Solution to the Western chess problem

This problem appeared in the newspaper ‘La Vanguardia’, from Barcelona, on August 3, 2013, in the daily chess problem section from Miguel Illescas. The position comes from an Ortueta-Sanz game played in Madrid in 1933. You will see that white plays some fantastic defensive moves, but black’s play was even more fantastic. This is the solution:

1…., Rxb2!  2. Nxb2, c3  3. Rxb6! [if 3. Nd3, c4+ and then 4. Kf1, cxd3 5. Ke1, c2  6. Kd2, Be3+ or 4. Rxb6, cd3  5. Rc6  d2] 3…, c4!! [one of the most amazing plays I have ever seen] 4. Rb4! [if Nxc4, c2] 4…., a5!! [and this is apotheosis!!!!! See diagram on the right. Now, if 5. Ra4, cxb2 wins] 5. Na4, axb4  0-1

Solution to the Chinese chess problem

This problem arises from a chess game I found in the book ‘Zhong guo xiang qi pu da quan’ (‘Collection of Chinese chess games’), edited by Cheng Ming Song Zhu Bian and published by Cheng Du Shi Dai Chu Ban She. This is the solution (R=rook; C=cannon; K=king; G=guard; h=horizontal; b=backward; f=forward):

1. R8h6 [first rook sacrifice!], G5f4  2. R3h6+ [second rook sacrifice; sooo beautiful!], K4f1  3. C3h6+, G4b5  4. C5h6++ 1-0 [see final position in the diagram on the right]