25 November, 2014

T62 Openings Summary

T62 has concluded, so just on the eve of the T63 season, an appropriate time to look again at what Amateurs play in the opening phase in TL chess.

Still nailed in first place is the Sicilian Defence : what more can be said, even Anand chose to play it in the current WCC, so one can hardly complain !

Remaining in the top ten, and more on less in the same proportions, are the usual suspects of the French Defence, Queen's Pawn Systems, and the English Opening, just like last season.

Bubbling under the top 10 are the Slav, Pirc, Grunfeld, Scandinavian, Nimzo-Indian, Two Knights and Alekhine, all in double figures for number of games played.

21 November, 2014

Its no Sacrifice

I rarely have a chance to play this sort of move, probably because my games either end earlier, or the endganes are much closer.
Anyway. here we are.

The game is lost for Black, but gamely, he plays on, bringing the king closer, and finally, blocking the f-pawn with the knight, and leaving the White Rook blocking his own g-pawn.

Job done ? Some sort of parity ?

No, actually, a win for White....

White to play and win

Highlight for solution , if you should need it  ! [  Rd8+ , checks and clears the queening square. Obvious once you've seen it before, or are a genius : for me, its the former ! ]

16 November, 2014

Missed Tactics 5

Reviewing this blitz game, I saw a terrible miss from me ( as Black ).

So obvious in retrospect, and I am sure I would have seen it during a longer time frame, but my focus was on the pawn at d3.

Black to play and......

18. Qd1...Black to Play

Highlight for Solution if needed [  18... Qxd2 19. Qxd2 Nf3+  ]

09 November, 2014

Your Move

In game terms, I had been in a 'repeating-moves position'  a few moves previously, and had decided I didn't want to risk a draw (at move 20), so had exchanged a Rook on the d-file instead.

After some thought, I played 23. Na5, resulting in the below...

After 23. Na5....
I calculated that Qxa5 was terminal for Black ( and for that matter fairly obvious being trivial to work through ).

I also calculated a few moves on the various 23...Bxe5 lines, and noted that Rd6 looked interesting , although I didn't go so many moves down that path.

Overall, I thought it gave Black 'food for thought' and a more imbalanced game afterwards, ie moving away from the draw.

What would be your move as Black ?

Completely unrelated, but I always liked the song linked to below, especially after "discussing it" on a local train between Darlington and Newcastle sometime in the 70s. 

Hey, I was a student, that's what you did !

Probably why it came into my head when trying to come up with a title for the post. !