A mate in 5, psychology and the endgame

A mate in 5, psychology and the endgame

Jun 11, 2011, 4:37 AM |

I thought perhaps I would post some of my games from an online team tournament I play in some weeks. It is particually good because from about April to September my chess club in the UK are closed.

I will look at my last two games - well - all of my most recent game and parts of the one before that. Parts of that game are far too poor and humiliating to show to you.

Onto the first facepalm moment. I missed a mate in 5. I don't think the idea is that difficult, but 5 moves and a not so obvious move to finish off black (Not so obvious if you try and calculate from the start).









Perhaps we can see who will be the first person to find this.






I think the reason I missed the mate was not tactical, I am not even saying the in a normal situation I would always expect to find the mate. However I did not even consider it, and in this position played 1.Qd5?? after thinking for 12 seconds.

I think the real reason I missed this checkmate was that a pawn down in an ending with  opposite coloured bishops. I was only thinking about getting to an ending with just the bishops on the board. I had given up all hope of winning the position - even  though his king was still quite open.

Then later I manage to lose my bishop. However the ending is not easy for him because he just has one extra pawn. I think he goes wrong playing Ke6, but it is quite complicated so I am not sure, perhaps someone stronger could have a look.


Now to the second game. Having a grade of just 1769 has its advantages when playing stronger players they often play very fast and underestimate you. I also knew that online, endgames are often neglected, so I decided to play for a direct endgame line, having seen what my opponent plays. My hope was that my opponent would either give up and accept a draw, or play fast and make a mistake.
This was the extent of my plan before the game. It is actually quite an interesting endgame. Black first has to choose how to take the knight, either with the d-pawn or the b-pawn. He could always take with the queen, but this is not always advisable, moving a piece twice in the opening.
But the idea behind Qf3 is that if black swaps queens on f3 which plays gxf3 and gets a  large pawn centre. If black does not take, then his knight cannot have its ideal square, f6.
Here I think, although there are other ways to win, I chose the cleanest, here is the rest of the game as a puzzle.

So these games were very poor at times but perhaps I can learn a few things from my and my opponents mistakes:
Never believe a certain result is impossible.
Never underestimate your opponent because of their grade.
Endgames are very important.
Thanks for reading, and please leave your improvements/opinions on the games.