26 July, 2017

Tactics : Desperado

Another tactical motif weakness has shown itself and it is proving a slippery one to grab hold of and digest.

Its important to understand how ChessTempo defines it, since that will affect the way you view such problems. In particular it's the phrase "...in order to gain a more favourable material balance at the end of the sequence of captures" that I feel is key.

It may be obvious, but the action of solving problems on ChessTempo should be to arrive at the solution via a large dose of logical analysis, with perhaps a sprinkling of intuition/experience, rather than the other way around.

In which case a Desperado problem might seem to be the opposite, ie illogical and emotional, as its name suggests a situation where you hit out desperately for a solution.

Actually, as I have discovered via my many initial failures, it isn't illogical at all.  

Unlike the historical  "Desperado", the outlaw of the American West, the solution is  to gain a benefit via planning and analysis of exchanges that eliminate the main threat, and leave you with material up or an overwhelming position.

That's the clue as to why this has arisen as a weakness for me, because most of the time it will involve the motif of counting, and ensuring that the move order of the exchanges is correct as well.

After all, there's no point in blowing a hole in the jailhouse, if the timing means that the prisoner is still standing against it !

Here are a couple of examples of the motif in action...

White to Play
The White Queen is under attack, while at the same time White hits the Black Queen, both involving a knight. You can just exchange the Queens, but that won't fulfill the requirements of the motif, namely "more favourable material balance at the end of the sequence of captures".

I saw the key idea, but jumped to a conclusion and didn't re-check. I was wrong via a move -order error.


Black to play
Seemed to me that I couldn't go wrong in this case, and I didn't !

Since Desperado reminded me of the Eagles, and I couldn't find their BBC "Whistle Test" performance, here's something even better !