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Chess puzzle #45: a though nut to crack

6 Sep

winning-advantageI have to confess that sometimes I spend quite a lot of time at chess puzzles. I can’t stand it when I am unable to find the correct solution.

When I make a mistake, which happens still too often, I can get very annoyed with myself.

Most of these mistakes occur when I find the solution rather quickly. Then get overconfident and don’t check very well and make stupid blunders on the second or third move in the combination. On the other hand, when I can’t find the correct solution, I keep on trying.

I follow my hunch and calculate the variations over and over again. That doesn’t work either (of course). One might raise the question: do you trust your own calculation yes or no? Seemingly not. Continue reading

Chess puzzle #44: it is not what you might think

3 Sep

I found this one from the chessbase website (first round report by Albert Silver). This position is from the game between Sam Shankland (USA) and Joan Fernandez Lopez (Andorra) after black’s last move 15. – Qb6? White can get a winning position. But how?

The obvious 16. b5 doesn’t work. What will? It took me a while to figure this one out, and of course I didn’t see all the variations. But at least I found the wining move. 🙂 Solution…

Chess puzzle #43: tricky move

28 Aug

By the first looks of it black is in big trouble. He is two pawns dawn and his pieces are very loose.

Is there a way out of this quandary? Well there is. It is a very glorious one. Do you see how? Solution…


Source: problem #166673 ChessTempo



Bad thinking habits will kill our chess ability

8 Jul

If you follow this blog for a while, you know by now that I love to solve tactical puzzles. What you see on this blog is just a fraction of the puzzles I have solved (or screwed up). Messing up is very easy to do. I had my share of big failures.

Maybe it is a good idea to ask myself the question: what goes wrong? Why do I keep making silly mistakes in (sometimes) quite easy positions? Well the position in the diagram is certainly not very easy. In fact it is a bit complicated.

In order to solve this puzzle (and many others) it might be a good idea to look for a while what is exactly going on. What’s being attacked? What are weak spots? Are there any pins? Loose pieces? Endangered kings? A bit more abstract: what are the motifs? Do you see them? Continue reading

Chess puzzle #41: Being greedy?

7 Jul

White just played 38. Qxf7 and left his rook on d1 en prise. It seems like a piece of cake for black to win the game. When you are hungry, indulge yourself with the food that is been offered.

Or not? Solution…

Chess puzzle #40 Black missed a tiny detail

6 Jul

Chess is a complicated game. That’s nothing new. But from time time we all underestimate our opponents resources. It happened to me too many times. 

See the diagram. Black just played 28. – Rc4xc3. Before he played this dreadful move he was slightly better. What did he miss? Solution…

Chess puzzle #39: tricky stuff

14 Jun

The tactical puzzles on ChessTempo are more difficult then on some other websites. They are taken from real chess games.

The solution is often a bit messy and not allways straightforward. Many times there is some sort of sting. And you guessed it right: I fall right into the trap. 😦

White just played 1. Kg4-f5. The threat is obvious: if white gets the chance to play Ke6 or Kg6 he threatens mate (Rf7#). This makes the conversion off f3-pawn into a queen a bit complicated. But it is the only way to win the game. Therefore let’s play 1. – f2 White answers 2. Kd3. The question is: how can black not only save the game but win it? See the solution…

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