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Greed and Two King Hunts

  • IM Silman
  • | Jul 11, 2012
  • | 6916 views
  • | 21 comments

IMPORTANT: [At the end of the puzzles, you should click MOVE LIST so you can see my instructive notes and variations. If you are having trouble solving a problem, just click SOLUTION, and then MOVE LIST. Even if you solve everything, DO click MOVE LIST or you might miss an important bit of prose.]


IN CHESS, THINGS ARE OFTEN NOT AS SIMPLE AS THEY SEEM

Our first problem asks a simple question: WHAT CAN WHITE DO TO FORCE THE WIN OF MATERIAL?

SHREDDING THE ENEMY KING

Black has three thematic, very strong moves, but which is best? The choices are 21...d4, 21...Qxd3, and 21...h3.
MATE!

Black mates by force!

LESSONS FROM THESE EXAMPLES

* In chess, greed is a good thing. But you should only partake if your mind is clear and you are sure your greed isn’t really delusion.

* If all your pieces are aimed at a weakness on the queenside, you have to go after that weakness. If all your pieces are aimed at the enemy King, you have no choice but to go for the gusto and rend that King limb from limb. However, if your pieces are aimed at the enemy King but you deem yourself a positional player and decide to attack some weakness (even though he has more pieces in that area than you do), you’re no longer playing chess. Trust the board to lead you in the right direction, not your ego. If the board screams, “Positional” obey it. If it screams, “kill his King”, obey that too.

* If an enemy defender is stuck guarding some critical point, often the winning method is very straightforward: force the defender away and his game will fall apart.

HOW TO PRESENT A GAME FOR CONSIDERATION

If you want me to look over your game, send it to askjeremy@chess.com

I need your name (real or chess.com handle), your OPPONENT’S name (real or chess.com handle), both players’ ratings, where the game was played, and date. If you don’t give me this information, I won’t use your game! BTW: I’ve noticed that many people are reluctant to give me their opponent’s name. This is very strange! Showing the names of both players is the way chess games are presented in databases, books, magazines… everywhere! Permission from the opponent isn’t necessary. If permission was necessary, everyone who ever lost a game wouldn’t allow their name to be on it!

Comments


  • 11 months ago

    gratefulocean-snivy

    beheaded person in picture?!

  • 21 months ago

    Miu_

    I really love your articles! They are very informative and most importantly, they are practical!

  • 21 months ago

    harp396

    Very interesting and helpful. Thank you!

  • 22 months ago

    Kinn72

    Thanks, the 2nd example shows the tremendous power of a passed pawn.

  • 22 months ago

    YoniKer

    another beautiful article!

    At this rate i will become a fan of Mr Silman :)

  • 22 months ago

    stormcrown

    @sodatodadude, if I see material and I can't see a way to be punished for taking it, I take it.  (The exception is if its some manner of decoy to prevent a mate, yadda.)  I'd rather lose because I missed a variation than lose because I was too timid to punish a careless opponent.

    @madhacker - same for me - I fixated on the mate, not the rook.  I looked at Qc1 briefly, saw Ra2, and pruned the variation.

  • 22 months ago

    lino2011

    it's a very good article, IM Silman.  Thanks

  • 22 months ago

    retu66

    Thanks a lot:)

  • 22 months ago

    nyLsel

    nice game!

  • 22 months ago

    NachtWulf

    I appreciated the triple-plan game, and your explanation of picking out the valid ones! The simplicity of mating with a rook and queen while creating and using a passed pawn was quick and clean, which is something I (soon!) hope to learn how to execute.

  • 22 months ago

    robotjazz

    i appreciate the depth you go into to show several options and how to deal with them. you are an excellent teacher. Thanks!Laughing

  • 22 months ago

    DanDan0101

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 22 months ago

    Sun777

    Awesome article!

  • 22 months ago

    SherlockHolmes94

    I liked that picture ^____^
    but great article as always! 

  • 22 months ago

    shams

    41...d1=R was unjustly marked wrong in the last puzzle.  :)

  • 22 months ago

    r_heaivilin

    I found this articles informative and useful although I prefer seeing ranks and files labeld on the board to make following the text easier.  

    Many thanks for this article.

  • 22 months ago

    Hari1993

    Great article.Rulessimplifed for winning.

  • 22 months ago

    Stefan77

    Great article Mr. Silman! 

  • 22 months ago

    Rook98

    nice article

  • 22 months ago

    madhacker

    The first position just proves that I have a one track mind. I was trying all kinds of mating ideas involving permutations of Bxh6, Bxg6, Rf6, h2-h4-h5 etc. The idea of attacking the rook didn't occur to me at all. (Lesson: LOOK AT THE WHOLE BOARD!)

    When you say "greed is a good thing", I think you are using a different definition of "greed" than what the word makes me think of. To me, "greed" implies taking something which you objectively have no right to. So if you take a pawn which makes you suffer for a few moves but gives you an advantage if you find all the right follow up moves, that's not "greed" in my book, that's just good play.

    Still, very good article as always.

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