Saturday, April 29, 2006

That advanced passed pawn on a7 looks very promising for white, but black can hold his own provided he doesnt fall victim to a well-known rook manuever in cases where a passed pawn is already one the seventh rank.

Playing white, I had just played 33. a7, preparing the sneak attack 34. Rf8. If 33... Ra7, then 34. Rf7+ and the black rook is lost. On the other hand, if 33... Ke7 attacking the rook and guarding the f7 pawn, then 34. a8(Q) since white has conveniently vacated the queening square.

However, after 33. a7, it is black's move. Sensing all of the above, black played 33... Ke7 and that should hold the position although 33... Kc7 might be better since it will allow the a7 pawn to be capture. The rook manuever illustrated above will not work since the black king can defend the rook on a7 from b6. So, play continued with 34. Kd2, f6?? Black just gave away his advantage with his last move. He opened himself up for that dreaded rook manuever once more. White could have immediately taken advantage of this blunder by 35. Rg8, fe 36. a8(Q), Ra8 37. Ra8. However, I played 35.ef+, gf 36. Rh8!, c3+ 37. Kc2 and black resigned. If 35... Kf6, the rook move 36. Rf8+ wins.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

In our chess journeys, we will discover the concept of a windmill. No, it has no relation to Don Quixote. It is, in fact, a form of discovered attack in combination with a forced move. Once this concept becomes clear in our minds, then we might find several examples in the chess games databases.

Here's one from Moscow, 1925. Carlos Torre turns the windmill on his hapless opponent who was no other than Emmanuel Lasker. I've read that there is some question over the authenticity of this game, and if it was in fact a real game then it is said that Lasker was severely distracted by a telegram from his wife that he fell into this helpless situation.

It is black's move, and black captures the white queen on h5, 1... Qh5. Yum! That's a whole queen. So, here we go, 2. Rg7+, Kh8 forced. 3. Rf7+, Kg8... and there you see the basic mechanism of a windmill. Play continued 4. Rg7+, Kh8 5. Rb7+, Kg8 6. Rg7+, Kh8 7. Rg5+, Kh8 8. Rh5 and white manages to recapture a queen!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

With the black pieces, I can smell victory. I know it's there but I still need to make it happen. As always, there are several options, and finding the most efficient way is the name of the game. At this point, I am quite aware of the rook check on h1 and also that wonderful attack on the e file with Re8. The bishop on g3 and the pawn on d5 make life very unpleasant for white. White needs to generate some counterplay, like pushing the c pawn or taking his knight to b3 and then to c5. In fact, white's rooks are already connected while the black rooks are working independently from each other. Alas, things are still untenable for white. It will take some time for white to get a counter-attack going, but black can proceed right away.

As is often the case with me, and perhaps with you too, my continuation is not what the computer prescribed! From this position, I played 1... Qf5. I decided that the rook check on h1 can wait and if white tries to sneak out of that jam by Ke2 there is always Re8. White will have to sac his knight cover the skewer on the queen and king. Nasty stuff. My move places the queen in the area of conflict, with some pressure on the d3 square plus support for Bf4, attacking the white queen, kinda scrambling the position, and maybe creating a bit more tactical possibilities for black. This was a blitz game, 5/0.

First, let's see how the game went. After 1... Qf5, play continued with 2. Nb3, Re8 and white resigned. Obviously, white lost interest. Anyway, another line was 1... Re8 2. Qg1, Qe6 [ threatening mate on e2 ] 3. Ne4, de4 4. fe4, Qa6+ and black should be able to win from here.

Let's look at the check on h1. If I played 1... Rh1+ , the game would have continued with 2. Ke2, Re8 3. Qe8+ [ white can only hope to get two rooks for his queen ] Qe8+ and the black rook on h1 will not be en prise. So, 3. Ne4 will result in 3... de4 4. Rh1, ef + 5. Kf3, Re3+ 6. Ke3 and black should be able to win this endgame.