun, but sometimes this sharp response to the King’s Gambit plays into your opponent’s preferred tactical style. So after getting crushed in that game, I reverted to my old “favorite” the Fischer Defense. I say “favorite” with a bit of irony because I don’t really like to play defensive positions right out of the opening, but you do often get to counterattack, and if you reach an endgame without giving up material in the process, you’ll almost always win due to your majority on the kingside and extra pawn.
So in this final game, my opponent sacks a knight and two bishops within four moves! It would be brilliant–if it had any chance of working. Actually if you make one wrong move in some of these King’s Gambit crazy sack lines, you can actually lose or get stuck in perpetual check, but once you see them a couple times you can figure out where to put your King.
So his attack in this game doesn’t work and he is just hopelessly lost. But I took the lazy way out and tried to just trade queens, rather than looking for the most precise way to finish him off. Although it didn’t hurt me in this game, this kind of laziness has gotten me punished in many, many other games where I’ve lost my material advantage back and had to accept a draw or even a loss.
So find the best way to finish off Black in the puzzle below (solution and game shown in the video below that). Have fun!