Chess Puzzle #1: What Would You Play?

In this position Black’s last move was 1…Qb5-d3 to pin the knight on c3 to the queen on b3.
However, White surprisingly unpinned with 2.Qb3-a4.
What would you play as Black?

Leave your comments!


  1. Frank January 23, 2009

    Q e8+ – Q c8
    Qxe7 – R c3

  2. Svein Myrvang January 26, 2009

    Seems to me, after …Qd2, the white queen has to come back to defend the back rank, and black wins the knight.

  3. papino January 29, 2009

    jan18 puzzle:

    black plays a beautiful little move whose purpose is simply to switch which piece attacks the N (from Q to R), as the Q is needed on the D (to defend the B if it needs to go to d8). the N cant escape the R because the Q invents a new threat, mate, at e1, which white must deal with. interesting. because at first thought it seems strange to make a double attack so that a N can be gained from it, when that N can be taken right now, instead. But it can’t. Because taking it right away means with the Q, and the Q is needed on the D, as said. thus, the R needs to attack it, but cannot just attack it, or else it will run. so the Q makes a threat herself, as she moves for the rook to attack the N, so to clutter white with duties, thereby him having to abandon the least important duty- saving the N.

    I was looking at 1…Qd4, which looks quite good, as it too allows the R to attack the N, while keeping the Q on the D, and, on top of this, the Q being at d4 pins the N! as opposed to it not pinning the N in the actual line. but Qd4 loses to 2.Rd1.. as Rd1 forces the Q to run or take the N, which black has been trying to avoid (black wants to take it with the R). so once the Q runs, the N can run from the R. so, the pin does not work. the double attack does though:


    and white must defend against mate on the E. upon so, black takes the N with the R. the only exception to this is if White defends the mate with the Q. In this case, Black takes the R with the Q, as now, since White’s Q has moved, Black’s Q need not stay on the D.

  4. papino January 31, 2009


    I wrote in a solution earlier but don’t like it. This one is more concise and clear, I think. I would prefer this one went up.


    Black cannot capture the Knight because this allows White to counter with Qe8+, winning the B, and control.

    However, White overlooked that Black’s Rook attacks the Knight behind the curtains of the Queen. Thus, Black is given an opportunity to perform a double attack, by moving the Queen.

    1.. Qd2 (and threatens White’s Knight, by the Rook, as well as threatens mate at e1)

    If 2.Qd1, then 2.. QxN is now safe, since white has dropped his counter attack by bringing his Queen home.

  5. Waldemar January 31, 2009

    Hi Guys,

    2…Qd2 is correct of course!

    It not only threatens a back rank mate, but also opens up the attack of the ROOK along the third rank to the knight so that after 3.Qe8+ Bd8 4.h3 the black rook can take the knight while the queen keeps protecting the bishop.

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