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.]
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
This position smells of doom for Black. His Queen is in a comic position, his King’s in the middle, white’s Rooks are ready to crash through on the queenside, and white has an obvious lead in development. How should White handle this tasty situation?
WHAT'S THE PURPOSE OF YOUR MOVE?
Here White decided to push his f4-pawn to f5. He said he did this to, “Fix the weak pawn on f6.” Is 12.f4-f5 a good move, and if so, is its purpose to “fix the weak pawn on f6?” Finally, what’s the downside of 12.f4-f5?
A VERY TOUGH MOVE TO FIND
White should be able to punish Black, but the "Hammer of Thor" turns out to be a very hard move to find. Think you have a chance? Then give it a shot!
~ LESSONS FROM THESE EXAMPLES ~
* Some positions are static, thus calling for static, usually positional solutions, and other positions are dynamic, calling for sharp, dynamic moves. You can't find these moves if you don't feel the pulse of the position.
* If you don't know the purpose of your move (hopefully that purpose will conform to the position's needs), then why are you playing it?
* If you think the enemy position deserves to be punished (not because you want it to be, but because the imbalances scream for harsh treatment), take a very long think and insist you find a way to give the position what it wants.
HOW TO PRESENT A GAME FOR CONSIDERATION
If you want me to look over your game, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
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!