Test your chess: Reitstein problem 216


Black to play and win; or draw?; or lose?


JF Smith v AE Motyer 1961



Not too hard today, but only because desperate times require desperate measures. Threatened with mate in two ways, and with checks doing nothing, and the Bc5 pin also failing, 1…Be5! is an only move, and, as it happens, wins.

If the rook takes the bishop, then. 2…Qd1+ mates. If the bishop takes, then 2…Qf2+ and 3…Qe1 mate. So 2 Qe3 is forced, when the bishops are exchanged, and then: hg; there is no mate, with Bh7+ always being possible after Q-h file checks.


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Published by chessmusings

Chris Torres is a nationally renowned scholastic chess coach working in both Bakersfield and the San Francisco Bay Area. His classes have attracted players of strengths ranging from rank beginners to world champions. A chess professional since 1998, Chris is widely recognized as one of the main driving forces behind the explosion in popularity and sudden rise in quality of scholastic chess in California. Currently, Chris Torres has the ranking of candidate master and serves as the President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy. Mr. Torres’ hobbies include playing classical guitar and getting his students to appear on the national top 100 chess rating lists.

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