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An elegantly constructed and intensive study of a standard problem idea.
The solution will appear here on Friday 6th May.
Anticritical play involves moving a line piece beyond a square in order to avoid a piece interfering by moving
to that particular square. Here White wishes to threaten mate by Sc7, but must first play two anticritical
moves with bishop and rook. The key, 1.Bh2, threatens 2.Rc3 and 3.Sc7. If 2...Rd4 3.Rxd4.
1...g4 threatens to cut the bishop off, but unguards f4, and White replies with the switchback
2.Bb8 (which is itself anticritical), threatening 3.Sf4. 1...Bf7 attacks the knight but
unguards g4, allowing another anticritical move 2.Rg4, threatening 3.c4, with variations
2...Rxc2 or Rd4 3.R(x)d4 and 2...b5 3.Rc5. There are two by-play variations,
1...Rd3 2.cxd3 any 3.Rd4 and 1...a5 2.Rb5+ Ke4 3.Re5.
Dafydd Johnston: I really like the switchback by the bishop, first crossing the critical square c7 and then on its return, after 1...g4, crossing the critical square f4. The two rooks are also involved in anticritical play, the c-rook threatening to cross c7 after the bishop and the b-rook crossing c4 in reply to the Black defence 1...Bf7. A clue for the solver is the Black pawn on h4 preventing the cook 1. Bg3.
Jacob Hoover: A very nice problem.
David Friedgood: Quite brilliant – a perfect problem. One point is that
the try by moving the rook first 1.Rc3? is defeated by one of the main
thematic defences, 1...Bf7! as the rook has moved critically vis a vis the
Pc2: 2.Rg4 now fails as it doesn't threaten 3.c4.
Any comments or questions on this problem should be addressed to
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