14 February, 2011

Under Promotion in T47

I seem to have carried on looking at T47 games after my brief exploration of openings played.

If I manage it, I hope to give details of some of the endgames reached, but while assembling this, I saw a number of under-promotions in a few games ( 11 of 1377, to be precise ! ).

Most of these are irrelevant, ie under-promotion makes no difference to the result, as the 'promoting side' was in full control. I suspect, in fact , that a lot of under-promotions are just to allow practise in unusual mating, especially if the opponent doesn't resign.

There was only one that was a necessary under-promotion, since creating a Queen would be an instant checkmate next move.


The knight promotion giving check should only have saved Black temporarily, as mate still follows rapidly with 119.Kf3 Nf2 120. Qxf2+ Kh1 121. Qg2#

Amazingly, Black must have thought his luck was in, as White played Kh4,  and it took until move 160 before mate happened. Doubtless time trouble, and the "forking ability" of the knight is something to be wary of.

After this I had a quick look in other Team League games and found these two examples....
 From T24 - 2004

Straightforward, but still nice to see 52... e1N#

But here is a very useful under-promotion to gain a draw...

From T41 - 2009

Again, promotion to anything but a Knight will result in mate, but 64...c8N+ is a great way to gain a draw, and on the magic 64th move !

Interestingly, go back to move 63 in the same game, and White misses the chance of a win. It wasn't time trouble as both players had plenty of it, but I think it was an assumption on White's part that the win was guaranteed.

Move 63....decision time

Does it matter which move you choose ? Kxe4 ? or Rh2 ?

11 February, 2011

Fast-tracked French

Dave Regis gives a 10-minute guide to the French Defence at the Exeter Chess Club Blog.

Its a simple and effective guide to the main lines of the French ( but happily omitting the Réti Gambit ! )

This great site contains lots of simple and sound chess advice and is highly recommended.

On the same defence, but taking a distinctly 19th century view of it, are these two posts from the Kenilworthian, that make interesting reading.

I have to admit Labourdonnais seems to have played some interesting chess all those years ago. He has a line in the Sicilian named after him and I have seen his games in the Queen's Gambit Accepted ( especially in the match against McDonnell ) also quoted as being good examples.

08 February, 2011

Drawing the Won Game

I played in the Monthly Standard at ICC this week, and had a see-saw ride, ending up with drawing a game I should have won easily.

My opponent was rated 300+ points above me, which I guess is why he elected to exchange Queens early against a weaker player. However, I've been there in the Philidor a few times before, and it is no longer scary !

Here he has the advantage of me, but misses a simple winning tactic, focusing on the complex combination of R + B vs f7...

White to play: Rxe5! wins
...instead of Rxe5, guaranteeing a win !

Following Rxf7+ he exchanged Rooks on d8, but misses the deadly Black Knight fork riposte on d6, as well as the recovering White moves of Bd3 or Rf3 ! Not matching his rating in his tactics.

However, even though I play accurately and solidly to take material and move further ahead, I miss a few tactics myself, and return the blunder deep in the endgame....
Ouch ! Ke5 is bad
I should have played Kg5 losing the Bishop, but defending the pawn for another chance.

Although I had further opportunities, with time running out I managed a draw against his much more effective technique.

Disappointing overall, but good to see higher-rated players making the same mistakes as me.

Improve my tactics, formulate and follow a plan ( in this case creating a second weakness ), practise the endgame, and there is hope !!

05 February, 2011

February Chess Blog Carnival...

...is hosted here on Brooklyn64.com.

Just like like the January, some interesting posts to view. I had forgotten about Mark Weeks' blog ( as opposed to TWIC, which I visit regularly ) and he has a good post entered.

I should also mention that this blog has an entry for my post on T47 Openings :a lot of visits happened yesterday !

03 February, 2011

Peshka Training Course....

My weekly ChessOK RSS feed tells me that a free course "Play like Botvinnik" is available at Chess OK.

I own the similar Lasker offering ( in the Play like a World Champion series )  as an 'old-style' Convekta course, not the new Peshka version they are offering. I suspect the content is the same, but the interface will be different.

Certainly worthwhile, especially as its gratis !

Update:  See the comments for a note on how Peshka works, as it doesn't seem intuitive ....

02 February, 2011

Chess Cafe Book of the Year

Yes , I guessed it even if you didn't !

I should have placed my bet, as Yasser Seirawan's "Chess Duels" was the winner.

Scarcely more information here.

You can see a blogger's short review, a slightly longer Chessvibes one, or grab it for yourself at a discounted price here from my favourite online book store.