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Ronald Comstock vs Thomas Joseph Szczypka
Michigan Open (1982), East Lansing, MI USA, rd 1, Sep-03
Queen's Gambit Declined: Queen's Knight Variation (D31)  ·  1-0



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sac: 26.Bc4 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Sep-23-15  devere: <dfcx: Took me a long time to figure out! 26.Bc4 wins the queen. If 26...Nxc4?? 27.Qg7#>

Under the circumstances 26...Nxc4 hardly deserves one question mark let alone two. It's a classy way of resigning by letting the opponent have his moment of glory.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: This POTD is more on the level of Monday than that of Wednesday.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has the bishop pair for a bishop and a knight.

The pawns on a2 and h6 are hanging.

The knight on e5 blocks Qg7#. Therefore, 26.Bc4 wins the queen.

Sep-23-15  jith1207: This is the easiest Wednesday puzzle I have seen and I had to check my calendar twice to be sure. Reminds me of the day when CG mistakenly posted a Monday puzzle on a Sunday and then changed.
Sep-23-15  morfishine: I found <26.Bc4> a lot faster than I didn't find 28...Ng3+ yesterday


Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: This one will divide opinions, I think.

It's easy if you see it. The black Ne5 is "pinned" against the mate threat of Qg7#. That means that Bc4 is playable when the Black queen is pinned along the adjacent diagonal of a2-g8. White wins a queen for a minor piece.

So far so simple. But there are lots of tempting alternative moves and a queen win is not so obvious as a mating attack. I predict that for every person who spots it straight away there will be at least another who takes a while to a while to get other potential winning moves out of their system.

And that makes it about right for a Wednesday, IMHO. Easy enough when you see it, but with a few wrinkles and/or tempting alternatives.

Sep-23-15  Doktorn: Yeah, very easy for Wednesday. And also one of does puzzles when the solution feels so natural it doesn't feel like a puzzle. The option to pin the queen just jumps out at you and nothing is really sacrificed. With that said my first split of a second idea was to play Be7 to cut of queen and rock from each other.
Sep-23-15  Abdel Irada: This solution arrives in two phases:

1) "I'd like to pin and win the queen with 26. Bc4, if only that knight couldn't take the bishop.

2) "But if the knight moves, I have mate with Qg7, so...."

Sep-23-15  The Kings Domain: Nice game, white had the final say with a pretty unorthodox game.
Sep-23-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: White has the bishop pair for a B+N, but the effective material advantage is much bigger with black's Ra8 and Bc8 of little value, still on their original squares after 25 moves. White's advanced h6 pawn makes possible an immediate win with 26.Bc4. Nuff said.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Ooh, I missed the fact that the rook on e8 is protecting the e5 knight. Otherwise, 26.Bxg4 fxg4 27.Rf6 Qd7 28.Qxe5 might not look so bad...
Sep-23-15  Alex56171: <devere> If Black wanted to give White a moment of glory, could have chosen this line: 26...Nd3+ 27.Kb1 Ne5 28.Qxe5 Re7 29.dxe7 Kf7 30.Qg7+ Ke8 31.exf8Q#
Sep-23-15  patzer2: Instead of 25...Qe6? 26. Bc4! , Black could have put up more resistance with 25...Qxh6 26. Be7! Qg7 (diagram below),

click for larger view

but White wins with 27. Ne4! (diagram below).

click for larger view

From here (diagram above) Black has nothing better than 27...Rxe7 (27... fxe4 28. Bf6 ) 28. dxe7 Qxe7, and is busted after 29. Bc4+ Nxc4 30. Rh8+! Kf7 31. Qxc4+ Be6 32. Rxf5+ Kg6 33. Qd4 Bxf5 34. Rg8+ Kh6 35. Qe3+ Kh7 36. Ng5+ Kxg8 37. Qxe7 Bg6 38. Qxb7 Re8 39. Qxc6 (+4.45 @ 25 depth).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Longview: Saw the pinned Knight for mate but did not see the Bishop move to C4. Got too busy using the pin to work up an attack on the Kingside. I kept wanting to move the g2 pawn by sacking my knight at f3 and opening the g file on the king.
Sep-23-15  M.Hassan: "White has a bishop for a Knight

26.Bc4 pinning the Queen
<if...Nxc4 27.Qg7#>

27.Bxe6 Rxe6
The Knight on e5 is the life line of Black and he clings on that and Brings the Rook to support it.

28.Rxf5 Nfg6

That is as far as I have time to go. White is way stronger and wins. 1-0

Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: I think this is a terrific Wednesday puzzle. I did not find the solution on the first look at the board, considering moves such as h7+. I set it aside for 4 or 5 minutes. When I returned, it had become obvious!
Sep-23-15  Marmot PFL: Took me a few minutes to find, as Bc4 was not the first move I looked at.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: An easy one (which I missed)the pin-decoy leads to immediate mate. OUCH!
Sep-23-15  starry2013: Hopefully I got this, like the last two days. When I saw I could pin the queen I thought that would be part of the tactic. Bishop to b4, if knight takes checkmate on g7. If Q takes, then black loses queen for bishop.
Sep-23-15  TheaN: An easy wednesday indeed, and it's more because this one just comes by as a chain of events than anything else. Difficult tactical positions generally have an 'eureka' move, either the initiator or somewhere midway: those that initiate with such a move are generally easier.

This position doesn't really have such. White comes by his move due to four steps:

1) White wants to reload on the kingside where Qxe5 and Rxf5 fail. 2) 26.Bc4 is the most logical move next move, yet c4 is defended. 3) 26....Qxc4 cannot be played due to Nxc4, so Nxc4:
4) yet 26....Nxc4 cannot be played due to Qg7#.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Sep-23-15  starry2013: gawain: <I think this is a terrific Wednesday puzzle. I did not find the solution on the first look at the board, considering moves such as h7+.>

I did look at that move first because it's a forcing move being a check on the King.

As <Abdel Irada> said there's two stages, spot the pin and then the checkmate. When I first saw the pin I saw the bishop could be captured, so you have to see the knight vacating exposes the checkmate.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: I also thought it was pretty easy for a Wednesday. My thought process was:

1. I surveyed the position and saw that 26.Qg7 would be mate if the knight wasn't in the way.

2. How can I force the knight to move?


Sep-23-15  Moonwalker: Count me with those who took a while to see it. Kept looking for a forced mate but in the end the queen win was the best available.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: I always seem to have problems with Wednesday. I had to look at this three or four times before seeing the obvious Bc4.
Sep-23-15  Bubo bubo: If the Ne5 wasn't there, the pin Bc4 would win the queen. Hence we have to deflect or displace this knight somehow... Wait! The knight is already pinned to the mate square g7, so 26.Bc4 wins either the queen or the king!

Not really difficult, but it took me quite some time to see this nice double-pin-motif. Embarassing!

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