In today’s Daily Telegraph column, Malcolm Pein presents the results of his research into a recent game and presents one problem and two puzzles.

Malcolm Pein on…A Curiosity, a Problem and Two Puzzles

Last week I gave a brilliancy from Andrey Esipenko played in the European Online Club Cup. While researching the line of the Queen’s Gambit Declined that arose, I found only one previous game; a curiosity in itself.

After the moves 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Be7 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Bf4 0–0 6.a3 b6 7.e3 Bb7 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Nxd5 exd5 10.Bd3 c5 11.h4 Nd7 12.Ng5 h6? 13.Nh7 Re8 14.Bxh6!! Esipenko won.

In S. P. Vera – C. V. G. Padron 2009, Black played better with 12…Nd7! 13.Be5 h6 14.Qf3 c4 15.Bc2 b5 16.g4 Qa5+ 17.Ke2 Qb6 18.Rag1 b4 19.axb4 Ba6 20.Kd1 c3 21.bxc3 Rfc8 22.Nxf7 (22.Bxf6 Bxf6 23.Nxf7 Qc6 24.Nd8!! Qxc3 25.Qxd5+ Kh8 26.Nf7+ Kg8 27.Nxh6+ Kh8 28.Qg8+ Rxg8 29.Nf7#) 22…Ne4 23.g5 Nxc3+ 24.Ke1 Ne4 25.Nxh6+ and Black resigned.

Test Your Strength

A Curiosity: S. P. Vera – C. V. G. Padron 2009

For today’s first puzzle, was that a justifiable decision?

My thanks to the British Chess Problem Society for this beautiful endgame study composed by Vladislav Tarasiuk and first published in the Uralski Problemist 1999.

Chess Problem

White to play and win

1.c6+! (1.Rd6+? Kc7 2.Ne5 Nf6! 3.Nd3 Bxc5 If Black wins the c-pawn he draws.; 1.Ne5+? Kc7 2.Rb5 Ng5+ 3.Kh4 Ne4 4.Nd3 Kc6 5.Ra5 Bxc5) 1…Bxc6 2.Ne5+ Kd6 3.Rxc6+ Kxe5 4.Rc7 Ng5+ 5.Kg4 Bb6! 6.Rb7! Bd8 7.Rd7 Bf6

Test Your Strength

Chess Problem Solution

White to play and win

Highlight the space below this line to reveal the answers.

Answer One: Black loses if he accepts the knight sacrifice after 25…gxh6? 26.gxh6+ Kh7 27.Qf5+ Kxh6 28.Bg7# and he loses after 25…Kh7 26.Qf5+ Qg6 (26…Kh8 27.Bxg7+ Kxg7 28.Qe5+! wins) 27.Qxg6+ Kxg6 28.h5+ Kh7 29.Bxe4+ dxe4 30.g6+ Kh8 31.Nf7+ Kg8 32.h6! Bxb4+ 33.Kd1 when 33…gxh6 34.Nxh6 or 34.Rxh6 wins. He draws after 25…Kh8 when White must repeat with Nf7+ – h6+ as 26.Qf7 Qxb4+ 27.Kd1 Qd2 is mate.

Answer Two: 8.Nf2! (Remarkable, Black’s only move to avoid loss of a piece loses the king) 8…Ne4 9.Nd3# 1–0

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