27/02/21 COMPETITION: Short Master Games

Short Sharp Shocks No.6

Note that the bottom left corner of the board is ‘a1’. This set is different to the last sets of puzzles. These games are real games played by master players. Rather than searching necessarily for a checkmate, you must search for the best continuation. We prefer to receive answers in algebraic notation.

Irving Chernev amusingly points out that Black wins this game WITHOUT TOUCHING ANY PIECES (technically, pawns are not considered pieces)!

White: Amateur, Black: Bruening, Berlin, 1907.

  1. d4, d5
  2. c4, e6
  3. Nc3,
Position after 3. Nc3 (diagram courtesy of chess.com)

The Queen’s Gambit is meant to be a safer alternative tot he swash-buckling 1. e4. Occasionally, however, things go sadly awry.

3… c5

The uncompromising Tarrasch Defence.

4. Bf4, cxd4

White does not want to recapture the pawn at d4 with the queen, because of the tempo gaining 5… Nc6. So he thinks it might be a good idea to exchange the knight off first.

Position after 4… cxd4 (diagram courtesy of chess.com)

5. Bxb8? dxc3
6. Be5

This saves the bishop but…

Position after 6. Be5 (diagram courtesy of chess.com)

Black’s next move caused white to resign. What was the move and why did white give up?

When you think you know the answer, send your solution in to us by submitting the form on this page. We will publish the full solutions, and names of all those who sent us the correct answers, in our blog next week (if you would rather not be named, please say so!).

Everyone who sends in their answers receives at least 1 point. If you correctly guess the best continuation, you will receive 3 points. The puzzler with the highest score after the six week set of puzzles will win a solver badge/solver spots and a free chess lesson with the teacher of their choice!

Good luck!

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Diagram courtesy of www.chess.com

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