To take or not to take? That’s a hell of a question

The Norwegian International Master Johan Salomon regulary posts chess puzzles on Twitter.

The diagram position is one of those puzzles (Vasiliy Korchmar vs Ruslan Ponomariov after black played 19. – Ng4). 

In fact he posted two puzzles where a knight was en prise. The first puzzle was a bit trivial. I don’t mean this in a condescending way. I love easy puzzles, especially when I see the solution within the blink of an eye. It gives me the feeling that I am not such a bad player after all. The second puzzle was very tricky and certainly not so easy to answer.

Attention grabber

There was another aspect of this position that sparked my interest. It has to do with the structure. For me it was clear that this is an example of the Modern Benoni with Bg2. This position can arise through the first moves of a Catalan setup. I play the Catalan almost exclusively and have difficulties to deal with the black set up.

Recently some more games were added to my bumpy ride with this opening. It started last year in the Malmö GP. There I played against a 2200+ player. Things went from bad to worse and finally to completely hopeless. The time control was 50 minutes per player for the whole game. My only hope was to trick this guy somewhere when time trouble would set in.Read More »

Chess puzzle #36: two tough nuts to crack

The diagram position occurred after black’s twentieth move in the game Schöneberg -Tukmakov (Zinnowitz DSV 4th 1967).

Maybe you recognize the structure. At least there are some remnants of the Keres attack in the Sicilian Scheveningen.

I love the name Scheveningen because hardly any non native Dutch speaker is able to pronounce this name in the correct way. Of course we Dutch have no problems with this. Correct pronouncation…

My mother told me that in the Second World war there was a simple trick to debunk German spies. One would ask the culprit to pronounce the following silly sentence:Read More »