Chess Crackers
May/June 2009

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

WIM Chouch Airapetian - NM Okeckukwu Iwu
Black to Move (after 28.Qg5-f6)

FM Warren Elliott - FM Bengt Hammar
White to Move (after 16 Bf6xc3 )

No. 3

No. 4

FM Philip Corbin - Juan Jaquez
White to Move (after 36Qa3-e7)

IM Amon Simutowe-- FM Patrick van Hoolandt
White to Move (after 33Qf8xa8)


No. 1 Airapetian-Iwu (2009 Chicago Open, Wheeling, USA)
Nice positional battle in the French. The Nigerian builds up a solid position in one of the tangential lines with 4...b6!? As the game reached a fever pitch, black uncorked a tactical riposte with 29Bxe2! This shot undermines white's entire center and this usually means white is losing. Black supported this contention after 29.Rxe2 Nxg4 30.fxg4 Nxd4. Black is up a pawn and shortly thereafter the e5-pawn fell. Iwu established two connected passers and mopped up in a rook ending. (See game; NM Okechukwu Iwu)

No. 2  Warren-Hammar (2009 Magnificent Masters, Kingston, JAMAICA)
This game was played in Jamaica's first GM norm tournament. Four-time champion Warren Elliott played against Swedish player Bengt Hammar. Elliott got a chance to unleash his wrath after black played an inaccuracy in the opening. The black king got stuck in the center and white used his heavy pieces in a direct assault after 17.Re3! After 17fxe4 18.Qd7+! Kf8 19.Qxb7 (See game; FM Warren Elliott)

No. 3  Corbin-Jaquez (2008 Chess Olympiad, Dresden, GERMANY)
The Caribbean Tal is at it again. The Barbadian Master unleashed a fury and demolished the black fort. In the position, white keep marching forward, donating a knight in the progress with 37.gxf5! On 37Qxh5, white plays 38.f6 revealing the battery along the b1-h7 diagonal. Black makes luft with 38Rxf6 but after 39.Qh7+ Kf8 white metes out the punishment with 40.exf6 Qxf6 41.Bg6! After this, white gained a decisive advantage and reeled in the point. (See game; FM Dr. Philip Corbin)

No. 4  Simutowe-VanHoolandt (2008 Cappelle LaGrande, Cappelle, FRANCE)
This finish was interesting in that white held a long-lasting advantage and then turned it into a lightening attack. The move 34.e5! opened the floodgates to the enemy king. After 34 Nf5 and 35.Qf7! Black ended up getting mated after 35...Qe8 36.Qxf6 Nxd4 and the thunderbolt 37.Nxh5! With the black king facing mortal death, the Dutchman made one last blunder and tossed his queen with 37 Bf5 and after 38.Qg5+ Kh7 39.Nf6+ black was done after 39Kh8 40.Qh6#. (See game; IM Amon Simutowe)

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