Picking the right check in tricky finish

Picking the right check in tricky finish

Chess Checks

Check is a term indicating an attack on the King in a chess game and a checkmate signals the end of the game. Beginners take great pride in subjecting maximum possible checks to the opponent’s King but it is all the sweeter, if it culminates in a checkmate.

The game below ends in an interesting way when there are two checks possible for Black, one with the queen and the other with the rook. If Black decides to check with the queen then he lands in trouble and possibly a loss while the one with the rook fetches victory.

White: Nukhim  Rashkovsky (2520) – Black: Nenad Sulava (2405)
Irregular opening

1.g3. An irregular opening
1..d5 2.Bg2 c6
Black can aim for the centre with 2. ..e5
3.Nf3 Bg4 4.b3. White is fianchettoing his bishop on both sides
4. ..Nd7 5.Bb2 e6 6.0–0 h5
Immediately Black wants to start targeting the King-side since he has not castled yet
7.d3 h4. Persisting with the pawn push and in fact giving up the pawn
8.Nxh4. White accepts the pawn. If 8.h3 Bxf3 9.exf3 And White can also play 8.c4
8...Rxh4
Sacrificing a rook for the knight
9.gxh4 Qxh4 10.Qe1
A bit passive. White can play 10.f4
10...Qh5 11.Nc3
Better appears 11.f3 Bd6 12.fxg4 Bxh2+ 13.Kh1 Qh7 14.Rf2 Be5+ 15.Kg1 Bxb2 And if 11.f4 Bxe2 12.Rf2 Bg4 13.Nd2
11...Bd6 12.f4 g5
Another pawn advance!
13.Qg3
White is on the defensive! If 13.e3 d4 14.exd4 Bxf4 15.Rxf4 gxf4 16.Ne4
13...gxf4 14.Rxf4
If 14.Qf2 0–0–0
14...Bxf4. No need to hurry! Black could have played 14. ..Ngf6
 15.Qxf4 e5 16.Qb4
If 16.Qf2 0–0–0 and Black is better
 16...0–0–0 17.Nxd5
White is offering his knight now to open up the castle gates
17. ..Bh3. 
Not accepted! If 17...cxd5 18.Bxd5 Nb6 (18...b6 19.Qd6 Nb8 20.Bb7+ Kxb7 21.Qxd8 Nh6) 19.Bxf7 Qxf7 21.Qxe5) 20.Qxg4+
18.Bf3 Qg6+
If 18...Qg5+ 19.Kf2 (19.Kh1 cxd5 20.Bxd5 Nb6 21.Bf3 f6 22.Rg1 Qe3) 19...cxd5 20.Bxd5 Nb6 21.Rg1 Qf4+ 22.Qxf4 exf4 23.Bxf7
19.Kf2 cxd5 20.Bxd5 Qf6+
Not exactly the right check! If 20...Qb6+ 21.Qxb6 Nxb6 22.Bxf7 Rf8 (22...Nh6 23.Bg6 Nd7) 23.Kg3 Rxf7 24.Kxh3 Nd7 And if  20...Nb6 21.Bf3 Qd6 22.Qxd6 Rxd6 23.Bxe5
21.Kg3 Nb6 22.Qc5+ Kb8 23.Bf3
If 23.Kxh3 Nxd5and Black is better
23...Nd5 [23...Qg5+ 24.Kxh3 f6 25.Rg1+–; 23...Nd7 24.Qb5 b6 25.Qd5 Kc7 26.Qb7+ Kd6 27.Qc6+ Ke7 28.Ba3+ Nc5 29.Bxc5+ bxc5 30.Qxc5++–; 23...Re8 24.Kxh3 Nh6 25.Kg2]
24.Bxd5 Qf4+ 25.Kxh3 Nf6
Black is threatening Qg4 checkmate
26.Bf3 Ng4. If 26...Rh8+ 27.Kg2 Ng4
27.Kg2
If 27.Bxg4 Rh8+ 28.Kg2 Rxh2+ 29.Kg1 Qg3+ 30.Kf1 Rh1+
27...Rh8 28.Kf1. Once again better was 28.h3 Qh2+ 29.Kf1 Qxh3+ 30.Ke1 Qg3+ 31.Kd1 Nf2+ 32.Kd2
28...Nxh2+ 29.Ke1
If 29.Kf2 Nxf3 (29...Ng4+? 30.Ke1 Qg3+ 31.Kd1) 30.Qd6+ Ka8 31.exf3 Rh2+
29...Nxf3+ 30.exf3 Rh1+. The rook also infiltrates and it is all over for White
31.Ke2
Diagram 1
31. ..Rh2+
An interesting moment here. If Black plays 31. ..Qh2+ then 32.Qf2 Qxf2  33.Kxf2 Rh2+ and White is winning.
0–1
Diagram 2
White to play and checkmate in three moves
1.Nf5+ Kd8 2.Be7+ Ke8 3.Rc8 checkmate
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