A sweet checkmate

Reepicheep14

I was the victim here, and it's too good of a checkmate not to share.

 

Reepicheep14

IKR?  Who would have thought there would be a checkmate in the middle of a mostly empty board, with the queens and rooks off the board?  But there it is...

Reepicheep14

No, I was the victim.

Reepicheep14

Yeah, I couldn't have done it on purpose if I'd tried.

IMRonilm1204

i know it is checkmate, but it doesnt look like it. i am so jealous

KeSetoKaiba

I can see how you did not look at your King safety, but around move 40.b3 I would be experiencing sirens and flashing lights. 40.b3 and the following moves are taking away many escape squares from the King (that shortly afterwards was checkmated). Both players should always be aware of the escape squares of their own, and their opponents', King. In fact, even B + N (and King) vs King is a theoretically won endgame (over a pretty empty-looking board). Obviously, that is not exactly what we have here; but, it just shows that you should never underestimate how strong some minor pieces can be if they are well coordinated. The extra pawns and minor pieces on the board here probably increases the chances for checkmate as there are more pieces to take away escape squares, and more ways your King may get trapped by your own forces. 

I can understand how you found this checkmate surprising (as you were not looking at King safety due to the "empty" appearance of the board), but I can also understand why some stronger players posted in question at how you could "walk into this." I imagine "walking into this" situation is easier to do than many may think. As you become a stronger chess player Reepicheep14, you will develop an intuition for these things. Like I said, I'd have all kinds of warnings going off if I had this position; players that play more chess delvelop this intuition for incoming danger to a point where it becomes like a "spidey-sense". BobbyPhisher960 (and others in this forum) probably mean well, but have developed this intuition so strongly that it becomes difficult to see how this could catch ANYONE off guard. They have probably just forgotten how it used to be to have this intuition under-developed. 

Perhaps it is something that is intuitive like King safety this time, or more complicated patterns next time; I believe that everyone who learns (not only chess), developes these skills and abilities to the point where it is easy to forget how "bad" (for lack of a better term) they were at one time. 

The fact that this checkmate resonated with you, after such a surprising shock, is a good thing for improvement. If you remember this experience (I think you will) as a sort of lesson, you will learn from this and be much less likely to fall for this idea again. 

Up until the checkmate (and in the final position itself), a really strong player will almost instantly sense this danger. Looking at the final position, notice how the opponents' active King takes away three of your escape squares (via opposition). This fact alone (even without yet looking at the other pieces) probably triggers this sense in stronger players. When this intuitive sense activates, it does not necessarily mean the danger is critical yet - but it does mean you should be aware of it. I suspect that this forum will be somewhat instructional for many chess players and review for others, but learning how to learn is a valuable ability that all of us have; some just have this ability developed more than others. 

KeSetoKaiba
BobbyPhisher960 wrote:

That was a correspondence game, by the way.

Yes, this means that time was not really a factor; it makes it that much more unlikely that I would "walk into this", but you still need to understand that this concept appears to be a new one (at least in the light of a relatively "empty board") for the original poster. I have fallen victim to many patterns and themes I should have known simply because I was not looking for them (what happened here I am sure). Luckily, this helps us learn and improve.

I don't know if you archive your OTB games BobbyPhisher960, but this is closely related to this. It is sometimes baffling to look back at a game of mine even a year ago and see how "badly" I played compared to now; this means that I am improving. Reepicheep14 will probably view this forum months from now and wonder how they could have "fallen for this", but that is good: that means they would have improved (probably the goal of every chess player). happy.png

KeSetoKaiba
BobbyPhisher960 wrote:

Dude, most people don't even care about online games and just mess around. 

Oh by all means I completely agree - online means very little; I just mean that looking back at anything just shows how far we may have come. This is not only for chess, and even applies to "mess[ing] around." I hope my message was not misinterpreted. 

KeSetoKaiba

It sounds like this forum thread may be of interest ... https://www.chess.com/forum/view/general/do-you-play-better-over-the-board-or-virtually Obviously, online is far different from OTB. I think I play somewhat better OTB, but this may have a lot to do with a combination of psychology and time - both of these elements exist in online too, but in a vastly different manner.

Reepicheep14

Great comments!  This is definitely the sort of thing I need to be watching out for.