Chess puzzle

Black’s Queen has two squares, a2 and a3. One of them draws, one of them loses. What should she play?


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5 Responses to Chess puzzle

  1. Polymath says:

    Bonus question: if Black plays the right move and White still wants to play for a win, what should happen?

  2. Anonymous Crab says:

    White should angrily stand up, “accidentally” bumping the table and knocking most of the pieces over, and storm off for a while. Later, Black will become bored, offer to play again, and let White win.

    No? I’m really bad at chess.

  3. PA says:

    I’m too lazy to try to figure this out, but I generally AVOID taking the opponent’s rook-pawns, because it opens up their rooks.

  4. lol, a part of the board looks awfully familiar.

  5. Polymath says:

    The given position arose after the moves
    1. e4 e5 2. Bf1c4 Ng8f6 3. Ng1f3 Nf6xe4 4. Nb1c3 Ne4xc3 5. dxc3 c6 6. Nf3xe5 d5 7. Bc4d3 Bf8d6 8. O-O Bd6xe5 9. Rf1e1 Nb8d7 10. f4 O-O 11. fxe5 Rf8e8 12. Bc1f4 Qd8b6 13. Bf4e3 Qb6xb2 14. Be3d4 c5 15. Ra1b1.

    The game continued
    15…Qb2a3 16. e6 Re8xe6 17. Re1xe6 fxe6 18. Bd3xh7 Kg8xh7 19. Qd1h5 Kh7g8 20. Bd4xg7 Kg8xg7 21. Rb1f1 Nd7f6 22. Qh5g5 Kg7f7 23. Qg5xf6 Kf7e8 24. Qf6g7 c4 25. h4 Qa3c5 26. Kg1h1 Qc5e7 27. Qg7g8 Ke8d7 28. Rf1f7 Qe7xf7 29. Qg8xf7 and White won easily. Black could have drawn with 15…Qb2xa2 because the second Bishop sacrifice with 20.Bd4xg7 fails since White’s Rook on b1 is under attack. White could still play for a win in that case with 16.Ra1 Qb2 17.Bxh7+ Kxh7 18.Qd3+ Kg8 18.Reb1 Qxb1+ 19.Rxb1 cxd4 20.cxd4 when Black has more material (Rook Bishop and Knight against Queen and Pawn) but White has a good attack; the correct result is probably a draw there too.

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