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Features

June 6, 2013

Keep your protectors protected

— In 1589, an assassin lured Henry III’s attendants away with a ruse and slew the king. With this hint in mind, please try to find how black removes the guard and slays a white pawn.

White’s knight at c3 is protected by its b2 pawn from black’s c8 rook. Black thus removes the b2 guard by capturing white’s a3 pawn with its e7 bishop. The point is that, if white takes the bishop with its b2 pawn, black’s rook snatches white’s c3 knight.

In this way, black slays a pawn and black’s knight and rook are well positioned on the 3rd rank.

White’s best reply to the black bishop’s capture of white’s a3 pawn is to accept this loss and place its queen on a better square, such as d3. If black gets greedy and captures white’s b2 pawn, white uncorks knight to a4, forking black’s queen and bishop and turning the tables.

After white responds by moving its queen to d3, black should retreat its bishop on a3 to a good, safe square such as d6 or e7.

The lesson here is to protect those who are protecting you. Kings have fallen for such an oversight, as have pawns.

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