No Triple Crown? Have a Triple Pawns Chess Tactic

I was disappointed to learn today that “I’ll Have Another” won’t be competing for the Triple Crown this year.

From the AP:

I’ll Have Another’s bid for the first Triple Crown in 34 years ended stunningly Friday when the chestnut colt was retired on the eve of the Belmont Stakes with an injury to his left front tendon.

So in honor of I’ll Have Another, here is an interesting chess tactic from a game played on that featured triple pawns.

Triple Pawns Chess Tactic

Black to Move

Answer below.

This is interesting position featuring the dreaded “Tripled Pawns”, was played in the 2012 Red Hot Pawn Championship, and was featured in the blog post “Topolav + Endgame Ernie + QNP” by Geoff Chandler, which you can read here:

Tripled pawns are a pretty rare thing in chess. Unlike doubled pawns, which are sometimes beneficial, tripled pawns are almost always useless.

I remember one time I was playing my friend Shannon Fox, and I tripled his c pawns. After the game my friend Pete Short, who likes to be a trouble maker, sent an email picture of tripled pawns, with the headline “Shannon’s view from the C file” lol.

Tripled pawns can form a wall, and the king can get trapped on one side or another.

Here is the game it was from.


Black sets up a mating net with 35…Rbe1 which cuts off the white king.  His own tripled g pawns are preventing his escape.  
White has a few spite checks like 36. Ne6+, but will eventually get mated with …Rhf1#

I sent this position out in one of my chess tactics e-mail newsletters, and Randy Reynolds wrote about the position:

It’s a nice little quiet move that sets the stage for the unstoppable mate threat.  I like it because the king looks like he’s trying to protect the tripled pawns, but then it turns out the structure he was trying to save ironically is his downfall.

If you like to solve chess positions like this, be sure to sign up for my chess tactics e-mail newsletters! They come out about 3 times a week with fun little chess problems like this to help build your tactical chess muscles!  They are totally free, and lots of fun!

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