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Jul 14, 2013, 3:45 PM |






More travails of a (wanna-be) improving chess player...



What's all this stuff about "pattern recognition" and recognizing positions and tactics automatically??  Well, last weekend it begin to make more sense to me because I got a chance to see it and put it into action.  Apparently, with more experience we really do get better at recognizing situations on the board.

Let's consider the following position that I encountered in a game a few months ago. I have the white pieces and I'm playing a King's Indian Attack.  Black to move, develops his bishop in a way that makes him vulnerable.







I will comment that I never made a move to try to create a trap.  I was merely playing according the the KIA system. When I played e4, I looked at the board and told myself: "Oh!  I'm going to win a piece."



Now, since that game I've had some others where the situation was somewhat similar, but last Saturday in an OTB tournament, I found myself in this situation:




The position is significantly different from the first position, but black opts to play Bd6 creating the possibility of a pawn fork by white.  As soon as black made that move I remembered the position in the first game, and understood instantly that there was a potential tactical win here.  It didn't take me minutes to analyze the board and search for options.  I already knew that a threat existed. Even though the two cases are not identical, there is enough similarity to get the spider-sense tingling.


So, here's to experience!