A Christmas story

by ChessBase
12/25/2018 – ChessBase study expert Siegfried Hornecker highlights a study (and story!) by STEFFEN SLUMSTRUP NIELSEN which we are pleased to share to mark the Christmas holiday. The story begins: "It is the 1st of December. The White Family is slowly getting ready for the Holidays. The head of the family, Mrs Horsey White is in for a busy month, while the rest of the family is planning to just hang around lazily, waiting for the big day. Mrs White has to collect six presents from all over town to make for a happy Christmas."

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By Steffen Slumstrup Nielsen

It is the 1st of December. The White Family is slowly getting ready for the Holidays. The head of the family, Mrs Horsey White is in for a busy month, while the rest of the family is planning to just hang around lazily, waiting for the big day. Mrs White has to collect six presents from all over town to make for a happy Christmas.

 

Play out the moves on the live diagram

1.Ne7

Oh Dear! She overlooks the present on h6! It was just on her route. Oh well, perhaps things can also get too materialistic at Christmas time?

1...Qxa3 2.Nxf5+

The 2nd of December and already one present collected. Not bad.

2...Kxe4 3.Nd6+

What a nice big present on c3! Time to collect.

3...Kd4 4.Nb5+ Ke4 5.Nxc3+ Kd4

 

What is that on g3? A tiny one, but still...

6.Nb5+ Ke4 7.Nd6+ Kd4 8.Nf5+ Ke4 9.Nxg3+ Kd4

 

The largest present is far away on a3.

10.Nf5+ Ke4 11.Nd6+ Kd4 12.Nb5+ Ke4 13. Nxa3

Only two presents remain. But, wait, one of them appears to be moving…

13...h2

 

14.Nb5! h1=Q

...and changing shape! Nevermind. Mother White will not be denied.

15.Nd6+ Kd4 16.Nf5+ Ke4 17.Ng3+ Kd4 18.Nxh1

Only one to go. The one on b3. Will this one stand still, please?!

18...b2

Of course not...

 

19.Ng3 b1=Q 20.Nf5+

 

20...Ke4

What tremendous luck! Had Mrs White collected that appealing present on h6 on the first day of Christmas, we would now witness a dramatic letdown after 20...Qxf5+ 21. Kxf5 with no White Christmas in sight.

21. Nd6+ Kd4 22. Nb5+ Ke4 23. Nc3+ Kd4 24. Nxb1

 

The final present is collected on the 24th. Just in time! The other White family members applaud from their couches: “How well we all did. Merry Christmas!”


Replay the study below in our full-featured game viewer:

 

Dedicated to Eva Nemcova



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