01 May, 2024

Suffocation Mate

 This is from a blitz game, so I will freely admit it wasn't spotted and planned, however as soon as I played Nf5, I saw the possible mate.

Black's Rg4 sealed his fate, and suffocation mate followed.

Not sure I've managed this type of mate before.

White to move and mate in 1

16 February, 2024

Uncovered tactic from an analysed game

 Continuing a look at my most recent OTB game, uncovered another tactic, one that was not seen by either of the players ( certainly not by me, and because it wasn't played, I assume my opponent missed it as well).

I had put in my notes for move 11 in the first pass of analysis : "Bg5. Was this any good ?"

Now that I have looked I can see that that there was nothing wrong with it (although g5 was better) and in fact it was an improvement on the move I played.

However it exposes an "unseen" tactic, which would arise after Black's reply of Nc5.

12. Ng5 Nc5 

The triggers for White to see that a tactic is looming are Bg5 being undefended, and the threat of Nfxe4, which as well as capturing a pawn, attacks the White Queen and offers an exchange of the Queens and Rooks !

Putting in a random move of 12.a3 to show the tactic, you can see that not only does Black win the initial pawn, but exchanges Queens, Rooks and can even trap White's bishop, and practically eliminate the White advantage.


Capturing Ne4 with d5 allows Qxg5. If White takes the Queen on d8, Black responds likewise and can even continue with exchanging Rooks.

Of course the whole line is avoided if White plays 13. Bd3 or 13.Qh4, making sure the Bishop is no longer undefended, however it shows how tactics lie waiting under the surface of the game, and how analysis of the game can expose these for learning opportunities.

14 February, 2024

More moves required !

 An OTB game of mine from last night shows a tactic missed by both players, although it should have been clear to both, especially Black.

Black to play

As white, I clearly expected that Black had little option but to exchange Queens.

Black had other ideas.

However, just like many ChessTempo problems which are tagged with "more moves needed", finding the first move does not prove that you know the full answer, which is exactly what both players missed.

11 February, 2024

A mate by any other name....

 I have no idea what this mate is classified as. On chesstempo it's probably a "pawn mate".

I can't say that I planned it, and certainly Black played into it, however having pieces active and "in the right places" certainly helped.

Although its only a blitz game, it was enjoyable to see.

14 July, 2023

The obvious move fails to be found

 There are occasions when checking a game that I am surprised at what I see in terms of threats and tactics. 

Other times, it is shameful and even de-moralising, to see how much is missed.

Case in point below...

Move 12, plenty of time in a rapid game and I spend more than a minute to end up not seeing the obvious Qxd4.

I'm not sure that a longer time control would have revealed it to me, since its clear that I am not thinking of the correct approach here, despite the fact that e5 was played on the previous move to attack and (sort of) pin the knight to the queen, so I already have an "attack the knight" thought.

So how come the switch from attack the knight with a pawn, does not switch to "attack with the Queen"? 

Has the attack by the Queen on the King over-ridden all other thoughts ? Has it pushed this king-threat to the top of the priority list and blocked anything apart from 'defend the pawn' or 'prevent the check' ?

12. Qd4

27 November, 2022

Did I recognise the mate pattern ?

I played a short online blitz game yesterday, the first time in a few weeks that I have played online.

We reached this position after 11...a6 was played 

I think it was the below chesstempo problem that I had recalled, consciously or not

Start of problem : White to play

..since after 2.Qxc6 Bxd5 3.Bxb7+ Kb8 4.Ba7+ Kxa7 5.Qa6+ Kb8 6.Qa8#. 

It ends with a Queen and Bishop mate.

How did my game continue ? Obviously, I took the knight, and Black should have accepted the loss and played the Queen out of danger with Qe6. Instead he re-captured on c6 with the b-pawn

After 12...bxc

The rest was simple 13.Bxa6+ Kb8 14. Qb3+ Ka7 with 15. Qb7#

15. Qb7#

Evidently the mate was straightforward and may have nothing to do with solving problems with Queen and Bishop mate, but I'm sure there is some connection.