Kenilworth Kibitzer

A blog for members of the Kenilworth Chess Club.

Monday, July 15, 2013


An Interesting Position

While playing a blitz game a few weeks ago, I ran into the following position as White.  I had arrived here with the idea of sacrificing a knight on h7, and sure enough the opportunity presented itself.  An an uncharacteristically reflective mood after the game, I asked the computer the question - is this sac (which I played, and duly won the game) correct?

While you contemplate, a musical interlude....

Well, without further ado, it turns out 1. Nxh7 is, in fact, a good move in the position, although as it transpires it is little better than the more prosaic Nxf7, and that both (according to my abacus) lead to the same evaluation - equal!  Though not by perpetual check.  No, Black has a defense against Nxh7 that leads to an interesting position all its own.  Can you find the defense?!

It's easy enough to see, sooner or later, that, although White has two pieces hanging, neither can be taken as after Qxg6+ Black loses more material and the game. So Black has to play an interference move. 1....Ne4 suggests itself - but then comes 2. Nxe4, and Black must retake with the pawn (again, after taking wither of the loose pieces on h7 or h6, White can jump in the knight on e4 with check, take on g6 and mate follows). OK, so after 1. Nxh7 Ne4 2. Nxe4 dxe4 3. Qxe4, what has Black accomplished. Well, after 3...e5!!, rather a lot! The interference move ...Ne4 sets up a clearance move, ...e5, which not only clears the third rank so the queen on b6 defends g6, but also opens the diagonal of the light squared bishop. This becomes important if White retreats one of the loose pieces, when ...Bf5! follows with tempo. No, the best line is apparently 4. Qxg6+ QxQ 5. Bxg6 when White is up two pawns and about to win a third though down a piece. Fantastic! Needless to say my opponent did not spot this defense, though if he did I surely would have lost my composure. The computers are the present and future....

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