A tricky choice

by Oliver Reeh
12/26/2020 – In the diagram position Black just played 45...Rxc5 and now White has a tricky choice: he can play 46.Qxc5, 46.Qxf7+ or 46.Rxf7+. What would you do?

Strike like the world champions Strike like the world champions

88 times, IM Oliver Reeh leads you step by step through the most brillant game conclusions of the world champions - in interactive Fritztrainer format, enabling you to enter the winning moves yourself.


Win, draw or loss?

Black's duo of knight and queen is powerful and therefore White should abandon all hopes for a win. But there is a way to save the game.


Oliver Reeh in ChessBase Magazine

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ChessBase Magazine #198

CBM 193


ChessBase Magazine Extra #197

Oliver Reeh is an International Master, lives in Hamburg, and plays for the "Hamburger Schachklub" in the "Bundesliga". He is a long-time member of the ChessBase team, and regularly entertains and educates readers with his tactic column in the ChessBase Magazine. He is also co-author of the popular DVDs on Bobby Fischer, Mihhail Tal, Alexander Alekhine, and José Raul Capablanca appearing in the ChessBase Master Class Series.
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lajosarpad lajosarpad 12/28/2020 11:55
@Frits Fritschy, I did not analyze this particularly deeply, your Rh8 seems to be convincing. I probably missed this during my superficial analysis.
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 12/27/2020 02:34
Do you have any variations to back this up? After 47 Rf4+ Rxd5 48 Rxg4 Rh5 it seems to me rook and knight can easily handle the c-pawn, while the black king can defend the g-pawn and forstall it being exchanged against the white f-pawn. For instance 49 c5 Kf7 50 c6 Nf5 51 c7 Rh8 52 Rc4 Rc8 53 Kg2. Here black can go wrong with 53... Ne7 54 Kg3 Ke6 55 f4 Kd7 56 Kg4 Rxc7? 57 Rxc7+ Kxc7 58 Kg5 Kd7 59 Kf6! with a fortress position. However, simply 53... Ng7 followed by Ne6, Rxc7 and Kf6 is a simple win.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 12/27/2020 01:25
Instead of 47. Rf8+ I think 47. Rf4+ will work. Black is forced to take on c5 because the alternative is to move with the king and White can continue with Qd8 or Qb5 and win the queen. The line depends on the line where the Black king ends up. To avoid losing the queen, Black is forced to reply with 47... Rxc5. After 48... Rxc5 49. Rxg4 Rh5 I believe White will achieve a draw due to the distance of the Black king from the pawn. I do not use an engine, so I might be wrong.
oliver reeh oliver reeh 12/27/2020 10:17

thank you all for your feedback, scrutiny and corrections! My bad, should have been 48.Qxc5+ and draw.

Happy Holidays, stay safe

Oliver Reeh
DarYahoo DarYahoo 12/26/2020 07:24
It's indeed a very tricky and nice problem but there is a small mistake that ruin a bit the beauty of this problem:
In the critical line: 46 Rxf7+ Kg8 47 Rf8+!! Kxf8 48 Qd8+ as reported in the analysis, doesn't reach the perpetual due to the simple 48...Kf7.
It's true that, after 48 Qxc5+(instead of 48 Qd8+) Ke8 49 Qe5+ lead to the a draw for perpetual check but this is not so easy and geometrical like in the beauty line 46 Rxf7+ Kh6 47 Rh7+!! Kxh7 48 Qf7+ etc etc
Joshua Green Joshua Green 12/26/2020 06:49
Something seems wrong here. How does White draw after 46. Rxf7+ Kg8 47. Rf8+ Kxf8 48. Qd8+ Kf7?
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 12/26/2020 05:33
Strange glitch in the variation 46... Kg8 47 Rf8+ Kxf8: 48 Qd8?? as given loses after 48... Kf7. However, simply 48 Qxc5+ draws, as the black queen can't intercept without losing the knight.