Thursday, October 15, 2009
A poverty of understanding regarding two tactical motifs
Analyzing the problems I've failed, the large part of seems to be concentrated on these two themes

1. Problems involving threats on a square instead of threats against a piece.

Forking a knight and a rook, A threat involving just pieces, for example I rarely miss. But if the threat is to made against a square, I rarely get it right. Forking a knight and the g7 square for example (i.e. if my queen was allowed on the g7 square on the next move, mate will unavoidably follow)

Actually, it goes simpler. Even if there isn't a double-attack, even if the tactic just involves attacking a square - i do not see them.

For example, in this position


I looked and I looked and couldn't understand the motif or find the key move(*). I thought there wasn't any tactic and it was all a cruel joke. I just gave up and in the end and just moved randomly.

I can see where being proficient with such a motif can helpful. Threatening a square is a 'subtler' form of tactic harder to see than your regular run of the mill pin or fork. Well, harder for me anyway.

2. Knight fork that need multiple hops.

I see the fork if the fork just requires me to move my knight once, and then the fork is there already. But a tactic that involves me first moving my knight to an initial square, and then on the next move then and only then will the fork materialize - this is hard for me to see.

Something like this:


Its too bad I cant force chesstempo to serve me tactics having these two themes only. I am forced to wait for my turn, so to speak.

Anyway, for the next month or so, I'll be sharpening this area and holding off on learning strategy for the moment. The concepts I just learned from Nimzowitzch takes time to percolate and sink into practical play anyway. There really isn't any need to rush and finish off 'My System' during the weekend. Heck, Mr. Nimzo thought over the blockade for years before he was able to synthesize and make the system into a coherent whole. I reckon the book should be studied for a year slowly.

Some books are to be tasted, others swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.
Sir Francis bacon

So i need to properly digest the book, and only then will I deem myself ready.

Ready for what?

Why to conquer the world and dominate all the chess world of course. I

'll start by defeating that kid who won the Nanjing tournament. Heard he's pretty good.

I'll show em.. I'll show em all!!! Gyahahahaha!! :Lightning crackles in the background:

(*) The correct answer was Re2 - Threatening mate on the square a2 on the next move.
posted by Nezha at 8:19 PM | Permalink |


  • At 6:56 AM, Blogger dfan

    An FM gave me good advice once - when looking for tactical shots, imagine that you have "super-pieces" that can jump to any square immediately (just for this next move). For example, in the first diagram, super-rook to a2 is mate.

    Once you've identified those possibilities, then you can look for ways to make them happen (over the course of multiple moves), often by means of intermediate forcing moves.

  • At 8:14 AM, Anonymous Chunky Rook

    Super-pieces and threats against squares -- that makes sense. I'm not sure I understand the second puzzle, though. I would have played 1. ... Rxe3 2. Kxe3 Nxf4+ 3. Ke2 Nxd6. What's that got to do with "finding the initial square" for the knight fork? Or am I missing something?

  • At 2:46 PM, Blogger chesstiger

    Your solution is the only correct solutionm Chunky. I too dont understand what our blog writer means with 'finding the initial square' Heck, what is an initial square?

  • At 5:31 PM, Blogger Nezha

    >finding the initial square

    A case of mistaken example but the right idea.

    In this case, i needed to find the first move before the fork. In which case, there is no fork at the beginning. You needed to set it up.

    About finding the initial square. lets say for example the knight at f3 would first have to go to g5 before forking the d8queen and the f8rook by coming to e6. The knight needed two hops to go to the forking square instead of a one-fork move.

    So what I was saying was, if there is an initial move to be done before the fork.. it is hard for me to see.