Puzzling through My Game

This time around I want to try something different.

I’ll give you a crazy game I played recently, against FM Matthew Larson, in the form of puzzles, and you try to solve them. Take it as some kind of test with no time limit and no restrictions – just no peeking. I ought to warn you in advance. First of all, these positions are not easy – both my opponent and I are guilty of messing many of these up. Don’t expect to find the answer by looking at the next diagram!!

Even answering only a few questions correctly is great – both my 2400+ opponent and I are guilty of messing some of these up…

Anyway, let the games begin!

Puzzle 1


What should black do in this Benoniesque position?

Puzzle 2


How should white exchange the DSBs?

Puzzle 3


White’s initiative is brewing. How should black counter it?

Puzzle 4


What is white’s best move?

Puzzle 5


Again, how to counter that initiative?

Puzzle 6


How best to parry white’s attack?

Puzzle 7


Again, how to parry white’s attack?

Puzzle 8


Black has two pieces, but there are coordination and king safety problems. How to solve them?

Puzzle 9


The last move before the time control. What should black do?

Puzzle 10


Should white play 49.h4?

Puzzle 11


Black to play and win!

Puzzle 12


Can white hold this?

Puzzle 13


Black to play and win!

Now here’s the game starting from the first position… The game contained so many interesting moments, I couldn’t pass the opportunity. And there’s no way I’d be able to describe it in my “conventional” way of highlighting a couple critical moments when in reality there are 13!

If you got a feel for the middlegame position and solved numbers 3-5 correctly, kudos! If you solved puzzles 11-13 correctly and figured out this seemingly simple endgame, another kudos! And if you solved puzzle 7 (which is the hardest IMHO), more power to you! If you feel like it, let me know how you did on the test by replying to this post.

I hope you enjoyed it! Until next time…

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