Chess Corner: Trick or treat? – Muskogee Daily Phoenix

In this week’s position, it is black’s turn to move. The black queen eyes white’s pawn on b2. Is this pawn a trick or a treat?

It is a trick. After black’s queen grabs the pawn, white’s knight hops to b5. The knight threatens to fork the black king and rook on a8 from c7. Black’s king moves to d8 to prevent the fork (see next diagram).

White’s bishop on f4 then moves to d2. From d2, white’s dark-squared bishop threatens to move to c3, which traps the black queen. Black’s best reply is to move its d5 pawn to d4. This stops white from moving its bishop to c3 and gives the black queen a possible escape square on d5.

White replies by attacking the black queen by moving its a1 rook to b1. This forces the black queen to capture white’s a2 pawn. White slides its rook back to a1, which in turn forces the black queen back to b2. White now retreats its d2 bishop to c1 (see next diagram).

This counterintuitive bishop move wins the black queen with a discovered check. That is, black’s queen must take white’s rook. But then the bishop on c1 flies over to g5, checking black and allowing white’s queen to snatch black’s queen.

The lesson this week is that goblins and ghosts sometimes haunt a chess board.

Chess Corner: Trick or treat? – Muskogee Daily Phoenix

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