Recognising The Patterns : Challenge # 12

Today’s Challenge: Find the typical pattern and react accordingly, Black to Move:

Aron Nimzowitsch against Bjorn Nielsen in 1930

Q – Can black play 20…Bd6 with an idea of meeting Rd7 with Rad8?
A: Not at all, in the game Black played 20…Bd6 and lost very quickly. Instead the fight can be prolonged with 20…Bd8.

20…Bd6??
21. Rd7 Rad8

Now what? If you open up g-file a mating net can be created with rook and bishop.

22. Rxd6!

Q: Is this necessary?
A: Yes, as the immediate 22. Qf6 can be met by Bxe5!.

22…Rxd6 23. Qf6!!

Black resigned in view of 23…gxf6 24. Rg4 Kh8 25. Bxf6#

The mating net with a rook on g file and bishop on the a1-h8 diagonal like this is called Morphy’s mate.

Reshevsky against shainswit in 1951


Q: Can black win the rook with 27…e4?
A: No, but instead black can achieve a good game with 27…Rfd8.In the game Black played 27…e4, falling into the trap set by White.

28. Rxg3! exd3

Completely unaware of White’s intentions.

29. Rxg7 Kh8 30. Rxf7+!

Removing the key defender here. This is a very important move as rook anywhere on g-file can be met by …f6.

30…Kg8 31. Rg7+

And mate in few moves.

Here is the complicated form of the same pattern:

Paulsen against Morphy in 1857 with Morphy (Black) to move

Try to work this one out on your own. I have already annotated the full game here.

Ashvin Chauhan