Chess puzzle #52: the bishop can’t do everything

I have to confess that when solving chess puzzles I have the tendency to jump right in. In that way chess becomes a process of trial and error. With quite a lot of errors of course!

I think I can do better. Bit by bit I try to change my bad habits. One of the first things I do now is have a good look at the position. Are there any pieces en prise? What do the pawn formations tell me? Are there any threats? Can I find a motif? Are there any patterns?

If I look in this way generally things get a bit more easy. The motif in the diagram position is clear. White’s pieces are a somewhat “loose”. How can black use this motif to his own advantage? Solution…

What is the best move for black?

This a position after white’s 25th move. It is from one of my own games. At our level we make (too) many mistakes. But it doesn’t mean that there are no interesting moments.

It is clear that black is much better. The white king is not safe and his pawns are weak. Compare both rooks and queens and it becomes clear that black has a winning advantage. But the situation is still a bit tricky and black can go astray very easy. What is the best move for black?

Solution …

Chess puzzle 49: neat moves

Last Saturday I played my first game since March last year. I was a bit rusty. Although I solved a lot of tactical puzzles almost every day, I missed a simple (standard) tactic.

Even after missing this chance I still got a good game. And then? Disaster. I thought I could snatch a pawn. It turned out to be a bad miscalcultation and spoiled a promising position. After that things went down hill very fast ad I lost. Do you see what I missed?

It seems I am in need for a lot of training (and probably more active play). Today I received the book ‘Training with Moska’. It is packed with exercies. I seems to be a great book to study and might be of some help to develop my skills. Which, as you’ve seen, are quite poor.

See the second diagram. White to move and gain a wining advantage. Solution…

Chess puzzle #47 Totally crazy

Even after a quick look you will see that this position is totally crazy. White has a material advantage, but most of his pieces are en prise. 

What makes matters even more complicated is the pawn on b2 that is about to queen and give mate.

Is there a way out of this mess? Can white achieve the impossible and even win this position?

Yes, he can. It is up to you to figure this one out. Solution…

If found this fantastic puzzle on Johan Salomon’s twitter account. Johan is the present Norwegian Champion and is well on his way to become a grandmaster. You will find more intriguing puzzles on his account.