Thursday, July 25, 2019

Creating a Pawnroller for the Win

This a simple example of connected passed pawn rolling down the board for the win. Chess strategy implores a player to keep his pawns connected, and push them when possible. Inversely, isolated pawns are to be avoided.

In this position, Black holds a positional advantage over White due to his advanced central and connected passed pawns. The number of pawns on both sides are equal at five. Black's centralized King position adds to his eventual victory barring any gross blunders on his part. You can't catch a deluge with a paper cup.

I just played 39...Kd5 to which White countered with 40.Kd3. What else could he do? His Knight lacks good squares. The move 40.f4 is countered with 40...e4 making Black's game easier because his e and d pawns will essentially be unopposed.

So, after  40...e4+  41.fe fe+, we have the position above. White's one-pawn majority on his kingside is meaningless. There is no time to develop and advantage from it. The action remains in the center. White's King is under a Check and must give way with 42.Ke2 d3+  43.Kd2 Kd4

At this point, Black's King and d pawn positions improved to the point of being decisive. White followed another dictum is Chess which is to use minor pieces, like his Knight, to block passed pawns. Essentially, just get those minor pieces in the way-- 44.Ne3. Good rule of thumb except it fails here with Black's finale move 44... Bb4+ and the White King must move back, leaving his Knight on e3 hanging. Black resigned the game.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Fancy Footwork by Bishop and Queen

Up against a highly rated player, I managed to somehow achieve a positional advantage by keeping the initiative and well considered exchanges along the E file. Black's bishop was hemmed in, blocked by his own pawns, functioned no better than a mere pawn. Black's weak white squares played a key role in his defeat particularly the g8, h7, and g6 squares. 

In order to relieve the pressure, Black played 27...Qf6 to offer an exchange of Queens. Not a fool, Black relinquished control of g8 knowing that his King can find refuge on g6 where he can team up with the Black Queen guarding the f7 square. 

But, there was a move that Black missed. The player who calculates better comes out the winner--an obvious, no-brainer, dictum in Chess. 

White moved 28. Qg8+, Kg6.

This is the move that spoiled Black's plans, 29. Qe8+. Black safeguarded against 29. Bf7+ which would not be possible with his King at g6 and Queen at f6. 

The rest went 29... Kh7 30. Bg8+ ( Not 30. Qg8+ )

Black's only move 30... Kh8 , setting up a discovered check by White, with 31. Bf7+

Almost there, 31... Kh7. The coup de grace followed with 32. Qg8 ++ mate.

The theme, in this attack, focused on a bad Bishop and weak squares around one's king position.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Smoke and Mirrors

There are times when some trickery gets you out of a bind. Trickery dumbs down the technique. Counter-attack would be the appropriate word effecting a great escape. Fischer described Emmanuel Lasker's play as "Smoke and mirrors."  That's pejorative. In fact, Lasker eked out wins and draws through well calculated combinations. 

Immediately after playing 12... Bc5, I saw that thematic attack on a queen that suspends all other threats, consequently losing a piece, since the threat must first be addressed. You might say that I took a big gulp down my throat. 

Well, as the old adage implores us to do, that counter-attack is the best defense, after 13. Na4, I responded with 13...Nd4! In one move, White's queen went under attack with a check to follow, and the knight on a4 hung for the taking. 

If 14.Nb6, capturing my queen, then 14... Ne2+ 15.Be2 ab6 and that's about even material. The game went 14.Nd4 Ba4. Not bad at all. However, White throws away a good game with 15.Bb5+? Bb5  16.Nb5 Be3  17.Nd6+ Ke7  Here, if 18.Qe3, then 18...Qe3  19.fe Ne5 with a good game for Black.

If 18.ef, then 18...Ne5 and Black is better since the knight on d6 needs to escape via the b5 square. In the meantime, Black can line up his rooks on the C file. So, Black neutralized that dreadful 13.Na4. How is that for pulling rabbits out of a hat?

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Cleaning House

After coming back from a hiatus, I checked the links on the sidebar of this website for relevance, and found that most linked sites no longer exists. In the time that I fell by the wayside, so did they. Attrition, chess blogs, like business enterprises, fall victim to its fatal effects. Maintaining a blog requires considerable attention, writing, editing, analyses, and graphic-making. Perhaps, a blog spewing chess gossip or paparazzi-style reports take less effort, but this website deals with the game itself. Bloggers lose interest, get tired, or sick, pursue other forms of self-expression, or outright stop existing. And then they go silently into the night.

The links have been updated. They include the three chess-playing sites that have cultivate a substantial following--,, and the Internet Chess Club. Between these three sites, you can have your fill of competition. When I am lagging in one, another site gives me a reprieve from, say, a 3-game losing streak. It is a conundrum. Don't ask me to explain. 

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, February 12, 2018

Not All Material Gain is Good

It has been a long time since my last post. A medical emergency needed to be addressed in 2014, plus a persistent condition of stasis ( laziness in common language ) are to blame. But, all is well now.

For my next post, I present a situation in chess that occurs often in play. Greed plays a part in the game, and a player in a desperate situation may pin his hopes on his opponent's grabbing of material to get out of a bind. The position below, from one of my games played online, is a prime example.

As you can see, Black was on the verge of checkmating White. In a last ditch effort, I played 21. Ba7+. All Black had to do was to sidestep the attack by not capturing the bishop. Capturing the bishop would only lead to further play by White. Mate on g2 was inevitable if Black played 21...Ka8.

However, the game continued with 21... Ka7  22.Qa5+ Kb8  23. Qd8+ Ka7  24.Qa5+ and White achieved a perpetual check to save his game.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The final position of a smothered mate in one of my games, these positions somehow always end up with a peculiarity that borders on the comical. Not only is the Black King and Queen forked, but the Rook on b8 is also en prise. Life just isn't worth living anymore once on the receiving end of a smothered mate.

Labels: ,

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Reversal of Fortune

Having played carelessly, I found myself in this seemingly hopeless position. Not only would I lose the exchange, but end up losing both rooks in two moves. I thought about resigning, but decided that desperation was better than resignation. I could see some kind of counterplay after White was finished picking up material. Play continued with 13...hg  14.Qh8+ Kf7  15.Qa8

Here we were after losing both my rooks. Although this was an online game, my opponents glee was palpable. He was as contented as a fat cow on the range. But now, the counterattack...  15...Qb4+  16.c3 Qb2 threatening the rook and mate on d2  17 Rd1 Qc3+. White would not escape if he played 16. Ke2 because of 16...Qd2+  17.Kf3 Qf2++

We are almost there. White was forced to play 18. Ke2 Bb5+ bringing another piece into the attack. 19. Rd3 Qd3+ (better than 19...Bd3+). 

Checkmate would follow very soon beginning with 20. Ke1 Qd2++ I don't think that my opponent appreciate it.