“What Say You?” The 1 Minute Challenge (50)

“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer”
Bruce Lee

A quick reminder how it works:

  • Have a look at the position for 1 minute (watch the clock)
  • Think about the choices in front of you and pick the one you feel it is right
  • Verify it in your mind the best you can
  • Compare it with the solution

This week’s puzzle fits the theme perfectly. Go ahead and try it!

Promoting the c-pawn is the only chance Black has. The knight keeps the White king away for the moment, but the king is in the square and can easily stop the pawn if needed. The next thing I looked at was to see if any knight move would help. Unfortunately after any knight move, there is nothing decisive against 2. Kd3 …

At this point I thought that possibly the c5-pawn might help. It is true 1… c5-c4 takes over the control of the d3-square. This means the knight could move next anywhere it wants. In the same time this pawn push does not truly threaten anything. White has a free move to do what he wants and a couple of easy choices come to mind: 2. Ra5+ … and 2. Ra3 … White can also play them both one after the other.

That was the moment when I felt that I missed something obvious. What could that be? Well, the most obvious thing I could think of was a knight fork. It is not really obvious the rook is on a bad square, so you have to do some imaginary knight jumps to see it. Once you do that, the rest is easy. You got that within the given minute, didn’t you? Congratulations then. I hope you liked it.

Eugen Demian

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Valer Eugen Demian

Author: Valer Eugen Demian

The player – my first serious chess tournament was back in 1974, a little bit late for today’s standards. Over the years I have had the opportunity to play all forms of chess from OTB to postal, email and server chess. The journey as a player brought me a lot of experience and a few titles along the way: FIDE CM (2012), ICCF IM (2001) and one ICCF SIM norm (2004). The instructor – my career as a chess teacher and coach started in 1994 and continues strong. I have been awarded the FIDE Instructor title (2007) for my work and have been blessed with great students reaching the highest levels (CYCC, NAYCCC, Pan-Am, WYCC). I am very proud of them! See my website for more information. I have developed my own chess curriculum on 6 levels based on my overall chess knowledge and hands-on experience. A glimpse of it can be seen in my first chess app:
I can help you learn chess the proper way if this is what you seek! View all posts by Valer Eugen Demian

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