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November 22, 2012

Listen to your grandparents — What is black’s best move?

What is black’s best move?

At this time of year eating more than you should is a concern. Sometimes, however, a little indulgence is good. With this hint in mind please try to find black’s best move.

White has a hidden burp in its position. The light squared bishop and queen both sit upon the 4th rank. Black’s d6 rook with the support of its g7 bishop or c6 knight would fork white’s bishop and queen from d4 but white’s pawns prevent this, like parents wagging their fingers don’t eat too much.

Instead, listen to your grandparents. Eat up. Black’s best move is to capture white’s d4 pawn with its c6 knight. White’s e3 pawn takes black’s knight, which is in turn taken by black’s d3 rook, forking white’s c4 bishop and queen.

This forces white’s queen to flee the 4th rank — e7 is perhaps the queen’s best flight square. Black’s rook then snatches white’s c4 bishop.

The knight pseudo sacrifice on d4 wins a pawn and results in a solid position for black. An inferior alternative to the knight’s pseudo sacrifice on d4 is having the g7 bishop capture the d4 pawn instead. This leads to similar position with a rook fork on d4. White turns the table, however, attacking black by advancing its g2 pawn to g4.

White’s knight on h5 is indirectly pinned. If the knight retreats, white’s d2 bishop and queen give black a heart attack with queen takes h6 check, etc. Black’s rook thus must capture white’s bishop on d4. Now white strikes by moving its c3 knight to e4!

If black plays the natural c4 rook takes white’s c1 rook, white uncorks knight to f6 check. Because of white’s bishop-queen battery on h4, black’s knight cannot capture white’s knight. Black’s king should retreat to g7. White’s knight then captures black’s knight on h5 with check. Black’s g6 pawn takes white’s knight followed by white’s bishop taking black’s rook on c1. Black’s position is in shambles because black tried to eat more than it could chew.

Thus, black must accept the loss of the exchange and capture white’s knight on e4, which is immediately by white’s pawn.

This week’s lesson is about eating. Prudent indulgence may put you ahead of the game. Otherwise, you may be the turkey.

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