One Two Three

Puzzles are great for training the mind to see patterns and recognize great opportunities. Here is a puzzle for the week in which I found the second best solution. When I found out it wasn’t the best, it blew my mind. Check it out: it is black to move. Spend some time on it before scrolling below the puzzle to see some solutions.

Puzzle 745 in “1001 Chess Exercises for Beginners”

It didn’t take me long to find the move 1. … Qa4+. White’s only response is 2. Qa2 for an interposition. The line might continue 2. … Nbxa2 3. bxc3 Nxc3+ 4. Kb2 Qxd4 with a clear line to victory for black.

What I missed, was the mate in 3! Hard to see since it entails sacrificing not one, but two of black’s pieces!

Here is the line: 1. … Qd1+ 2. Rxd1 Nc2+ 3. Nxc2 Rxd1#. White is forced to take our queen and knight in both cases and leaves black with the knight-rook combo for checkmate. Brilliant, yes?

Hope you enjoyed this puzzle as much as I did.

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