31 January, 2018

To swap Queens or not ?

I was distracted during this rapid game and lost focus and the exchange.  A few moves later I was back in it due to his inexplicable ( to me anyway) decision not to re-capture a piece.

This gave the initiative back to me and I went for the king, but he had some dogged defensive play and we reached the below position.

I'm ahead on material, so my initial response to Qe5 is to exchange and simplify, but after all the tactics puzzles I do, there must be something on offer ?

Not too hard to find...

White to play
[5r2/p1Q2B2/4p1R1/3pq2p/3p1k2/2P5/PP1N4/2K5 w - - 0 28]

24 January, 2018

White to play : Alekhine - Rubenstein, 1930

Here's something from the past, 1930, San Remo to be exact.

Sometimes, in problems like these I can see the the target but not always work out the way to reach it.

This was the case here.  There are some instant targets available, but if, like me, you focus on the wrong target initially, it can take a while to re-orient to the real one as you just keep trying to make it happen.

White to play

17 January, 2018

Not a Greek gift : White to play

This is a good pattern to recognise...

White to play
 Sadly, although I saw the motif, I took an alternative path to achieve it which was not as sweet, but proved effective.

Solution [ 12.Nxf7 ]

10 January, 2018


Although this is a "what to play?"  problem, its also great to practice calculation, at least in my opinion.

I did not calculate correctly, at least on this move, but since my opponent mis-calculated two moves later, and with far worse consequences, I went on to win.

Black to play after 18...Ng6

Its also interesting to skip a couple of moves before this move, as that was probably more balanced and white's choice dis-advantaged him.

White to play after 17...Ng5


03 January, 2018

White to play : Win or draw ?

This turned out to be the key point of a long game.

A topsy-turvy game featuring a mis-calculation fron me, followed a few moves later by a mistake from my opponent, leaving me materially ahead.

She was more than up-to-the-challenge and fought all the way until I gained the advantage and this position

However, here, I had a decision to make.

White to  play after 62...Bc8

What would you do ? Winning  or drawing decision ?

Regardless, it was a great game !

01 January, 2018

Bogo-Indian : Black to play

Looking back at the blog, I note that its been a good month since the last post, deferred, no doubt, because of work, life and other things too obvious to mention.

I've not been "chess idle"  in this period with time spent on chesstempo tactics, Team League and some blitz to keep me occupied, as well as that thing called Christmas and the New Year !

Below is a position from a recent blitz game, starting off as a Bogo-Indian, but not really following theory much. White played a few strange king moves after move 12, in my opinion to gain time and just see how I would react. 

It allowed me to whip up much Queen-side activity and reach this position.

30..Rc1 ... Black to Play and win

Sadly for me, the 'phone rang. On answering and knowing I had to chat for a while, I felt obliged to offer a draw ( which was accepted ) rather than let the time run out.

In fact, it was a cast-iron win for Black. Doesn't matter what White responds, Black is much, better !

Highlight for solution [ 30.....Qb5+ ]