05 April, 2020

Faulty board vision.

This is a simple problem, but yet I have failed it a couple of times.

White to Play
Even though I know I registered the Queen pin, I played the very bad Rxd6.

I can only think that I saw the pin from the Black Queen to the White Queen ( maybe because my natural view is up the board ?), so imagined that it was my piece that was pinned.

Having thought that, I didn't switch my mind around to view other points of view, nor did I calculate White's response, which is evidently NOT Rxe5, but is the deadly Qe1+, winning the Bishop. !

Clearly, I need to make sure I look at all possibilities, and not just focus on what I want to happen.

The below is also a common issue.

White to play

My mind has immediately focused on the mate pattern with Qb3->Qh8, and even though it doesn't work, it seems I cannot stop focusing on it, so I try to MAKE it work, play what my faulty thinking has made me believe must be right, and fail.

Of course the reward on offer here is not an immediate mate, but gain of material, which is a simple thing to see if you can look clearly and without a 'mate obsession'!

03 April, 2020

Anderssen - Mayet, 1851

I found this a fiendishly difficult problem, mainly because you have to find a distinctly not "normal" move as part of the solution.

The Andersssen in question is Adolf Anderssen, who gave us both the 'Evergreen' and 'Immortal' games as part of his legacy.

This problem arise from a game Anderssen-Mayet, in Berlin, 1851 (same year as the Immortal game, but a different venue and victim).  

I can't find the entire game, but here's the problem, White to Play

White to Play
Perhaps I should add the extra information that the first two moves need to be accurate ( there are no significant ALTs in ChessTempo-speak) but after that mate will arrive.

29 March, 2020

Guards ! Guards !

My chess brain still manages to avoid seeing some things, particularly involving Knights..

Below, I saw the threat of a draw from White, and the fact the knight could stop it ( and therefore noted that the knight could not move, unless it gave check ).

What i did not see was that the Knight giving check and being captured, removed the guard from the Rook...problem solved, if I had but seen it !

Black to play

10 March, 2020

The best of a choice of good moves

This problem was one I "failed", although in this case it would not have meant disaster or losing in a real game, but rather not finishing the game as fast as you should.

Here, the correct move is actually the choice of the best of a number of good moves, and that makes it harder.

White to play

02 March, 2020

The endgame...just calculation

I think it was a Daniel King video I watched where he said that the endgame in chess was just calculation, especially when down to a small number of pieces on the board.

He showed how it was done, introduced endgame studies, and how they could help improve both endgame understanding and calculation.

This isn't a study, but it is a very simple problem, as long as you just think it through.

White to move after Ne5-f3

21 February, 2020

A visit from Anastasia

My chess life moves on at a slow pace ( at least in rating terms ).

I enjoy playing the game most of all, which explains the slow pace, as the work to improve has to fit around the work to pay for the creation of the time to do the improvement in, if you understand me.

I play much less blitz these days, as I realise that it is not my forte to calculate at blitz speed, but it is easier to find the time for a blitz game...quite a conundrum !

Here's a nice ending sequence from a recent blitz game...

1. I play Ne7 threatening to win a pawn, but also to cover g6 and g8

2. A suitable response of Ba6 creating a greater threat to my Rook, but easily resolved with Rf3

3. The strange Ne6 ( is he aiming at Nxd4 ? even though its protected ?) allows a visit from Anastasia, who is always welcome

4. One of my favourite checkmates, and it was planned !