Monday, February 11, 2008

Spotting weaknesses

What do I find very interesting in this position?

Black threatens the capture of the bishop on the next move, followed up with a double attack on the g2-pawn (threatens mate in 1) and the queen. For white it seems that these are desperate times. There is no good way to prevent the capture of the bishop. Retreating the queen to e4 would result in a loss of material. One can try from this position to induce an eternal check on the king but a calculation error, or missing a move is easily made. So only a forced sequence which can overrride the threat can save him the game. Forced sequences have the advantage that only limited amount of moves are possible, which eases one's calculation. It can also relieve pieces from their normal duty without a loss of time. Furthermore it is a very good exercise in visualization and assessing a position. Some people do not like to sacrifice material. In this case, one is forced to.

If we look at this position we see furthermore that black's king is in the center and is a bit exposed. White's rooks are on the center files exerting pressure on the king's position.Black's f-pawn is not really free and is the last flank protection to shield off the king. Black's king rook is badly placed and has only a limited function.

So why is rook taking the knight (1. Rxe6) an obvious move for white?

I can only come up with one answer. The reduction clarifies the position. Counting the amount of black pieces really being able to protect, shield off and assist the king in its protection, Black has to say only one can really protect him and that is the queen. The rooks are not really helping.They are exerting pressure on files not important to the protection of his king. They do not challenge the white pieces on any account. White has three pieces in the attack. The bishop is preventing the king its access to the f -file and also preventing the Queen of intervening on the e5 square. The King cannot hide himself behind the f-pawn. It seems that white has three pieces he can use in his attack on the king. A surplus of 2 pieces.

On the capture black has only 2 choices: either recapture or move his king out of the check.


game continuation

Kxe6 2.Qe4+ Kd7 3.Qxb7+ Ke6 4.Re1+ Kf5 5.Qxf7+ Kg4 6.Qf3+ Kh4 7.Qh3# 1-0

Somewhere our Champ missed a mate in one?


I especially enjoy the variation where black's king is trying to play hide and seek.

[1...Kd7 2.Rexd6+ (2.Rdxd6+ Kc7 3.Qc2+ Qc5 (3...Kb8 4.Rd7 Qa5 5.Ree7 Rxg7 6.Rxb7#) 4.Qxc5+ Kb8 5.Rd8+ Rxd8 6.Be5+ Rd6 7.Bxd6#) 2...Kc7 (2...Ke7 3.Qe4+ Qe5 4.Qxe5#) 3.Qc2+ Kb8 4.Rd8+ Rxd8 5.Be5+ Qxe5 6.Rxd8#; 1...fxe6 2.Bh6+]

I calculated the following combination.

1...Kd7 2.Rdxd6+ Kc7 3.Qc2+ Kb8 4.Rd8+ Rxd8 5.Be5+ Qxe5 6.Rxe5 +/-

I did not calculated in anyway 2.Rexd6+? Why? It did not crossed my mind in anyway. I missed the threat 4.Rd7 and black should have no good answers.

It seems that I still miss plenty!

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Blogger phorku said...

I did not calculated in anyway 2.Rexd6+? Why? It did not crossed my mind in anyway...

Me too. I knew RxN was the answer but I could not calculate out the hide and seek to a satisfactory position. It is amazing how hard it is to calculate in your head.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Montse said...

It shows also how incomplete our thinking processes are. The assessment lacks proficiency. So our incompleteness in assessing all moves can also be classified as a real candidate for the category hope chess.

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2:55 PM  

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