Torture Puzzle No. 1

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A series of calculation exercises.

The “Torture Puzzle” series is designed to discuss different puzzles which I have encountered on chesstempo.com standard mode and found more difficult than others. “Torture Puzzles” presented in the blog give an insight to the flaws in my own thinking process as well as give an opportunity for the reader to have a go finding the solution. The positions can be considered calculation and visualization exercises!

First, the position is given without any analysis. NB! The reader should then stop and try to solve the puzzle. Afterwards the analysis is presented. Good luck with the puzzle!

This puzzle was rated 2021 on chesstempo.com.

White to move and win!

Do not continue any further if you don’t want to see the solution yet!

So apparently there was a lot of trouble for me to get this one right. As this is the first post on the topic, I will provide the reader an insight to the process of how I solve puzzles when there is no time limit.

Here are the things what I am used to go through in order:

  • a) Count pieces (if there are many on the board);
  • b) Evaluate first the King safety of the opponent, then my own.
  • c) Start scanning for tactical motifs which could be on the board.
  • d) Choose candidate moves.
  • e) Start the calculation. Now I usually go with the move I feel is the most natural. If I don’t find the solution, I will go to the next one. If I have gone through all the candidate moves and still don’t have a solution, I will search for extra candidate moves and start the process of calculation all over. I go through the moves again and again until I find the solution. Very important here is to find good moves for the opponent too! If a variation is promising, it is very important to go over it a critical manner, trying to find good moves especially for the opponent.
  • f) Make the move. Now often it could be that I get tired and just go with my intuition, but I try to avoid it. In this one though, I unfortunately went with my intuition.

Further analysis is given on the interactive chessboard:

I hope you enjoyed!

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