24 August, 2019

A lost endgame

White to play here and complete the victory...

Yes, this is blitz, and I had already accepted that this was a loss after an interesting middlegame where I had gained the upper-hand  and 2 pawns, but had about 10 seconds left against White's 3+ minutes ( time is my biggest issue in blitz !).

Knowing the time for a slow victory was passed I had sacrificed Bishop for 2 pawns, but it was not a sound play !

However, with two active Rooks I played on and saw White switch from stopping my Rook attacks to throwing in a couple of checks : he began to change focus from stopping me, to winning himself.

Here we are, with Black giving up another pawn ( via Kxa6)  to put the Rooks on the same file .

In fact, here there is only one move that wins for White, although I didn't know it or have the time to plan further than my next move.

My opponent didn't play it, we carried on with Black checking and the White king moving, then 4 moves later White resigned before the mate arrived.

A significant lesson !

White to play and win after 47..Rcb7

17 August, 2019

A Queen sacrifice

Two great examples of an Arabian mate motif that unveils itself with deadly effect !

I really enjoy how the pattern arises in so many ways. 

Once learned, it appears, almost by magic, all over the place !

White to play

White to play

06 August, 2019


I liked this problem a lot.

The first move is straightforward, and once you understand the reason why it needs to be played, the remainder slots into place.

The dominant theme is what Chesstempo terms Interference.

I have been focusing on this theme with a number of problem sets of increasing difficulty, although always a maximum of 2 moves, so its the theme that is identified and reinforced during the practice.

Initially, I really couldn't see how Black was supposed to prevent mate.

I took about a minute and a half to play the first move, and a further 3 to ensure that I was correct and really could win as Black !

There are a surprisingly high number of wrong moves, with the major culprit surely a result of mis-calculation.

Black to move after 31...Qg2