23/01/21 Puzzle: Solution

In this game, you had to find the best continuation in a short master game.


Thank you to everyone who sent in their answers. You received at least 1 point for sending in a solution. If you chose a good move you received two points. If you guessed the best continuation, you received 3 points. This week, the following players received 2 or more points for their solutions:

Aathiran Oyalood (2)
Hari Chowdhury (2)
Natalie Weaver (3)
Gallicrow (3)

This Week’s Solution

You had to find the correct continuation for black after the following moves:

  1. d4, Nf6
  2. Nd2, e5
  3. dxe5, Ng4
  4. h3

Among the answers submitted I only awarded additional points for those that equalised (or better!) in material. Nxe5 was awarded 2 points as it saves the knight from danger and captures the central pawn, so gets back the pawn it lost previously. Solutions did not gain additional points if the knight was lost, or simply retreated to safety. Developing further pieces would not have won points due to the knight being under threat.

The correct continuation was to play more aggressively than simply recapturing the centre pawn. Although Nxf2 looks tempting here unfortunately, black does not have quite enough to throw at the king despite luring him into the open. If the king recaptures, after 5… Qh4+, g3 is now stronger. It is guarded by the king, and if the king is further attacked by moves like Bc5+, the king can now hide at g2, with enough time to develop safely whilst sitting on his extra piece.

The solution that we were looking for:

4… Ne3 is the perfect move here. The knight attacks the queen which has been trapped in by her knight, and cannot move to safety. The only possible move which saves the queen would be 5. fxe3, yet this irreparably destroys the kingside.

Once black plays 5… Qh4+, and white blocks with 6.g3 (the only move), Qxg3++ wins the match, taking advantage of the deadly diagonal much like fools mate. After 4… Ne3, either white has lost the queen, or the game. Time to resign!

What To Do Next

Tomorrow you will be able find next week’s puzzle on our blog. The puzzler with the highest score at the end of the block will win a free chess lesson with the teacher of their choice and a solver badge and spot/two solver spots. Our runners up will receive a solver badge or a solver spot if they already have a badge. Consistently sending in your results is key to winning so make sure you subscribe below to get notified about the checkmate puzzles the moment they are published.

Diagram courtesy of www.chess.com

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