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Board Recon:

  • The white king has very few squares.

The next thing to look for was Checks. The knight to e4 is intereting and also the only check. If you give this check the king only has one move, and the king is completely trapped. One more check will do it.

 

What I missed:

That the white king had so little space after the knight check.
[pgn]
[Event "CT Tactics Problem"]
[Site "Chesstempo.com"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[Round "-"]
[White "46247"]
[Black "kamakazix"]
[Result "*"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "3r2k1/5ppp/2qp1b2/p2RpP2/4P3/2r5/PN4PP/3QR2K w - - 0 1"]

1.Rxa5 *
[/pgn]

This one is simple but I made it complicated.

Board Recon:

  • Rook on d8 is interesting as it attacks the queen but there doesn’t seem to be much of a way to free it up from the e4 pawn.
  • Nb2 is unprotected.
  • Ra5 is unprotected.

Checks? None
Captures? Qxe4, which doesn’t seem to do much, other than loose the queen.
Threates? Many, but only one good one. A double attack on the rook and the knight. Qb6, wins either.

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Starting a new section here, one that makes me think through some of the tactics I miss. Lets begin:

[pgn]
[Event "CT Tactics Problem"]
[Site "Chesstempo.com"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[Round "-"]
[White "20876"]
[Black "kamakazix"]
[Result "*"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "2r2rk1/p1q5/4pB1p/2P1Q1p1/4P2P/5BP1/b7/4R1K1 w - - 1 1"]

1.Rc1 *
[/pgn]

Black to move. What’s to notice?
Board Recon:

  • King is possibly exposed.
  • Queen is only protected by bishop on f6. (The reverse is also true for the bishop)
  • Bishop on f6 is undefended.
  • Rook on f8 indirectly attacks the bishop on f6.

1. Checks? Qxc5 is the only check. This seems to fail after Qxc5 with no response.
2. Captures?

  • Rxf6, Qxf6 looks interesting because of Qxg2+ but there doesn’t seem to be any follow up and black is just a piece down.
  • Qxf6 is the winner. The only response is Bxf6 in which the rook is free to take on f3.

Qxf6 is the winner.

 

 
[pgn]
[Event "CT Tactics Problem"]
[Site "Chesstempo.com"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[Round "-"]
[White "kamakazix"]
[Black "72561"]
[Result "*"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "2r1r1k1/p4ppp/q1b2b2/2Rp4/8/1P1NPPPB/P6P/3RQ1K1 b - - 2 1"]

1…Rcd8 *
[/pgn]

In this one I got the first move correct. Nb4, forks the queen and the bishop. There are two attackers on the bishop so the queen cannot protect the bishop for a pure exchange.
The move I missed was the follow up after Qb6. Nxc6 loses because Qxc5. The winning move was Rxc6 where both the knight and the rook are supported.

I was recently playing with chess.com’s tactics trainer, when an interesting problem came up. Can you figure out blacks response?

At first the game looks like a draw. Two rooks vs two kings. How could anyone make headway? Click the arrows the see the final result.

[pgn initialHalfmove=95 autoplayMode=none showMoves=puzzle]
[Event "Blitz 15m"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2013.12.26"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Doe, John"]
[Black "Fritz 13"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO "B07"]
[PlyCount "100"]
[TimeControl "900"]

1. e4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} d6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 2. e5
dxe5 3. Qe2 e6 4. Qxe5 f6 5. Qxe6+ Be7 6. Qxf6 Nh6 7. Qxh6 g6 8. Qxh7 Kf8 9.
Qxh8+ Kf7 10. f3 Qxd2+ 11. Bxd2 Bg4 12. Qxb8 Bxf3 13. gxf3 Kf6 14. Ke2 Ke5 15.
Kf2 Kd4 16. Kg3 Bg5 17. Qxb7 Bxd2 18. Kg4 Bc3 19. Qxc7 Bxb2 20. Qxa7+ Kd5 21.
Qf2 Bxa1 22. Nc3+ Bxc3 23. a3 Bb2 24. c3 Bxa3 25. Qe2 Bb2 26. Qe3 Bxc3 27. Ba6
Rxa6 28. Ne2 Be5 29. Nf4+ Bxf4 30. Kh4 Bxe3 31. Kg3 Bf4+ 32. Kg4 Ke6 33. Kxf4
Kf7 34. Ra1 Ra7 35. Ra6 Kg7 36. h4 Kh6 37. h5 Kxh5 38. Ke5 Kh6 39. Kf4 Kg7 40.
Kg4 Rf7 41. Kg3 Rxf3+ 42. Kg4 Rf7 43. Rb6 Ra7 44. Kf4 Kh6 45. Rc6 Kg7 46. Rc5
Kh6 47. Rb5 g5+ 48. Rxg5 Ra4+ 49. Kf5 Ra5+ 50. Kf4 Rxg5 *

[/pgn]

Recently while playing online I missed an amazing opportunity to win a serious amount of material. I ended up winning the game anyway but only in a tough endgame. See if you can figure it out below. Click the arrows to reveal the answer. It’s white to move and in the actual game I played 11. Bxc6 which is not the correct answer.

[pgn showMoves=puzzle initialHalfmove=20 autoplayMode=none]
[Event "ICC"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2013.12.22"]
[White "jsebast"]
[Black "ChessGeniusGirl"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "1309"]
[BlackElo "1284"]
[ECO "A50"]
[Opening "Queen's pawn game"]
[TimeControl "900+0"]

{Disconnection will count as a forfeit.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 cxd5 5. Bf4 Nc6
6. e3 Bf5 7. Nf3 Nb4 8. Qa4+ Nc6 9. Be2 e6 10. O-O Bd6??
11. Ba6!! bxa6 (11…Qd7 12. Bxb7!! Qxb7 13. Bxd6!)12. Qxc6+
[/pgn]

So why did I miss this tactic? I think there are a couple reasons.

The first reason is that I was afraid that my bishop had no where to go and if black takes the bishop I’d end up with my pawns doubled and my center weakened. So in a sense, I had blinders thinking that no matter what I have to move the bishop. Lesson: even when things seem forced, look as hard as you can for other candidate moves.

The second reason I did not see this move is that this is really a strange move in general.

Finally, and I think the main reason is that I missed the fact that the knight and the bishop were defended by only one piece each. In the case of the knight it’s the pawn on b7. In the case of the bishop it’s the queen on D8. The other important think to take note of is that the queen can’t defend both at the same time. The capture of one, pulls the queen away from the capture of the other. I suppose this problem really boils down to a classic overloaded defender (in this case the queen). What’s interesting, however is that the queen isn’t directly defending the second piece. It happens to be the only piece which HAS to defend the pawn, and in doing so drops the defense of the bishop. In this case the bishop acts as a decoy.

Eh well. Hope you enjoyed the problem.

I am an avid chess player. I even take lessons from a coach. Yeah, that’s about the epitome of geek. As a major fan I’m on Chess.com playing a few times a day. It’s a great website and I’m getting quite good.

But there’s one place where Chess.com falls appart – it’s mobile app. One of the most frusterating things that happens is that you will make a move and it doesn’t record that it happened, and never tells you opponent that a move was made. So while it looks as if your opponent’s time is ticking away (when you run out of time you automatically lose) it’s actually your time that’s ticking away and there’s no way to fix it.

I lost a game like this today (I’m KamakaziX, with the black pieces):

[pgn]
[Event "Live Chess"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2013.09.19"]
[White "T-Bos"]
[Black "KamakaziX"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "1259"]
[BlackElo "1332"]
[TimeControl "30|0"]
[Termination "T-Bos won by resignation"]

1.e4 e5 2.g4 Nf6 3.Qf3 Nc6 4.c3 d6 5.h3 d5 6.exd5 Qxd5 7.g5 Qxf3 8.Nxf3 Nd5 9.Bb5 Bd6 10.Bxc6+ bxc6
11.a3 Bf5 12.Nh4 Bg6 13.c4 Nf4 14.Nc3 O-O 15.Nd1 f6 16.gxf6 Rxf6 17.Ne3 1-0

[/pgn]

I played 17… Rf8 (which chess.com never registered as my move) and the f2 pawn won’t be able to hold on. This should have been an easy win from here on out. (By the way I made tons of mistakes in this game but it is what it is).

 

Ah well. More chess to come soon.

Isn’t it funny how you think that you have so much to write, and contribute to the world, and therefore you need a place to call your own. You need a blog.

So you set up a CMS, spend days getting the front just right, designing a logo, messing with color schemes and saying to yourself, “This is it. People will flock to my site to hear my opinions and the things I’ve created.” Finally you sit down to write and BAM! You get slapped in the face with writers block.

“What the hell did I want to put up here again?”, you ask yourself. Suddenly everything you wanted to write seems silly.

You had the idea to start drawing or something artistic and put those things on your blog but then you think, “I’m no artist.”

Maybe you wanted to dispel the stupid things your friends on Facebook believe by making your own counter arguments to their ridiculous ones but then you think “Ah, it wasn’t that big of a deal, I don’t want to piss anyone off.”

What if your opinion is unpopular even if well founded? What will the people at work that see your blog think? What if the interviewer for that job you really want sees your webpage (you gave it to them didn’t you?) And disagrees with something you believe and you don’t get the offer?

Internal doubts. These things hold us all back. This is a step of mine to combat them. So hold on, here goes.

I suppose I should tell you why this website exists…

I need a place to store my thoughts and projects. That’s pretty much it.

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