Book has already moved the bishop three times, figuring that's enough, and allows the capture at e6. He should have moved the bishop one more time, here to d7.**
11. Nxe6 Par Score: 5
The knight was attacked and had to move, but we can assume Stein made the capture happily.
The doubled e-pawns are not only hard to defend, but they form a wedge separating Black's kingside from his queenside. Moreover, White now has the two bishops.**
12. Qe2 Par Score: 5
Stein develops and unpins his knight.
This was in the cards back when 7. ... Be6 was played. If Black could just find time to play ... Bf8-g7, and connect his rooks, he'd be back in the game.**
13. Nc4 Par Score: 6
The knight moves issues an annoying attack on the black queen, which also opens the line for the c1-bishop to come out. White is developing his pieces with tempo and continues to do so over the course of the next several moves.
If the queen stays on the fifth rank, it
ABCs of Chess
These problems are all related to key positions in this month's game. In each case, Black is to move. The answers can be found in Solutions on page 69.
December Exercise: We all must cope with opposing moves and threats. A useful technique is to train by practicing a simple formula. One, consider what the opponent's move does. Two, see if your opponent responded to your last move. Three, determine how to answer your opponent while advancing your own aims. Four, review the key variations to make sure you haven't missed anything important, such as a check, capture, or threat that could overturn your analysis. You may find these suggestions trivial (or "quadriv-ial," as Joyce says in Finnegan's Wake). But going through these simple steps should cut down on illogical play.
runs the risk of getting caught: 13. ... Qb5 14. a4 Qc5 15. Be3 Qh5 (15. ... Qb4 16. c3 Qb3 17. Ra3) 16. g4 Qh4 17. Ne5 and 18. Nf3. Accept 3 bonus points if you foresaw the ideas.**
14. Bf4 Par Score: 6
Here the extra bishop comes in handy, and White develops with a tempo on the queen. There's more of that to follow.
15. Rfd1 Par Score: 6
Accept full credit for 15. Rad1.
17. Rd1 Par Score: 5
Once again, White gains a tempo on the queen.
White controls the d-file and, along with the f4-bishop, places Black's king in a cage.**
18. Bf1 Par Score: 7
White threatens 19. Nb6+ axb6 20. Qxa6 axb6 21. Bxa6, a criss-cross mate given by those nasty two bishops.
Black closes the d-file and defends.
After 19. Nb6+ axb6! 20. Qxa6 bxa6 21. Bxa6+, Black finds shelter with 21. ... Kd8 (1 bonus point).**
19. Qe3 Par Score: 7
On 19. Ne5 (4 points part credit) Black has 19. ... Nxe5 20. Bxe5 Rg8 21. Qxa6 Bg7 22. Qxa7 Bxe5. He's a pawn down but has improved defensive chances.
Since 19. ... Kb8 is illegal, Black has to block the a7-e3 diagonal. What doesn't work is 19. ... b6 20. Nxb6+ (1 bonus point). Also unsuccessful is 19. ... Nac5
20. Qb3 Par Score: 7
White further activates his queen, taking aim at both b7 and e6.
This retreat protects d7. On 20. ... Nb4, White has 21. Ne5 (1 bonus point). Black could try 21. ... g5, but 21. Na5 (1 bonus point) seems strongest.**
21. Na5 Par Score: 7
White is threatening b7, with mate to follow. Let's see how Black deals with it.
Accept 2 bonus points for analyzing 21. ... Nb6 22. Qxe6+ N8d7 (22. ... N6d7 23. Bxb8 Kxb8 24. Rxd7) 23. Qc6+! bxc6 24. Ba6+ (let's hear it for the two bishops) Kd8 25. Nc6 mate.**
22. Qxe6 Par Score: 7
After 22. Qxe6
Take only 2 points part credit for 22. Nc4, which saves the knight. A better alternative is 22. Bxb8 (5 points part credit). After 22. ... Nxb8 (22. ... Kxb8
23. Bb5) 23. Qxe6+ Kc7 (23. ... Nd7 24. Qc6+) 24. Qe5+ Kc8 25. Qxh8 taking the Exchange. But Stein's move is better yet. It plays for mate by 23. Qc6+ Nxc6 24. Ba6+ Kd8 25. Nxc6 mate.
Book has seen enough. If 22. ... Kd8, then 23. Qc6 anyway; or simply 23. Bxb8. And if the knight gets taken 22. ... bxa5, there follows 23. Ba6+ (a) 23. ... Nxa6
24. Qxa6+ (also 24. Qc6+ Kd8 25. Qa8+ Nb8 26. Qxb8 mate) 24. ... Kd8 25. Qxa5+ Kc8 26. Qc7 mate; (b) 23. ... Kd8 24. Bxb8 Bg7 25. Qc6 e5 26. Bd6 and the queen mates at c7 or c8. ■
For scoring box, see page 69.
U.S. Senior Open
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