Chess and football don't spring to mind as pastimes with a common link. It was therefore somewhat surprising when Sven Goran Eriksson revealed, during the last World Cup in Japan, that rather than by the usual card schools, the England players were developing team spirit by taking each other on at chess! So it is only fitting that the first mindbender of the new season is a chess problem.

The puzzle

Simen Agdestein has a rare talent. Not only has he played international football for Norway, but he is also a chess Grandmaster. When he won the Nordic Chess Championship in 1985, he secured his Grandmaster Title to become Norway's first Grandmaster and also the youngest Grandmaster in the world at that time. He was also a strong footballer and turned out eight times for the Norwegian national side in 1988 and 1989 before injuries forced him to quit the game. Here is the end of one of his victories against England's best chess player Michael Adams.

Michael Adams (Black)

Chess Puzzle

Simen Agdestein (White) to move

In the diagram above, White has some strong attacking options. Qh6 would threaten mate in one, but f6 would block the bishop and hold off the attack. Can you spot the killing move that ripped open Black's defence and resulted in immediate resignation?

Click here for the solution.

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