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flatman's training journal 
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Rook

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:43 pm
Posts: 226
Rating: 1700
Rating Class: Class B (1600-1800)
 Tactical Training Yields Excellent Improvement
In May of 2011 I started a serious, organized, almost daily program of tactics study. Here's my method:

  • 15-20 minutes of puzzles on Chess Tactics Server. At the end of my session, I always review each problem that I missed, or on which I spent more than 30 seconds thinking time.
  • A session on ChessTempo blitz tactics trainer. Every other day, this is exclusively review of problems that I missed, or on which I spent more than 60 seconds and my rating went down. On alternate days, I do half as much review, and then a session of new problems, until I have either missed or been too slow on 6 or so. I devised a Java program that helps me track my review, such that I review a missed/slow problem 1 day later, then 3, then 8, then 17, then 35, then 69. (This includes one rest day per week.) On the first review day, I always try to devise a narrative as to why I missed seeing the winning maneuver, and often record it as a puzzle comment on the server.

So I've been working hard! It's been worth it, though; on the Free Internet Chess Server, my standard rating has increased by 100 points, and my blitz rating has increased by 200 points. Of course, tactical vision is more dominant in blitz than in slower time controls, hence the greater improvement in blitz.

How about you? Have you tried an organized tactics study plan? If so, what results have you seen?

_________________
Good chess and God bless,

Chris Falter


Sat Aug 25, 2012 5:37 pm
Rook

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:43 pm
Posts: 226
Rating: 1700
Rating Class: Class B (1600-1800)
 Hall of Fame, Hall of Shame
Some of these I saw, some I missed--so both the Hall of Fame and the Hall of Shame get new exhibits today.

1) Image 2) Image 3) Image

4) Image 5) Image 6) Image

7) Image 8) Image

My analysis:

1) 1. Nd5 Qd8 2. Bxa5 Qxa5 3. Nxe7+ +-. I missed this one, probably because black's last move was ...Nf6-h7??, so Nd5 hadn't really been useful. Moreover, while I thought about what black was trying to accomplish with his move, I didn't really ask myself what new possibilities his move opened.

2) 1. Rg1 Bxh5 2. g4 Bg6 3. f5, and the bishop is trapped. While my opponent missed this sequence, not I, it's still in my Hall of Shame because I had played ...Bxb2+; Kxb2 Bg4 leading up to the position, thinking that I would gain a pawn and recapture my piece with the fork. I missed that my bishop could be trapped after the fork. Shame, shame!

3) Another exhibit for the Shame Hall: 1...Nxd4 appears to lose a piece, but it really wins at least a pawn after 2. Nxd4 dxe4! 3. Be3 Rad8 4. g5 Nd5 5. Bf2 Nf4

4) Finally a Hall of Fame entry! The knight sac leaves black with strong pressure and piece coordination: 1...Nxg4! 2. fxg4 Bxg4 and the knight is pinned, and therefore the d4 pawn is bound to fall, not to mention that white's king is badly exposed. I didn't calculate past this; the 2 pawns plus the positional + dynamic factors were more than enough compensation.

5) White tried to defend d4 via Be3, but it doesn't matter: 1...Nxd4! and white's position is crumbling. 2. Bxd4 Bxe2 3. Qxe2 Bxd4+ 4. Kh1 Rae8 and white is toast. White blundered with 2. Nbc3, but it didn't have any effect on the outcome.

6) I evaluated 1. Qc2, but overlooked the fact that it threatens both to win a pawn (with 2. Bxh7) and a piece (with 2. Be4 / 3. Qxc6). I played the much weaker 1. Bb1 instead.

7) I played 1. Ne4?, relying on tactics to avoid losing the d-pawn (1...Nxd4 2. Bxd4 Bxd4 3. Qxd4 Rxd4 4. Nf6+ ...4. Nxh5). The problem is that black doesn't have to be so cooperative: 1...Nxd4 2. Bxd4 Rxd4 and white is losing. Necessary is 1. Ne2.

8) 1. Bd5+ and it's game over: 1...Rf7 2. c8=Q+ starts the slaughter. I played the unimaginative 1. Qxg6 and eventually lost.

_________________
Good chess and God bless,

Chris Falter


Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:36 pm
Pawn

Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 1:39 pm
Posts: 19
Rating: 1600
Rating Class: Class B (1600-1800)
 Re: flatman's training journal
Rg1 in that second position looks so counter-intuitive! Nice set of tactics.


Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:15 pm
Rook

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:43 pm
Posts: 226
Rating: 1700
Rating Class: Class B (1600-1800)
 Another rook endgame trick
These rook endgames are so subtle! Coach Houdini showed me how I blew another rook endgame victory, although once again I managed to pay only a half-point, rather than a full point. I was black in a Benko Gambit Declined.



1) Image 2) Image 3) Image

4) Image 5) Image 6) Image

7) Image 8) Image

Analysis:

1) Houdini suggests the plan 6...d6 and 7...e6, and I agree. The plan I adopted, 6...b6, does not fight for the center sufficiently.

2) 11...exd5?? was a horrific blunder (12. Qxd5+ wins the rook). My fortune held up, though, as white replied with the innocuous 12. cxd5? Better was 11...d6, followed by trading on c3 (12...Bxc3) and then blocking the long diagonal with 13....e5 so as to minimize the lack of the dark-squared bishop.

3) 13...Bxc3 14. bxc3 Ba6!? is the best way to take the fight to white. He can hold with 15. Rc1 Qxe2+ 16. Qxe2 Bxe2 17. Kxe2, but the position is truly equal. 13....d6 wasn't bad--just not as dynamic.

4) 15...Ne5? is another blunder that white could have punished by 16. Nxe5 Bxe5 17. Bxe5 Qxe5 (...dxe5 18. d6! is even worse for black) 18. Nc7 Nd7 19. Nxa8 Rxa8. White's tactics were equally as blunt as mine, though, and 16. Re1 was the harmless continuation.

5) Houdini suggests 19...Qf4 20. Bxf5 axb5 21. Be6 Kg7 22. Qc2 Ra4=. I was thinking that white's bishop on e6 is a monster, but Houdini thinks it doesn't accomplish a whole lot. Black's major pieces are far more active, and have targets, so black is no worse. After 19...Qxb2 20. Nxd5 black was slightly worse.

6) I was worried about my lack of development here, so I played 20... Nd7? While my concern was valid, white could have blown open my king's defenses with 21. Bxf5 gxf5 22. Re7! Nf6 23. Nxf5! Better was 20...Bxg4 21. Qxg4 Qxf2+, when my better king safety compensates for the lack of development.

7) I played the awful 26....Kg6?, when the simple 26...Rf7 calmly leaves black a knight to the good.

8) And here we discover the rook endgame trick in the post-mortem: 46....Re2+! 47. Kf1 Rd2! 48. Rc3+ Ke4 49. Rc4+ Kd3 and black wins. I missed it and played 46...Ke3 47. Re8+?? (47. Rc3+=), whereupon I missed the way back to the win (47...Kf3!) and instead maneuvered to the queenside, where only a draw could ensue.

The silver lining in games like this is that they give you plenty of opportunities to learn from your mistakes! I'd rather hang a trophy win on my wall, but learning from my mistakes is better than plodding on in ignorance, I think. I hope you learned something along with me!

_________________
Good chess and God bless,

Chris Falter


Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:49 pm
Rook

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:43 pm
Posts: 226
Rating: 1700
Rating Class: Class B (1600-1800)
 New exhibits in the Hall of Shame
Last week, I suddenly stopped seeing the tricks and traps I normally see. What gives...fatigue? Normal brain fluctuations? Insufficient physical exercise? Maybe all of the above. Anyway, this brief plunge provides plenty of learning opportunities.

1) Image 2) Image 3) Image

4) Image 5) Image 6) Image

7) Image 8) Image 9) Image

10) Image

Analysis:

1) 1. Qe2 is much superior to 1. Qb3, which allows black to play 1...Nd5 with advantage.

2) The sensational 1. Be2! threatens 2. Rd1 and black is in serious trouble. 1...Bxe3 2. Bxe3 and white calmly keeps applying the screws. The ficsgames computer suggests 1...h6 for black, after which 2. Rd1 c5 3. Qc2 (threatens mate, and if 3....hxg5 then 4. Qxg6+ with a draw by perpetual) Kg7 4. Bxd4+ cxd4 5. Rxd4 Nd6 (5...Qxd4 6. Nxe6+ followed by 7. Nxd4) and white is close to equality.

3) Black must protect himself from the attack down the e-file with 1...Be7. 1...O-O is no good because of 2. Qh5 and black is in hot water. Neither is 1...Qf6??, after which 2. d5! and white is winning.

4) 1...Ne5 yields white a terrific initiative after 2. Bf4 O-O 3. Qe2 g5 4. Bxe5 Bxe5 5. Rxe5 gxh4, but it is far better than simply giving up a piece with 1...g5 2. dxc6

5) 1. Bxc4? dxc4 transforms black's horrible light-squared bishop into a fire-breathing prelate on the long diagonal. Black is better in the diagram, but white can defend adequately with 1. Qa2, followed by 2. Rc3 to liberate the queen for kingside shenanigans.

6) Black just played ...Bxd3?, planning to win a pawn with continuing pressure. White can spoil black's plan with the in-between 1. Na3!, followed by 2. Rxd3 with strong advantage. If he sees it, that is.

7) Black has gotten everything he could possibly hope for out of a Benko Gambit--both a positional and a material advantage. The simple 1...Rc5 ratchets the pressure on white, who is already sweating. However, 1...Ra2?? simply drops a rook. Guess which one I played?

8) 1. Bb3 transfers the bishop to its optimal location, where it attacks and defends beautifully. 1...g6, attempting to exploit the pin on the 5th rank, can even be met with 2. Nh6+ (...Bxh6 3. Bxh6; ...Kg7 3. Bxf6). Or I could grab the d6 pawn 1. Nxd6 and hope to hold it--which is impossible after 1...Qxg5, of course.

9) 1...h5, preventing 2. g4, is called for. Black will then fianchetto his dark-squared bishop with approximate equality. 1....Nb4? is insane, and justly punished by the fork 2. Qa4+!

10) Black can concede the error of his ways and play 2...Nc6, which drops a pawn to 3. Nxc6 bxc6 4. Qxc6+ Bd7, but keeps him in the fight. Or he can just toss the piece with 2...Nd7 and go over the cliff.

Hope you learned a little and got a few laughs along with me!

_________________
Good chess and God bless,

Chris Falter


Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:31 am
Rook

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:43 pm
Posts: 226
Rating: 1700
Rating Class: Class B (1600-1800)
 Dennis Monokroussos illuminates one of my endgames
On Dennis' latest "Viewer Games" video, he analyzes one of my recent endgames. Naturally, he saw some things that I had not, so I urge you to check it out. Dennis is a terrific instructor, so I hope you will join me in urging Dennis to stick around and keep educating us!

_________________
Good chess and God bless,

Chris Falter


Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:31 am
Rook

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:43 pm
Posts: 226
Rating: 1700
Rating Class: Class B (1600-1800)
 "Step by Step" at chesscafe.com
Every month chesscafe.com publishes 2 Step by Step columns: one for tactics and one for mate. Normally these are excellent training for advanced beginners up to maybe intermediate club players. However, this week's column required deep, concrete analysis of many branches. I truly enjoyed the challenge! By skipping the analysis and giving only the main variation, though, this week's column actually does a disservice to the readers. In a highly tactical position you have to analyze concretely, and not be satisfied with a single main line!

The main variation is the very pretty 1. Qd8+ Kxd8 2. Bg5++ Ke8 3. Rd8+ Kf7 4. e6+ Kxe6 5. Nf4+ Kf7 6. Ne5#. But you also have to examine 1. Qd8+ Kf7 (instead of 1....Kxd8), and now you must find 2. e6+ (an idea also present in the main variation) and calculate to mate for black's three choices:

  • 2...Kxe6 3. Nf4+ Kf7 4. Ne5#
  • 2...Kg6 3. Ne5+ Kh5 4. Ng3+ Nxg3 5. Qg5#
  • 2...Bxe6 3. Ne5#

But the fun is just starting! After 1. Qd8+ Kxd8 2. Bg5++ Ke8 3. Rd8+ Kf7 4. e6+ black has choices other than 4...Kxe6:

  • 4...Bxe6 5. Ne5#
  • 4...Kg6 5. Nf4#

_________________
Good chess and God bless,

Chris Falter


Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:42 am
Rook

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:43 pm
Posts: 226
Rating: 1700
Rating Class: Class B (1600-1800)
 Piece coordination + bishop sac = stellar victory
Many of the games I analyze here are my losses, because I want to learn from my mistakes. Sometimes, though, I have so much fun in a victory I want to share that, as well. In this blitz game, my opponent played 7....Bg4 in the Ruy Lopez Closed. As a result I could not play the usual d4 break until move 21. When my opponent slipped with a reasonable-looking knight maneuver on move 27, I unleashed a wicked attack. It's amazing how the tactics can explode after long maneuvering!



1. Image 2. Image 3. Image

4. Image 5. Image

My analysis:

1. When I played 17. f4? I missed the simple skewer 17....Bh5, picking up the exchange plus a pawn after 18. Qe3 exf4 19. Qe2 Bxe1. I should have played 17. Qg4 first; if 17...Bxc1 18. Rac1 white has the superior minor piece, but black's almost equal.

2. For several moves I had been looking for an opportunity to play e5, with the idea of giving my Spanish bishop a pathway into black's kingside. 27...Nc6?! provided that opportunity, as 28. dxc5 forces 28....dxc5, and then 29. e5! and white is in business.

3. 31. Rf6! targets the newly vulnerable g6 square with tempo, as black must also worry about the doubly attacked c6 knight.

4. Time to move the queen off the b1-h7 diagonal so the bishop can execute a deadly sacrifice on g6. Unfortunately, I did not choose the strongest post for my queen. With 32. Qg4! white cooks black's goose:

  • 32....g5 33. Qf5 Rfe8 34. Qh7+ Kf8 35. Qh8#
  • 32....Kg7 33. Bxg6 fxg6 34. Rxg6 Kh7 35. Qh5 and black has no defense. If he runs the other way with 34....Kf7 he still loses after 35. Rf1+ Ke8 and 36. Re6, pinning the black queen, is good enough.
  • The attempt to deflect the queen with 32....h5 runs into 33. Qg5 and black has deferred his doom by only a single move. For example, 33....Kg7 34. Bxg6 fxg6 35. Qxg6+ Kh8 36. Qxh5+ Kg7 (....Qh7 37. Rh6 +-) 37. Rg6+ Kf7 38. Rf1+ Ke8 39. Re6+ Kd8 40. Rxd7 +-.

But I chose 32. Qf4!? It looked attractive because it attacks h6 and f7; however, black can hold on with 32....Kg7. With 33. Re3 or perhaps even conceding the mistake with 33. Qg4 white should still win--but why mess around? [EDIT: The ficsgames.org analysis engine suggests 33. Rf1! followed eventually by e6 and black's defenses must crack.]

5. Yes, the bishop sac works here: 33. Bxg6 fxg6 34. Rxg6 Kh8 (....Kh7 34. Qxh6#) 35. Qxh6+ Qh7 and now the quiet move 36. Qg5! wins big material because of the threat of Rh6, pinning the queen. 36....Rg8 is the best try, but 37. Qf6+ Rg7 38. Rh6 still picks up the queen.

_________________
Good chess and God bless,

Chris Falter


Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:15 pm
Rook

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:43 pm
Posts: 226
Rating: 1700
Rating Class: Class B (1600-1800)
 Emulating Tal...
...but not succeeding, alas. Renowned coach Dan Heisman recommends playing speculative sacrifices whenever the opportunity arises, as you will learn much more about chess in the crazy resulting positions than you would from something more typical. So you can learn a lot from this one! It was fun to play, even though I ultimately gave up the point. I played black in an Alekhine Defense that quickly deviated from the tabiyas.



1. Image 2. Image 3. Image

4. Image 5. Image 6. Image

My analysis:

1) White's first few moves have been so meek that black can claim a comfortable advantage with moves like 6...O-O and 7...Nc6. But the sacrifice 6....Bxf2?! looked interesting, as after 7. Kxf2 Nxe4+ white's position is not easy to unravel.

2) Black had been hoping to throw wood onto the fire with 10....Bf5, thinking that 11. Qxf5 was not possible due to 11....Nxd2+ 12. Kh2 Nxc4. However, white may continue 13. Qc8+ Ke7 14. Qxh8 and black has run out of ammunition. Also possible is the spectacular 11. Bxf7+! in view of 11....Kxf7 12. Qxf5+ and 13. Qxe4. Thus black must try 11...Kd8 12. Qxf5 Nd6+ 13. Qf3 Nxf7 14. Qxc6 Nxc6, but with the queens off and only a pawn for the bishop, black's prospects are very bleak. Better for black on the previous move was conceding the failure of the sac with 10....Nd6 11. Qxc6 Nxc6, when black's better development and more secure king, along with 2 pawns, give him reasonable compensation for the piece. Fortunately for black, white continued 11. Bb5?! Qxb5 12. Qxf5 and the struggle continues.

3) Now that black has restored approximate material equality (3 pawns for a piece), he should complete his development with 16....Nc6, which also has the salutary effect of protecting the pawn on e5. But black thought he could regain the piece with the forcing 16....e4 followed by 17....e3, winning the pinned bishop. Alas, white had the should-have-been-obvious 17. Nfd4, a nice zwischenzug, and suddenly black was in hot water.

4) 22. Bg5! and white picks up the exchange. Black had to play 21...Qa6 a move earlier to avoid the bishop discovery trick. After dropping the exchange, black decided to just calmly look for opportunities to make his 3 pawns count, even though white's extra rook should ultimately prevail. It almost happened!

5) Black has picked up a fourth pawn for the rook, so he may be able to hold the draw if he can suppress white's activity and centralize his king. A good continuation would be 28....Nxf4 29. gxf4 b6, and white's pawns are a mess and his knight is not particularly impressive.

6) After 34....c4! black's pawns are threatening to become an unstoppable steamroller. To stay in the game white must give up a knight with 35. Nxc4 Rxc4 36. Rxd3, and after 36....Rc7 black has a comfortable equality. Black overlooked this resource, unfortunately, and lost quickly after 34....Nc3? 35. Rxd3.

_________________
Good chess and God bless,

Chris Falter


Last edited by chrisfalter on Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:03 pm
Rook

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:43 pm
Posts: 226
Rating: 1700
Rating Class: Class B (1600-1800)
 Meltdown!
From interesting battle to utter loss in five reasonable-looking but inferior moves! Then again, I was playing a near-master, and his knight sac introduced a wild tactical position that I simply couldn't figure out while the clock was ticking. A good learning opportunity....



1. Image 2. Image 3. Image

4. Image 5. Image 6. Image

My analysis:

1. We have reached an interesting IQP middlegame. White's e4 knight is nicely posted, and black's kingside defenses are looking a little thin. On the other hand, black has queenside chances, and the isolani could become very weak in an endgame. A good plan for white is Be3, Rd1, Bb1, and white's fleet is ready to launch. Instead I played 16. b4?! with the idea of planting a knight on c5, and playing dxc5 should black ever trade. This plan is not very good, though:

  • The e4 knight is a fine attacking piece that also helps keep black from organizing a defense by ....Nf6. Why trade it?
  • Advancing the queenside pawns only makes black's queenside attack come more quickly.

2. How quickly can black's queenside attack develop? How about immediately! After a few minutes of thought, black sacrificed a knight temporarily with 16....Nxb4! 17. axb4 Nxb4 18. Qb3 Nc2 19. Be3 Nxa1 20. Rxa1 Bc6. Black has a slight material deficit (rook and 2 pawns vs. 2 bishops) but a strong initiative. White's can hold the balance only with active and accurate defense.

3. 21. Rc1?! looks good because it prevents Bxe4 by a pin and brings the rook to a more active position. However, with an extra rook black will always be able to take control of the c-file. In addition, black can respond 21....Qa5!, unpinning the c6 bishop and making all kinds of nasty threats. Better is 21. Nc5, which interferes with black's activity. Black's activity is white's #1 problem, so 21. Nc5 was definitely the best move. Houdini considers white to have lost just by playing 21. Rc1 (eval = -1.05) instead of 21. Nc5 (eval = -0.08). You don't have to drop material or commit a heinous blunder to lose a game against a strong opponent.

4. Black has 2 threats:

  • 22....Bxe4 wins a knight.
  • 22....Bd5 wins the a2 bishop.

In addition, the queen eyes the e1 square, where it can give a devastating back-rank check if white is not careful. How to respond? The clever 22. Bb1 removes the a2 bishop from the threat of ...Bd5 while simultaneously guarding the e4 knight. The perfect solution! Unfortunately, though, not a solution I found. Instead I played 22. Nc3, which instead removes the knight from the attack while guarding the bishop. However, it is inferior because black has many ways to eliminate or deflect the c3 horse which is so crucial to white's defense.

5. Although white is probably going to succumb, I could have kept throwing up roadblocks by removing the a2 bishop from attack via 23. Bb1. Instead I played 23. Ne5??, a truly terrible idea that loses by force. Among other things, it removes half of white's defense against a back-rank mate (...Qe1#). Why remove a key defender? I'm still scratching my head over that move.

6. After white's final blunder, 24. Nxd5??, black seals the deal with 24....Rxc1+ 25. Bxc1 Qe1#, a simple two-move mate.

_________________
Good chess and God bless,

Chris Falter


Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:35 pm
Rook

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:43 pm
Posts: 226
Rating: 1700
Rating Class: Class B (1600-1800)
 Spaced Repetition for Tactics Training - Available Now!
When I began serious tactics training at chesstempo.com, I decided to maximize my learning experience by using spaced repetition. Essentially, for the problems that seemed easy, I wouldn't bother to repeat them, but the problems that were more difficult I would repeat at intervals of 1, 2, 4, 8 days, and so forth... up to 64 days for the final repetition. The idea is to use the spaced repetition learning method to work on difficult patterns until they become second nature, and therefore--this is the key point--readily accessible to my brain in game situations.

Not long ago, I posted a summary of how the training method has helped me grow in chess strength. However, to implement the method, I had to build my own simple Java program to track which problems I needed to solve on any particular day. The program is not designed for ease-of-use for the general public, though--which is just as well, since no one ever took me up on my offer to share it for free.

But now, dear readers, you too can enjoy the benefits of spaced repetition tactics training! Chesstempo.com has made a spaced repetition mode available for problem sets that you create (from their library of tens of thousands of problems). And frankly, their algorithm is much more sophisticated and easy to use than mine. If you're not already a gold member, you'll need to pony up $35 per year, but it's only one of the many great features that accompany membership. I highly recommend it for anyone who is not already a titled player. If you're interested, you can get it now.

_________________
Good chess and God bless,

Chris Falter


Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:30 pm
Pawn

Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:01 am
Posts: 9
Rating Class: Class B (1600-1800)
 Re: flatman's training journal
Hello Chris, good journal!

You played a very interesting ending vs BigMiller back in August 2012. When playing through the game you reached with White (yourself) to play

8/p7/4k2p/3p2pP/1P2r3/P4KP1/3R4/8 w - - 52 0

I wondered why you didn't play 52.Re2 entering what I judged to be a very favourable ending. The Crafty end game simulator is now working and I set the position up on it (link http://www.chessvideos.tv/endgame-train ... 2012+52%3F). I found the reason: Black has 52...g4+! 53.Kf2 Kf5 and White struggles to draw. The Pawn ending is now lost, and the Rook ending is difficult to defend: having lost several times against the EGS I enlisted the help of Herr Fritz who duly found the right path (the EGS always plays the same way, White can try alternative defences).

Enjoy exploring!

David


Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:45 am
Rook

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:43 pm
Posts: 226
Rating: 1700
Rating Class: Class B (1600-1800)
 Re: flatman's training journal
David2009 wrote:
Hello Chris, good journal!

You played a very interesting ending vs BigMiller back in August 2012. When playing through the game you reached with White (yourself) to play

8/p7/4k2p/3p2pP/1P2r3/P4KP1/3R4/8 w - - 52 0

I wondered why you didn't play 52.Re2 entering what I judged to be a very favourable ending. The Crafty end game simulator is now working and I set the position up on it (link http://www.chessvideos.tv/endgame-train ... 2012+52%3F). I found the reason: Black has 52...g4+! 53.Kf2 Kf5 and White struggles to draw. The Pawn ending is now lost, and the Rook ending is difficult to defend: having lost several times against the EGS I enlisted the help of Herr Fritz who duly found the right path (the EGS always plays the same way, White can try alternative defences).

Enjoy exploring!

David


I always enjoy interacting with my readers, David; thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment that helps us all! It has been 2 months since I played the game, but I vaguely recall rejecting 52. Re2 because the pawn endgame didn't look very playable. Black's superior king is the key to his victory. If white could blockade with his king on d3, he could create an outside passer on the a-file and possibly even win. But he can't, so black's king will invade on one side or the other with convincing effect. I don't remember analyzing 52...g4+, but it's a nice zwischenzug, for sure.

_________________
Good chess and God bless,

Chris Falter


Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:42 pm
Pawn

Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:15 pm
Posts: 7
Rating: 1809
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
 Re: Spaced Repetition for Tactics Training - Available Now!
I create spaced repetition sets on chesstempo with fixed 12 day intervals, which evolved naturally from my focus on review of problems that weren't solved in a minimum time.

I use the random instead of spaced repetition option, set a 12 day interval, with dropout for solving in a minimum time, which to me is much easier to setup and use.


Last edited by 3253 on Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:37 pm
Rook

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:43 pm
Posts: 226
Rating: 1700
Rating Class: Class B (1600-1800)
 Four moves, three sacs!
In this Ruy Lopez Marshall Gambit, my sideline led to an unusual position in which Black (my opponent) had queenside play and I had kingside space. The question I asked myself was: how do I convert my space advantage into an attack? The answer: sac, sac, sac! And I managed to conduct the last 10 moves of the winning attack with only 2 minutes + 10 second increment on my clock. I am convinced that my recent study of Bronstein's games helped me find good attacking moves quickly. The Sorceror's Apprentice: get it today!



1) Image 2) Image 3) Image

4) Image 5) Image 6) Image

7) Image 8) Image

My analysis:

1) 18. Bd2 opens the e-file for action; most notably, it prepares a pawn sac on e6 followed by Ne5 and a rook lift to e6. And it all unfolded over the next few moves! Occasionally I feel like a genius when I play this game. Black had to respond 18....Bc8, but he wanted to develop a queenside attack instead. Mistake! He had to do the prophylaxis thing against my attack first, then play for the queenside attack.

2) While the rook lift I played, 21. Re3!?, is not a bad move, Houdini prefers 21. Bxe7 Qxe7 22. e6!? fxe6 23. Re5 Bd7 24. Ng5 g6 25. h4= with dynamic play for the pawn.

3) Black's desire to evict the annoying g5 bishop is understandable, but 21....h6?? was actually a losing move. White grabs the gusto with 22. e6! fxe6 23. Ne5 Qc7 and he's on a roll.

4) I had originally planned 24. Bf4 and 25. Rg3 when I reached this position, but in spite of the fact that I only had two minutes on my clock I decided to look around for a bit. And yes, 24. Bxh6! destroys black's defenses. 24...gxh6?? is impossible because of 25. Qg6+ and mate the next move.

5) 25. Rg3 offers a pawn on e5, but Black does well not to grab it: 25...Bxe5? 26. dxe5 Qxe5? runs into 27. Rxg7+ and Black must give up his queen for White's rook and bishop, as 27....Kf8?? results in a quick mate (28. Qh7! Qe1+ 29. Kh7 Qe5+ 30. g3 +-). Coach Houdini points out that 25. Ng4! is even stronger (25...Bh4 26. g3 gxh6 27. gxh4 Kh8 28. Rg3 Qh7 29. Qxh7+ Kxh7 30. Nf6+ Kh8 31. Nxe8).

6) 26. Bf4 releases the foot from the gas pedal; it threatens 27. Ng6, but Black can meet the threat with 26....Be8! (27. Ng6 Bxg6 28. Bxc7 Bxc2). Better is 26. Re1, which starts to bring the other rook into the attack.

7) Fortunately for White, Black missed his opportunity and played 26...Qb6? Now 27. Bg5! brings the heat again. After 27...Bxg5 28. Rxg5 Black's king is in deep peril.

8) 28....b4?? hastened Black's demise, as now 30. Rh5! threatens mate in 2. Even if Black had seen it and played 29...Rc7, he still loses miserably after 30. Qh7+ Kf8 31. Qh8+ Ke7 32. Qxg7+ Kd8 33. Rh8_ Be8 34. Qf6+ Kc8 35. Rxe8+ Kb7 36. Rxe6. After 29...a4 30. Qh7+ Black simply let his clock run out, as it's mate in one (30...Kf8 31. Qh8#).

_________________
Good chess and God bless,

Chris Falter


Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:09 pm
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