Today's Daily Puzzle 7/29/20: Playing Games Solidifies What You Study

Today's Daily Puzzle 7/29/20: Playing Games Solidifies What You Study

candido1
candido1
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11

I remember the first time I was shown this classic smothered mate where the knight and queen coordinate together. It was back in college when I started getting serious about chess. A friend of mine (about 1900 at the time, I was about 1100) showed me a position similar to the one below at a coffee shop. I distinctly remember thinking this was a cool trick but there's no way this position would ever show up in a real game!

 

It seemed too unlikely--when would the stars align in such a way that I could deliver a discovered check, sacrifice the queen and deliver a smothered mate? It was to my great surprise then, that not a few weeks after I was shown this idea that I was able to deliver this exact smothered mate over the board! As a result, I solidified my understanding of this tactic and whenever it shows up on a board (or a daily puzzle) I can almost instantly instinctively recognize it.

This taught me something valuable: playing games frequently solidifies in your brain what you study. It's like when you practice a trick move in football for a long time and finally get to play it in a real game. You'll have that muscle memory locked in for the rest of your life.

What am I trying to get at here? To improve, It's important to study tactics/endgames/openings/etc. but it's also important to play many games. The more games you play, the more likely you'll find these tactics "out in the wild" when they may not be as obvious. 

Anyway, let's get to today's puzzle!

 

Have you studied this tactic before? Ever gotten a tactic like this in a real game? Comment below!

Nick

 

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