28 June, 2017

Tactic : Chesstempo

After the psychological disaster of my return to ChessTempo a few weeks ago, I re-appraised how I could use it.

Now, instead of just using the 'Standard' set and allowing a rating to "judge me", I have also created what are called "personal" sets and am training with them.

The statistics on the x-hundred problems I tried initially, gave me two main areas where I was failing, namely what ChessTempo calls "Counting" and "Pins".

So now I have custom sets that I can use, and its not such a major ratings hit if I fail on a problem.

I also created a set of standard problems that I have always failed at, and went through that too ( in fact going through it for the second time, as there are still about 60 problems I have not solved correctly ).

Although this might be viewed as an indirect approach by not being rated via the standard set, it has encouraged me to keep practicing tactics on an almost daily basis for 15 -30 minutes, so I would say the end  (improving my tactics skills ) justifies the means employed !

An unexpected bonus with using these personal sets is that most errors are usually associated with not "seeing" the entire board, ie missing a threat or a piece, rather than with the problem motif itself. Somehow, I think that points to the probable root cause of most missed tactics or blunders !

Here's a neat problem taken from one of my personal sets. 

It is so simple once you see the motif, but was very satisfying to solve.

21...Bf6  White to Play

The ChesssTempo link ( with solution )  is here.

21 June, 2017

Black to play : best move ?

What is Black's  best move ?

22. Nf5  Black to play

Top of the class for [ 22... Qf6 ], but second place for [ 22...Qxd3 23. Nxe7+ Kh8  ]

15 June, 2017

Tactic: Black to Play 2

Black to play and win

Black to Play

Full marks for [ 22.... Qxc1 23. Rxc1 Rxc1 a very neat win ]

In the game Black ( nor I, as White ) saw this, instead continuing [ 22...Ng5 ]

08 June, 2017

Tactic : Black to Play

From a recent game. 

Black to play. 

Black to play

I almost found the correct line, but under time pressure missed the killer move, and faded into an advantage for Black, rather than a win.

Fully correct is [27...Re3 28. Qg4 Ne5 29. Nd2 Nxd3 30. Kg1 Qxf4 31. Qxf4 Nxf4 32. Rf1 Nd3

I played [ 27...Re3 28. Q5 Qxg5 29. Bxg5 Rxd3 30. b4 cb 31.ab a6 32.b5 Nb4 33. Bd2 ] where I could still have been much better, but I wasn't :)

Highlight between the brackets to see the moves...