The search for chess improvement #6
Okay I'm back I took a pause for a tournament. First here are the tactics :
Puzzle 1 (failed):
After a quick material count I saw that I was a minor piece down. The king looked safe enough but the rook was hanging. My queen was too so I decided that I should take the rook because if he takes back I can fork his king and queen. Convinced ? Hopefully not. I missed the fact that my knight was under attack so the queen just takes it. I should have taken the rook with the knight delivering check in the process.
Puzzle 2 (success) :
My first thoughts were towards the checkmate. But after looking for at least s minute (I was having a chat at the same time so I wasn't fully concentrated I guessed that I had nothing. I then noticed the queen and thought that it looked trapped. I wanted t play b4 immediately followed up by d5 but the queen can then take the bishop because the knight protects it. I new that I had to take the knight and taking it first made sense because if not it can take the bishop.
Puzzle 3 (solved):
I just succeeded a 2600+ rated puzzle ! It wasn't that hard. My first thought was that I should push the pawn and then under promote with check and I could bring my knight to f6 to cover the mate that he has to threaten. I had looked at the line with Kf7 but it works with Kf4 too. The one point you had to notice was that queening the pawn failed because you can't get to the pawn. in time to save it. f3+ came to me at the end of the line so I was slightly lucky there but I am happy with that as a result.
Puzzle 4 (success):
My first thought was that without the g5 square it's mate. I thought about blocking it with the knight but that doesn't work and it actually is mate. I then looked at g6+ but that move doesn't pin the king down. I ended up finding that Rh2+ is a forcing move then h4+ is too and mate is quite simple.
Puzzle 5 (success):
This one was really hard (2800+ rated). I never really saw the win but I was quite that there was no mate and that the bishop was weak. I decided to play Qe3+ because I could see how Qf2 and Kh1 loses. I must admit that the winning line after Kf1 was unknown to me but it looked like the best move. The computer play Qe2 and I got to unleash the tactic I had planned.
Tactics aim succeeded. 4/5 but the puzzles were harder (going above the 2200 minimum)
The endgame was surprising. At first It looked simple but there was actually a lot of nuance within it :
The position was without g2 but It's obvious for black and that white is actually the one that needs to find some complex resources. Rg5 is the only move that threatens the pawn and stops the queen. h3 is then forced. And then the brilliant Kb6 starts the march to the kingside. When black plays h2 with both kings on the f file Ra5 forces the king to march the other way and a draw is forced.
In the middle game analysis I looked at being an exchange up in the first case I learnt :
-Open files for your rook.
-Act fast, The win isn't insured.
And when it's a rook for a pawn :
-You may need to sack another pawn to be active.
-If his minor pieces get active your in trouble.
The game I played was a real roller-coaster ride and I think that I was lucky to get out of all the complications alive :
I think that I got a great position in the opening but Nc6 was a bad mistake. I was lucky to nit lose material. After that my position was better. The e5 push was quite probably a bit premature. I should have just continued acting on the queen side. I had analysed it and felt like it worked. Sadly he found a way to counter attack faster then I expected. I then played a bit too fast and didn't think about the consequences of my move. I noticed Nf6+ as soon as I played. After that the position was worse. I tried to create some counter play. It didn't actually create much but he ended up swapping off the knights at which point the rook ending is at least equal. After that he was still in my opinion better, though the computer disagrees. b4 was visibly played with the belief that he couldn't lose.
i'd like to say that after that it was just a matter of technique but I actually couldn't find the win. I tried to break through on the queen side but that was a disaster. It ended up being a drawn position but his decision to play for a win lost him the half point though I could have worked out if he hadn't missed a tactic that swapped off rooks. It was very smooth after that except for the mouse slip of Rd2 where I meant to play Rc2 but dropped it too early.