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Features

May 16, 2013

Spider misdirects pieces into a mating net

— “Will you step into my parlor,” said the white king prettily to the black knight and rook, who stepped confidently onto d3 and f2. Poor black was blithely unaware that the white king was a spider who had just misdirected black while luring black into a mating net. With this hint in mind please try and find how white soon forces mate or destroys black’s position.  

Both kings are vulnerable, as they are both cornered. Black’s king, however, is eye to eye with white’s most powerful piece, its queen.

The white queen maneuvered to f7 while black’s knight and rook were lured to d3 and f2.  White threatens immediate mate on g7 now by moving its bishop to f8.  

Black’s best reply is to reinforce the defense of g7 by advancing its f6 pawn to f5, which brings black’s bishop on e5 to the defense of g7. White’s best response is knight to e7 and hitting the g6 and g8 squares, which threatens queen to h5 mate.

Black’s only defense is to forsake pieces with knight to f4, check, for example, which still eventually leads to mate.

Instead of advancing the pawn on f6 to f5, black may immediately start sacrificing pieces by moving its knight to f4. Eventually, though, black is snared in white’s web.

The lesson this week is to flattering and seductive positions give heed — and beware of spiders.  

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