“Neo: Whoa. Déjà vu.
Trinity: What did you just say?
Neo: Nothing. Just had a little déjà vu.”
The Matrix, 1999
Totally independent from my intention Nigel wrote a ‘Deja Vu” article a few days ago. You can enjoy it HERE. My name can be added to the list of players proving this process is truly happening. This past week I stumbled across the following puzzle while browsing:
Normally I take a quick look and decide if a puzzle is worth spending more time on it. I take into consideration elements such as (in no particular order):
1. What kind of position it is
2. What needs to be done
3. How simple the solution seems to be
4. Any familiar element(s)
Here the first element to catch my attention was a sense of deja vu. I have seen this position before! On the white side the queen and knight aligned along the 4th row plus Kg1 trapping Rh1 in the corner were very familiar. Black’s king side position was different from what I remembered with the f6-pawn instead of a Bf6 the most important difference. The solution had to be different this time. Give it a try before reading on! The solution awaits at the end of the article.
I started to dig around for the other puzzle, searching for discovered attacks, double attacks or queen sacrifices. Somehow my memory associated that puzzle with a discovered attack plus a queen sacrifice and the fact one of the players was famous at the time of the game. Years ago a search like this involved books and magazines; a lot of times one kept a book or a magazine just for a piece of printed information. I remember going to OTB open tournaments and quite a few players had one luggage filled only with such books and magazines. If you were well organized you kept a chess diary where you wrote down the source name, author and page where you could find it. Digging through several books and magazines was tedious and you learned quickly how to be organized and avoid doing this every time. Today it is much easier to search online: you can filter your search using several parameters and the challenge now is to choose the right ones and not get frustrated by the ocean of information available at your fingertips. The online search I did was not successful. I realized my parameters were not right and that led me in wrong directions. Luckily searching my personal database helped me discover this beauty:
You can replay the whole game HERE. It is easy to see the chosen parameters: discovered attacks, double attacks or queen sacrifices. Unfortunately the online search was very cruel and never got even in the vicinity of this game. It gave me instead several sources of games played between the top players of today or recent past.
Satisfied by my re-discovery I proceeded to search for the solution. It looked both easy and uneventful at the first glance and began to be more challenging past the first move for both sides. Have you solved it by now? If you did, you realized that indeed it did not look like much until one of the White rooks became instrumental in solving it; however that rook was surprise, surprise the one from h1! That gives the puzzle a nice flavour and the solver satisfaction. Without any further ado, here is the solution:
Hope you got it! Deja vu can help you go in the right direction and like any other process needs to be used and perfected to help you reach your goal faster. If you have any games and/ or positions you would like me to look at, please do not hesitate to let me know. I will gladly include them in my column for everyone’s benefit. Looking forward to your messages!
Valer Eugen Demian