Make Your Move, March 2022 - Tactics III and IV

Make Your Move chess tactics appear monthly in Chess Life magazine, an exclusive US Chess member benefit. Not a member? Join today!

Make Your Move FM Carsten Hansen

This month's 9 puzzles are all taken from the 2021 World Rapid and Blitz Championships in Warsaw, Poland. The puzzles start from easy (1) and gradually move toward being difficult (9). Please note that "easy" is a relative term. Newer players will find the "easy" puzzles to also be a challenge.

First, try to solve the puzzle without checking the hint. If you cannot, open the hint to get a clue. Try your best to solve the puzzle completely on your own before checking the solution. 

If you were unsuccessful, return to the puzzle in a few weeks to see if you can solve it. That way, you gradually expand your tactical vision and you'll be more likely to spot tactics when they occur in your own games. 

Whatever you do, do not use an engine to solve the puzzles. You will only be cheating yourself out of improving your game.


TACTIC III: Black to Move

[fen]r2qr1k1/p1p2ppp/2p2n2/3p4/1b2P1b1/2NB4/PPPB1PPP/R1Q1R1K1 b - - 0 11[/fen]

Tactic III Hint - Click here



Tactic III Solution - Click here



[Event "World Rapid 2021"]
[Site "Warsaw POL"]
[Date "2021.12.28"]
[Round "11.80"]
[White "3.3 Aziz, Husain"]
[Black "Nasuta, G.."]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C47"]
[WhiteElo "2357"]
[BlackElo "2521"]
[Annotator "FM Carsten Hansen"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "r2qr1k1/p1p2ppp/2p2n2/3p4/1b2P1b1/2NB4/PPPB1PPP/R1Q1R1K1 b - - 0 11"]
[PlyCount "3"]
[EventDate "2021.12.26"]
[EventType "swiss (rapid)"]
[EventRounds "13"]
[EventCountry "POL"]
[SourceTitle "Chess Life March 2022"]
[SourceDate "2022.03.01"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2022.03.01"]
[SourceQuality "1"]

{[#]} 11... dxe4 $1 12. Nxe4 $4 ({White responded a little too quickly and
misses Black's tactical point. If} 12. Bxe4 $4 {then} Bxc3 {removes the
defender and wins a piece. Therefore, White has to play}) (12. Bc4 {when} h6 {
leaves Black with a solid pawn up and clearly better chances.}) 12... Rxe4 $1 (
{White resigned on account of} 12... Rxe4 13. Rxe4 Bxd2 14. Qxd2 Nxe4 15. Qb4
Nf6 {and Black would be a clear piece up.}) 0-1


TACTIC IV: Black to Move

[fen]r1b2r1k/1pp3pp/p7/P2Pb3/2BBp2q/7P/1P3PP1/R2Q1RK1 b - - 0 19[/fen]

Tactic IV Hint - Click here

First step, then kick.


Tactic IV Solution - Click here



[Event "World Rapid Women 2021"]
[Site "Warsaw POL"]
[Date "2021.12.27"]
[Round "6.16"]
[White "3.4 Ovod, E.."]
[Black "Atalik, E.."]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C55"]
[WhiteElo "2366"]
[BlackElo "2420"]
[Annotator "FM Carsten Hansen"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "r1b2r1k/1pp3pp/p7/P2Pb3/2BBp2q/7P/1P3PP1/R2Q1RK1 b - - 0 19"]
[PlyCount "10"]
[EventDate "2021.12.26"]
[EventType "swiss (rapid)"]
[EventRounds "11"]
[EventCountry "POL"]
[SourceTitle "Chess Life March 2022"]
[SourceDate "2022.03.01"]
[SourceVersion "1"]
[SourceVersionDate "2022.03.01"]
[SourceQuality "1"]

{[#]} 19... Bd6 $1 {The bishop drops brack to avoid being exchanged and
simultaneously preventing White from playing Ra3 which would help defend
White's king.} 20. Qb3 ({White tries to defend on h3. If White instead plays} 
20. Re1 {to give the king an escape square, then Black simply continues} Bxh3
$1 21. Qd2 ({or} 21. Bxg7+ Kxg7 22. Qd4+ Rf6 23. gxh3 Qxh3 {and Black forces
mate}) 21... Bxg2 22. Kxg2 Rf4 23. Rg1 e3 24. Bxe3 Rxc4 25. Kf1 Qh3+ 26. Ke2
Rf8 {with an ongoing, decisive attack.}) 20... Rf3 $1 {A beautiful
interference move.} 21. gxf3 ({Or} 21. Qc2 Bxh3 {and it is over for White.})
21... Bxh3 ({This capture wins, but Black can force mate with} 21... Qf4 $1 22.
Rfb1 Bxh3 $1 {and White's king is stuck in the trap and White can only delay
mate by giving up her material, e.g.,} 23. Bxg7+ Kxg7 24. Qc3+ Kg6 {and it is
over for White.}) 22. f4 Bxf4 23. Ra3 Bg2 ({Also} 23... e3 {wins.}) 24. Qg3 ({
And White resigned at the same time as} 24. Qg3 Qh1# {would have ended the
game.}) 0-1



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