Three Blind Chess Mice

Three Blind Chess Mice

Sep 4, 2016, 5:14 AM |

It's embarassing to review my game were I drew on the Black side of a classical Caro Kann, for failed to spot a one move tactic (twice!) which swings the game my way after suffering for a while.


Mutual Chess Blindness!


One can have all the sophisticated "compensation" such as piece harmony and pawn islands to target, but it's of little use if one fails to see the Woods from the Trees. It's a common mistake in games where I have been worse, failing to see my resources.

Back tracking a bit, we reached this position after 25 moves where it is Black to move.

Here I realised too late White's intention. After play 25. Nd6, if I reply 25. ... Rb8 he intends to follow up with 26. Nxb7 Rxb7 27. c7.

I considered that the lesser of two evils is to sacrifice the Exchange on d6 with 25. ... Rxd6 26. cd Qxd6. I reasoned that with my strong minor pieces placed on b4 and d5, I would have good compensation.

I had failed to see that an alternative would have been 26. ... Ne7!. This guards the c6 square, and after 27. Nd6 Bxd6 the game would be level.

Failing to hear the Alarm Bells

My opponent played 34. Qxb6 rather automatically, but failed to exploit the pin along the 7th rank and a discovered attack on the Bishop at d8. 34. Nxe6! exploits this pin, and the Black Queen is overworked guarding d8. Should Black play 34. ... Kh6 then 35. Qxf7 is crushing +-

Mutual Blindness

In a terrible example of mutual blindness by both players, Black has just played 41. ... Nd3 threatening both f2 and b2.

White played 42. Rc2 which guards both pawns. I played 42. ... Nc5 to attack the undefended a-pawn, after which both sides repeated moves 43. Rc4 Nd3 44. Rc2 Nc5.

Embarrasingly both sides failed to see with 42. ... Ne1+ simply forks both Rook and King.

Psychologically, having suffered for most of the game, I had been satisfied for a draw and didn't consider that one move tactics would exist to swing the game my way.

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