Yes, you can become a chess master, here's how: part 2

Yes, you can become a chess master, here's how: part 2

NM Coach-Bill
Nov 5, 2014, 7:31 PM |

Welcome back to part 2 of this series! Thanks to all who posted in part 1. This blog series is dedicated to backing up my free video lessons course on YouTube, as well as all my other topic playlists to assist your improvement at chess. My YouTube Channel link is:

I left you with this position and asked a couple questions.

1) 11. e5 is not a bad move but what can go wrong with it?


Answer: I always tell my student when they move pawns, not only look at what it can do now, but what it can no longer do. You need to do this every time you move a pawn! On e5 it pressures d6 and f6, keeping the Black Knight out of f6. It closes, for now, the diagonal of Black's dark squared Bishop. However, it no longer controls d5 and f5. Most important is, it was keeping the a8-h1 diagonal closed, now it is beginning to open up and this will prove criticial soon. Don't make moves which activate your opponent's pieces!

2) Can White develop the Queen's Bishop on c1 instead and give up the pawn on b2?


Answer: Yes she can. One common thinking deficiency we all face is we slam the door shut when we analyze a position and don't look further when we should. In this position, White sees if the Bishop on c1 moves, the b2 pawn hangs, therefore, we look no further. However, as pointed out by a few, 11. Bd2 Qxb2 12. Rb1 wins a piece. Also, 12. Nd5 with a dicovered attack is is threatened, trading off pieces, bringing victory closer. If White doesn't want the Quuen on b4, she could also try kicking it out with 12. a3, but a piece development is almost always preferable. You can't win as often if your army is not mobilized! IM Jeremy Sliman explains in his latest edition of "How to Reassess Your Chess" I quote him in context: "If you can break the habit of not looking further due to your initial evaluation of a move, you not only will find out you often can play it and you will probably soon gain about 150-200 rating points". This requires patience to do, but if you remind yourself when you are analyzing a position when you slam that door shut in your analysis to look further, you will soon learn to do so more and more frequently.


Ok, back to the game. The next several moves went thusly:

Why did White play 13. Nxf7 and allow Black counterplay against her King? It seems this is because when White played 12. Ng5, she had her eyes on next taking on f7, winning a Rook. White paid no attention to what Black was up to. You must always be wary of what your opponent is doing. 13. Nxf7 still wins for White, but Black is getting chances now, all allowed by White's carelessness.


Now, Black is threatening mate in one move. Your task is to tell me as many ways as you can for White to defend g2. Show as many lines as you wish. Which defense do you think is best? I'll answer in a couple of days.