10/04/21 COMPETITION: Short Master Games

Short Sharp Shocks No.12

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.

One of the Immortals…

This stunning trap has caught countless victims over the years. It is now known as the ‘Oh my god’.

White: Muhlock Black: Kostics

Cologne, 1912

  1. e4, e5
  2. Nf3, Nc6
  3. Bc4
Position after 3. Bc4 (diagram courtesy of chess.com)

This looks to be a precursor to the Giuoco Piano (3… Bc5), but suddenly black diverges.

3… Nd4?!

An outrageous move. Black moves a piece twice in the opening, instead of sedately developing, and also leaves the black pawn at e5 unguarded. White duly proceeds to punish black.

4. Nxe5, Qg5

Position after 4… Qg5 (diagram courtesy of chess.com)

Even more insulting, since you’re not meant to bring out your queen so early in the game! What is more, it also leaves a nice juicy fork hanging on f7.

Has black taken leave of his senses?

5. Nxf7

Forking the queen and the rook. What could go wrong?

5… Qxg2

Position after 5… Qxg2 (diagram courtesy of chess.com)

Now white hesitates, for the first time in the game. If he grabs the rook at h8, black will capture the rook at h1 with check.

So, white moves the rook to safety. he reasons that he can always pick up the black rook later.

6. Rf1

Position after 6. Rf1 (diagram courtesy of chess.com)

How did black now finish the game with two deadly blows?

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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