Today's Daily Puzzle: 7/21/20: Even Grandmasters Miss Tactics

Today's Daily Puzzle: 7/21/20: Even Grandmasters Miss Tactics

candido1
candido1
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Happy Tuesday everyone! Today's daily puzzle is coming straight out of a recent game between Magnus Carlsen and Pentala Harikrishna where Harikrishna had a very easy (for GM standards) tactic to take the game! Believe it or not, the tactic was missed during the game and we get to try to make up for the mistakes of GMs. If you're interested in the full game analysis, Agadmator has posted a great video on the game and discusses the missed tactic (if you want to see the missed tactic skip to 8:30).

What can we learn from a GM's seemingly simple mistake?

1. GMs are humans too and also make mistakes. Remember this the next time you're hard on yourself for missing a puzzle solution

2. I've said it before and I'll say it again: ALWAYS calculate captures and checks. Even if you're 99% sure they don't work.

Speaking personally to #2, a few years ago I used to dismiss moves that seemed to lose material for no apparent gain. One way I saw my rating go up is I told myself I would at least "entertain", if even for a second, checks/captures that on the surface looked ridiculous. Guess what? They usually are. But when they're not, they win you games.

We know in theory that there's so much more to chess than meets the eye but we sometimes don't apply that logic in our games. So calculate those captures! Let's take a look at the puzzle:


 How did you do today? Did you find the move that Harikrishna didn't? Someone get you a GM norm! Comment below with your thoughts!

 

Bonus Puzzle Solution!

Thanks to everyone who submitted their guess for the bonus puzzle that I posted yesterday. This puzzle came from a game between Dmitry Andreikin and world champion contender Sergey Karjakin. There's always tactics, even in the opening. The correct move is Nxd4! With a lot more threats than meets the eye. A special shoutout to the following people who found the right move:

the_chess_child
chessking_121
plato1999
SpartanYoda
ruijota
Maximillian99 (Bonus shout-out for finding all correct variations!)


As I mentioned, Nxd4 is the right first move, but perhaps the more difficult move to find is white's second move if black plays Bxd4:


Thanks to everyone who submitted an answer! Until next time,

Nick

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