Sunday, July 10, 2011

Wide Open King

Taken from one of my recent correspondence games - white is down a pawn, but very obviously winning. The game concluded with:

24. Qh2 f6
25. Ne6!! Resigns since black must lose at least a piece to avoid mate.

However, there is a much simpler way to finish the game. I had calculated it out before, but didn't write it down anywhere, so when it came time to make my move days later, I had forgotten all about it!

24. Rh8+!! Bxh8 (If ...Kxh8 then 25. Qh2+ and mate via Qh7#)
25. Ne6+! Bg7
(If ...Kh7 we have the same Qh2+ mating idea)
26. Rxg7+ Kh8
27. Qh2+ Qh4
28. Qxh4#

Sunday, June 26, 2011

What Actually Happened

This is the position from the previous post which we discussed. The ideas suggested were an eventual h4-g5 push to open the black king and the other was b3 to increase the stranglehold on the queenside.

Here is what I played:

27. Nxd6 Bxd6
28. Rxd6 Qxa4
29. g5 hxg5
30. Bxg5 Qxa5
31. Rxf6 gxf6
32. Bxf6 Qc5
33. Rd4 exd4
34. Qh4 dxc3+
35. Kh1 Black Resigns

There are some mistakes in here, but it sure looks pretty. Thoughts?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Position to Discuss

Hi readers, this time I thought I would try to do something more discussion-based. I am going to post a position from one of my recent games and we will (hopefully) have a discussion on what white can do.

There are a few options for white in this position, so there should be plenty to discuss. White is visually winning, so I would like the discussion to be more based around how white should continue to press the advantage. Once we have discussed for a while I will post what happened in the game (I think you'll enjoy the finish).

Here is the position for white's 27th move after 26. ...Qc6-d7.

Don't feel like you have to look for tactics or any deep positional ideas, just share your thoughts about the position and some potential ideas.

I'll even go first - I like the white pieces a lot more than the black pieces here. The black pieces are pretty tied down and aren't very active, while white's pieces are attacking and (mostly) well-placed.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ending with a flourish

I have a couple positions for you to look at from some of my recent games. The first position I will give the answer to, but the second one I will wait a few days before posting the answer. Try your best to solve both!

Position 1 - Difficulty: 2/10, white to move:

Answer will be posted in a comment.

Position 2 - Difficulty: 9/10, black to move:

The answer to this one is much more involved than the previous one. As such, I will give you a few days to work through it before I post the answer.

**EDIT** The answer to position 2 follows.

1. ...Bg4!!
Deep, precise, and devastating. The white queen has no squares.
2. hxg4 hxg4!
3. f5
Only way for white to keep playing on. This is where it is easy to get stuck since it is hard to find the follow-up.
3. ...Qh7!
This is actually the hard part.
4. Qf4
In the game, white played Qe4?? and then tipped the king over.
4. ...Rh8!
Here it is very difficult to find a move for white. I personally think that the best try for white is 5. Rff1!? making black earn it, but black should still be winning. Any differing opinions or comments?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Getting back into it

I've been ultra-busy at work and with life in general the last couple months and more or less stopped playing chess completely. However, I've logged in to ICC a few times and registered for a couple tournaments, so I'll be getting back into playing shortly. Wanted to play in the Chicago Open this year, but I would be so ill-prepared that it wouldn't be worth it.

I am hoping to test the waters in the next couple weeks and see if I am still relatively competent at this game. After all, that expert rating won't achieve itself.

Hopefully this also means that I will start posting here with a greater frequency, though it likely won't be as many videos as before (it takes about 4 hours to make and post a 10 minute video).

As always, let me know if there is anything you want to see.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Generic Title for Post

Its kind of funny how life gets in the way sometimes and certain things drop substantially on the priorities list. Making videos for this blog has been like that lately. I haven't forgotten about it, just haven't really had the drive to make them.

Anyway, I'm going to force myself to post a video by the end of this week. Until then, I will post a simple puzzle from one of my other games.

White to move:

The answer is (highlight the area after the colon to see the answer): Rxf6! then if gxf6 Qh6 will force mate. If anything else, just move the rook and white is a piece and pawn up.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

What's this? I still know this blog exists?

I know, I know. It has been more than two months since my last post. I haven't really been playing very much while adjusting to my new job and life in Madison.

I've played in two tournaments since moving in September. The first tournament I tied for 3rd with 3.5/5.0 (+3 =1 -1) and one game that I will probably make a video out of [Theme: Gradual build-up of an attack]. The second tournament I tied for first (1st on tiebreaks!) and went 4.0/5.0 (+4 -1) with one game that I will make a video out of [Theme: Exploitation of pins, notable opponent].

I am hoping to be motivated enough this week to try and make one, if not both, of these videos.

As always, I welcome any input. As per a reader request I am going to try to put subtitles in my videos from now on. If there is one video of these two you would rather see, send me an email or comment on this post and if one is more popular then I will make it first.

**EDIT** Figuring out how to do subtitles without obscuring the board is proving difficult, so look for an ETA on a video for Monday.

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