Friday, 27 July 2007

Friday chess puzzle 16

This week's Friday chess puzzle is from Van Scheltinga vs Stahlberg, Amsterdam 1950.

White has just played Bd5, apparently catching Black's knight on e6 in a pair of deadly pins.

Unfortunately for Van Scheltinga, appearances can be deceptive.

Can you see how Stahlberg, one of the strongest players in the world at the time, turned the tables, and forced a win for Black from this position?


AveragePlayer said...

Black plays Rxd5 which obtains a piece. If white recaptures with Rxd5 then black plays Qb7 which pins the rook followed by either Nf4 or Nc7 if white protects his rook with his queen.

In all the variations, black will be up by a minor piece and has a very strong d passed pawn which should force a win easily.

Roger Coathup said...


well done on the first few moves, but how are you going to respond to:

1 ... Rxd5; 2 Rxd5 Qb7; 3 Qg2

as 3 ... Nf4 loses the queen to 4 Rd8+ !

Best regards,

AveragePlayer said...

I just had another look at the puzzle and I found an interesting defense by white however after some searching I found the line that still keeps black up by a minor piece.

After ... Rxd5
Rxd5, Qb7
White can play Qg2 to protect the rook and after either Nf4?? or Nc7??, the black queen will be captured after Rd8+. The correct line for black after white plays Qg2 is

Qg2, Qb1+
Qg1, Qe4+
Qg2, Qxg2
Kxg2, Nf4+ forking the rook

Now black is up a minor piece and a passed pawn. The white King will be occupied with the d pawn allowing black to capture the white a pawn and will inevitably promote.

Roger Coathup said...

Well found... it's an exemplary queen manouevre utilising ranks, diagonals and files to close in on the prey.

I've just realised I forgot to put the email address for entries on the post!

AveragePlayer said...

In the second variation after
Qg2, Qb1+
Qg1, Qe4+
Qg2, Qxg2
Kxg2, Nf4+ forking the rook

White appears to capture the d pawn with
Kf3, Nxd5
however black has .... d3 and simply trades his d pawn for the a pawn with the knight fork if the white king captures the d pawn.
If white plays Ke3 then Nf4 protects the pawn.


Chess Tales uses Picasa, part of Google Pack, for photos and images:

Find a sponsor for your web site. Get paid for your great content.

Creative Commons License
Chess Tales by Roger Coathup: A collection of online articles about chess and chess players.