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chess William Hartston

Chess diagrams in newspapers - always just before a move of great brilliance - give a distorted picture of reality, but it never hurts to treat every position, for just a few moments, as though it had "White to play and win" written underneath it. Most of the time there's no solution, but when there is, one should not let it slip past unnoticed.

In this position (from a game Moldoyarov-Samochanov, 1974), White found himself struggling for a draw after 1.Rxa5 Kg3. Would you, without the hint, have spotted a chance to win the game?

What he missed was 1.Rg6! a4 (1...Be2 2.Ke3 Bg4 3.Kf4 a4 4.Rd6 a3 5.Rd3 leads to a similar finish) 2.Ke3 a3 3.Kf4 a2 4.Rg3 Be6 (to stop Rh3 mate) 5.Rh3+! Bxh3 6.g3 mate.