Sunday, April 13, 2014

Yesterday's Tactics

After looking at some games of Kasparov's (and pretty much any Grand Master) it makes me realise just how tactically aware a chess player has to be. As such, solving chess tactical puzzles, or problems must be a worthwhile exercise. I guess the difficulty most of us face is continuing to work hard at the games for lengthy periods of time.

I've been solving lots of tactical puzzles on the chesstempo website, s well as any puzzles in magazines that I see and in books that I have. I reckon that at the moment, it is taking up at least 50% of the time I have for studying the game, and I still feel weak tactically. Anyway, here are the answers to yesterdays positions.

 This was a miniature that was played at the European Seniors Championship between Cebalo-Vasiukov. Black has gone badly wrong and mate was forced after 12.Qd5!! Qe7 [12..cxd5 13.Nxd5# is pretty] 13.Nxh7 when black resigned rather than play 13..Rxh7 14.Bg5#

 Black used a discovered attack in this puzzle 18..Nf4!! which either mates or wins the queen. White played 19.Bxb6 and resigned after 19..Nh3+! This pattern of a knight jumping to f4 and h3 is worth remembering.

Finally, we have another tactical genius, Alexei Shirov, playing in a rapid event. His opponent had just pinned his Nf3 by playing 17..Bh5, forgetting that if the piece at the back isn't the king, then the pinned piece may move. Shirov, in the above position, played 18.Nxg5!! when the queen cannot be taken because of 19.Bxh7# The game finished 18..Bxg5 Qxh5 19.Bxe3 fxe3 when black resigned.

I took these positions from TWIC, where I find a good tactical exercise is look at the games that finish in results under 25 moves, as mostly these games finish because of tactical blunders.

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