Chess Crackers
January/February 2006

The following represent a variety of positions from the two U.S. qualifiers, Emory Tate and Stephen Muhammad. In the following diagrams, you're challenged to find the winning line. Each position ends with decisive material gain or mate. Solve each of the four problems (as deep as possible) and check your answers by scrolling below. No peeking!!

No. 2

No. 1

FM Emory Tate - David Coleman
White to Move (after 16Bd7-c6 )

WIM Olga Sagalchik - FM Stephen Muhammad
Black to Move (after 43.Kg1-h2)

No. 3

No. 4

FM Stephen Muhammad - IM Renier Gonzalez
White to Move (after 28 Kg7-h7)

FM Emory Tate - Leonard Chipkin
White to Move (after 18Nc6-d8)


No. 1  Tate-Coleman (1993 World Open - Philadelphia, USA)
A typical Tate miniature out a Sozin Attack. In this game, Tate uncorks a mate-in-six problem starting with 17.Nxf6! gxf6 18.Rg1+ Kh8 19.Nxf7+! Black resigned before being mated after 19Rxf7 20.Rd8+ Be8 21.Rxe8+ Rf8 22.Rxf8# (See game; profile of Emory Tate)

No. 2 Sagalchik-Muhammad (2005 US Chess Championship- San Diego, USA)
Muhammad equalized easily out of a Dutch and in a pitched moment cracked the whip by 43Nf3+! White's king ran for cover because gobbling the knight would have run into 44.gxf3 Qe2+ 45.Kg3 Qxf3+ (45.Kh1 or 45.Kg1 is met by 45exf3) 46.Kh2 Qf2+ 47.Kh1 Be2! and white will have to resign. The game continued with a mating romp after 44.Kg3 Bd3 45.Rc7 Qe1+ 46.Kf4 Qh4+ 47.g4 Qg5+ 48.Kg3 Ne5 49.Qe1 and 49Nxg4! ended matters since white will suffer further material losses or get mated.  Nice finish by Muhammad! (See game; profile of Stephen Muhammad)

No. 3  Muhammad-Gonzalez (2001 Florida State Championship)
Muhammad is known for his positional play and gradual build-up. In this position, one has to have a positional sense of weak squares and focal points to find the right idea. White is clearly better in this position and exploits the various weaknesses in the black camp with 29.Bg4! The idea is 30.Bxd7 exploiting the pins on the f-file, h4-d8 diagonal and weak b6-pawn. On 30Rff8 white plays 31. Bxd7 (anyway) 31Rxd7 31. Nxb6 Rdd8 32. Ng4 (more pins) 32Ng8 33. Qxe7+ Nxe7 34. Rxf8 Rxf8 35. Rxf8 Kxf8 36. Nc4 and black is hemorrhaging pawns. (See game)

No. 4  Tate-Chipkin (1995 New York Open)
One of the amazing talents of Emory Tate is his ability to find the most obscure ideas. Tate is famous for his "rook-lift" maneuvers and this game is no exception. Tate finds the subtle 19.Ra2! deflecting the queen from the e-file to attack the black king. After 19Qc4 20.Re1+ Ne6 21.Qxc4! Rxc4 22.d5 thunk!  White wins a piece, but black plays six more moves before resigning. (See game)

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