White to move and win material

White to move

This is from a game my father played today. His opponent (rated 300 points higher at ELO 2200) was white and offered a draw in this position, which my father accepted. How could white have proceeded instead to gain a significant advantage? Try to solve it completely without moving pieces or using a computer. It is difficult and very interesting. 🙂


5 responses to “White to move and win material

  1. Next time I will post easier puzzles. 😉 If anyone is still wondering, the solution was:

    1.Qg4! Rg6 2.Rd7!!
    Now the rook can’t be taken because of Nh6+ and the threat is Ne7+ winning the exchange. Black must trade queens to keep the material balance:
    2…Rxg4 3.Rxc7
    Now both the knight on a5 and the bishop on b7 are attacked, black has only one move to save the piece:
    But the point of the whole combination is, that now white loses the exchange after:
    4.Ra7 Ba8 (or c8 or c6) 5.h3 Rg5 (Rg6 is no option because of Ne7+) 6.h4 Rg4 7.Bf3

    The only way for black to avoid this variation is to give the exchange or important pawns around his king earlier (for example 1.Qg4 Rxf5 or 1…g5 2.h4 Rg6 3.Qh5 Kh7 4.hxg5 +-).

    As for Rxa5, that probably just leads to equality since black can just give the exchange back with Rxf5 after either 2.Rd7 or 2.Qg4.

  2. Since I’m a little late to this post, I’ve just had a quick look at the position. I found one potential idea for black. After

    1.Qg4! Rg6 2.Rd7!

    I was thinking about maybe (temporarily?) giving up the rook for that very active knight. Like this

    2…Qb6!? 3.Ne7+ Kh7 4.Nxg6 hxg6

    Now f2 is under fire, and 5…Bc8 is a threat. 5.Rd2 to cover f2 runs into 5…Nb3

    I probably have overlooked something…


  3. Good idea, but white has Qe2 which apparently secures everything.

  4. Nils R Grotnes

    Ah, yes. So I did overlook something! 🙂 There may still be a little fight left with the Nb3-c5-d3 walk, but not much.