Critical Squares

Samuel Lipnowski (2229) – Leor Wasserman (1988), July TNT 2013

The following position was reached with a promising junior, Leor Wasserman, as Black, playing against his former coach.

White just played 1. Re1, critically weakening the f2 square. How can Black exploit this?

Click below for the answer:

Spoiler: Highlight to view

1. … Bd4! White is helpless against the threats on f2 and the open h file. 2. Qxe4 allowing forced mate, but the alternatives aren’t much better.

(2. Rf1 Rh8 and after 2. g3, Black has several responses that win, including the simple 2. ... Qh3, with the idea of Rh8 while maintaining threats against f2, or the more eye-pleasing 2. ... Rxf2 3. gxh4 Rxe2+, with a potential windmill.)

2. … Bxf2+ 3. Kh1 (3. Kf1 Bg3+) and here Black had spotted the quickest continuation to end the game:

Qxh2+! and mate on the h file.

A spectacular finish and a good start to this aspiring player’s path to master!