An unexamined life is not worth living.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Chess tactics – move order matters!

As they say, when trying to find a combination, you should always start with a check, since those type of moves are most forcing. So…

Example #1: Broer -  Laurentius, 1935

image White to move

While lazily solving this position, I fell victim to the move order, starting with 1.Bxh7+, which fails since after 1...Nxh7 2. Rd7 Qxd7 Black gets enough material for the queen. The solution is 1. Rd7!! Bxd7 2. Bxh7+! Nxh7 3. Qf7+ Kh8. 4. Ng6x

image Game over…


Example #2: Henneberger – Bernstein, 1934

image White to move

And again, in my solution I started with 1. Qg4, missing that Bxf5 covers c8 square. The solution is 1. Bg7+!! Rxg7 2. Rc8+ Rg8 3. Qg4!!

image There is no single defence to both Qg7 and Qxg8.

Sometimes you do need to start with a check after all!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Studying chess in Miami

I have not posted on my blog for a while, I was on vacation in Miami, and had little time for writing new entries.


I’ve however been studying chess quite actively while on the trip, mostly going through my opening repertoire. Khalifman’s book on the Spanish opening has been of enormous help. Not to beat this subject to death, but wanted to comment that I realize now more and more that putting together a foolproof set of responses against every possible move an opponent can throw at you is quite a hustle. But then again, it’s something you inevitably must do, sooner or later, and once you have such a repertoire in a database, you can print it to study more conveniently, and preparing for each game is way easier. I also found a related series of blog posts - that are a lot more detailed than anything I wrote on the subject so far.

Opposite Coloured Bishops - Part 8

Continued from Part 7
(10) Alexander Conel Hugh - Smyslov Vassily (RUS)
London (England) London (England) (1), 1954


21.g3 White's dark squares are a bit weak on the kingside, so he decides to spend a tempo on 'fixing the holes'. Even though Black is slightly better, draw seems to be the only possible result here. [21.Re1 Bf2] 21...Rb8 ! ? 22.b3 Re8 23.Bb5 Re6 24.Rd1 c6 Diagram


25.f5 ? This active move turns out to be a serious mistake. White occupies the 'e' file, but as there are no invasion squares, the file has little importance. However, the pawn on 'f5' is a weakness, and limits White's own bishop. 25...Rd6 26.Bd3 Kf8 27.Kg2 Bb4 28.Rf1 Ke7 29.Rf2 Rd8 30.Kf3 Kd6 31.Re2 Bc3 32.Kf4 Rb8 33.h4 a5 Diagram


34.Kg4 ? [34.a4 !] 34...c5 35.Kh5 a4 36.g4 Be5 37.g5 hxg5 38.hxg5 Rb4 39.Re3 Rf4 40.c4 ? 40...Bd4 41.Rg3 a3 Diagram



And the 'a2' pawn falls. This game shows that superior technique in simple positions can bring a lot of extra points to a player. 0-1

Replay game in the viewer:

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