26 November, 2013

Tactic from Tal, Montreal 1979

My mind was blocked on this puzzle, although it is quite straightforward.

White to play and gain a piece...yes, it is that simple, so why it took me a few minutes to solve it, I can only wonder !  

Finding out that this was actually from a game played by Tal against Larsen in Montreal 1979, made me look up the whole thing.  

Well worth the meagre effort to find it.

I would assume that Tal saw the whole combination from here, at move 16/17

...all the way to the end.  

Play through and enjoy it.

21 November, 2013

Best Move ?

From a recent 5/0 blitz game...

The previous few moves have seen manoeuvring around control of the e8 square ( threat of Rook exchanges leading to mate ), but Black now has an escape square and has switched to counter-attack.

25... Rb8-b2  threatens to level material by capturing the pawn. White replies 26. R6e2 giving the following position.

What should Black play ?  Not complicated, but, in my opinion, instructive.

Spoiler/Solution (highlight between the brackets)  [ In the game, Black  played 26...Rxa2, no doubt expecting 27. Rxd2 Rxa4, and re-gaining the pawn, However, the simple 27. Qxa2 gives White a winning advantage. So, best move ? 26...Qxe2, the Black Queen is exchanged for two Rooks , and Black still has a decent game  ]

18 November, 2013

Team League : T56 Openings

Although both T57 and T58  have finished, and T59 about to start, I still didn't catch up with T56 summary and games, and in fact haven't blogged since August.

I played all rounds and ended up with a score of 3,5/6, with 3 wins, a draw and 2 losses : more-or-less as expected.

As White, I played a consistent 1.e4 and faced a Caro-Kann  ( loss ), a Sicilian ( win ) and Alekhine's Defence ( win ).

As Black I played the Hanham Philidor twice ( one win, one draw ) and lost against a Réti Opening, one of the few times I have met 1.Nf3 in TL.

All fairly consistent with main TL openings, as e4 is still the most played, and the Sicilian, French, and Caro-Kann the top replies.

Below is a brief summary of opening play in T56.

For all rounds/games, see here for round 1, and follow through for the remaining rounds.

T56 Openings Top 10

B20-B99 Sicilian  178 (15%)
C00-C19 French Defence  112  ( 9%)
B10-B19 Caro-Kann       88 ( 7% )  
A10-A39 English     80 (6,5 % )
D30-D69 Queen's Gambit Declined 77 ( 6 % )
D00-D05 Queen's Pawn General (London\Colle\etc 73 ( 6 %)
A45-A50 Indian Defences\Torre Attack 60  (5%)
A04-A09 Reti   56 ( 4.5 %)
D10-D19 Slav Defence 44 (3.5%)
C60-C99 Spanish Game ( Ruy Lopez )    43 ( 3.5 % )

For those interested, all games were re-indexed in Chess Assistant 11,. The Opening classification ranges ( ie to group ECO codes), I borrowed from Chessville (many thanks, although it seems to have dis-appeared again :(

See also T55 Summary, T51 Summary,  T50 Summary and T47 Summary.