Chess Crackers
May/June  2005

The following represent a variety of positions by 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 Frank Street - S. Goodman
White to Move (after 26 Qh6-g5)

NM Leroy Jackson - IM Ed Formanek
Black to Move (after 23.Nc6-e7)

No. 3

No. 4

NM Charles Gelman--FM William Morrison
Black to Move (after 28.Ra1-b1)

NM Gregory Acholonu - John Holmes
White to Move (after 14Na5-c6)


No. 1  Street-Goodman (1965 U.S. Amateur Championship, New York, USA)
Frank Street, Jr. was the 2nd Black player ever to achieve an official Master's rating in the United States Chess Federation. Walter Harris was the 1st. His "claim to fame" is his victory at the 1965 U.S. Amateur Championship resulting in his photo on the front cover of the national magazine, Chess Life. In this tournament, he played an interesting game as he plowed through the field.  Having dominated his opponent throughout the game, Street swiftly executed a final onslaught with 27.Re4! As Marvin Dandridge would say, "Rrrrook lift cause many problems!" After 27g6 28.fxg6 Bxg6, white finished with 29.Rh4+ Kg7 30.Rg4 Qc1+ 31.Kh2 and black resigned. (See game).

No. 2 Jackson-Formanek (1966 U.S. Open, Seattle, USA)
St. Louis native Leroy Muhammad (born Leroy Jackson) was young star in the 60s who later settled in New York. The year 1966 was magical for Muhammad. He won the St. Louis city championship four consecutive years from 1966-1969 and the Missouri State Championship three consecutive years from 1966-1968. He also tied for 1st place in the 1966 Eastern Open and won 1st junior in the featured 1966 U.S. Open with 8-4. He beat out future legend Walter Browne (New York) and Salvatore Matera (New York). In this game, he faces Ed Formanek, a dangerous opponent who has played the French Defense his entire career. In this game, he finished Formanek of with 24.Qh3! and the invasion on the h-file would be deadly since black's pieces are unable to defend the king. The game finished quickly 24Bd7 25.Rh5! Rf8 26.Rh7 1-0. White will follow with 27.Qh6 and then mate. (See game)

No. 3  C. Gelman-Morrison (1999 Pan-Am Intercollegiate, Toronto, Canada)
This was a pivotal game in the Pan-Am Intercollegiate tournament because Morrison had to play for a win in order for University of Maryland-Baltimore (UMBC)  to win the title. Morrison, who grew up in Brooklyn and was a member of the famed "Black Bear School of Chess," took his skills to Maryland where he attended Morgan State University and was later recruited to UMBC. It was also in the Maryland/DC area that he picked up the moniker, "The Exterminator." In this game, Morrison just sacrificed a rook on f8 with check! Gelman (University of California-Berkeley) had activated his rook with 28.Rab1, but after 28Ne3! he was suddenly facing a rare instance of an opposing king helping to deliver mate by discovered check! The king attempted to run out of the line of fire with 29.Kf2, but was met by 29Qc2+. White could have resigned since mate or loss of material is unavoidable. The game finished 30.Re2 Qxe2+! 31.Kxe2 Ba6+ 32.Kf3 and Gelman resigned without waiting for a reply. A story of UMBC's victory appeared in the March 2000 edition of Chess Life. (See game)

No. 4  Acholonu-Holmes (1982 Maryland Closed Championship, Baltimore, USA)
Gregory Acholonu, a Nigerian native, has been a strong player in the DC area for quite some time. He has reached a national rating of 2400 and is a noted blitz player. In this game he crushes Holmes, a future Maryland Amateur champion (1985). Black never got in the game as he essayed the Tchigorin Defense and shuffled pieces aimless on the queenside while Acholonu was building up his forces. The final blow came when the Nigerian pounced with
15.Nxf7! shattering black's king position. On the ensuing 15Kxf7 16.Qh5+ Kg8, white  finished with the standard attack 17.e5 g6 18.Bxg6! hxg6 19.Qxg6+ Kh8 20.Rd3. Holmes decided to ruin the aesthetic effect of the game by playing the futile 20Bh4 21.Rh3 Qe7 22.Bg5 Nxe5 23.Rxh4+. Only then did he resign with mate on white's next move. (See game)

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