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The Challenger, Fourth Quarter, 2023

The Challenger

Magazine of the United States Blind Chess Association December 2023

The mission of the USBCA is to promote the game of chess among the blind community. Website: http://usblindchess.org/


The views expressed in the Challenger do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of the USBCA or those of the editor.

Editor’s Note

By Rita Crawford

I used to have a Dilbert comic on my desk at work that said, “Change is good. You go first.” As I have gotten older, I have come to realize, change is inevitable and that is a good thing. The USBCA is working very hard to make changes that will help the organization stay viable, changes that will help the member’s not only reach their chess goals, but help the member’s make new friends all around the world.

The USBCA is launching an all-female chess forum spearheaded by Marilyn Bland. The forum is called Chess Queens and the first meeting will be December 9 at 10:00 a.m. Central / 16:00 UTC. Shout out to all the female chess players! Let’s all become stronger chess players together!

There is a new Hands On Chess Chat that meets the first Saturday of every month. We have had some very exciting speakers. I hope everyone tries to attend the next meeting. Watch the freelists for more information. We hope to have copies of the Hands On Chess available as a podcast soon.

Be sure to review The Challenger’s Important Notices column regarding the USBCA’s web address change.

There is a new column being introduced, Meet a USBCA Member, that will feature a USBCA member in each magazine. Because this is the first time the column has run, I featured myself so you can get a sense of what it is, something fun and lighthearted. I will be featuring a different USBCA member in each magazine.

Jim Thoune’s President’s message lists some of the changes that have been made, and changes yet to come.

Marilyn Bland’s article details her visit to Greece for the World Chess Championship for the Blind and Visually Impaired, as well as her time in Guatemala where she participated in the Pan-American Games.

Jessica Lauser also attended the Pan-American Games and is featured in the Player Spotlight column written by Glenn Crawford.

To help everyone continue to learn and grow stronger in chess, there is an annotated chess game by Paul Benson and three puzzles submitted by David Rosenkoetter ranging from easy to hard.

The USBCA is very lucky to have so many international members and that we are able to participate in international competitions. Thanks to chess and technology, we are able to link our chess pieces with those of others around the world. These are the things that will help us all grow stronger in chess, and at the same time allow us to make new friends all around the globe. Change is inevitable, and this is a very good thing, not only for the USBCA, but for everyone.

Upcoming Events

Chess Queens

The USBCA is launching Queens of Chess, a gathering of just female chess players. All female chess players, regardless of strength, are invited to attend. This will be held the second Saturday of every month and will be run by Marilyn Bland. Please feel free to reach out to Marilyn at tinkerbelltx@hotmail.com with any questions you might have. The kick-off meeting will be December 9, 2023. Watch freelists for more information as the kick-off date gets closer.

Hands On Chess Chat

The USBCA has launched a new gathering called Hands On Chess. This takes place the first Saturday of every month at 10:00 a.m. Central / 16:00 UTC. There are exciting guest speakers to listen to and learn from, as well as an opportunity to get to know your fellow members as well as members from the UKBCA. Watch for emails from me, Marietta (Rita) Crawford prior to each gathering for additional information. Any questions, email me at mcrawford7008@gmail.com.

Important Notice

On November 29, 2023, the USBCA domain name was change from americanblindchess.org to usblindchess.org. Please update your bookmarks to reflect the new website.

Getting to Know

Marietta (Rita) Crawford – Editor of The Challenger, Sunday Smiles and moderator of Hands On Chess

President’s Note

By Jim Thoune

Change Is Afoot!

Hello, members! Change is indeed afoot! I can’t recall ever using that word, “afoot,” in anything but a reference to Sherlock Holmes. Nevertheless, it seems to be the most appropriate word to describe what has been going on in the USBCA for the last two years! Anyone following our activities over the last two years would surely agree with that. We’ve rejoined the International Braille Chess Association (IBCA), we’ve had at least one member attend an IBCA event no less than four times, and we now have a USBCA member on the Board of the IBCA. We’ve also significantly improved our relationship with the US Chess Federation, we’ve held our first USCF-rated online over-the-board tournament, we’ve had a major change in the significance of our over-the-board national blind championship tournament, and, as a result of all of these changes, we’ve increased the size of the USBCA Board from seven positions to nine. We’ve relaunched our Challenger magazine, we’ve weathered a most distressing chain of events and remained functioning, we’re currently running our first tournament with cash prizes, and we now have not-for-profit status with the IRS. I’d say we’ve done a remarkable lot!

And we’re not done! The people you elected two years ago are still at it. There have been two unavoidable replacements; life’s what happens while you’re busy making plans, and there has been an additional appointment, bringing the composition of the Board up to eight members. Some are retirees, some still work full-time, but all have volunteered time and energy to help the USBCA grow and evolve. Elections are right around the corner, and we’re looking for one more person to join the party. Doing what, exactly, you might ask.

I’m glad you asked. We’re convinced that there must be more blind people out there who are playing chess or who want to learn how. We’re convinced that at least some of those players would like to improve their game. We’d like to develop ways to make that happen. We think there’s a whole market of youngsters out there who could benefit from being encouraged into learning this fine game. We think we can be instrumental in facilitating that. We’re sure there are people out there who have no idea we even exist! We need to fix that. We fully intend to establish ourselves as a 501(C)(3) organization by the end of 2024. Gaining non-profit status with the IRS was the first step, but we also need to incorporate as a non-profit. We need to make sure our Bylaws are current and that we are functioning within their guidelines. We’ve established a presence on Facebook; that requires time and attention. And, of course, this newsletter which you are reading doesn’t produce itself. (Toothy grin) Since we also want to assist people with the financial demands of attending our tournaments, as well as joining in the international activities, personally, and also obtaining training to make their game as strong as they can make it, and these aspirations will cost money, all of This means fund-raising and grant-seeking, which we can do more energetically now that we are established as non-profit.

I’m sure I’ve left out some goals, and there are new ideas happening all the time. In January, you’ll receive a last call for interested candidates. This is the first call. Then, later in January, you’ll receive your ballot, inviting you to vote for those you will support. Included in that ballot will be bio information so you’ll know something about the people for whom you are voting. It really is pretty remarkable how much this group of volunteers has achieved over the last two years. We want to keep going, and we want to make sure we’re going in directions reflective of our members' interests. We also want you to know that you can take as active a part in all of this as you care to take. I am very much looking forward to see what we can achieve in the next two years. I hope you are, too!

James Thoune, President, USBCA AKA Windbag

Greece and Guatemala

By Marilyn Bland

Who gets to do several of their favorite things all at once? This was my good fortune during October this year. Travel, cultural exchanges, good food, chess - what a delight.

Rhodes Island, Greece was my first destination. The occasion was the World Open Chess Championship for blind and visually impaired players held from 8-18 October. The weather was mild (by Dallas standards) and the accommodation was excellent. The hotel was just a stone’s throw from the ocean and I took the opportunity to dip my feet into the Aegean Sea, not lingering though because the water was unexpectedly cold .

It was my first time to participate in this 9-round World Open tournament and I was both excited and anxious. I was also proud to be representing the United States. There were 29 participating countries, and I was surprised that out of the 82 participants, only 7 were women.

My nerves settled once the technical meeting and opening ceremony were over and the games got underway. Arbiters, coaches, and volunteers were always on hand to assist. Only one round was played each day, which afforded players ample time to review games, rest, and even socialize a little. Each game was 90 minutes with a 30 second increment per player. There was great anticipation for the results and draws for the next round, and these were always posted promptly.

An Open tournament has no ranking requirement, thus providing an opportunity for players of all skill levels to participate. In this event a handful were unranked players like myself, some ranked CM, M, FM, IM, and even a GM. Given this illustrious field, I felt thrilled at notching up 2 wins, one being against a 1425 competitor. It was an incredible experience to interact with those who love the game and be so immersed in chess the entire time.

On Saturday morning an excursion had been planned to the Acropolis and the old city of Rhodes. I felt as if I had been transported back centuries in time as I strolled along the narrow cobbled streets among the ancient buildings, with strains of long-ago tunes played on traditional instruments floating in the air reaching my ears.

The special congress that had been called for during the European Championship in Italy in April took place on Sunday morning in the playing room. After the minutes and other reports were approved, the then current board was dissolved and the voting to elect the new board took place. It is an honor for me now to be serving as an executive member on the IBCA board and to be involved in the upcoming outreach projects to promote chess for the visually impaired worldwide.

Tuesday rolled around and it was time for the last game of the tournament. GM Marcin Tazbir ranked 2499 from Poland emerged victorious. After dinner everyone gathered in the dome, an enormous multi-decked area surrounding the covered pool, for the closing ceremony. A duo - a blind brother and sister - sang and played the bouzouki, while dancers performed traditional steps from the surrounding islands in folk costume. Of course, all the while I was savoring my other favorite thing - the cuisine - Greek salad, tzatziki, moussaka, and baklava.

Flying home on Wednesday I was flying high: I had reconnected with friends, made new ones, been elected to the IBCA board, and had 2 victories in a World Open Championship to my name. As I relished these special moments, I could not help wishing that more players could have an experience such as I had just enjoyed. Creating such opportunities would be one of my goals as board member.

It was on to Guatemala City, Guatemala a few days later for the Pan-American Open Championship held from 23-27 October. While also an IBCA event, this tournament was different in many respects. The World Open in Greece had only one group of players, whereas in the Pan-American Open players were classified either as blind (B1) or visually impaired (B2). Players were ranked in their respective groups and played only players within their groups. The hotel was comfortable enough, and finding your way around was not too difficult. However, the playing hall was located at the Chess Federation building, which meant that we bussed to the venue after breakfast each morning, played our games, were served lunch there, and returned to the hotel for dinner only once all the games were over. This was extremely tiring, though it provided opportunities to analyze games and socialize.

On arrival day we enjoyed a welcome dinner and music. The technical meeting was held afterwards, during which there was a roll call of attending countries and the verification of all participants in the categories they would be playing.

The opening ceremony took place the next morning. Participating countries were Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, and USA. Participants in B1 numbered 35, with 12 in B2. Colombia had the biggest contingent: 23. Jessica Lauser and I represented the United States. There were 7 rounds and games were 90 minutes with 30 second increments per move per player. Arbiters, coaches, and volunteers all worked tirelessly to ensure that things ran smoothly.

Thursday afternoon was devoted to the cultural excursion to Antigua. Here again, I felt whisked back in time walking through the historic streets surrounded by the palace, stone structures, and cobbled walkways. In the market I bought a set of hand-crafted little dolls all arrayed in traditional outfits, and a 3"x4" inch canvas sketch of the volcano that forms the backdrop to the city - tangible reminders of another inspiring experience.

As in Greece, the competition was tough, though the range of rated players was not as wide. Places were awarded for both men and women in both categories. In B1, Fernando Daza and Melany Rosa each claimed gold, while Jhon Mike Rosales and Jessica Lauser each took gold in B2. I struggled in this tournament, but managed to end with 1.5 overall.

The closing ceremony marked the end of yet another unforgettable tournament. After the formalities, there was much singing of songs from the various countries and the announcement that the Pan-American Open would be held in Ecuador in 2024.

Regardless of my result, I was doing my favorite things - singing along (in Spanish, mind you) during the bus rides, analyzing my games, making new friends, tasting new kinds of food. What I especially enjoyed were the freshly prepared fruit drinks served at meals. These were both nutritious and refreshing.

All too soon it was time to say my goodbyes and wing my way home. As I reflect on the tournament, I feel exhausted but content. I would have preferred more wins, but 1.5 is better than the 1 I came away with from the Pan-American in Mexico last year. I had reconnected with friends and have Ecuador to look forward to - assuming I am able to go. My take-aways: I have a trove of games from my 2 tournaments to examine and learn from, and I have made progress on my chess journey, slow though it may be. I feel energized and inspired, and will be working hard to keep my momentum going - all the while doing my favorite things.

Player’s Spotlight

By Glenn Crawford

Jessica Wins Gold

Jessica Lauser, a member of US Chess and the United States Blind Chess Association (USBCA), won gold at the Pan-American Open Chess Championships held during the Pan-Am games in Guatemala City, Guatemala from October 23rd through the 27th of this year. There were two sections for those with visual disabilities, one for the visually impaired having twelve participants, which she was in, and one for the blind having thirty-five participants. Jessica finished in first place among visually impaired women with four wins and three losses.

In my section, I finished fourth overall which was the top woman." She improved her performance over that in the 2022 Pan Am games last year in Mexico City where she finished with silver.

The time control for the games was 90/30. Although Jessica typically uses a standard chess board and pieces, an adaptive set was required at the tournament. To make a move, it would be announced in Spanish with the other player repeating it and confirming the move.

During the games, Jessica stayed at the hotel Via Espanola. Some had private rooms but she shared one room with two others who were strangers to her. She was unclear as to how to make her hotel arrangements since there was no English version of the information for the event. “So I wound up just randomly thrown in with two others, packed in like sardines. "

The guests took their breakfasts and suppers at the hotel which Jessica described as a quaint, little cantina. Her lunches were at the playing venue. She describes the food as, “good overall.”

The playing venue was in another part of town from the hotel. A bus was provided to take the participants to the playing site.

“You’d take a twenty-minute bus ride, you know, pile into this crazy kind of strange vehicles. They have the kind of thing, it’s got one door in and out so, you know, you try and sit near the door, near the front because if the thing wrecks, you’re not getting out.”

Jessica is forty-three years old and lives on her own in Kansas City. She has worked for the federal government for five years and currently is employed by the IRS.

“I help organize these documents that get processed through the tax filing pipeline.”

Although born in Arizona and living in Missouri, Jessica calls California her home state. She was born premature and developed retinopathy of prematurity. She has useable sight in only one eye with a visual acuity of 20/480 and a visual field of less than ten degrees. However, she is able to move about her city without the use of a service dog and with limited use of a white cane.

“I’ve been able to get around reasonably well. And, I do use a white cane but it’s not a constant thing. It’s more to navigate, say, if there’s stairs or, you know, unknown territory or uneven ground.; When out in the city, “I can’t see any of the street signs and so I use my phone to navigate.”

She uses a van service to get to and from work.

Jessica is a lifetime member of US Chess. She currently has a rating of 1663. In blitz chess, her rating is 1804. She typically plays in tournaments not designed for the visually impaired or blind.

“About two percent of my prior tournaments so far have been for blind or visually impaired, and the other ninety-eight percent has just been for fully sighted.”

She learned to play chess at an early age. “I first learned the basic rules from an elementary school principal when I was seven.” And, “As time went on where I was pretty much able to beat anybody in my class, I started playing my teachers. She was mainstreamed in grade school and high school. “I didn’t have any kind of accommodations. I just went to the regular classes.” At age twelve, she entered a new school where she would play and defeat her seventh-grade science teacher. And, “I would occasionally get called to the principal’s office to play chess with him. And, I’d beat him, too.”

She played in a couple of chess tournaments when young but did not fully invest herself in tournaments until she was an adult.

When asked what inspired her to get involved with chess beyond simply learning to move the pieces, she had a two-fold response saying with the combination of vision loss and asthma, she was not able to take part in activities such as sports. Even learning to ride a bike was not possible for her since she had issues with balance.

“I wound up getting into chess really as something that even I could do because I wasn’t as strong or as fast or as tall or as old or as coordinated as all the other kids.”

She also experienced what many children encounter, teasing and even bullying by other kids.

When entering her new school at age twelve and exploring the cabinets in her new classroom, she discovered chess sets. “I remember walking in the class thinking oh, you know, It’s a new school. They’re going to tease me about my eyes because the boys call me four eyes. And, it doesn’t matter what school or what group of kids or where I go. It’s always gonna be what are you looking at and your eyes are off in different directions and are you out in space and what’s wrong with you.” And, “It [chess] kind of became an anti-bullying means of combating that.”

After displaying her chess skill as a young girl and defeating the classmates who challenged her, the teasing stopped.

Jessica completed high school in less than four years. “I was only in high school two and a half years start to finish because I took summer school. I never retook anything. It was just getting, you know, getting extra classes in

Jessica holds two bachelor degrees, one in history from the San Francisco State University and the other in Russian from the University of Alaska in Anchorage.

Along with winning silver in Mexico City and gold in Guatemala City Jessica was the US blind chess champion for five years in a row from 2018 to 2022.

“I think being a champion is not about winning every game. It’s about being persistent.”

Annotated game by Paul Benson

(First published in the November 2022 UK BCA Gazette.)

Time for some good old-fashioned nostalgia. Not a personal encounter but instead a game using an opening system which was the mainstay of my repertoire with white for about 20 years.

Uhlmann, 1974.

(I cannot find any information about Tischbierek. Unless he is Raj Tischbierek who became a Grand Master in 1990 and would have been about 12 years old when this game was played, unlikely. However Uhlmann is easier to trace, he was a top-flight Grand Master, beating no less than Bobby Fischer in 1960.)

1. d4 Nf6
2. Nc3 d5
3. Bg5

(Welcome to the Veresov Opening. A respectable offbeat system occasionally employed by Tony Miles around the time this game took place. If allowed white might play Bxf6 giving black doubled f-pawns, black can avoid this or pick up the gauntlet by permitting the idea.)

3. ... Nbd7

(No doubled f-pawns today, white must now search elsewhere to inject imbalance into the game.)

4. Nf3 h6
5. Bh4 e6

(Giving white the chance to play an unclear gambit. Instead 5. … c5 challenging the white centre is an active alternative offering opportunities for imbalance to both players.)

6. e4

(Offering a pawn for activity. Fine, but is it sound? Unfortunately database access is now denied me so the latest judgement on the entire concept cannot be given here. Nevertheless, back then in 1974 ideas were bouncing back and forth from both sides, it was happily in a state of flux. Instead 6. Qd3 intending a slower and safer pawn e4 advance is easier to play but less fun.)

6. ... g5

(Accepting the challenge, the fight is on! Instead 6. … Bb4 7. e5 g5 8. Nxg5 hxg5 9. Bxg5 Rg8 10. Bxf6 Nxf6 11. exf6 Qxf6 12. Qd2 Bd7 and it is black giving up a pawn for activity.)

7. Bg3 Nxe4
8. Nxe4 dxe4
9. Nd2

(Tried this line just the once, my lower-rated opponent sailed through all the tricky tests, I was grateful to hold it for a hard-fought draw. My favoured move of 9. Ne5 must be treated with respect. Black must be ready for either pawn h4 or Qh5 in response to the 9th black move.)

9. ... Bg7

(While preparing to put white 9. Nd2 into my repertoire the reply 9. … f5 needed a good answer. Aging grey cells vaguely recall my home analysis involving 10. Qh5+ Ke7 11. h4 would set black thinking. The game move of 9. … Bg7 is much more sensible for black.)

10. h4 Bxd4
11. c3 gxh4

(Black decides to give white a semi-open h-file for the h1 rook. Surely this makes the isolated h6 pawn a target? Yes, but if black allows a double-trade of pawns on g5 there will follow a trade of rooks on h8 and then white throws in Qh5 when the queen will find good activity and be difficult to repulse.)

12. Rxh4 Bg7
13. Nxe4 Qe7
14. Qh5

(Much white piece activity for a pawn. Fine, but as of yet there is no real coordination against targets in the black position. If black can unravel the queenside and castle long then the extra pawn will be an asset, white would be facing a tough defensive struggle.)

14. ... Nf6
15. Nxf6+ Bxf6
16. Rf4

(Ideally this rook would like to be part of a doubling up the fully-open d-file. Fine, but this is rather slow to arrange, black would have time to complete development, when material down activity is required to compensate. There now comes a flurry of tactics, the question is who has envisaged the farther? Warning: It is the 19th black move which needs to be discovered before initiating the sequence.)

16. ... e5
17. Rxf6 Qxf6
18. Bxe5 Qe7
19. O-O-O Bg4
20. Qxg4 Qxe5

(A curiously symmetric tactical melee of deflection, skewer, pin, skewer, deflection. This simplified position has white an exchange down, surely bad news? In my younger days my judgement would have declared black is winning, just a matter of technique. This older self recognises black still has some problems to solve.)

21. Rd2

(A tripler. Firstly, black must respond to the white threat of 22. Re2 skewering the royal pair. Secondly, black is denied the option of stray queen checks on the c1 - h6 diagonal. Thirdly, the white 2nd rank pawns are given useful defensive support.)

21. ... Kf8
22. Bc4 Re8
23. Qf3

(A doubler. Firstly, white threatens Qxf7+ mate. Secondly, an attack is placed on the unprotected black b7 pawn.)

23. ... Rh7
24. Qxb7 Rg7

(Perhaps some reflections on the position might assist? Black has all heavy pieces in play. Fine, but they are not creating any useful threats. Moreover if the rooks attempt to invade the white position then the black king will become vulnerable to white queen spite-checks, forcing some form of defensive retreat. White enjoys useful piece placement, in particular the c4 bishop is prodding at a weak point in the black defences. Black can only neutralise the bishop by giving up an exchange, but having just gone a pawn down this idea is now rather unappealing. Lastly, the white queen is floating in amongst the split queenside pawns, more defensive headaches for black.)

25. Bb5 c6

(The critical moment, black is seeking activity at the cost of a couple of pawns. Other choices lead to positions which vary between totally disastrous to unpleasantly difficult. Firstly, moving the black e8 rook forward is hopeless: (A). 25. … Re7 26. Rd8+ Re8 27. Rxe8+ Qxe8 28. Bxe8 Kxe8, white has queen and pawn against a rook. (B). 25. … Re6 26. Qc8+ Ke7 27. Qd8+ mate. (C). 25. … Re6 26. Qc8+ Re8 27. Bxe8 Qxe8 28. Rd8 Qxd8 29. Qxd8+ mate. (D). 25. … Re6 26. Qc8+ Re8 27. Bxe8 Qxe8 28. Rd8 Ke7 29. Rxe8+ white is a queen and pawn up. In the above lines it is the smothering of the black f8 king by the g7 rook which makes all this possible, a vital flight square is being denied. (E). 25. … Re6 26. Qc8+ Re8 27. Bxe8 Rg6 28. Bc6+ Kg7 the black king escapes but white is a bishop and pawn up. Secondly, black can create more flight squares for the e8 rook by flicking in a queen check which gives the g8 king a flight route: (F). 25. … Qe1+ 26. Kc2 Qe4+ 27. Qxe4 Rxe4 28. Rd8+ Ke7 29. Re8+ Kf6 30. Rxe4 Rxg2 31. Rf4+ white is a bishop up. (G). 25. … Qe1+ 26. Kc2 Re5 27. Qc8+ Ke7 28. Qd8+ Ke6 29. Bd7+ mate. (H). 25. … Qe1+ 26. Kc2 Re4 27. Qc8+ Ke7 28. Qd8+ Ke6 29. Bd7+ Ke5 30. Qe7+ Kf4 31. Qf6+ mate. (I). 25. … Qe1+ 26. Kc2 f6 27. Bxe8 Kxe8 28. Qc8+ Kf7 29. Rd7+ Kg6 30. Rxg7+ Kxg7 31. Qxc7+ Kg6 32. Qg3+ Kh7 33. Qe3 Qh1 34. Qxa7+ white is 3 pawns up in a queen ending. (J). 25. … Qe1+ 26. Kc2 f6 27. Bxe8 Qxe8 28. g3 a5 29. Qd5 a4 30. Qd8 forces queens off when white is a pawn up with a far superior pawn structure.)

26. Bxc6 Rb8

(Backwardly guarded by the black e5 queen this rook gets some activity up the b-file. Fine, but a single-attack on the white b2 pawn is not enough, it must be triply-attacked before white needs to respond.)

27. Qxa7

(In the space of just 4 moves the 3 black queenside pawns have been wiped out. Black has no tangible compensation, this is a win for white, it just requires careful shuffling before the queenside pawns can start rolling.)

27. ... Rg6
28. Bd5

(Again threatening Qxf7+ mate, sometimes a bishop can be of greater value than a rook.)

28. ... Rf6
29. Qc5+ Kg7
30. Qd4 Qe1+
31. Kc2 Qa1

(Creating a double-attack on the singly-defended white b2 pawn, this is easily neutralised with an interference.)

32. Bb3 Qf1
33. Qe5 Rb5

(The black b8 rook had to move but this choice allows white a favourable simplification. Instead trying to coordinate with 33. … Rbb6 forces white to work harder.)

34. Qe2 Qxe2

(No choice, if the black queen runs away then the loose b5 rook drops off.)

35. Rxe2 h5
36. Rd2

(A doubler. Firstly, a useful square on the d-file is now controlled by white. Secondly, the b3 bishop is now free to manoeuvre to the f1 square if need be, though there is a better future available for this piece if black permits it.)

36. ... h4
(Black is seeking activity, perhaps hoping that opening up the kingside will give the rook pair some play?
Instead containment with 36. ... Rff5 will prevent an immediate white Bd5 but passivity is ultimately futile.
White now sets up the winning plan of queenside pawn advancement.)

``` markdown
37. Bd5 Rg6
38. c4 Rb8
39. Kc3 Rh8

(Trying to hold the queenside with 39. … Rgb6 just forces white pawn b3 then Rb2 and the pawns are ready to roll.)

40. b4 h3
41. gxh3 Rxh3+
42. f3 1-0

(Many winning ideas available to white. Perhaps the simplest plan is pawn a4 - Ra2 - pawn a5 and so on to cost black a rook.)


Submitted by David RosenKoetter

Chess Puzzles, Easy, Harder, and Difficult. Note: The solutions are given in brackets after each puzzle. The latter two are drawn from actual games Source: wgtharvey.com).



Fen: 4rkr1/1R1R4/4bK2/8/8/8/8/8 w - - 0 1Black:Re8 Kf8 Rg8 Be6 White: Rb7 Rd7 Kf6


[ Rf7+ Bxf7 Rxf7# ]


White to move and undermine black’s support. Jan Gustafsson vs Raul Jordan, Pinneberg, 1996


Fen: 7k/ppr3pp/1np1rq2/8/3P4/5N1P/P1Q2PP1/3RR1K1 w - - 1 0

White: Pd4, Nf3, Ph3, Pa2, Qc2, Pf2, Pg2, Rd1, Re1, Kg1

Black: Kh8, Pa7, Pb7, Rc7, Pg7, Ph7, Nb6, Pc6, Re6, Qf6


[ Ng5 ]


Black mates in 4.

From: Clive Usiskin vs Oladapo Adu, Parsippany, 2000


FEN: r4rk1/pp2q1pp/2p1p3/3P4/3PP3/5Rb1/PPQB2P1/R6K b - - 0 1

White: King-h1; Queen-c2; Rooks-a1 and f3; Pawns:a2, b2, g2, d4, e4, d5

Black: King-g8; Queen-e7; Rooks-a8 and f8; Bishop-g3; Pawns-c6, e6, a7, b7, g7, h7.


1….Qh4+ 2.Kg1 Rxf3 3.gxf3 Qh2+ 4.Kf1 Qf2#]Solution [ …Qh4+ Kg1 Rxf3 ]

Should you have questions, comments, or feedback, please send them to the Secretary, Marilyn Bland, at tinkerbelltx@hotmail.com