# Exploring reasons for my Tactical misses

Oct 12, 2015, 6:18 AM |
3
Rather than churning through tactical puzzle after tactical puzzle, I've noted which ones I didn't solve and tried to find the reason why I either missed the idea or had a calculation mistake.

This second week in October had the following instructive diagrams which showed me I need to consider quieter moves, improve on my opponent's resources and look for inspiration from Tal in combining two ideas.

Blokh's Combinational Motives: Diagram 916 with White to Move

I had two candidate moves here, with Bxe4 and Rxg7.
I quickly dismissed 1. Rxg7 as after 1. ... Kxg7 I couldn't see and obvious check or follow up.
I instead focused on 1. Bxe4 g6 2. Bxg6 hg 3. Rxg6+ fg 4. Qxg6+ Bg7 5. Bd4 Rf7 6. Rg1 Qd7 and stared and stared attempting to use brute force.

This shows a major short coming in my tactical play ... forcing moves (checks and captures) are obvious but will cloud you if you don't have an idea behind it.

I failed to see that Black has major trouble handling this pin along the g-file. I became lazy to not even look how he was going to handle this.

This reminds me of a lesson in tennis ... if I don't even try to get the ball that I think is beyond me, then I never really had a chance.
Why does this tactic work?

* Superiority of pieces around Black's King, particularly with the Black Queen away at a4.
* Activity along the g-file.
* Focal point at h7.
* White's Bishop pair in full flight combined with Queen.

Blokh's Combinational Motives: Diagram 902 with White to Move

I can see the theme of interference here at d7, combined with a mating net of Bxh7 deflecting the Knight to h7 (removing defender of g6) and a smothered mate at g6.

I looked at Bxh7 and Rd7 and didn't think there was any difference between the two.

I chose 1. Bxh7+ Nxh7 2. Rd7 expecting 2. ... Bxd7 3. Qxf7+ Kh8 4. Ng6 mate.

However, I missed Black has 2. ... Qxd7 as a defensive resource. Ingrained in my assumptions is that Black wouldn't want to give up his Queen.

This shows me I must work harder at finding my opponent's resources.

Why does this tactic work?

* White's powerful control of the d-file, particularly at d7.
* The trained forces at f7 and h7.
* Black's pieces offside on the Queenside.
* White's centralised Knight at e5, supported by Bb2 and Qh5

Blokh's Combinational Motives: Diagram 899 with White to Move
(Taken from Tal-Unzicker, Stockholm 1961)

To me, this is the pure genius of Tal!

I can see the theme of a sacrifice at f7 with 1. Bxf7+ Kxf7 2. Qb3+ Kg6 and now I have no follow up.

I can then see that Black's Queen is offside, and I explored some way to trap it. I looked at 1. Bd2 Bb4 and saw 2. Bxf7 but didn't know how to proceed after 2. ... b4.

But I missed the point of 1. Bd2 is actually to prepare Bxf7+ because now the Bishop is no longer enprise when the Black King gets to g6 (so that the Knight can play Nh4+).

Combining ideas, a theme that's promoted a lot in Aagard's training book Calculation!

Why does this tactic work?

* Weakness at f7, and the a2-g8 diagonal.
* Black's Queenside offside (in all 3 diagrams today). Also short of squares.
* Weakness of light squares around the Black King (note the absence of Black's lights squared bishop).

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