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January 17, 2013

Dance of the knights: What is white’s best move?

— “Dance of the knights” is a classical piece of music from the 1930’s ballet “Romeo and Juliet.” It is also the theme of this week’s position. With this hint in mi snd please try to find how white’s knights dance over black’s position.

The first step in white’s choreography is directing the d4 knight to f5. From f5, the knight threatens black’s queen and attacks black’s bishop. The black queen leaps over to e6, snatching white’s e6 pawn.

White’s d5 knight now partners with the f5 knight. The d5 knight holds the f5 knight’s hand as it pirouettes onto e7 and captures black’s bishop. From e7, the knight also places the black king in check.

After the king moves out of check, white’s e7 knight performs a Pas de Basque and wins the exchange by capturing black’s rook on g6.

As the dancers catch their breath, a survey of the position shows that white is ahead a rook and two pawns.

This week’s lesson is that knights often jump and turn and hold each other’s hands like ballet dancers. The difference, however, is that knights land on their hoofs and are never Prima Donnas.

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