Chess Crackers
January/February 2007

The following represent a variety of positions from talented Black players. 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

NM Chikwere Onyekwere - IM Tim Taylor
White to Move (after 25… Nc6xe5)

IM Johannes Mabusela - FM Christian Esplana
White to Move (after 40…Bb7-c6)

No. 3

No. 4

IM Dionisio Aldama - Sebastian Predescu
Black to Move (after 26…Rad8-d8)

IM Dionisio Aldama - IM Julian Estrada Nieto
Black to Move (after 40…g6xf5)


No. 1 Onyekwere - Taylor (2006 North American Open - Las Vegas, USA)
Chikwere "Chi-Chi" Onyekwere is one of the brightest stars that Nigeria has produced to date. Tasting early success as a teenager in Nigeria, the confident young man is the reigning Nigerian Champion is currently in the U.S. touring the chess circuit. After a big success in the 2006 World Open, players have begun to learn of his determined style. In this game, his finished off veteran Tim Taylor and a toe-to-toe brawl in a Nimzovich Defense. Bearing down on the queenside, Chi-Chi found the devastating 26.Rxb6+! after which weaved a net with 26…cxb6 27.Nc6+! Nxc6 28.Qxb6+ Kd7 29. Qb7+ Kd6 30. Nd4 and ended with 30…Rd7  31. Qb6+.  Nice finish by the talented young man. (See game; Chikwere Onyekwere)

No. 2  Mabusela - Esplana (2003 World Junior Championship - Nakhchivan, AZE)
Mabusela is somewhat of an enigma. He won the African Junior Championship back in 2002, but he has not been very active since. Apart from a few local tournaments he has only participated in one tournament outside of Africa and it was the 2003 World Junior where he scored 6/13. In this game, he launched a kingside pawn storm and black was caught flat-footed. Notice the black bishop's inability to aid in the defense of the king. After 41.Qf8! Qc7+ 42.Kh1, the Peruvian had to donate the bishop with 41…Be8 to stave off mate. Esplana played a few more moves before resigning.  (See game; 2003 World Junior Championship)

No. 3  Aldama - Predescu (2003 Carlos Torres Memorial -  Yucatán, México)
There are a number of Black players who dot the chess landscape in Cuba. One of the most noted "Afro-Cuban" players was Rogelio Ortega, a former Cuban champion from the 50s. Like many Cubans, Aldama left Cuba for personal reasons and spent 10 years in Mexico. In 2003, he played in the Carlos Torres (along with Amon Simutowe) and was one of several IMs to score a good result against GMs. In this game he vanquishes his Canadian opponent with a winning advantage starting  27.Rxe5! Qxe5 28.Qxf7+ Kh8 29.Nxe8 Rxe8 30.h6 Qf4+ (30…Rg8 31. Kh1!) 31.Qxf4 gxf4 32.Rd4 a5 33.Rxf4 and black will lose all of his pawns after the white king enters so he resigned. (See game; IM Dionisio Aldama; Rogelio Ortega; 2003 Carlos Torre Memorial)

No. 4  Aldama - Estrada Nieto (2003 Carlos Torres Memorial -  Yucatán, México)
This is another game from the same tournament by the Cuban-Mexican IM.  This game was a typical Ruy Lopez with a lot of maneuvering and dynamic piece play. Aldama uncorked a stunning knight sacrifice shattering black's defenses and ended the game neatly with 41.Bh6+! when black is mated. Estrada resigned "professionally" instead of destroying a nice game by playing on until mate. Work the variations out… the mating patterns are quite nice! (See game; IM Dionisio Aldama)

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