26 August, 2015

Focus on Material ?

We are always warned of being greedy with material captures, and in hindsight its always easy to spot mistakes.

These occur in standard as well as blitz, but the latter gives rise to more of them.

Here's a few from recent games....

In the first White just played QxR on h2

Black to play : should he re-capture with Rxh2 ?

In the second, no capture, but Rc6 threatens the Bishop, leaving Rf8 en prise
White to play : should he play Bxf8 ?
Here White has captured a pawn, with Nxa3. Should Black take the knight ?

Black to play: should here re-capture with bxa3 ?

Not difficult decisions, but in the heat of the moment, and with the focus on your own plans, mistakes can be made !

The secondary point, is to bear in mind spotting mating patterns. 

An obvious one in the first example,in the second its clear, but maybe not obvious.

The third is also less obvious, but quite straightforward.

In fact, the third example could have been much easier for White...

White to play
Black has played c6, what is White's best move ( and its not Nxa3 ) ?

12 August, 2015

Bishop to the rescue

A neat way out here...

White to play

Although at first glance it looks bad for White, in fact the precarious position of the Black King offsets his passed pawn !

I would be extremely happy to be able to find such a combination in a match situation !

Highlight for solution [ 1.Bg5 c8=Q 2.g4+ fxg 3. Bxc1 g2 4.Be3 ]