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. 1 Buckmire - Lawson (1985 British Championship; Edinburgh, Scotland)Dr. Ron Buckmire, who was born in Grenada, but reared in Barbados, was 17 when he reeled off this 14-move miniature against the unsuspecting English IM. Black had just played c4 and Ron played the annihilating 1. Qh5! and Black immediately resigned in lieu of 1. . . g6 2. Qh6+ Kg8 and the côup de graçe 3. Be8! (See game)No. 2 Molla - Gwaze (Ethiopia versus Zimbabwe; Olympiad 2000, Istanbul)Robert Gwaze was a two-time African Junior Champion and achieved his IM title at age 17. In this game his capitalizes on careless play by his opponent and pounces on the opportunity. Robert delivers a bone-crushing combination with 1. . . Rxf4+! 2. exf4 Rxg2+! 3. Qxg2 e3+ 4. Ke1 Qxg2 5. Bxe3 Bf3 6. Bf2 Bxd1 and Black went on to collect the point. (See game)No. 3 Tate - Sagalchik (1995 PCA qualifier; New York)The ever-dangerous Emory Tate shows why he is such a fearsome opponent. This game was tactical right out of the opening, but Sagalchik's king would get caught in the center and Tate plows in with a devastating Queen sac 1. Qxd7! Black responds Rxd7 2. Rxd7 Qc5+ 3. Kb1 Qe7 (white was threatening mate all over the place) 4. Rxe7+ Kxe7 5. Bg5+ f6 6. Rxg8 and Black played a few more moves before resigning. (See game)No. 4 Simutowe - Crouch (Mind Sports Olympiad 2000; London)Amon is the most exciting African player the continent has produced in recent history. His mixture of positional play with keen tactical vision makes this 19-year IM a dangerous opponent indeed. Earlier Simutowe played a positional exchange sacrifice and the game soon turns into a tactical melée. However, the Zambian IM would stun the Britisher with 1. Bb3!! Black responded with 1. . . Re2+ (if 1. . . Qxb3 2. Qf4+ Ke6 3. Qf5#) 2. Qxe2 Rxe2 3. Kg1! 1-0. A spectacular flurry and picturesque final position! (See game)