, Muskogee, OK

June 5, 2014

When king's unprotected, trouble results

By Eric Morrow
Chess Corner

— In this week’s position white’s bishop has just snatched a pawn on g7. White ignored the fact that its king is exposed in the center of the board. This error results in a series of unfortunate moves. With this hint in mind, please try to find these moves for black.

White’s bishop threatens black’s rook. Black’s bishop takes white’s bishop and is then taken by white’s g1 rook. Now black strikes at white’s exposed king. The black rook on h8 slides over to e8, checking white.

If the white king moves away from the knight, black’s d8 rook wins the knight. Thus, the white king moves to d1. Next in this series of moves, black’s bishop captures white’s f3 pawn, checking white and forcing the white king to c2. Now the black rook on e8 jumps to e2, pinning and threatening white’s knight. This forces white’s rook on a1 to defend the knight from d1.

Black’s rook snatches white’s h2 while unveiling a bishop attack on white’s d1 rook. White’s g7 rook slides back to g1. But this is too little too late. Black’s bishop takes white’s rook on d1 and is in turn captured by white’s g1 rook.

Because of black’s two extra pawns, black could win by immediately trading off its rook for white’s rook and knight. However, because of the pin on the knight, black can improve its position before simplifying. Either way, white is lost.

This is yet another example of the unfortunate series of moves that can unfold if you leave your king in the center.