Daily Chess Improvement: Real Game Chess Tactic!

This is from round 5 of the women's tournament in St Louis

White to move. How should white proceed?

Comments (1)
No. 1-1
Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Editor

I have looked at this for quite a while, but all I see 1.Bxh6, and I am not even sure this holds for white. Here are my thoughts:

1.Bh6 Rh6 2.Qf8 Qe8!

And here is just gets more complicated. I want to play 3.Rad1+, but black can block with 3.....Nd5 since the knight is hanging anyway. White can then unhang his own knight with 4.Nc5 threatening 5.Nxb7+ with a decisive edge, but then black can play 4.....Rxg6+. The entire variation in order- 3Rd1+ Nd5 4.Nc5 Rg6! 5.Kh2 Qxf8 6.Rxf8 Ke7! 7.Rxa8 Bxa8 8.exd5 Nb2 and as far as I can tell, it is close to even, but black is up a pawn. So, I looked at the alternative at move 3.....

3.Qb4 Qg6+ (the only move I see) 4.Bg2

This puts black to a decision, and I don't know the right answer. I want to retreat the knight to d6, but I think white will be quite a bit better after 5.Nc5, and if black tries 4.....axb3, then 5.Rad1 again looks threatening, but I am still not sure. For black, I feel safest getting the queens off the board.....

4............Qb6+ 5.Qb6 Rb6

Not sure taking with the rook is best, but it looks no worse to me than taking with the knight and it also threatens the the b-pawn in some lines later on that I can envision.

6.Nc5 Ke7

And I can't tell you who is ahead here- materially even, but white's e-pawn is a liability because it is on a white square. I would rather play the black position.

And I haven't even addressed the options at move 1 for black, but I like 1....Rxh6 best.



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