Chess

Both today's positions come from the newly published Garry Kasparov's Chess Puzzle Book (Cadogan Chess Books, £8.99). Apart from the introduction, which includes a two-page analysis of the complications in one of the Short-Kasparov games of 1993, it could just as well have been anyone else's chess puzzle book, since the bulk of the work is a set of 14 tests comprising 96 positions decided by tactical means.

With chapters devoted to each of the different pieces, and annotated examples of longer combinations, it all adds up to a very pleasing collection of sparkling finishes all taken from grandmaster play in 1993.

Studying such positions cannot help but improve one's tactical sharpness, though in real life, where the words "White to play and win" do not miraculously appear beneath a position, sensing that a winning combination is available is more than half the battle.

The first diagram is from the game Perez-Cruz-Lima, Cuba 1993, and it is Black to play.

, , ,a,

, , , n

,h, n n

,h,d, ,

N , NHZ

, NHX ,H

, , , ,

, B , ,s

The natural continuation is 1...g5+ 2.fxg5 (Kg3 allows Qg2 mate) hxg5+ 3.Kh5, but now continuing the checks with 3...Bf7+ leaves no obvious continuation after 4.Kh6, while the more subtle 3...Kg7 fails after 4.Qe7+! (Not 4.Rxh1? Bf7 mate) Bf7+ 5.Qxf7+ Kxf7 6.Rxh1.

So how does Black win the game? (Answer below).

This one, from the "Various combinations" ragbag at the end of the book, is from Kuznetsov-Kotkov, Russia 1993. It is White to play and, with his queen pinned and rook on h1 attacked by a pawn which is threatening to promote, he looks in a bad way.

,a, , ,

n , nf,

, , ,h,

, ZSb b

h, , , ,

N , , ,

H, , ,h,

,G, , ,G

What was the combination that enabled White to save the game? (Answer below).

If you need hints for either of these, the first comes in a chapter dealing with queen sacrifices, and for the second, think what you might expect in the section headed "Various".

Answers: First diagram: 1...g5+ 2.fxg5 hxg5+ 3.Kh5 Qxh3+!! 4.Qxh3 Kg7! and Bf7 mate cannot be prevented.

Second diagram: 1.Rh8+! Nxh8 2.Kc6! Rxd5 3.Rb8+! Kxb8 stalemate.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Have you been doing a brilliant job in an admi...

Surrey County Council: Senior Project Officer (Fixed Term to Feb 2019)

£26,498 - £31,556: Surrey County Council: We are looking for an outgoing, conf...

Recruitment Genius: Interim Head of HR

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an innovative, senior H...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources and Payroll Administrator

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client, a very well respect...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?