Sometimes a chess problem and solution can inspire a brilliant concept. In my square count lesson on the value of pieces, I noted that the Queen power could be offset by as little as a Bishop and Knight when movement of the opposing King is restricted or a Queen might be useless for lack of space. Lets look at a chess problem:

White Qe5/Rf1/Kh1/Ph2.  Black Bd5/Ne4/Kg8  Black to move.

The idea is to eliminate the squares the White King can move to and requires the tactic “double-attack”.  1…Ng3+ or Nf2+ are the only ways to attack the King.  But only one way works. What is necessary is the correct follow-up to the forced 2. Kg1.  The King escapes after 1…Ng3+ 2. Kg1.  So the need is to give check on f2 with the following 2. Kg1 by Nh3 checkmate. The King has no clothes! (no safe squares to move out of check.

Rich Parker and Tom McKellop are members of the Auburn chess society (the Seymour Library Chess Club) and sent me the following interesting game from the 1956 NYS Championship which Rich had played and been witness to the following game.

White: John W. Collins    Black:  August Rankis  Opening:  Nimso-Indian Defense E59

  1. d4  Nf6  2. c4  e6 3. Nc3  Bb4  4. e3  c5  5. Bd3 d5  6. Nf3  O-O  7. O-O  Nc6 8. a3  B:c3 9. b:c3  d:c4  10. B:c4  Qc7 11. Re1 e5  12. d5 Na5 13. Ba2  e4  14. d6  Qd7 15. Ne5 Qf5  16. f4 e:f3  17. N:f3  Ne4  18. c4? Rd8  19. Bb2  R:d6 20. Qa4 Nc6 21. Rad1

This deceptively strong attacking move is shattered by the following play.  Probably best would be 21. Be5 taking advantage of the back row mate to swing the Bishop to King side squares.  My thought of square count is flawed here in this Rook move because Black has the floor shattering blast with….

21. … Q:f3!!

That illustrates the effective square count of power units working together against an exposed King position.

22. g:f3 

After, 22. R:d6 Qf2+ 23. Kh1 Q:e1 mate, or; 22. Rd2 R:d2 23. g:f3 Ng5 24.Rf1 R:b2 25. h4 N:h3+ 26. Kh1  R:a2.

22. … Rg6+ 23. Kf1 B:h3+ 24. Ke2  Rg2+ 25. Kd3 Rd8+ 26. Bd4 c:d4  27. Qb5 N:f2+ 28. Kc2 N:d1 29. K:d1  R:a2 30. Qb1 d:e3+ 31. Kc1  Rad2  32. Qe4  Bf5 33. Q:f5 e2 34. R:e2  R:e2 (0-1).

Rich recalls the players all stopping their games to view the shocking Queen sac.  He says this game was also popular in Soviet Union chess reports.




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