Chess Crackers
January/February 2001

The following represent a variety of positions by talented Black players. In each diagram, you're challenged to find the winning line. Each position ends with decisive material gain or mate. Solve each of the four problems and check your answers by scrolling below. No peeking!!

No. 2

No. 1

Patrick Li Ying - FM Philip Corbin
Black to Move (48.Qa5)

FM Stephen Muhammad - IM Rashid Ziatdinov
White to Move (after 31…Rh7)

No. 3

No. 4

NM Marvin Dandridge - GM Dmitry Gurevich
White to Move (18…Ne5)

NM Steven Szpisjak -  IM Oladapo Adu
Black to Move


No. 1  Li Ying - Corbin (Mauritius vs. Barbados; Olympiad 2000, Istanbul)
Dr. Philip Corbin, the "Bajan" known as the "Caribbean Tal," plays 1... Rc1+! and his opponent resigned in lieu of  2. Kh2 Qh3+! 3. Kxh3 Rh1#. There's also 2... Rh1+! 3. Kxh1 Qh3+ 4. Kg1 Qg2#. (See game)

No. 2  Muhammad - Ziatdinov  (Atlanta, GA; 1998)
Earlier Stephen masterfully sliced his way through Rashid's forces and ended the game by 1. Bf7+! If 1...Rxf7 then white sets up a mating sequence with 2. Qe8+ Kh7 (2... Rf8 3. Qg6#) 3. Qxf7+ Kh6 4. Bf4#. (See game)

No. 3  Dandridge - Gurevich (Chicagoland Blitz; 1991)
Marvin and Dmitry both tied for first in this blitz tournament with 14-1, but this game was the highlight of the evening (as Gurevich described it). Marvin is a fierce tactician and snaps the whip with 1. Bxh6! Bxh6 2. Rxh6+! Kxh6 3. Qg5+ Kh7 4. Nef6+ and Black is mated. (See game)

No. 4  Szpisjak- Adu  (World Open, Philadelphia; 2000)
This game has an elegant finish and it shows the danger of heavy pieces on an open file. The Nigerian (now living in Maryland, USA) plays the thematic 1. . . Rxd4! 2. Rb1 (2. Qxd4  Qb2#) 2... Qxb1+!! 3. Kxb1 Rd1+ 4. Qc1 Rb8+.

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