Calculation Errors: The Ghost Piece

Calculation Errors: The Ghost Piece

Aug 14, 2015, 7:41 PM |

In my daily tactical training I made a calculation mistake which is very instructional (and embarassing).


Blokh Combinational Motives: Diagram 717 Difficulty 5, White to move.



Here I spotted a thematic sacrifice on f7 and a way to win two pawns.


I calculated 1. Bxf7+ Kxf7 2. Nxe5+ Qxe5 3. Bxe5 Bxe2 4. Bxe2


There was only one problem with this ... I no longer have a bishop on c4 to play Bxe2.

I call this a "Ghost Piece" ... where you lose track of the pieces on the board when calculating variations. Be on the guard against this


Can you solve?


Why does this work?
* f7 is only guarded by the Black King ... alarm bells should go off regarding potential sacrifiaces
* Weakness at e5: attacked twice by White and defended once
* White's control of the a2-g8 diagonal
* The potential of White's dark squared Bishop to come alive should the a1-h8 diagonal become open
Lesson Learnt
Be aware of ghost pieces that are no longer on the board. Be your own Ghostbuster!