Chess Crackers
January/February 2008

The following represent a variety of positions by talented players of African descent. 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

Eddie Mark - NM Barry Davis
White to Move (after 29 Qf3-c6)

Andrew Svehaug - Daaim Shabazz
Black to Move (after 24. a2-a3)

No. 3

No. 4

NM Daniel Josenhans-FM Ronald Simpson
Black to Move (after 39.Kh3-Kg2 )

NM Alexander Beltre-FM Emory Tate
Black to Move (after 28. Bb5-c6)


No. 1 Mark-Davis (2007 Buffalo City Championship, Buffalo, USA)
Eddie Mark won the 2007 Buffalo City Championship and beat out several rivals. In this game he upends National Master Barry Davis. In the above position, he finishes the game with  30.Re8+! Rxe8 and simply 31.d8(Q). Davis played a couple of more moves but resigned instead of facing two queens. (See game; Eddie Mark)

No. 2  Svehaug-Shabazz (2006 U.S. Open - Oakbrook, USA)
This game was out of a dreaded Benko Gambit. Black had developed a strong central initiative and sought to exploit white's passive position. In the position it appears as if white is complicating matters after attacking the rook on b4. However, black simply leaves the rook enprise and plays 24Qxf3! After 25.axb4, the virulent attack ensues after 25Ne4 26.Qf4 Bf2+ 27.Kf1. Now on 27Qh1+ white plays the forced 28.Ke2 and now 28Qg2! Black's pieces are menacing, but it appears that white has the resourceful 29.Qf3 (29.Kd3 d5!), but after the crushing 29Nxg3+ white resigned in lieu of 30.hxg3 Re8+. (See game)

No. 3  Josenhans-Simpson (1992 Nassau Masters - Nassau, Bahamas)
This game came out of a Dragon Sicilian so it was going to be a brawl. Sacrificing a pawn and then a piece to open lines, Josenhans seems to have an unstoppable attack. After contemplating the repetition of moves, Simpson decided to sacrifice his queen with 39Qxe5!! After this move, black has three minor pieces for the queen and two rooks battering the exposed white king.  This is the practical solution, but the winning advantage would take some coordination. On 40.Rxe5 Nxe5 white was on the run after 41.Qe6 Rd8. White wanted to win material back with 42.Rc5? Rd2+ 43.Kg3 Rd3+ 44.Kg2 Rd3+ 45.Kd3 Nf7 (eschewing the draw). 46.Rxc6 ?? Be5+!  White lost his queen after 47.Kf3 Ng5+, but on 47.Qxe5 Rxc6 the queen would be no match for the three black pieces. (See game; Ronald Simpson)

No. 4  Beltre-Tate (2000 Foxwoods Open - Foxwoods, USA)
Emory Tate has been on these pages quite frequently and for good reason. He games usually end in a spectacular flourish and this one was no different.  Tate played several novel moves in this game including and early 10...g5!? with his black king still on e8.  He played a stunning bishop sacrifice 21.Bh3!!  and 24Bxg2+! to force open the g-file. Looking at the position, it is still murky with the black king exposed, but black finishes the attack with the mate threat of 28...Qg6! After 29.Bxf3 Tate rages on with 29e4! and Beltre hits back with 30.Rc4. This blow-for-blow battle came to an end after 30exf3 31.Rxd4+ Ke8! 32.Qxf3?? Qg1+ mating.  (See game; IM Emory Tate)

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