Saturday, June 14, 2008

 

Daily Tactic

A pretty little study by H. Rinck from 1907. To win, White needs to promote one of the pawns, but how? The first move may be obvious -- save the g-pawn.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

 

Daily Tactic

Black to Move. Make Black's moves by clicking on the board.


What do you think of this "Puzzle Mode" of the ChessFlash PGN Viewer?

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Monday, May 26, 2008

 

Tabbed PGN Viewer

(Updated July 8 to use the latest. Updated June 3, 2008 to use V0-046. Updated June 3, 2008 to use the latest version of the viewer and different colors. The left board was green and the right board was red.)

Here is another (see previous post) sample of the ChessFlash PGN Viewer, this time showing the Saavedra Position. The point of this demo is to show the concept of the "tabbed variations" board on the right. As you scroll through the main line using the buttons on the green board, note the "tabs" on the red board and try clicking those to see what happens. Does it make sense to you? You can also click in the text area.



Saavedra.pgn

All feedback and bug reports are welcome.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

 

The Saavedra Position

The Saavedra position is one of my favorite endgame studies. It is simple, exciting and has a few unexpected surprises.

I'm experimenting with the tools used to create this video, hosting it outside of my website and embedding it into my blog with an idea towards creating a chess-specific tool and service to make this available to other chess blogs and websites. I used camtasia to create this but I'm wondering how much interest there is among chessplayers for chess-specific tools to easily create videos from pgn files with or without the ability to add audio and other effects (draw lines, highlights, etc). Any feedback is welcome. I'm hosting this video from http://chessflash.com.





And, how did you like the video itself? Did it display ok for you?

It does requires JavaScript to be enabled and the latest version of the Macromedia Flash Player available here.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

 

Christmas Treats

We have two Christmas treats for you courtesy of ChessBase. First, their traditional annual ChessBase Christmas Puzzle (with animated Christmas card). Update: Here is their Christmas Puzzle Calendar with all of the 2007 Christmas Season puzzles.

Second, it looks like the KPFT interview with Anand is on hold. That may change and we'll let you know if it does. But, ChessBase brings us this Personal Video Portrait of World Champion Anand.
One of our favourite stories is about when he was travelling in a train and was asked by a fellow passenger what he did. Anand said he was a chess player. "But you are also studying somewhere," the man asked. "No, I'm just a chess player," he replied. "You have a job on the side?" "No, just a chess player." This went on for a while until the passenger said: "The life of a professional sports person is difficult, you should think carefully about it. Now if you were Viswanathan Anand it would be different..."

Enjoy. Merry Christmas and Peace on Earth.

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

 

Four Problems Part II

In a recent post comparing CT-Art and PCT the subject of the relative difficulty of their exercises came up. I had made the comment that at the highest level of difficulty they were about the same difficulty but some other posters commented that CT-Art had more difficult problems at the highest levels.

So, I decided to investigate by selecting a couple problems from each to examine closer. I am not suggesting that my selections are representative or even fair and this is certainly not a scientific sampling. I decided to take "black to move" problems from the middle of the highest level of difficulty (or as reasonably close as I could easily navigate to, in the case of PCT). Any conclusions apply only to these four problems and not necessarily to all of the problems for the highest levels of either piece of software.

I've created a link where you can play through the problems and variations with added analysis and evaluation by Fritz. The link is: fourproblems. For each problem at that link, ignore the initial white move as it is just setting up the problem and it is not part of the exercise as given by PCT or CT-Art. In the earlier post I gave the initial positions and main line of the solution as provided by the software. I repeat that below with some additional commentary. My comments refer to the additional analysis at fourproblems so you might want to review that or follow along with that open in another tab or browser if you can.

The analysis and evaluations are based on a minimum ten-ply look ahead at each move using the Deep Fritz engine (Nov 2000 edition) from ChessBase 8.0.

Problem A
From PCT Tactics Module 6 Unit 26 Exercise 4

1...e4+ 2.fxe4 Nb2+ 3.Kd2 Rxc3 4.Bd4 Rfc8 5.Bxc3 Bh6+ 6.Ke2 Rxc3
Fritz agrees with this solution. This problem is quite difficult with significant competing lines to consider at three branches.

Problem B
From CT-Art Problem 1177

1...Bxh3 2.gxh3 Rxd4 3.Bxd4 Nf3+ 4.Kg2 Nf5 5.Rg1 N5xd4 6.Bd3 Nxg1 7.Qxd4 Nxh3
Fritz prefers 5. Qe3 (a variation given by CT-Art) but gives an improvement in that line. In this main line Fritz gives 6. ...Qe5 as a significant improvement. I find this position to be more challenging that "Problem A".

Problem C
From PCT Tactics Module 6 Unit 26 Exercise 5

1...Ba3+ 2.Kxa3 b4+ 3.Ka4 Nb6+ 4.Kxb4 Rb5+ 5.Ka3 Qc1+ 6.Bb2 Nc4+
Fritz gives the better defense of 3. Kb2. PCT does not attempt to show multiple variations in a single exercise and I do not know if they elsewhere show this with this alternative defense. To see / know 1...Ba3+ works one would have to consider the 3. Kb2 line. As Liquid Egg Product pointed out in the comment, since white has mate in one, black's key move is easy to find (it has to stop the mate and/or be a check). This is the easiest of the four problems.

Problem D
From CT-Art Problem 1179

1...Nb4 2.fxg4 Qxa2+ 3.Kc1 a5 4.Rhf1 Ne4 5.Qe1 Rc4 6.Rf4 a4 7.Rxe4 Rxe4 8.Qg3 h6
Fritz prefers 2. Nc1 (a variation given by CT-Art) but otherwise agrees with CT-Art. I found this problem to be similar in difficulty to "Problem A".

My conclusions: The most challenging problem of the four ("B") came from CT-Art and the easiest ("C") from PCT. I thought that the other two "A" (PCT) and "D" (CT-Art) to be similar in difficulty. If these are typical then CT-Art does indeed have more difficult problems at the highest levels than PCT.

My intent was to consider difficulty but I must add a word about quality. CT-Art made multiple errors in their analysis of what appears to be the most difficult problem. The only way I can get real value from CT-Art on such problems is to independently determine and verify the solutions. While I learn something by doing that, I can do that completely without CT-Art in the first place.

As always, your thoughts, comments, and criticisms are welcome.

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Friday, December 07, 2007

 

Four Problems

Update: 12/8/2007: I've created a link where you can play through the problems and subvariations with added analysis and evaluation by Fritz. The link is: fourproblems. For each problem, ignore the first move as it is just setting up the problem and is not part of the exercise as given by PCT or CT-Art.

Four tactical chess problems are below each with a main line solution. They are meant to be challenging.

Two of them are taken from the middle of the highest level of CT-Art and two of them are taken from the middle of the highest level of PCT. What do you think of these four problems and their solutions? What about the quality of the problems?

Which is the easiest to which is the hardest? How hard or easy is it to find the first move or understand the point? How close or far apart in difficulty are these four? I intend one or more follow up posts to look at these four problems in more detail.

Problem A

1...e4+ 2.fxe4 Nb2+ 3.Kd2 Rxc3 4.Bd4 Rfc8 5.Bxc3 Bh6+ 6.Ke2 Rxc3

Problem B

1...Bxh3 2.gxh3 Rxd4 3.Bxd4 Nf3+ 4.Kg2 Nf5 5.Rg1 N5xd4 6.Bd3 Nxg1 7.Qxd4 Nxh3

Problem C

1...Ba3+ 2.Kxa3 b4+ 3.Ka4 Nb6+ 4.Kxb4 Rb5+ 5.Ka3 Qc1+ 6.Bb2 Nc4+

Problem D

1...Nb4 2.fxg4 Qxa2+ 3.Kc1 a5 4.Rhf1 Ne4 5.Qe1 Rc4 6.Rf4 a4 7.Rxe4 Rxe4 8.Qg3 h6

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

 

Counting Problems

Counting Problems or Problems with Counting?

To create a grand unified theory of counting for captures in chess it should be either applicable in general, or, if that is not possible, then we need to be able to at least distinguish the cases where it can be relied upon from those cases where it can not. Otherwise, we are left with something that can be applied only in situations where it works but we have no way of knowing which those are.

Blue Devil Knight and Temposchlucker seem to be attempting that feat and I urge you to read their posts on the subject for background, if you're interested. I do think that what they are doing is useful (in an educational sense) and is interesting but I'm not sure if there is any practical applicability to their research.

My challenge to them is to consider the following positions with regard to counting. These examples are taken from Chess Tactics for Advanced Players by Yuri Averbahk and are from real games. I am showing the diagram for the position after the key move, which was in each case, a capture. The line given is a main line but there are other variations possible.

Could we have predicted or expected the move via counting? If counting should not apply in this position or for this capture how can we know?


Ahues - Kurpuhn
1935
White has just taken a Bishop on d6 with his Rook. Why isn't he just losing the exchange?
1.Rd1xd6 Qxd6 2.e5



Hubner - Tal
Biel, 1976
Black has just taken a pawn on h3 with his Knight. Why isn't he just losing his Knight for a Pawn?
1...Ng5xh3+ 2.Qxh3 Bxc3 3.Rxc3 Ne2+ 4.Kh2 Nxc3



Alekhine - Euwe
1937
White has just taken a Knight on d7 with his Rook. Why isn't he just losing the exchange?
1.Rd1xd7 Bxd7 2.Ng5 Qb8 3.Bxa8 Qxa8 4.Nxh7



Pogrebysski - Kortschmar
Kiev, 1937
White has just taken a Pawn on c6 with his Knight. Why isn't he just losing his Knight for a Pawn?
1.Ne5xc6 bxc6 2.Nxd5 Kh8 3.Nxe7 Qxe7 4.Qb4 Rf6 5.Rxc6

If anyone can create a grand unified theory of counting that works for these positions (before the key move) or in which we can easily distinguish when it can be applied and when it can not I will be most impressed.

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Saturday, November 03, 2007

 

Wilson Gambit Tactics

Here are simple and fun White to Move and Win positions from some blitz Wilson Gambits I have played on ICC this year.





Diagram 1


Diagram 2


Diagram 3


Diagram 4

Enjoy!

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

 

Blitz and Circles Update

I just played a few ICC blitz games. They did not all go well, but this one is fun:

GlennWilson (1501) - Vercingetorix (1358) [B21] Smith Morra Gambit

ICC 1 3 Internet Chess Club, 28.10.2007

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 d6 6.Bc4 a6 7.0-0 Nf6 8.Qe2 Bg4 9.Rd1 Ne5

White to move and win.

I believe that I saw this tactic because of the tactical training (Circles!) I have been doing using PCT. I recognized this pattern from that training. I was also making a conscience effort to see tactics based on my just completed review of my blitz performance. I would have found this before in a slow game but not, I think, at blitz.

Sweet!

I have now completed 25 units in module 1 of PCT and I'm plugging away at about 1 unit per day.

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ICC Blitz #8-#11

This post is for games 8, 9, 10, and 11 in the series looking at 11 of my recent ICC blitz games. All 11 games with light Fritz analysis are: here. These four are the top four in the list on that page.

Two whites, two blacks, 3 wins, 1 loss. 2 Pircs as black (the loss was a Pirc as black), 1 Smith Morra and 1 Danish Gambit.

A couple of interesting positions from these last four games:


Black to move and win.


White to move and win.

Summary and Conclusions
Of the 11 games I won 8 and lost 3. There were 5 games as White, 3 Smith Morras and 2 Danish Gambit. I lost 1 Smith Morra as white. As Black, I played 1 Moron and 5 Pircs. I lost 2 of the Pircs.

None of the losses were due to my opening play. In fact, in none of the games did I have a bad position from the opening. In a couple games I was winning from the opening.

What I see as the single biggest flaw and what I need to work on is missing very simple tactics (mate in 1, piece en prise, etc).

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

 

ICC Blitz #6 and #7

This post is games 6 and 7 in the series looking at 11 of my recent ICC blitz games. The 11 games with light Fritz analysis are: here. These are the two games against lands and were both fairly short and easy victories.

In the first one (lands-GlennWilson) the time control is 1 3. I play a Pirc and get a comfortable position from the opening although White does have a space advantage:


After 18. Nxf4:

Black to move and win.

In the second game (GlennWilson-lands) the time control is 3 1. We play a Danish Gambit/Goring Gambit. After 7. Bxe6 fxe6:

What should White play here? (It is a standard manuever in this opening).

Just a couple moves later, after 10.Qc8+ Kf7:

Black to move and win.

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ICC Blitz #5

This is game 5 in the series looking at 11 of my recent ICC blitz games. The 11 games with light Fritz analysis are: here. Today's game is #5 from the bottom in the list of games at that link: GlennWilson - GoldPawner. The time control is 1 3.

I'm White and the game begins 1. e4. We head towards a Danish Gambit/Goring Gambit. After 10. ...Rg8 we get one of the typical types of position for this opening where I am at least even:


I simplify intending on leveraging my pawn at g7 for endgame advantage. After 29. ... Rb8 we have:

Here White can end Black's misery. Do you see how?

There were significant inaccuracies by both players. On the plus side, I formed a reasonable plan from the opening based on the pawn at g7 and followed through on that plan.

After looking at five of these games I have some tentative thoughts:
1 - I have gotten into some wild positions that I am unable to follow in blitz. As neither me nor my opponent can really follow the tactics it does create an element of luck.
2 - My openings are not a problem, per se. I am getting good middlegame positions from the openings. But, opening selection may be part of the issue with #1 above.
3 - I am missing simple tactics. True, these are blitz games but, for one example, my opponent left a piece hanging in this game on move 21. I did not notice. All I had to do was take the piece. I walked into mate in 1 in an earlier game. I see this as the area I really need to work on. So much for the Tacticus Maximus nickname. :(
Update: I should have included:
4 - Do not over play the position as in ICC Blitz #4. Do not take crazy risks to "play for a win" when the position is saying "take the draw."

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Friday, October 26, 2007

 

ICC Blitz #4

This is game 4 in the series looking at 11 of my recent ICC blitz games. These games were the most recent 11 in my database when I decided to examine my blitz play. The 11 games with light Fritz analysis are: here. Today's game is #4 from the bottom in the list of games at that link: GoldPawner - GlennWilson. The time control is 1 3. Fritz hands out lots of question marks for both sides in this game.

The game starts with a Pirc move order and morphs into a standard open game (double king pawn) type of position. My position is great after the opening phase:


We both castle queenside. Around move 25 I win a piece but it opens the a-file that my opponent is poised to use. After 28. ...Ne2?? we have:


White to move; mate in 11 according to Fritz. But you don't have to see it is mate to see a very strong move for White that Black is practically forcing.

Was it bad "positional judgment" to open the a-file? Or, did I just mis-play the resulting tactics? Was winning the piece bad or good? Was it good but too dangerous?

Instead of 28. ...Ne2 I could have played Rfe8 attacking the Queen with at least a draw. I saw that during the game but wanted more. Sometimes more is not an option.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

 

ICC Blitz #3

Like the other posts in the series, the games can be found on the sidebar as the first link in the top box under games archives: ICC Misc Sept-Oct 2007. This post is looking at game # 3 (3 from the bottom in the list once you get to the games archive) : JuanCarrill0 - GlennWilson. Today's game is the first we are looking at in which I lose. The selected eleven games are just the most recent ICC Blitz games I had played when I started this series.

Blitz Strategy
First a digression on blitz strategy. This post by temposchlucker led me to http://www.videochess.net/ where one can find in Live Blitz Game # 78 the observation that The Pirc is very difficult to play in blitz games . It is cramped and requires patience and careful defense. Perhaps it is not the best choice for blitz? I'll have to consider that as I play the Pirc in blitz.

Like today's game. Technically, I guess it is not a Pirc (?) but it starts off with a Pirc move order. I'm fine after the opening:



White sac's a piece for an attack; does not follow through correctly; I defend and get to a winning position (I'm up a piece and White has nothing). It is Black's move in the diagram below:


What is Black's best move here? Not a combination but just good, simple chess. Can you guess what I played here (not the best move)?

I lost this game. Why? Ok, the tactical error at the end. But, am I asking for that kind of trouble by playing the Pirc in blitz?

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Monday, October 22, 2007

 

ICC Blitz #2

Here is the second of the eleven ICC blitz games I am taking a closer look at : GlennWilson-Misschess Sept 22, 2007. The time control is 1 3 (1 minute plus 3 seconds per move). It is #2 from the bottom in the list of games at this link. You can replay this game in your browser and you can click the text moves (and analysis) of the game and the diagram will sync up with that move.

I was white, the opening is a Sicilian Smith-Morra. My position is fine after the opening. I'm castled and black will have trouble developing the kingside so even though I'm down a pawn I think I am at least even.



I play against my opponents center and uncastled king. Black finally castles:


White to move and win.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

 

ICC Blitz

My rating at ICC is currently about the mid 1500s. My personal best there is 1699 on June 12, 2007. I only play blitz and generally 1 3 (one minute for the game plus 3 seconds per move). I often pay no attention to my ICC rating but I have decided I should try to raise my rating to a new personal best. My last 11 ICC games are on the sidebar or at this link. These have been lightly analyzed by Fritz.

My intent is to look at these 11 games closer for clues on how to improve my results at this ICC time control. The things I think I already know are 1) actually knowing openings can help a lot at blitz and 2) I need to work on my time management: keep point 3 from this post from BDK in mind. I hope that posting my embarassing low rating (compared to my USCF correspondence Master rating and USCF OTB Expert rating) should motivate me to improve my ICC blitz rating.

The third thing I need to work on is arrogance (a variation on playing the board not the rating from BDK's post above). I think I am better than my rating there. I am playing opponents near that rating so I think I am better than them. I tend to think there is no trouble I can get into that I can't find a way out of. I just realized that I may be doing that. Hmm....

Let's look closer at the first of these games: Misschess-GlennWilson Sept 22, 2007. I was black, the opening is a Pirc. I have the advantage after the opening. There follows tactics on the g-file far too complicated to follow (especially at blitz). I am fortunate and win.

Here is the final position; White lost on time here. Black has nasty threats based on discovered checks. What is White's best defense in this position? What should Black do against that best defense?

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

 

Circles, Tactics, Positional Play and Openings

First an update on my circles quest with PCT. I have completed 40 units in module 2 and have eleven left to complete the module. I skipped module 1 but I have gone back and done a few units in module 1 (including the monster 720 problem unit 51) and I will probably finish module 1 after I finish module 2.



I am clearly learning new tactical motifs, patterns and positions. I'm not sure how or how much this will impact my play but I am curious to see that over time. I'm quite happy with the software and the selection of positions.

I've been dubbed Tacticus Maximus by Blue Devil Knight based on my claim that there is not more to chess than tactics. It is only our inability to calculate far enough that causes us to use strategy and positional factors and guidelines and general principles to help guide our play. In other words, these things are all less than and subordinate to tactics. But we rely on them because they are the best we have in many situations.

How can I reconcile that claim with my play in the following game? A diagram I showed before from one of my games on August 11 (Black to move) :


First, look at the position and the relative positions of the two Kings. The White King is well defended by many of his faithful companions. Or, he is quivering in the corner depending on your perspective. The Black King is denuded of all protection and is an easy target standing in the middle of an open field. Or, he reigns supreme over all the lands enjoying a nice picnic.

There is a tactical shot here and Black wins immediately. But, ignoring any immediate tactical shots (say the position were subtly changed to eliminate them), who is winning and why? If someone is winning is the reason tactical or positional?

In this game I had played the Moron Defense which tends to de-emphasize early tactics by offering to trade Queens. It has been played as black by such noted players as Mikhail Tal, World Champion. The Magician of Riga. One of the most outrageously tactical players ever. Maybe he just wanted a rest day? It is an opening system I know well because I have played over many Moron games. I have never read a book on it and I don't think any exist. It is part of my standard opening repertoire and can transpose into a King's Indian or Pirc. It is one of my (not so secret) secret weapons.

During this game I did very little calculation. What I calculated was generally ways to keep my space advantage, keep the kingside closed and to keep the option of opening the queenside. I considered the effect of White taking on c6 and of Black taking on d5 or pushing b5. You might say that there is not much overt tactics in the game, but Black is attacking. Right? Attacking without calculation? The threats are longer term than I can calculate. But they are there. So it is tactics, just longer term than we can calculate. In other words, positional. Right? And would you consider positional play more in the category of strategy or of tactics?

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

 

HCC Saturday August 11, 2007

I played in the August 11 HCC Saturday Open and finished second with 2.5 points in three rounds. The tournament crosstable will is here.

I have modified my ISAM method to comply with new (as of Jan 1, 2007) USCF rules that the player make the move on the board before recording it on the scoresheet. Changing a 20 year habit proved not to be too difficult but I think there were times I played a little more impulsively than usual.

You can play over all of my games from that event in your browser from the link in the sidebar HCC August 11, 2007 under games archive. The positions below are from those games. So if you are interested in puzzles try these before playing over the games (where all is revealed).

This USCF Press Release lists the top World Youth Qualifiers. Number one for Girls under 8 is Evan Xiang at 1484. My first round opponent.

In this position Evan can win a piece. Do you see how? She did. Black to move:


Coming back from a piece down I see a chance for a draw. Do you? Do you see what I didn't see? (Fritz did). White to move:


My game with Alan Rodenstein was largely "positional" or perhaps "anti-positional". In any case, it may threaten my claim that chess is all tactics. I played the Moron Defence.

The game ends with a "subtle positional manuever" :-). Black to move:


In my game with Will Clayton I was in a swashbuckling mood and offered a Danish Gambit but he didn't want to go there. The game continued in gambit style. In the opening, the center, piece development and king safety are important concepts to keep in mind. This game illustrates their importance through the endgame.

White can put a big hurt on black here:


How does White continue:


I can't believe that I missed this shot for White:


Compare White's rooks to Blacks. How to turn the development advantage into something more concrete and lasting? White to move:

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

 

HCC Saturday August 4, 2007

I played in the August 4 HCC Saturday Open and tied for first with 2.5 points in three rounds. The tournament crosstable is here.

I am pleased with my results but not my chess. Especially the openings. I seem to keep getting in trouble in the openings and then fighting my way out of a hole. I definitely need to work on that.

You can play over all of my games from that event in your browser from the link in the sidebar HCC August 4, 2007 under games archive. The positions below are from those games. So if you are interested in puzzles try these before playing over the games (where all is revealed).

This first position is from my game with George Fan. White's move here reminds me of Bill Reuter's book Winning with Reverse Chess Strategy. Do you see White's move?



Later in the same game with George Fan, how does White put an end to the Black resistance?



From my game with Christopher Xavier. Black to move and win. Be careful, the obvious move for Black actually loses.




This is the final position in my game with Larry Englebretson. He offered a draw because he was short on time and was concerned about the lines with Qf6+ and Rf3. I was trying to find a win or forced draw after Nf5+ but I wasn't finding it. A draw ensured me a share of first place and I thought I was losing so I took it. White's best move in this position ? Take the draw offer?



Later, with Fritz I did find the following line that looks promising for White: 20. Nf5+ gxf5 21. exf5 Nc5 22. f6+ Kh8 23. Bxh7 Kxh7 (...Bg3!?) 24. Qh4+ Kg6 25. g3 Bxg3 26. Nxg3 Qe5 27. Rg1 Bg4 28. Qxg4+ Qg5 29. Qxg5+ Kxg5 30. Ne4+ and White wins. Should I have played on?

If after 20. Nf5+ Black does not take the knight but plays Kg8 instead that appears to be an invitation for repeating moves.

But, after 20. Nf5+ Kh8 21. g3 gxf5 22.exf5 Bxg3 23. Nxg3 Ng5 it looks like Black keeps the upper hand.

What do you think? Who is winning? What is the best move? Should I have played on?

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

 

HCC Saturday July 28, 2007

I played my first USCF rated games in over four years yesterday. I signed up for the first two rounds of the HCC Saturday Open with a third round bye. I scored 2 points in the two rounds I played. The tournament crosstable and results are here.

In both games I played a "novelty" in the opening. That is not always a good thing. The games are here and in the navigation bar under HCC July 28, 2007 with some analysis by Fritz.

In my game with Jim Polomsky I was pretty much lost in the opening but saw an opportunity to create complications and pressure and got lucky. But then I let up and almost let the game slip away.

In my game with George Fan I had a critical decision at move seven. This was the hardest move of the game for me to find. What should Black do here?


Here is another position from later in the same game. Black has a forcing maneuver that improves the position of his pieces and creates powerful threats. Do you see it?


In my game with Jim Polomsky I was winning with this position. Can he win my Bishop at h7? I did not play the best move here. What is White's best?

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

 

The Saavedra Position

I love a good story with a surprise ending and the Saavedra position is exactly that.

The Saavedra position is one of the best known chess endgame studies. It is named after the Spanish priest, Rev. Saavedra (1849-1922), who, while living in Glasgow in the late 19th century, spotted a win in a position previously thought to have been a draw.
WikiPedia

In a legendary article in the Dutch national chess magazine for November 1940, the endgame composer and writer John Selman unearthed how the famous Saavedra position came into being, in 1895, in the chess column of a Glasgow paper, the 'Weekly Citizen'.
When the well known London player Potter died in March of that year, chess editor G.E. Barbier wrote an obituary. A few weeks later, on 27 April, he published a position from one of Potter's games - remembering it wrongly, as Selman demonstrated. But precisely that was the first step to the masterpiece.

THE DISCOVERY OF THE SAAVEDRA

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