Chess puzzle #28: the devil is in the detail

See the diagram on the right. White has serious problems. His bishop on f4 is attacked by the knight and with it the pawn on e5. To make matters worse, black has a well supported passed pawn on d4. So what to do?

White decided in favor of drastic measures and played 1. Be3. His idea is: if you take my pawn on e5, I will retaliate with the capture on d4. If this exchange would materialize, it is a certain draw.

The problem is: white overlooked a tiny detail. Do you see this ‘detail’?

Chess puzzle #27: blind spot

Does it ever happen to you? You study a position. It seems quite simple. But for some kind of silly reason you can’t find the correct sequence of moves.

It happened to me. See the diagram. It took me quite some time. I tried everything. At least so I thought. But couldn’t come up with a convincing solution because I missed a move in one variation. So in the end I failed. For sure you can do better than me! White to play and win.

I found this position on Chess Tempo…

#3 What is the threat? Dangling pieces

Emanuel LaskerNowadays the talk is all about the youngsters in chess. The young generation rules the chess world. Therefore it is hard to imagine that somebody who is over sixty is able to compete with opponents who could have been his grand children.

It is what Emanuel Lasker did when he was well into his sixties. He was 67 when he played the newly crowned world champion Max Euwe in the Nottingham tournament of 1936. Lasker was more than thirty years older than Max Euwe.

In his encounters with Lasker Euwe had a bad track record. They played three games and Euwe lost them all. Okay, they played one more game against each other. In fact Lasker lost in a simul from the nineteen year old Max (1920). But that doesn’t count.

Lasker had a positive score against almost all the great players of his time. Just to mention a few:Read More »

The Baden Baden chess tournament

Adolf AnderssenIf you are vaguely aware of the chess history you might wonder: ‘Baden Baden’ where did I hear this name before? Well the Grenke Chess Classic is not the first chess tournament held in this spa town. 

In fact the first super tournament in the history of chess was held in this picturesque town.

The 1870 chess tournament was stronger than previous tournaments in London (1851 and 1862) and Paris (1867).

Compared to these earlier tournaments some rules were changed. First chess clocks were introduced. The players had to make 20 moves per hour. Before draws did not count. Games had to be played all over again. Now draws counted as half a point. And only top international players were invited. These are their names:Read More »