c/o Collin Holson

c/o Collin Holson

This week, we thought it’d be a nice idea to give you a break from the intense calculation we’ve thrown at you over the last few puzzles. So, this week’s puzzle is purely positional—while the tactics are important, the way to find the solution isn’t by searching for the key move, but rather the key square. Playing with the white pieces against the Russian Grand Master Vladimir Simagin in the 1956 Moscow Championship, can you find the move that former world champion Tigran Petrosian played, establishing control over a key square and converting his positional advantage into a winning position?

Last Week’s Solution:

  1. Ra6! bxa6 2. b7#

While many moves are winning for white, 1. Ra6 is by far the most direct. The point is to paralyze black’s pieces, limiting them to two losing options. Black can accept the rook and subsequently get checkmated by the pawn, or they can move the bishop (the square bears no importance) and suffer checkmate via Rxa7.