Archive | July, 2014

Sweet chess victories (2)

20 Jul

In the first part of my blog about sweet chess victories I showed you two very short games. Today’s game is also very short. But maybe even more sweet. Why?

Firstly because I love short victories. Secondly I love them even more when my opponent doesn’t unnecessary drag things on.

But don’t you get a big smile on your face when your opponent resigns in a position that is actually not lost yet? Sorry, I am a bad person, but I can’t help  it: I get a big grin on my face. Everything was over within 13 moves!

Here you can play the whole game in the viewer. Let’s not bother about the first part of the game and have a closer look at the position in which black decided to call it quits (see the diagram). Black’s bishop is attacked. So he has to move it away. For instance 13. … Bg6 In that case white plays 14. Nxg6 and 15. e5 winning a piece. So that won’t work. How about 13. … Bg4? (now it get’s really funny!)

Continue reading

Chess puzzle #13: tactics time

15 Jul

Tim Brennan received a lot of praise and some harsh criticism for his book ‘Tactics time’. The book contains 1001 chess tactics from players like you and me.

If you are looking for complicated and difficult tactics this book is not for you. This book is an anthology of the cheap and messy tricks of the everyday chess amateur. 

Almost all the tactics are very (very) simple. I played through the book on my Kindle (see the Kindle edition) and missed only a couple correct solutions.

The warning ‘this book could help you improve your chess game significantly’ seems a bit exaggerated. I think it might be true for lower rated players, say players under 1200. But that doesn’t mean the one can’t derive a lot of pleasure from the book and the tactics. I did and still do.

I subscribed to Tim’s newsletter (see his website) and receive his chess problems on a regular basis. It is always fun to have a look at it. To let you share in the fun I present you one of his problems. See the diagram. Black played 21. … Qb4 and white responded with 22. Bc2. Was this the best move, or was there a better possibility?

See the game and the solution… (with thanks to Tim Brennan’s newsletter).

Go to the next chess puzzle…

Sweet chess victories (1)

13 Jul

What’s you idea about the ideal chess game? I guess a lot of people will say: 

‘The ideal chess game is a long and difficult fight, full of nice moves and great ideas. After a tough and long struggle I managed to outsmart my opponent and won!’ 

I beg to differ. The ideal chess game is short and totally annihilates the opponent. 

Bobby Fischer once said: ‘Chess is war over the board. The object is to crush the opponent’s mind.’ I completely agree. Problem is that he was slightly more often on the side of the crusher than me. But, believe it or not, once and a while I also experience those glorious moments. Continue reading

Chess puzzle #12: bad defense

3 Jul

At the lower level most of the games are won (or lost) by tactical errors. See for instance this position (first diagram). It is black to move. What should he play?

Let’s think about this position for a moment. White has an extra and well supported pawn on d6. His rook on a7 looks to be quite menacing. To add to blacks problems, his king is also in a vulnerable position. The direct threat is Qg7 mate. You don’t need to be a chess wizard to see this. Is this position hopeless? Continue reading

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