Archive | January, 2016

Chess puzzle #34: devastating counter attack

24 Jan

I found this position on the website

It is a mind boggling position. The white threat is quite obvious:

1. Qxh6 Kxh6 2. Ng4#

It all looks forced. Is black fighting for a lost cause or does he have one last trick up his sleeve? (If one asks a question like this, the answer must be a resounding ‘yes’). Solution…

Tricky endgame

4 Jan

In the foreword of his excellent book ‘Recognizing your opponent’s resources’ the author, Mark Dvoretsky’ writes:

‘Your opponent also has a right to exist – Savielly Tartakower remarked with his characteristic irony. Absorbed in our own thoughts, we sometimes forget this, for which we have to pay dearly.

As Viktor Korchnoi wrote, Well, if you do not check what your opponent is doing, you will end up complaining about bad luck after every game.’

Korchnoi’s statement is the reason why I stopped ‘wishing my opponent luck’. It implies that I wish myself to blunder. I hate making big mistakes! Nowadays I wish them a nice game and think ‘I hope my game will just be a bit more nice then yours!’

It’s great advice to take your opponent’s resources into account. It will net you a lot of extra points. We allways have to take care and ask ourselves:

‘Are there any threats’ and ‘What if I do…. how might my opponent react?’

Even the simplest positions sometimes hide unexpected tactical tricks. See the diagram*. At first glance it seems that white is completely winning. He simply queens his pawn (c7xb8Q) and will be a queen and a rook up. Also taking with the rook on b8 gives white more then enough material to win the game.

Or is this a bit too cheerful? Well see for yourself. White to play and win (yes, he has a win)! But it is no so easy as it looks. Solution…


Chess puzzle #31: comeback kid gets crushed

1 Jan

Former world champion Boris Spassky was completely outmaneuvered in his game against Anatoly Karpov in Montreal (1979). See the diagram.

Black just played 38 … b5? This is a mistake after white can finish the game with a bang. What is the winning move in this position?

After you clicked on the link you will find the complete game. It is a fine positional achievement and a model game on the subject ‘how to play against the isolated queen pawn’. Spassky was nick named ‘the comeback kid’. But here there was no coming back. Spassky was rendered completely helpless against white’s clever play.

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