5

This puzzle on chesstempo caught my eye. We play as Black:

[FEN "1r1r3k/7p/5Pb1/p2BpRpq/1pP5/1P1Q4/P5RP/7K w - - 0 1"]

1.Rgxg5

Note: the solution is not quite important here, so no large spoilers from me :).


The main blunder here is playing 1... Bxf5. One of the comments runs:

...Black is a step away from certain death after 1...Bxf5 2.Qxf5...

They show this board:

[FEN "1r1r3k/7p/5Pb1/p2BpRpq/1pP5/1P1Q4/P5RP/7K w - - 1 1"]

1.Rgxg5 Bxf5 2.Qxf5 Qd1+ 3.Rg1 Qd2 4.f7 Qf4 5.Qe6 h5 6.Rg8+ Rxg8 7.fxg8=Q+ Rxg8 8.Qxg8#

Is mate threat really a thing here? I believe the mate threat actually begins at 3... Qd2 4. f7. Here's how I would've answered:

[FEN "1r1r3k/7p/5Pb1/p2BpRpq/1pP5/1P1Q4/P5RP/7K w - - 1 1"]

1.Rgxg5 Bxf5 2.Qxf5 Qd1+ 3.Rg1 Rxd5

I reckon 3... Rxd5 to force White into some exchange, as merely playing 4. xd5 would end up in a mate threat from Black:

[FEN "1r1r3k/7p/5Pb1/p2BpRpq/1pP5/1P1Q4/P5RP/7K w - - 1 1"]

1.Rgxg5 Bxf5 2.Qxf5 Qd1+ 3.Rg1 Rxd5 4. cxd5 Qxd5+ 5. Rg2 Rg8

The exchange would be:

[FEN "1r1r3k/7p/5Pb1/p2BpRpq/1pP5/1P1Q4/P5RP/7K w - - 1 1"]

1.Rgxg5 Bxf5 2.Qxf5 Qd1+ 3.Rg1 Rxd5 4. Rxd1 Rxd1+

So, who is wrong here? Am I failing to choose the best moves for White, or is the board in the comments actually faulty?

4
  • 1
    How does black respond if white in your last diagram plays 4.f7 instead of 4.Rxd1? White is threatening mate both by means of Qf6 and f8Q, and as far as I can see it's difficult for black not to lose Q+R for white's R.
    – Scounged
    Jan 6 at 17:46
  • @Scounged 4... h5? The White rook is pinned, so the mate on the board from the comments couldn't really be carried out (well, I see no way). Jan 6 at 17:58
  • 1
    After 4...h5 white plays f8Q followed by a trade and mate on g7.
    – Scounged
    Jan 6 at 20:51
  • @hmm, yes, I can see it now, thank you. If you have time, I think you can draw up a very nice answer from your comments :). Jan 6 at 21:00
6

I Suspect that after 3... Rxd5 4. f7 is strong enough:

[FEN "1r1r3k/7p/5Pb1/p2BpRpq/1pP5/1P1Q4/P5RP/7K w - - 0 1"]

1.Rgxg5 Bxf5 2. Qxf5 Qd1+ 3. Rg1 Rxd5 4. f7

The obvious threat is Qf6 mate. Starting with the variations in which black tries to cover f6 we have:

  • If 4...Rb6 then 5. f8=R#
  • If 4...Rd6 then 5. Qxe5 Rf6 6. Qxf6#

Since all variations leads to checkmate there is no way to cover f6 and black must resort to giving up the queen.

[FEN "1r1r3k/7p/5Pb1/p2BpRpq/1pP5/1P1Q4/P5RP/7K w - - 0 1"]

1.Rgxg5 Bxf5 2. Qxf5 Qd1+ 3. Rg1 Rxd5 4. f7 Qxg1 5. Kxg1

Yet again Qf6 is mate and obviously black cannot move the rook from the 8:th rank because f8 mate. If 5... Rd6 then 6. Qxe5 Rf6 7. Qxf6#. This leaves us with the one last try of Rd1+ (if Kg7 immediately then cxd5):

[FEN "1r1r3k/7p/5Pb1/p2BpRpq/1pP5/1P1Q4/P5RP/7K w - - 0 1"]

1.Rgxg5 Bxf5 2. Qxf5 Qd1+ 3. Rg1 Rxd5 4. f7 Qxg1 5. Kxg1 Rd1+ 6. Kg2 Kg7 7. Qxe5+ Kxf7 8. Qxb8

It is not a mate but undoubtedly white is winning

1
  • Great detailed answer!
    – fartgeek
    Jan 7 at 14:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.