26 September, 2014

A good finish !

From a recent blitz game...

This can hardly be called a puzzle or that much of an exercise, since, effectively,  it plays itself, but it was good to have seen this ( + a couple of previous moves to set it up ).

It is undeniable though, that Black played himself into this situation.

White to play and win
The sort of finish that I wouldn't manage in standard chess !

Highlight for solution [ 1.Nf6+  Kf8 loses material or is mate  via Rh8+, Rh7+, Be6# or Kg8 ( as played in the game ) leads to mate with 2. Rh7#   ]  

21 September, 2014

Missed Tactic 3

Well, a slight fabrication, since the actual position didn't occur, but it was one possibility that may have arisen.

A recent  game has been very level and threatens to continue as such from this position.

Black has just played Nxe5, winning a pawn.

The actual position Nxe5

White did, of course, play the very sensible Rc8+ in reply, which would eventually regain the pawn, but my mind wondered...

What if White decided on Nd4, to threaten the Rook ? Where could the Rook  retreat to ? 

Wrong thought to have, as Nd4 presents Black with a very nice tactic !

A possibility after Nd4

What should Black play ?

Highlight for solution [ The Rook doesn't need to retreat... 1...Rxf2 2. Kxf2 Nd3 forking king and Rook : Black is a pawn up either way  ] 

18 September, 2014

Missed tactic 2

Another missed tactic from a recent game.

This time I did actually consider the move that I should have played, but didn't calculate it enough, and so dismissed it.

Should one trust intuition more in chess ?

Result of not spotting this at move 16, was a 67-move game, including a long Rook + Pawn endgame.

If nothing else that should be an incentive to improve !

Black to play and gain an advantage

Highlight for Solution [ The c-pawn is hanging... 1...Nxc3  various exchanges after that, although not forced ] 

14 September, 2014

Missed Tactic

From a recent game..White to play and gain an advantage.

Luckily ( for me ) White missed this, just as I had overlooked it.

I was concentrating on the a- and b-pawn threat, and I guess he was too, as it wasn't mentioned in the post-game chatter.

The clues about why b5 was bad, are obvious in hindsight, but I can assure you, I did not see them !

Highlight for solution [ b5 leaves the knight defended, but only by d6, which also protects the knight on f5. So  1. Nxd5.  If dxe5 then Qxf5. EIther way, its a material gain for White    ]