The North Carolina Gambit

March 2024


In this issue, you will find:

Martin Roper – Mistakes in Reinfeld
Charles Roberson –
John Timmel – To Move and Win!



Mistakes in Reinfeld – Martin Roper

     I don’t think there is more “bang for the buck” when it comes to studying chess than practicing tactics. It develops pattern recognition and calculation, two of the most important skills in chess.

     Two books that helped me the most as a young player were Fred Reinfeld’s 1001 Brilliant Ways to Checkmate and 1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations. Fifty years ago these books propelled me from 1500 to over 1700. 

     Recently I went through them again and found a number of errors, omissions, or alternative or quicker solutions. I’ll go through these in a series of articles using BWTC and WCS&C and the problem number.

WCS&C #18, White to move:



WCS&C #54, White to move:



WCS&C #18, Reinfeld gives, “1. Nd7!! Nxd7 2. Qxe6+ Qxe6 3. Bxe6+ Rf7 4. Bxf7+ and wins.” 

But after 1…Nxd7 2. Qxe6+ the calm …Kh8 gives Black comfortable equality and maybe even more after 3. Qxf6 Nxf6. If White tries 3. Qxd7??, he’s won a piece but it doesn’t look like there is any way he can survive after …Rad8 4. Qb5 Re8+ 5. Be2 Qd4. White can try instead 2. Bxe6+ Kh8 3. Bxd7, but …Rf7 4. Bxf5 Re7 5. Bd3 Rxe2+ 6. Bxe2 Re8 looks lethal.

Probably best from the diagram is 1. Bd2 Re8 2. 0-0-0 with an edge for White but lots of chess ahead.


WCS&C #54, Reinfeld gives, “1. Qe3 Qb8 (1…Qd6 2. Nf6+ wins Black’s Queen; If 1…Bxd5 2. Rxd5 3. Qd4 wins the pinned Knight) 2. Re1 Bxd5 3. Bxd5+ Nf7 4. Rf1 and White wins the pinned Knight.”

The alternate solution I found was 1. Qf4 Nd7 2. Nc7 Qf8 3. Nxa8 Qxa8 4. Qd6 assessing that White is winning. If 4…Qe8 5. Re1 Nf8 6. Bd5 Kf7 7. Rf1+ Kg8 8. Rxf8+ with an easily-won endgame for White.