A 2 for one Christmas special -- tactics toddler and annotation of a game

Dec 28, 2015, 6:46 PM |

A relatively new member recnetly posted on the wall of the Dan Heisman Learning Center (DHLC) that he'd like a game on 26 December and asked if anyone was interested in playing.   I responded.   I've missed long games so much.

To give some of you an idea on how crazy life has gotten lately, I had to call 9-1-1 (that's the emergency call number in the United States) for my dad on 29 October.  He was having much difficulty breathing.   The mere fact that he said, "I don't care" when I mentioned calling 9-1-1 instead of going to an ER and waiting hours, told me this was NOT a good thing.   A patient is miserable when they stop caring....

Good thing we called.  They gave him a breathing treatment immediately and transported him to the hospital.  He had a VERY SEVERE case of multilobar pneumonia (that means it affected many lobes in the lungs.  It involved the entire right lung and part of the left).  He was hospitalized for almost two weeks.  In the meantime, my mother isn't in the best of health either.   Usually my dad does almost everything for her and she was lost without help.  My sister was able to make arrangements to "work from home" and stayed with them for several weeks after my dad was released from the hospital.  I took the "weekend shift" and went over every weekend to help out.  My dad was so weak.  He WAS a pretty healthy man who walked two miles a day.   After the pneumonia, he couldn't walk two feet.   Recovery has been VERY SLOW -- they told us it would take four to six months.  They weren't kidding. 

He is slowly but surely improving.  He walks up the block now (with oxygen).  He needs the oxygen 24/7 and it has to be turned up for any exertion whatsoever, even just walking to the bathroom.  Hopefully he can continue with improvement. 

So, I've been a busy bee.   Since he's improving and mother is getting better at taking care of things (worth noting, she had spinal surgery in september for cripe's sake), I'm not required there every weekend anymore although we make it a point to go over at least one day.  So I finally get a little free time. 

So I responded to the post on the wall to play a game on December 26.  We agreed to play random and we played at a time control of 60/30. 

Ha ha.  This was a new member (ratza_alba) who was a delight.  We chatted a bit; he was very friendly.   We joked around a little.   He told me I was ahead at one point but I think we were really  pretty even.   In typical Cris Angel fashion, I got into terrible time trouble. 

Despite being told I was ahead at the end.... big surprise, I lost on time!   (don't faint....)

Nevertheless, it was a LOT of fun.  I really did miss playing long games and I was lucky to get such a friendly opponent.  Typical for many of the DHLC players!!

Anyway, we get a two for one special here.  First, a little warm up with a tactics toddler.   I'll explain in the puzzle what I like to call this tactic but I actually don't know the REAL name of this motif.  If you know, please feel free to tell me.  I SHOULD know because it's a type of problem I run into a lot when I do tactics puzzles on chesstempo.com.   I find them a bit tricky.  This was no exception and I actually took quite a while to visualize things  (valuable time off my clock!!!  agghhhh!!!!).   

Here we go.   Now before y'all go and fuss, you know it was taken from a REAL game and this is not a professional puzzle from a master player.   I show some annotations and some options within the puzzle but the puzzle itself is what happened in the game.  Remember.  The purpose of the "tactics toddler" is to look for basic tactical patterns.  

And now onto the annotation.