Game Summary: Finding myself in a passive position, alarms go off when seemingly innocent moves are made in the endgame. Thankfully Admiral Ackbar is always on duty.
The great Admiral Ackbar could sense a trap like no other. Maybe it was the size of eyes that allowed him to see deeper than a normal amphibian. Perhaps his overgrown nostrils allowed him to smell danger on the horizon. Personally I feel he was born with the ability to see into another level of existence that most mortals are not privy. Whatever reason it may be, there is no denying that when a trap was sprung he was the first to know.
Now traps are rampant in chess. You see a piece hanging go for it and next thing you know your swimming in quick sand. Most traps are fairly simple to see as long as you spend the time to calculate before the "free" piece or square is taken. And this game is a fine example of why you should always keep Admiral Ackbar in your fleet.
And game goes....
Now as anyone who has seen Searching for Bobby Fischer knows, you do not pull your queen out early. What this tells me is either this guy does not respect my chess and wants a fools mate or there is a trap being laid. At this point I raise my eyebrow and begin to look at what he is planning...
Now any sane normal person here would go, "Okay! Stick with the plan and get a strong dark square pawn chain to lock out his bishop, castle king side and funnel everything over to the king side of a strong attack. I, however, have the focus of an occasional smoker who ran upon Snoop Dogg's stash. So I decided to castle queen side instead and that meant getting all pieces out of the way....
Now here I am staring at this very real threat to totally blowing open my kings safe haven. The powerful battery on the long diagonal and the rook aiding the rolling pawns it was not looking very good for me. I sat here for a minute and decided on what to do. We had already used up a third of our allotted time each and at this rate I knew it was going to be a long one so using my time here was worth it. After running through a few variations I decided that here the real threat was the queen being on the diagonal.
To reference a previous blog of mine I sat here asking myself, "What now?" According to the chess videos I watch on these things they rant often about figuring out his plan to win and then stopping it. To me he needs to drive his c and d pawn as well as get his knight into the game to poke holes in my defense. For me I saw that my pawns are dedicated to dark squares and the only way to protect them is my rook which means it will be my kings job to hold off the queen side advance as I get my pawns rolling on the kings. First things first though, and that's prevent him from opening up any more files for his rook.
It is now apparent to me that after those two traps he was still in the tactical mindset where end games are all about positional chess. Granted he has a pass pawn but his a6 trap only allowed my king to get into a much more active position. There is no way his rook is getting in and his knight is stuck on guarding pawns and blocking in his own pieces. I see that my position is leaps better than his and it's time to turn the tables all the while I keep Ackbar in the back of my head.
I stared at this for a while as we came up on being at 6 minutes each. I knew taking the a pawn was right. However given last two traps I was very nervous to just jump at it.I saw the fork coming with Nc4 but I had to figure out how to follow it and whether or not he would have anything after. After weighing the odds and doing a calculation or two I decided there was nothing to fear and Admiral Ackbar agreed.
And so the game went. Traps can dangerous things and if not noticed can cause a game to be over with very quickly. However if they come at the cost of allowing you opponent to gain a better position it may not be worth laying one. But that's just my view on things. 72 points to go.
1. Always watch your footing for traps.
2. If there is not reason to deviate from your first plan...don't.
3. I have a pop culture problem.