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