Today I worked for an hour through Diagrams 746 to 761 from Blokh's Combinational Motives.
I write down all my analysis and compare against the solutions, revealing intructive tactical mistakes and patterns that I miss.
There were 4 positions in which I missed the tactical theme. A recurring mistake I make is to be blinded by an attractive theme and not listing candidate moves at the start.
Diagram 748: Difficulty 4, White to Move
Here I was "lured" by the attractive 1. Nxe6 fe 2. Bxg6 hg 3. Qxe6+ Kh8 4. Qxg6 Bf8 and I was stuck here on how to progress.
Had I been disciplined, I would have listed the candidate moves: Nxe6, Nxf7 and Bxg6.
The idea behind Bxg6 is to clear the h-pawn so that Black can't play ... h5 (which is why 1. Bg7 doesn't work)
Ironically it's a theme I've seen a lot from the White side of the Grand Prix attack. Mate can not be stopped on both h7 or h8.
Diagram 752: Difficulty 10, Black to Move
This is truly a difficult exercise!
I had calculated 1. ... Rxh2 2. Kxh2 Ng4+ 3. Bxg4 Qh4+ 4. Kg1 Bxg3 5. fg Qxg3+ 6. Kh1 Bg4 but after 7. Rf3 I don't think Black has enough.
Impressive is the destruction of pawn cover to play Rxh2 and Rxe3 and then the quiet ... Rh3 with interplay along the ranks.
Diagram 757: Difficulty 3, Black to Move
I chose 1. ... Bxe5 2. de Nd5 but missed White can play Qh5
I had considered 1. ... Rh2+ 2. Kxh2 but only looked at ... Bxe5+ after which I could find nothing for Black.
I genuinely missed that after 1. ... Rh2+ 2. Kxh2 the Knight on e5 is pinned thus making ... Rxf7 possible.
This is a blind spot in my chess tactics as I usually associate pins with ganging up on a pinned piece or removing a defender of the pinned piece ... not attracting a major piece to a square (h2) to creates a pin.
Diagram 761: Difficulty 6, Black to Move
I was fixated on the long diagonal leading a8-h1 and only looked at 1. ... Rf3+ 2. gf Qxf3+ 3. Kg1 Qxh1+ or 1. ... Rf3+ 2. Kg1 Rxd3 3. Rxd3 Re1+ 4. Kh2 and Black has nothing.
I missed the possibility of a discovered attack along the 6th rank, largely because the White Queen is already defended. However, Black can deflect the Bishop, thus leaving the White Queen undefended.
NOTE TO MYSELF: Please consider candidate moves before leaping into what you consider as attractive moves.