, Muskogee, OK


May 22, 2014

Counterpunching can bring down opponent

In boxing, when you throw a punch, you may leave yourself exposed. A counterpunch exploits this opening. In this week’s position, white has just thrown a punch, snatching black’s b5 pawn with its knight. White has left itself exposed, however. With this hint in mind, please try to find black’s winning counterpunch.

If black immediately captures the white knight, white’s rook captures black’s knight on c5. This capture is supported by white’s queen. Thus, capturing the white knight nets white a pawn.  

Black should hit back. The white’s knight’s capture of the black b5 pawn has left the d3 square exposed. Black maneuvers its knight on c5 to d3, forking white’s rooks.

It appears that white can escape the fork by having its rook on c1 take black’s rook on c8. However, as black’s knight takes white’s rook on e1, black’s knight checks white.

After white’s queen takes black’s knight, black’s rook takes white’s rook. Black has won the exchange for a pawn. Soon the power of black’s rook and queen will win back the pawn and more.

The lesson this week is that when you’ve been hit, hit back.

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