Saturday, 31 December 2011

The Greek Gift - Sacrifice on h7

On the subject of the f7 and h7 targets, I thought I'd look at some sample games with such attacking themes. Here is an example of a sacrificial strike on h7 with the French Winawer.

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Friday, 30 December 2011

Gross Miscalculation

In my latest club match I thought I had it all sown up on move 6! My opponent made an opening 'faux pas' by moving his Bishop to g4 on move 5 supposedly pinning my Knight on f3? I was hoping he might try something nonsensical like this because I have a simple three move combination 6.Bxh7+ Kxh7 7.Ng5+ Ke8 8.Qxg4 winning the piece back and gaining a pawn. My opponent has now forfeited his right to castle and the game should be routine.

My opponent had a few tricks after 15.g3 Qg5, but on 19.Qe2 Kd7? 20.Qb5+ Kd8 21.Rf7! (which stupidly I didn't play - but looked at for 15 minutes!) the Bishop on g3 is won ... I confess that I got rather spooked after the thought of the Rook move 21.Rf7 because I thought my opponent could simply play 21...Qg4 preventing the checkmate, but then I can simply take the Bishop on g3 ... and he cannot recapture the pawn but he has a check on d1 - but the Queen retreats to f1 blocking the check - and White runs out of checks rapidly here !

This was a position that demanded a clear and cool head - something I hope to gain with more practice - the lesson learnt is to be more objective rather than subjective and fearful. It was stupid of me to 'bottle out' of a winning attack, just because my opponent had a (losing) check!

The game ended up in a time scramble which I lost!

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Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Blindfold chess

I have found an interesting Blog with a short article on Blindfold chess. It is a difficult skill to master but I'm reliably informed that it is very important to be able to visualize moves and variations in your head as well as having continual sight of the board ...

Sunday, 11 December 2011


Here is an example of a deflection on the back rank to deliver a simple mate ... The game was a blitz of 5 mins each and was NOT a model opening for either player concerned!  I was playing Black and have been studying these type of tactics a great deal - on my android phone ...

PGN Viewer courtesy of

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The 'approach to study'
This guy's blog is a very interesting read. From reading it, he appears to face a dilemma. Should he continue practising lot's of varying material within a 7 hour period or should he concentrate on one particular area? Nimzowitsch seems to think that concentrating on many chess disciplines in one day will only lead to confusion ... Therefore a choice is made. The guy on the road to grandmastery will now concentrate on just 'one' subject area until he's totally nailed it! I'll try and take the same approach ...!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Mine's a double-Scotch!

My latest club game was a Scotch. I know a little about the Scotch opening - so I got a little lucky there ... I'm pleased to report, to my utter relief that I managed to win convincingly - a Kingside attack, followed by a Bishop sacrifice on g6, which incidentally I spent some time looking at just in case of tricks! Here is the game ...

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Friday, 2 December 2011

Draw? It never even started ...

My opponent seemed to be somewhat cagey - once out of the opening he offered a draw, just when the game was getting interesting. I exclaimed that it was a little early to accept a draw, but given the circumstances - it made perfect sense for me to accept it!

1) My colleague had just won the first game for the team - we were 1 up
2) My opponent is a higher graded player
3) I had the Black pieces

It summised that had he wanted to play on he would have played Bd4 in an attempt to rid the game of dark squared Bishops. This strategy might well be the right one - if all minor pieces come off and he beats me to the 7th rank in a rook and pawn ending then I'd be fearful of not being able to hold on - he may get a passed pawn on the 'a' file and promote before me?! I haven't put this game through Fritz yet - but that is exactly what I MUST do! All will be revealed. As per usual, any comments welcome ...

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