How would you judge this position, which arose after the 25th move by white in the game between Ponomariov and Bareev (FIDE Wch k.o. Moscow 2001). Question: who is better and can black take the pawn on e5?Read More »
Right or wrong?
Before you answer the first question, I have another question. Was white’s last move: 19. Qd1 right or wrong? What was the alternative?Read More »
Opening traps according to Sagar Shah
Opening books are popular. Actually, I don’t really know why. Because personally, I have never finished an opening book. Most of the opening books in my bookcase lead a sad existence. At best, I will occasionally consult them as a reference.
Perhaps those books are so popular because we hope for a quick victory? Or to avoid having to resign after a couple of moves? No idea. But what I do know is that it is useful to know and avoid falling into opening traps. Or much better: trapping your opponent.
IM Sagar Shah has started a fun series about traps in the opening on the youtube channel of ChessBase India. The videos are released at a rapid pace. They are short and entertaining. The most important thing: you are introduced to some nasty tactics in the opening. Take, for instance, this video about the Accelerated Dragon in the Sicilian defence.
Sagar Shah regularly enlivens his lesson with a light anecdote. In the next video, he is playing a game of chess with his wife. Apparently, you shouldn’t mess with her. Watch how this turned out.Read More »
Chess puzzle #53: just a funny tactic
In the diagram it is white to move. What is the best move for white? Solution…
Chess puzzle #53: King goes astray
White played 35. Kh3?? This was a bad mistake. The game would have been more or less equal after 35. Kf1 or Kh1. Do you see why 35. Kh3 was the losing move?
In other words: how does black finish the game? Solution…
Endgames can be highly tactical
Off course there are general principles that apply to endgames. But mere intuition brings you most of the time nowhere. You have to calculate very careful.
See this, seemingly simple rook endgame. If it was black to move, he would have a very easy draw. See for example this variation…
But it is white to move. That makes all the difference in the world. But how? That’s maybe not so easy to spot. Do you see how white can win? Solution…
Here is another one!
Some moments after I finished this post, I surfed to chess.com. Chess.com shows every day a new puzzle. Sometimes these puzzles are quite hard to solve. This one is also a bit tricky. See the second diagram.
It is white to play and win. The first move is obvious. But then it gets a bit tricky. Do you see how to solve this one? Solution…
Goes without saying that not all rook endings end in a draw!
What is the best move for black?
This a position after white’s 25th move. It is from one of my own games. At our level we make (too) many mistakes. But it doesn’t mean that there are no interesting moments.
It is clear that black is much better. The white king is not safe and his pawns are weak. Compare both rooks and queens and it becomes clear that black has a winning advantage. But the situation is still a bit tricky and black can go astray very easy. What is the best move for black?
Chess puzzle #48: Nice finish!
This is a neat one. Maybe not too difficult. Black just played 1. – Rh5 and attacked the white queen.
Do you see the winning move for white? (Solution)
Chess puzzle #47 Totally crazy
Even after a quick look you will see that this position is totally crazy. White has a material advantage, but most of his pieces are en prise.
What makes matters even more complicated is the pawn on b2 that is about to queen and give mate.
Is there a way out of this mess? Can white achieve the impossible and even win this position?
Yes, he can. It is up to you to figure this one out. Solution…
If found this fantastic puzzle on Johan Salomon’s twitter account. Johan is the present Norwegian Champion and is well on his way to become a grandmaster. You will find more intriguing puzzles on his account.
Chess puzzle #46
I found this one on chessbase. It is a bit drafty around both kings. But it is white to move. Therefore: white plays and wins. How? (solution)
PS. A couple of days after I posted this puzzle, I added some variations to the solution.