Sunday, November 22, 2009

Broadening Vision

My friend showed me this problem about a week ago. He said that he couldn't get it. I similarly failed. Here's your chance to show you're better than two experts. White to play:

Highlight this box for a light hint [Nd8 is in most lines somewhere.]

Highlight this box for a heavy hint [The first four moves are all checks.]

Highlight this box for the solution [1.Qd6+ Kc8 2.Qd8+ Kb7 3.Qxb6+!! Kxb6 (3...axb6 4.Nd8+ Kc7 5.Nxf7) 4.a5+ Kc6 (4...Ka6 5.Nc5#) (4...Kb7 5.Nd8+) 5.Nd8+ Kd7 6.Nxf7 +-]




I think the reason why I missed this problem is that both the width and depth of my thinking were insufficient. I thought I solved it with 1.Qd6+ Ka8 2.Qe8+ Kb7 3.Nc5+, but I overlooked the defensive resource 3...Kc6. I couldn't even see Qxb6+ because it looks too daring. I noticed the knight could fork after 1.Qd6+ Kb7, but once the queen went to d8, I stopped thinking about it. The mating pattern also seemed novel. Many features that I noticed on my tactical evaluation are here:

#1.Queen complexities
#3.Defensive resource (3...Kc6)
#4.Horizon/Premature cutoff (3.Qxb6+ can't work)
#8.Knight complexities (Nd8 fork)
#9.Backward move (3.Qd8xb6 and Nd8 forking things behind it) AND
#10.Complex new pattern (Nc5 mate)

Here's one I'm proud didn't get away. Chess Tempo #61744 is one of the higher rated problems I've gotten lately.

Highlight the following for a light hint. [What is White's chief advantage?]

Highlight the following for a heavy hint. [Invite more people to the party.]

Highlight the following for the solution. [1.Nd2! Ke7 {unpins} 2.Rc6 Qxc6 4.Qxc6]




I started off moving around the queen and rook in my head, but I couldn't get much traction after 1.Rc6 Qb3 stops the idea of 2.Qe6+ Be7 3.Rc8+ and 1.Rc6 Qb3 2.Re6+ Kf7 3.Qd7+ Kg8 isn't much of an advantage. Suddenly it occurred to me that White's queen and rook are already putting heavy weight on Black's pressure point, the pinned bishop on d8. The pieces might be as good as they're going to get for the time being. Black's pieces were also about as good as they could get, almost in zugzwang. Because of the recognition that White's queen and rook don't get much out of moving, I turned my attention to White's knight which is not participating. Nxe5 and Ng5 didn't look good, so I began to think about the backward and quiet-looking Nd2. One thing I did gain from the early Rc6 lines was that the Black Queen could harass my king a little bit. Nd2 is useful for preventing both Qb1+ and Qc3. It also threatens Nc4 removing the queen as guard of Bd8 and blocking the attempt of the move Qb3 to protect e6 from the White Queen.

The problem has the following difficulties from my list:
#1.Queen complexities
#8.Knight complexities
#9.Backward move
#11.Zugzwang (not exactly, but close enough)

I'm still not consciously saying to myself, "Look for backward moves and zugzwang and weird defensive moves" but I'd like to think subconsciously my board vision is improving a little.


Unknown said...

Hi Ernie, I think it's 1. Qd8+, Kb7 2. Qxb6 and no matter what Black does, he will drop his Queen to a Fork from the Knight, or if he takes his only escape route by way of the 'a6' square, he will get mated while his Queen is still on the board.

The variations looks something like this: 1. Qd8+, Kb7 2. Qxb6, axb6 3. Nd8+ and wins the Queen!


1. Qd8+, Kb7 2. Qxb6, Kxb6 3. a5+ and the King has to go to 'a6' (to escape the fork) 3...a6 4. Nc5#

I look at a lot of "Studies", so it took me 3 minutes.

But let me know if I am wrong, it is possible.

By the way, this looks like something A.A. Troitsky (the great Russian Study Composer) might have cooked up.

Unknown said...

I forgot to address your opening statement. I wouldn't say I was better than two experts, but for an A player, I have pretty strong expert tendencies. It's the only way I can explain having beaten so many experts.

64 squres of mind said...

Roughly early October, I was analyzing games from Radjabov - Alekseev the game is very entertaining for me because;

a.) Radjabov and I has a lot of things in common when it comes of repertoire and style.

b.) Alekseev played sounds, nonviolent and anti-tactical chess that suggest "deeper understanding of chess"

After I went over through on that game I became somehow, obsess of end game!

Going back on our game, my game plan is so simple.

1.) Avoid dynamic line so that I would be able to use my "real chess understanding" because if I play my repertoire it will be Sicilian and that line does not give me chance to play me new chess.

2.) Conserve pawn structure- I decided to play French hoping that you will play "exchange variation" because I know that you love playing equal position and I am falling in love with that, too.

2.) Play endgame and beat you there- the most tangible point is to see a position (endgame) that you were studying spending hours and hours.

At the end, I failed because I overlooked you Rxb5 which leaves me nothing! I must admit that I miscalculated it. When I played ... Nd7 I already saw those position, but like what I said, I overlooked the Rxb5.

After the Nc7+, I don't have a choice but to move my king to d8.

Sometimes there's a combination that requires decision 5 moves or more ahead but no turning back when you execute it and the only best way to deal with that is to stick your head on that plan.

I played good, but you played best. That game is, indeed, my best learning game ever. It is also worth mentioning that Radjabov played goofy chess "it is funny because we played like amateurs" he said after they played ping pong blunders.

Aronian,L (2737) - Radjabov,T (2744) [A15] Grand Slam Final Bilbao ESP (10), 13.09.2008

Also shows that terrible blunders happens even in the 2700 GMs, on that game Aronian was totally winning but blundered at move 45.Reb2?? turning 1-0 into 0-1.

At the end, you should compliment yourself because you deserve it. It is funny because you are thinking reason how did you win while other people thinking bunch of excuses to make themselves never beaten player which commonly result of being "unhealthy person" I called unhealthy because they would say "my stomach hurts that is why I lost" or "I am sick" and "I am dizzy" whatever.

Bottom line is, I was trying to kill you but you killed me!

Have a happy thanksgiving Ernie!