Chess puzzle 49: neat moves

Last Saturday I played my first game since March last year. I was a bit rusty. Although I solved a lot of tactical puzzles almost every day, I missed a simple (standard) tactic.

Even after missing this chance I still got a good game. And then? Disaster. I thought I could snatch a pawn. It turned out to be a bad miscalcultation and spoiled a promising position. After that things went down hill very fast ad I lost. Do you see what I missed?

It seems I am in need for a lot of training (and probably more active play). Today I received the book ‘Training with Moska’. It is packed with exercies. I seems to be a great book to study and might be of some help to develop my skills. Which, as you’ve seen, are quite poor.

See the second diagram. White to move and gain a wining advantage. 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.

The all import patterns and themes in chess

The purpose of chess is of course to mate the enemy king. There is nothing more fascinating than an all out attack on the enemy king.

But how many times does this happen in our games? Maybe not so many times as we would hope for. At least that’s my personal experience.

One should develop an eye for it. Some help might be very useful. Strange enough there aren’t many books written about this subject. One such book is ‘Mating the Castled king’ by GM Danny Gormally. This book is solely dedicated to attacking the enemy king, in the place where the monarch thinks he is safe, when castled. One of the main themes in this book is pattern recognition. Danny writes:

“Chess players should have the ability to remember and recognize patterns and themes that repeatedly occur in practice. The more examples we see, the more ingrained these patterns will become until eventually they are second nature.”

Indeed when you recognize certain motifs the good moves almost automatically pop up in our minds. See for instance the first diagram. Can you see how white can obtain a winning advantage? Please think for a while before you read on.Read More »

Chess puzzle #45: a though nut to crack

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.Read More »

Review: Pawn structures you should know (DVD)

pawn-sructuresNowadays there are lots of DVD’s in circulation. In my opinion the quality of these DVD’s differs hugely. Some are great, some are mediocre and some are quite bad.

Generally there is a divide between the native English speakers and non-natives. Most of the British excel in their presentation. Some of the non-natives are below parr because they speak with a heavy foreign accent or are constant lost for words. Some of them lack presentation skills.

One of the top producers of dvd’s is Chessbase. I am sorry to say that Chessbase doesn’t escape the pattern of the good, the mediocre and the downright bad. Today I review the newest Chessbase DVD:

Pawn structures you should know by Adrian MikhalchishinRead More »

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

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…