07 May, 2022

Instinct first ?

My initial focus was around the Queen, ie moving the Be7 to allow check or to capture Ra7 ( as the Bishop is pinned ).

Next I switched to adding an attack on the Bishop via Nd5 or Rxd6 : one easily defended, the other not sensible.

Only then did I return to my instinctive move Ng6+ , and this coupled with my Rook thoughts formed the basis of the solution. 

Further checking, I move and have that pleasant feeling of being correct :) 

White to play after 1... exf

03 May, 2022

Another one of those stupid moves

 As always seems the case, once you uncover one 'stupid' move, it starts appearing more often.

Below, with Black to play, my first thoughts were drawn to 

1) trapping the white Rook, 

2) capturing the pawn on c5, 

3) exploiting the fork on c4 ( Rook check forking Bc1, after capturing c3 ) 

and finally to the correct solution, pausing briefly after seeing white's riposte to the first move, and knowing how to respond.

Black to play

Maybe, one of these days, I will have an opportunity to use see and use this is a real OTB game !

27 April, 2022

Striving to find the best move

Black is ahead in this game, as result of a previous combination exploiting a pin on the King, and winning the exchange ( Rook for Bishop ).

I played a good move ( the third best !) , but the best move and combination is why practicing tactics, calculation and visualisation is so important, as it wins games much quicker.

The question I need to ask myself is why I failed to see/find this, since the key part of it was something I had already used. I am sure time was a factor here, ie lack of, but still the idea is transferable, so should have been at the front of my mind.

Black to play and win

24 April, 2022

The Next Post

A significant hiatus in posts for this blog. 

Easily explained by the ongoing pandemic, however it is about time I caught up with the world and began to post again.

Here's a recent puzzle that I took some time on, until the solution dawned on me... 

I can only explain the time taken by saying I was doing these tactics to take my mind from other issues. Possibly not the best situation to exercise your chess muscles, but needs must, when the Devil drives.


White to play 
Dziuba, M - Wojtaszek, R, Katowice , 2017 

Should you need any hints, I refer to an excellent blog reporting an April's fool for this year.

07 April, 2021

Crazy ? Illogical ?

 I spent 3 minutes or so looking at this ChessTempo problem.

At least the question to ask is obvious in this problem : can  the Rook on b6 be captured or not, since there is no direct mate, or mate threat to consider.

Simply put, the answer must be "Yes, I can capture " since there are very few other constructive moves available, but then you are stuck with how to meet the obvious Qa7 reply from White.

What do you do ? as now the knight is pinned to the undefended Queen and the attacked Rook can only be defended by a knight move to d5, where it will be captured by a pawn ?

Remarkably there have been 19 incorrect first moves played, with Ncd5 , Nce8 and even Nxb5 as the top failures.... there are also 29 failed moves on the second move ( after Rxb6 ).

Black to play

The solution is neither crazy nor illogical, its just that you have to see, or imagine it, and do a bit of thinking, and, if this was an OTB game , you have to play it as well !

26 March, 2021

Antenna Alert #1

 A lovely problem....

As one commentator at ChessTempo remarked, the tactic is so simple to see, but it doesn't work. 

The trick ( or perhaps more accurately, the skill ) is to find the moves that make it work !

A recent purchase ( Nieman - "Chess Tactics Antenna" ) would classify this as either "Unprotected Piece" or more likely "Alignment", two of the 'Seven Signals' that he uses to describe patterns/situations that should trigger your 'tactics antenna'.

White to play