What If He Plays The Second Move First?

What If He Plays The Second Move First?

spassky
spassky
Jul 16, 2009, 12:00 AM |
22 | Tactics

When you are analyzing a combination during a game, sometimes your first go at it makes it seem as though it won't work.  Many chess books about tactics suggest that you then reverse the order of the moves in the combination to see if that helps.  This is especially true if any of the moves are checks.  Since checks are forcing moves, they can cause the flow of defensive pieces to be interrupted by king moves.  When attacking, you should be especially careful not to "automatically" play recaptures.  And if you are defending, don't assume that pieces will be automatically recaptured.  Always "check the checks" first.  The players in these two games did not and suffered the consequences.

In the next game, White did the same thing: he saw a line that worked out well for him, and assumed Black would play it.  He did not reverse the move order and was punished for it.

The lessons here?  If you are under attack, there are so many ways things can go wrong.  So you have to be hyper-sensitive to any threatening moves, especially checks and captures.  And just because you stopped the original threat doesn't mean you have stopped them all, or allowed new ones.  And even if you checked a line before and found it to be safe, don't assume it is still safe after your opponent's next move.  You have to re-check all lines after each new move.  Each move can make subtle changes and create new threats or renew old ones.  Defending is hard work. I reccomend attacking instead.  But if you find yourself defending, always answer the question "What if he plays the second move first?"  

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