Oh, What Could Have Been!

Nov 13, 2011, 4:15 PM |

     Even extremely strong players miss things.  While they might have great sight of the board, sometimes they lack a smidgen of X-ray vision.  
     An x-ray is a hard-to-define tactic that encompasses several different ideas. Some people use the term to define a skewer, others an indirect attack or even a tactical defense. In the case below Black makes a very clever move that actually attacks the e1 square for an eventual mate. Unfortunately Lajos Portisch, a very deserving GM, missed the tactic altogether and had to settle for a draw.

     Here's the game as it was played:


     What Portisch missed:
     (He probably saw ... Qf2, threatening mate at f1, and that White could play Ng3, defending the f1 square, but he apparently didn't see the x-ray on e1.)