21 November, 2014

Its no Sacrifice

I rarely have a chance to play this sort of move, probably because my games either end earlier, or the endganes are much closer.
Anyway. here we are.

The game is lost for Black, but gamely, he plays on, bringing the king closer, and finally, blocking the f-pawn with the knight, and leaving the White Rook blocking his own g-pawn.

Job done ? Some sort of parity ?

No, actually, a win for White....

White to play and win

Highlight for solution , if you should need it  ! [  Rd8+ , checks and clears the queening square. Obvious once you've seen it before, or are a genius : for me, its the former ! ]

16 November, 2014

Missed Tactics 5

Reviewing this blitz game, I saw a terrible miss from me ( as Black ).

So obvious in retrospect, and I am sure I would have seen it during a longer time frame, but my focus was on the pawn at d3.


Black to play and......

18. Qd1...Black to Play

Highlight for Solution if needed [  18... Qxd2 19. Qxd2 Nf3+  ]

09 November, 2014

Your Move

In game terms, I had been in a 'repeating-moves position'  a few moves previously, and had decided I didn't want to risk a draw (at move 20), so had exchanged a Rook on the d-file instead.


After some thought, I played 23. Na5, resulting in the below...


After 23. Na5....
I calculated that Qxa5 was terminal for Black ( and for that matter fairly obvious being trivial to work through ).

I also calculated a few moves on the various 23...Bxe5 lines, and noted that Rd6 looked interesting , although I didn't go so many moves down that path.

Overall, I thought it gave Black 'food for thought' and a more imbalanced game afterwards, ie moving away from the draw.


What would be your move as Black ?




Completely unrelated, but I always liked the song linked to below, especially after "discussing it" on a local train between Darlington and Newcastle sometime in the 70s. 

Hey, I was a student, that's what you did !

Probably why it came into my head when trying to come up with a title for the post. !





31 October, 2014

Missed tactics 4a ( and a chess mystery )

A previous post showed a tactic missed in a TL game. 

While working through a number of tactics exercises, I thought the below had a similar theme, but probably more obvious....


White to play
Highlight for Solution [  15. Nf5 ! If Black takes the Knight, his Queen is lost, if not, the game is lost . Equally, 15. Nxc6 and if Qxg4 16. Ne7 mate !  From Alekhine - Muñoz*, Sabadell , 1945 . ]


*However, this just reveals how fascinating a game chess is, or perhaps more accurately, how incredibly intriguing people, their history, and motives are !

This entire game "could"  be  a fabrication by Alekhine, albeit based on his own analysis of the play arising from the earlier moves of a consultation game that occurred in 1941 !

The losing player would appear not to be Muñoz ( based on good deductions ), but cannot be identified at this point.

See the always interesting Edward Winter in Chess History for the full information. 

The Holmesian in me also likes his reference "There is also the dog that failed to bark in the night argument" although that actually comes via Leonard Barden's notes that Winter quotes.

Regardless of the intrigue, it is still a neat puzzle, with more than one solution...

22 October, 2014

Chess : A State of Mind by William Hartston

I found this via an interesting blog  called mccreadyandchess, that was new to me : mainly chess, but a few other things thrown in as too. 

Here you go, a documentary on chess from 1986, created by Bill Hartston, once the "go-to" commentator and observer for the British media, when they were fascinated by the goings-on in the chess world, but needing an informed guide through it.

I have to say Tal looks very creepy (those eyebrows, that look ! ), and Spassky performs an amazing vocal imitation of a squeaky Karpov, and that it reminded me that lots of men in the 80s wore jumpers under their suits or jackets !

Fischer's is the least " American-sounding" American voice I have heard for a long time, but I recall having that thought before about American voices from the 40s, 50s and 60s. 

Enjoy, I certainly did !

Chess : A State of Mind by William Hartston

20 October, 2014

Updated Tactics posts

I've used these few posts as a reminder on missed tactics, in that I can view the post and work out or remember the combination.

Now updated, by adding the solution

Missed tactics 4 

A good Combination  

Missed Tactic 3  

Missed Tactic 2 


Missed Tactic