Friday, February 17, 2012

Chess960: Opening Puzzle No. 9

Here is a nice refreshing uncomplicated start to another puzzle. SP300 features a mate on g7 after 1. Ng3. At first black's reaction is to panic and this natural. Black's second reaction is to defend with 1....g6 and although this is not bad, it is a bit too nervous because black has much better options if only they can calm down and enjoy the position.

So here is the puzzle!

SP300: Assume white will play either Nf5/Nh5 attacking g7,
deduce black's top three responses!
Any order for the top three responses will do in order to "win" this puzzle. The point to remember is that in SP300, black has at least three good responses to 1. Ng3, and actually there are even more than three! Thank you Bobby for giving us Fischer Random!

Enjoy the top three solutions given below.
Each solution has a lovely surprise in it.

To 1. Ng3 black has:
1. ... b6!  2. Nf5?! ... Qxg2! (and white cannot capture g7)
2. ... f6!  2. Nf5   ... g6!    3. Ne3 = (white must retreat)
3. ... Nd6! 2. Nh5   ... O-O-O! 3. Nxg7 ... b6! 4. f3 ... Qd5! 5. b3 ... Qg5!=
(black get's wonderful compensation for the dropped pawn)

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