Chess Crackers
March/April 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

IM Amon Simutowe - IM Thomas Roussel-Roozman
White to Move (after 33 Nd8-b7)

IM Emory Tate - C. Claros Egea
Black to Move (after 27Nd7xc5)

No. 3

No. 4

GM Pontus Carlsson- Denis Ruijgrok
White to Move (after 23 Bf8-g7)

Erlingur Thorsteinsson- IM Amon Simutowe
Black to Move (after 24.Ne3-f2)


No. 1 Simutowe - Roussel-Roozman (2007 Internet Chess Club)
This game was played at the Internet Chess Club between two IMs from Zambia and Canada, respectively. This game started into a Maroczy Bind English and the Canadian played very solidly with a hedgehog-type set up.  Simutowe pressed for the attack and was able to pry open the kingside with a pawn storm. Rouzell-Roozman countered in the center, but was reduced to passivity.  The Zambezi Shark then pounced with a killer one-mover, 34.Qf6!! and suddenly black is mated. White threatens 35.Rh8+ and on 34Bxf6 35.gxf6, black is in a mating net.  (See game; Amon Simutowe)

No. 2  Tate - Claros (2008
Mlaga  Open, Mlaga, Spain)
Never can a chessplayer see too many of Emory Tate's gems. They  have become so routine that one has come to expect a certain level of artistry. In this game, he conjures up his usual  mischief from a similar setup as the above game. His 14.Nd5! Was a way to initiate hostilities and set the stage for a kingside assault. Before Claros knew what had happened, Tate had assembled his pieces near the black king. He then use a pawn sacrifice to divert another piece from the protection of the king. Then came the crushing 28.Ng6! Black went reeling back with 28Qd7 since 28hxg6 29.Qxg6 leaves white with a very strong attack. After the devastating 29.Ba2! Nb3 30.Rd1 black hemorrhages material. (See game; IM Emory Tate)

No. 3  Carlsson-Ruijgrok (2008 Corus "C" Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands)
In this classic Ruy Lopez battle, Carlsson sacrificed a piece early to destroy the king's cover, but it was unclear how the attack would be conducted. With a nasty pin on the h4-d8 diagonal and a battery on the b1-h7 diagonal, white's knight's joined the attack with
24.Nh5! Black tried to scamper with 24...Kf8, but after 25.Nxg7 Kxg7 26.Qg3! Nh5, white maintained the attack with 27.Qg4 Qh8 28.Be7+ mating. (See game; Pontus Carlsson)

No. 4  Thorsteinsson-Simutowe (2008 Reykjavik Open - Reykjavik, Iceland)
White played an innocuous opening, got no advantage, shuffled his pieces and lost quickly. Simutowe conducted an assault on the center and bore into white's kingside with a flurry. As white moved pieces aimlessly, the position reached a fever pitch and black lashed out with the thunderbolt 24Bxf3! (24...Nxf3 25.gxf3 Qg5+ is strong too.) 25. gxf3?? (25.Qe1 Qb7 26.h4 Bxg2 and black has a decisive attack) 25Rd2!  0-1 (See game; Amon Simutowe)

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