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 #30: Viktor the Terrible gets crushed

The Benkö (Volga) Gambit is a rare guest at grandmaster level. But on club level it is a populair opening. Black gets a lot of pressure for his pawn and his position almost plays itself whereas white has to be constant on his guard.

The problem for white is that it is difficult to develop his pieces in a harmonious way. These are the reasons why this gambit is so popular among club players.

On grandmaster level this opening is a less frequent guest because it’s not considered to be completely sound. Grandmasters mainly use the Benkö as a surprise weapon. Grandmaster Vladimir Baklan won games with this gambit against Artur Yusupov, Sergey Volkov and Viktor Korchnoi!

Although Viktor Korchnoi was clearly past his prime in 2000, he still was a very strong player. But even he had trouble to fight the Benkö. After 17 moves the combatants reached the diagram position. Viktor has just played 17. Nf4-g2. What on earth could be wrong with this move?Read More »


Chess can be a very complicated game. This is no news. And sometimes we over complicate things without knowing it. We get distracted and don’t see what’s the leading motif in a position.

See the diagram. It is black’s turn. The position is quite messy. There are a lot of possibilities. Do you see the correct solution?

I found this problem on Chess Tempo (number 738). It’s from a game between Franz Jittenmeier and Ludger Grewe (2234) played in 1998. Black found the correct solution and won.

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…