13/03/21 COMPETITION: Short Master Games

Short Sharp Shocks No.8

Note that the bottom left corner of the board is ‘a1’. This set is a continuation of the last set 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.

Achilles’ Heel

In this legendary greek fable, the hero’s downfall was caused by an attack on his one weakness – his heel. There’s a lesson for that right here on the chess board.

White: Seppelt Black: Leganki

Berlin, 1950

French Defence, Tarrasch Variation

  1. e4, e6
  2. d4, d5
  3. Nd2
Position after 3. Nd2 (diagram courtesy of chess.com)

This modest looking move, which blocks both the white queen and the bishop at c1, is named after the famous world championship challenger, Siegbert Tarrasch (1862-1934) from Germany. It aims to avoid the annoying pin 3… Bb4, which might occur if white played 3. Nc3. Now 3… Bb4 can be blocked by 4. c3.

3… c5
4. exd5, exd5
5. dxc5?

Position after 5. dxc5? (diagram courtesy of chess.com)

Few players would play this move, which gratuitously develops the black bishop at f8. Better, 5. Ngf3 or 5. Bb5+.

5… Bxc5
6. Ne2?

Having blocked two pieces with his first knight move, white now decides to do the same with the other knight, but it proves to be one block too far!

Position after 6. Ne2? (diagram courtesy of chess.com)

How did black’s next move put the cat among the pigeons and force resignation?

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!

Submit your solution

What to do next

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Diagram courtesy of www.chess.com

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