17 June, 2020

Not the three-minute mile

The difference between training with apps and websites compared to books, is that what you do is stored and available for checking, even if you don't remember that you can.

For whatever reason, I decided to check my previous attempts at the below problem, since it was a good problem to solve and took me some time to work out

White to move
I was amazed to find this was my second attempt, and that I had solved it correctly both times, but surprisingly, the second attempt took 2+ minutes compared to the initial 4+.

Conclusions can't be drawn from 1 problem, but certainly, I sense that progress is being made, albeit slowly.  

More importantly, I also seem to gain greater satisfaction and enjoyment during games as well.

11 June, 2020

Is just keeps happening !

This is ,of course, a completely random tactic appearing in ChessTempo, but sometimes you do wonder...

White to play : mate in 3

A very satisfying mate.

01 June, 2020

A recurring theme

I've posted many times about my 'favourite' mate pattern, that of the Arabian and Anastasia's Mate.

I'm not sure why this particular pattern of Knight/Rook or Knight/Queen appeals, but there is no denying that it does.

The below problem turned up in ChessTempo a while ago and although its not a difficult one ( the blitz rating is 1472, the standard is 1170) when the last move dawned on me, it brought a smile to my face :)

Here is is below, with the solution if required, although you know the pattern to aim for.

White to play : Mate in 3

One of the comments to it was "I want to do this in a game" : don't we all !

But I came close in a recent blitz game.

Here was a position where I had repeated the Knight checks (Ne7+, Kg8, Kf8, Ng6) , mainly to gain time as I had about 3 seconds on the clock, but also because my old brain didn't see a quick win easily enough.

But its blitz, you can try anything, crazy or not, and you may not have a perfectly measured responsefrom your opponent

I played the very wrong Rxe6+ ??  

I wouldn't do this in a standard game, since clearly the Black Queen capturing the Rook is a win for Black...

..but Black obliged me with fxe, allowing a nice finish !

 A "lucky" blitz win , but there again, you have to see a pattern to aim for.