Blindfold finish

Blindfold finish

Ashley-N.N., New York 2013
9 board Blindfold Simultaneous Exhibition

White to move and mate in 3

From the minds of babes!

Cohen/Ashley 2013, Black to move and mate in 3.

Cohen/Ashley 2013, Black to move and mate in 3.

From the minds of babes!

Cohen/Ashley 2013, Black to move and mate in 3.

Cohen/Ashley 2013, Black to move and mate in 3.

It’s not often that I see something in chess that I’ve never seen before. When it happens, it’s always a pleasant surprise that brings a smile to my face and reminds me how infinite the royal game really is. This mate comes by way of one of my top students, 10 year old Jameson Cohen, who recently pulled in off in an actual game. Once I saw it, I knew we had to make a puzzle out of it, so he and I sat down and co-created this mate in 3. Is Jameson a future Sam Loyd in the making?

1…Qf4+! 2.gxf4 Bxf4+ 3.Kh3 

3.Kh1 is a standard mate we’ve all seen after 3…Nf2#

3…Nf2#!

I cannot recall ever seeing this final position, either in a game or in a variation to a game. If anyone else has seen a game that in someway involves this rare gemstone of a set-up, please let us know! Until then, this might be dubbed “Cohen’s mate!”

Mating skills!

Lynch-Halstead 1986, White to move and win

Lynch-Halstead 1986, White to move and win

Back support

Black to move and win

Black to move and win

Knight’s Rock Tour (Part 2)

Ashley 2012, White to move and win

Ashley 2012, White to move and win

It’s hard to imagine the knight’s final resting place in this study. One thing for sure: when you see it, you will very impressed by the work ethic of the piece!

Simple chess

Ashley 2012, Black to move and draw

Nasty chess move!

Montheard-Toulzac 2005, White to move and win

(Click image for article)

Back support

Black to move and win

Black to move and win

In a position where both sides seem to be attacking, the turn to move can be priceless. If it were White’s turn, then 1.b5 means that losing is out of the question. But it’s Black’s turn, and that makes all the difference.

1…h3! 2.Bf3

2.Bxh3 Rxh2+! 3.Kxh2 Qg3+ 4.Kh1 Qxh3 mate!

2…Rd8!!

A delicious retreating move that ends all hope. Black plans to move the rook to g8 to provide back-up for a monstrous queen sacrifice.

3.b5

Too little, too late. Nothing could be done about the inevitable bomb that is about to explode in White’s camp.

3…Rg8 4.Qb1

Stopping the queen sacrifice on g1. Trying to bail out with 4.Qxb7+ Qxb7 5.Bxb7 Kxb7 will eventually lose as the Black f-pawn will impudently march forward to f2 followed by the rook dropping the hammer on g1.

4…Qg2+! 5.Bxg2 hxg2 mate!

 

Mating skills

Lynch-Halstead 1986, White to move and win

Lynch-Halstead 1986, White to move and win

Sometimes it takes real skills to finish off a powerful attack. After 33 moves, White has chased the Black king out into the open and now can end the game with a few deft strokes.

34.Ne4+!!

A devastating shot that White unfortunately missed, most likely due to time trouble. Instead, he played 34.Nf7+? and allowed the Black king to help conquer its counterpart by marching all the way down the board after Kf4 35.Nd6+? (Best was 35.Qh6+ Kf5 36.h4 when White can still play for a win) 35…Ke3! 36.Qe7+ (Now 36.Qh6+ no longer helps because of 36…Ke2! 37.Qc1 Qd1+! trading queens with a dominant king in the ending; 36.h3 doesn’t help either because of 37…Kf2!) Kf2! 37.h3 Qd1+ 38.Kh2 Qg1#

34…dxe4

34…Kh5 35.g4+ Kh4 36.Qh6#; 34…Kh4 35.Qh6#

35.h4+! Kh5

35…Kxh4 36.Qf4+! (White could have won the queen with 36.Qh6+ Kg3 37.Qh2+ Kf2 38.Qg1+, but mate is probably better) Kh5 37.g4+ Kh4 38.g5+ K-any 39.Qg4#

36.Qf4!!

Quiet, simple and crushing. The threat to mate on g5 is merely a prelude to the killer pawn advance. The less patient 36.g4+? doesn’t work because of 36…Kxh4 37.Qh6+ Kg3 38.Qh2+ Kxf3 and Black has slipped the noose.

36…Qd5

36…Qd1+ 37.Kh2 or 36…h6 37.g4+ ends in the same way.

37.g4+ Kxh4 38.g5+ K-any 39.Qg4#

 

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