'Characteristic Puzzles in the Opening' series



Here are some chess puzzles from the games of Andrei Istratescu.
White to move and win except where noted.

Solutions are between the brackets under each puzzle.
Drag your cursor from one bracket to the other.

a)
Andrei Istratescu vs Stan Van Gisbergen, Mamaia, 1991
4q3/p2n2pk/1p1Q3p/2pP1Pp1/2P5/2B1rR2/P1P5/6K1 w - - 0 1
[ Qg6+ if Qxg6 fxg6+ Kxg6 Rxe3 ]

b)
Andrei Istratescu vs Bogdan Podlesnik, Manila, 1992
7r/4k2p/2ppb3/R3p3/2P5/4K3/Pr2B1PP/5R2 w - - 0 1
[ Ra7+ if Kd8 Rf6 or if Bd7 Bh5 ]

c)
Andrei Istratescu vs Aurel Urzica, Romania, 1992
4rrk1/7p/2pp1ppq/1p3n2/1P1P1R1P/p1P5/P1B3P1/2Q2RK1 w - - 0 1
[ Bxf5 if gxf5 Rg4+ ]

d)
Andrei Istratescu vs Peter Dankert, Biel, 1994
r4r1k/1p2npp1/p1p2N1p/nPP1Pb2/P2P3q/6R1/3NB2P/3Q1R1K w - - 0 1
[ Nf3 if Qf4 Ne1 Qh4 Ng2 ]

e)
Andrei Istratescu vs Bela Badea, Bucharest, 1994
3q3r/1p1PR1pk/7p/p1p2b2/7Q/8/PPP2PPP/6K1 w - - 0 1
[ Qf6 ]

1d)
Andrei Istratescu vs Peter Dankert

+ Andrei Istratescu Puzzles, Part II.
White to move and win except where noted.
a)
Andrei Istratescu vs Romeo-Sorin Milu, Bucharest, 1994
2q2rk1/pp2pp1p/3p3Q/5bPR/3N4/2P2P2/P1P5/2K5 w - - 0 1
[ Nxf5 Qxf5 g6 Qxg6 Rg5 ]

b)
Andrei Istratescu vs Jozsef Frank, Zalakaros, 1997
6k1/r1p1qpp1/bp2p2p/p3P3/3QB3/2P5/PP3PPP/3R2K1 w - - 0 1
[ Qd8+ Qf8 Bh7+ ]

c)
Andrei Istratescu vs Ioannis Frosinos, Korinthos, 2001
rnb2rk1/ppp2pbp/4pqp1/2P5/2BP3P/2P5/P3QPP1/R1B1K1NR w KQ - 0 1
[ Bg5 if Qf5 g4 ]

d)
Andrei Istratescu vs Viktor Bologan, France, 2002
5r2/p5k1/2pp2p1/8/2P1B1q1/P3Q1b1/4P1K1/7R w - - 0 1
[ Qh6+ Kf7 Bf3 Qf4 Qh3 ]

e)
Andrei Istratescu vs I Sigouros, Patras, 2002
r2qnrk1/pp1bppbp/3p2p1/2n1P3/2PB4/2N2P2/PP1Q1NPP/R3KB1R w KQ - 0 1
[ Bxc5 dxc5 0-0-0 ]

2d)
Andrei Istratescu vs Viktor Bologan

Andrei Istratescu Puzzles, Part III.
The color disk on the diagram indicates who moves first.
a)
Andrei Istratescu vs Emmanuel Hadet, Saint-Quentin, 2004
2rr2k1/qp1b1ppp/2p1pn2/2P5/p1NP4/6P1/PP1Q1P1P/2RR1BK1 w - - 0 1
[ Nb6 if Rb8 Rc4 ]

b)
Andrei Istratescu vs Lubomir Ftacnik, Khanty Mansyisk, 2005
4rrk1/1q1nbppp/pp1p4/2pb4/7P/1P2PNP1/PB2QPB1/2RR2K1 w - - 0 1
[ Rxd5 if Qxd5 Ng5 Qf5 Be4 ]

c)
Andrei Istratescu vs Riho Liiva, Turin, 2006
3qrk2/p2Qbp2/1p4p1/7p/4N2P/P4RP1/1P3P2/6K1 w - - 0 1
[ Rxf7+ if Kxf7 Ng5+ or if Kg8 Qe6 mates ]

d)
Andrei Istratescu vs Vyacheslav Ikonnikov, France, 2007
2r1n1k1/5p2/3p1bp1/3P4/1q3BPp/7P/1P3QB1/5R1K w - - 0 1
[ Bg5 ]

e)
Andrei Istratescu vs Jean-Pierre Le Roux, Caen, 2011
8/pr3Bkp/2N1P1p1/7q/2Q2b2/2P5/1P4PP/7K w - - 0 1
[ Qd4+ ]

3b)
Andrei Istratescu vs Lubomir Ftacnik

Andrei Istratescu Puzzles, Part IV.
The color disk on the diagram indicates who moves first.
a)
Andrei Istratescu vs Hannes Callam, Rogaska Slatina, 2011
7Q/pr1q1k2/1p1r1np1/2pP1p2/2P2P2/2B5/2P3BP/4R1K1 w - - 1 0
[ Bxf6 Rxf6 d6 if Qxd6 Bd5+ ]

b)
White mates in 4.
Andrei Istratescu vs Vaidas Zilinskas, Warsaw 2012
1q1r1r2/2nbp2k/p5p1/2pPp1Pp/P1B2R2/1PNQ3P/7K/5R2 w - - 1 0
[ Rf7+ ]

c)
White mates in 3.
Andrei Istratescu vs Luke McShane, London, 2013
r4r2/5N2/2b1Q1Bp/pk1N3P/2pP4/PpP3q1/1P4P1/5RK1 w - - 1 0
[ a4+ if Ka6 Qxc6+ ]

d)
Alexei Gavrilov vs Andrei Istratescu, Basel, 2013
6k1/1p2qp1p/2pr2pb/p7/P7/1BP1P1PP/1P2Q3/1R2BK2 b - - 0 1
[ ...Rf6+ if Kg2 Qe4+ or if Bf2 Qe4 or if Kg1 Bxe3+ Kh2 Bg1+ ]

e)
Andrei Istratescu vs Dan Vasiesiu, Corund, 2017
rnb2rk1/p4pbp/2p3p1/qp6/2BP3B/1QP2N2/P4PPP/R4RK1 w - - 1 0
[ 1.Bxf7+ if 1...Rxf7 2.Rae1 Qa4 3.Re8+ or if 1...Kh8 2.Be7 ]

f)
Black mates in 4.
Nikolaos Tepelenis vs Andrei Istratescu, Rio Achaia, 2018
Q7/5ppk/2B4p/3p2n1/3r4/6P1/PP3qPP/R6K b - - 0 1
[ ...Nh3 if gxh3 Rd2 ]

4a)
Andrei Istratescu vs Hannes Callam


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