Check Your Blind Spot
Hi Chess Friends,
One of the most common topics I touch on when teaching chess classes and individual lessons is the importance of examining forcing moves (checks, captures and threats). These are the moves most likely to completely alter a line from winning to losing (or hopefully the reverse). In a recent online game, I was able to calculate one forcing move further than my opponent and gain a satisfying win. After the game, I looked for improvements (an important step for anyone interested in making progress) and found that I missed forcing moves, which improved on my in-game calculations in two crucual variaitons. Let's take a look.
My knight on f6 is in danger, so I had to find a playable response. My main candidate was Nd7, but I had to find responses to white's forcing lines, e6 and Rd1. Fortunately, I was able to calculate the twist ending of the e6 line and my opponent fell into a nice trap.