, Muskogee, OK


April 17, 2014

Pawns can be made into winning decoys

During World War II, Britain created fake airfields and other dummy targets to lure German bombers from their intended targets. The decoys saved lives.

In this week’s position, black uses a decoy to win. With this hint in mind, please try to find black’s winning move.

The position and material are even. The game would be likely to end in a draw but for black’s tactical shot. Black advances its h4 pawn to h3, checking white. The king must retreat or capture the black pawn.

Either way, the white king moves away from its knight, and black’s king captures the white knight.

The lesson this week is that decoys work. Sometimes they quack like a duck, sometimes they roar like airplanes, and sometimes they are pawns on life’s chessboard.

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