, Muskogee, OK


July 10, 2014

Take time to get into striking position

In this week’s position, white converts its positional edge into an overwhelming attack. White’s rooks and queen are active, coordinated, and centralized. By contrast, black’s rooks are disconnected and inactive. It is black’s king that is exposed in the center of the board, and black’s queen is also exposed to attack on the queen side. With these hints in mind, please try to find white’s winning plan.

Black’s queen connects with its bishop on e7. Moving the white rook on d1 to d3 knocks the black queen off the same diagonal as its bishop and forces the black queen to a4. The black queen is now out of the action. Next, white’s knight captures black’s bishop on e7.  

After the black king takes white’s knight on e7, black’s king is a sitting duck. The white rooks and queen and bishop are like hunters stepping confidentially out of the tall grass with their fingers on the triggers ready to fire.

White has several winning lines of attack. Perhaps not the fastest route to mate, but simple and forcing, is checking black from c7 with the c1 rook. The black king retreats to e8 (better than f8). White’s bishop takes black’s knight on f6. Black recaptures with its g7 pawn, doubling pawns on f7 and f6. White’s queen now jumps to h5, threatening mate on f7 with the help of the c7 rook.

Black must move its h8 rook to f8. White’s queen slides over to c5. Black cannot stop the queen from mating on e7.

The lesson this week is that chess is like hunting. It requires patience and maneuvering yourself into the right position so your aim will be true.

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