Chess Crackers
September/October 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

Jimmy Canty-Brad Schlosser
White to Move (after 22Nc6-e7)

IM Emory Tate - Yury Lapshun
White to Move (after 11dxe5)

No. 3

No. 4

GM Parimarjan Negi - GM Pontus Carlsson
Black to Move (after 27.gxf5)

Glenn Umstead - FM William Morrison
Black to Move (after 17.Qc2-d3)


No. 1 Canty-Schlosser (2008 National High School Championship, Atlanta, USA)
James Canty III  of Cass Tech in Detroit played in his second high school championship where he scored 5.5/7. In this game, he plays the state high school champion from Missouri. He entered the main line Guioco Piano and in the diagrammed position ended all matters with the shattering 23.Nxf7!  Qe8 24.Rxe7. Actually 23.Rxe7 is even stronger and easier if played immediately. (See game; Jimmy Canty)

No. 2  Tate-Lapshun  (2008 World Open, Philadelphia, USA)
Openings have been the subject of rigorous study, but mistakes still happen even by strong players. While this was not an immediate win, Tate took advantage of Lapshun's lethargic opening (notice knight on f8) and shocked him with 12.Nb5! Of course the knight is immune because of 12cxb5 13.Bxb5+, but after 12Ne6 13.Nd6+ Kf8 14.Qa5! (hitting and winning e5). Tate pressed and won an exchange after 14Bxd6+ 15.Rxd6 Ke7 16.Qa3 c5 17.Rd5 (still attacking e5) Rd8 18.Bc4 with a huge advantage. Tate went on to win the exchange and wrapped up the win with good endgame technique. (See game; IM Emory Tate)

No. 3  Negi-Carlsson (2008 Corus C, Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands)
Nice win in a Sicilian Dragon. Carlsson is one of the handful of Grandmasters to play the exciting line and faces the young star from India, Parimarjan Negi. Another "Carlsen" also plays the Dragon Magnus Carlsen of Norway. In the Dragon you realize that black will sacrifice something on the queenside, but which piece? The exchange? A knight? A rook? In this case, it's the bishop!! Carlsson hit Negi with the zinger, 27Bxb3! After 28.axb3, white tries to run away.  On 28Ra6 29.c3 bxc3 30.Rxc3 Qa1+ 31.Kc2 Ra2+ 32.Kd3 Qf1+ 33.Ke3 Qe1+ winning massive material. (See game; GM Pontus Carlsson)

No. 4  Umstead-Morrison (2008 Baltimore-Philly match - Delaware, PA, USA)
This is a miniature  showing again that one must be very alert in the opening. Black took advantage of white's carelessness and shattered his king's position. With white looking for safety, he panics and blunders with 17.Qd3. Morrison throws down the gauntlet and plays the simple 17e5! Now white must donate material since the knight on f3 is pinned and 18e4 is in the air. The game only last a few more moves after  18.Bc3 e4 19.Qd4 exf3+ 20.Kd3 Qg6+ 0-1 (See game! FM William Morrison)

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