An unexamined life is not worth living.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Solving tactics – looking for the right move

Finding combinations during your chess games is not easy, but it is a skill you can develop with a lot of practice. The more you solve – the better you get at it. Keep in mind that if you solve puzzles in a book – you know there is a combination in a given position. Half of the problem is already solved (you may be searching for a black cat in a dark room, but at least you can be certain that the cat IS in the room), but still, you must have the right thought process to actually deduce the tactical idea and exact move order. Here are some examples (from my archives) of how to direct your thinking while solving puzzles. It is WHITE TO MOVE IN ALL POSITIONS:
Alekhine – Ricondo, Santander, 1945

the knight on f6 is a weak point in Black's position, so White undermines him by deflecting the g7 pawn 1.Nh6+ gxh6 [1...Kh8 2.Nxf7+ Kg8 3.Nxd8] 2.Bxf6 Qd7 3.Qg3+ Bg7 4.Qxg7# 1-0

Bellin - Fries Nielsen, Kopenhagen, 1989

here it is not entirely clear which of Black's pieces is overloaded. As always, our search for combinations starts with looking at captures and checks. A check is 1.Rf8, but then after 1...Bxf8 our queen is attacked, nothing seems to work yet. What we can notice though is that if the queen was not attacked, we could try capturing on d5 with the knight, because the e6 pawn is pinned. This should hint us that the right move order is: 1.Nxd5! exd5 2.Rxf8+ Bxf8 3.Qxf6 1-0

Nenaschew – Muchametow. Nowosibirsk, 1989


The Black king seems to be in danger, but Black also has an evil intention to deliver a mate on g2. Thus we must consider all checks - no time for Rxa6. There are three checks - Rg7+, Qh6+, and Qg5. Once we see all them, we can start too look into each, verifying if one of them works. Inspection of these candidate moves leads to solution: 1.Qg5+ fxg5 2.Rxa6+ 1-0

Mariotti - Pantschenko Las Palmas, 1978


The Black king is weak, there are potentially 3 White pieces attacking him, only the queen on f6 is protecting him yet. This suggests that we possibly can sacrifice one piece to deflect the queen and hope to checkmate the king with remaining too. We also might see that a check from h8 would be really embarrassing for Black, as after Kg6 follows Bh5x. Only problem - queen covers up h8 from f6. Thus if we could make the queen abandon f6, we are done. Not too hard to accomplish! 1.Rb6 Qxb6 2.Qh8+ Kg6 3.Bh5# 1-0

Polugajewski – Szilagyi, Moskau, 1960


This is already a bit tricky - this combination although simple is somewhat non-trivial. It contains a quiet move! If we could only get the rook to h3 the game is over. But 1.Rd3 is met by Rxd3. But we can deflect the rook from the 'd' file: 1.Bf8+ Rxf8 2.Rd3 1-0

Romanishin – Gdansky. Polanica Zdroj, 1992


Here our dream is to get the queen either to the 'h' file or to the a1-h8 diagonal. Another deflection: 1.Nxd6! Bxd6 2.Qf6 Qxd5+ 3.Kh2 1-0

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hit Counter