Wednesday, July 30, 2008


"Procrastination is our substitute for immortality; we behave as if we have no shortage of time." -- from Indecision by Benjamin Kunkel

What have I accomplished this week?

Chess Tactics for Champions - I finished the book. Oddly, according to CTS, I am no tactically stronger than I was 6 months ago. I've started another circle through Heisman.

My System - I finished section 1.4. It's easy to quote maxims, but it takes real study to figure out why 'an exchange followed by a gain of tempo' works wonders in the Marshall, is only so-so in the Gruenfeld, and fails miserably in the English. But the end product is a maxim I can actually apply. And hopefully a better lesson. :)

Check out my new Strategy of My System series!

likesforests takes a beating:

White to move and win. Do you see White's best move?



tanc(happyhippo) said...

Easy. White picks up a free piece with 1. Bxb8 and Black cannot retake because of 2. Bb5. Saw that in a micro-sec. :)

likesforests said...

I visualized a mate-in-7 after a Greek sacrifice on Tuesday. Today I miss a simple removal of the guard. The mind works in mysterious ways. ;)

Glenn Wilson said...

Easy to see if I know I am looking for something. Easy to miss in the heat of battle. :)

Lauri said...

Yeah, I thought also that to see this in heat of the battle is really nice achievement. It is easy to see tactics but to see how more than 4-5 pieces coordinate is really difficult for me. I wish I could have one of those someday.

tanc(happyhippo) said...


I find that when looking for offensive and defensive tactics, my brain works in this order:

king safety/attack, queen safety/attack, piece safety/attack, pawn safety/attack, square safety/attack.

The puzzle you shown lit up a lot of red alarms in my head the moment I saw the Queen and King lined up on a diagonal. So I followed Kotov's rule and started my 'tree' of variation with... looking for White bishop then White rook, then possible defensive pieces like Black Knight, and finally saw the end: Win the Black Knight (defending piece). After that, just a bit of checking that Black has no intermezzos (counter blows) and the candidate move now becomes the next move. :)

Looking at the PGN, you definitely showed courage by castling long!

I am actually quite bad at Greek sacs and Lasker's double bishop sac tricks as there are certain rules in order for these sacs to work and it's hard to remember all of them. Great to hear that you can see them, I definitely cannot.

And besides, it's easy to miss tactics in the heat of the battle (as glenn wilson mentions). :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Likesforests!

I am heading off to my first swiss system tournament tomorrow! The tournament is Saturday. I am VERY excited about it! Who knows how I will do. I am in the under 1200 section. I will let you know how it goes! Have a great weekend!


likesforests said...

glenn, lauri - I know, but I need to see these consistently. :)

tanc, the alignment also lit up red alerts in my head but then I saw an immediate Bb5 didn't work and stopped looking. I've got to get in the habit of probing deeper when a red alert goes off. ;)

"Looking at the PGN, you definitely showed courage by castling long!"

Hehe. It's easy to be brave when you've already accepted that loss is almost certain!

RT Solo said...

In regard to the puzzle, after looking at it for a few seconds I thought 1.Bb5 to win the Queen. But then I saw that 1...Nc6 put an end to that pin. So...I had no idea. Thanks to your readers I now see the correct idea!

Anonymous said...

MAN! My first tournament was SOOO much fun!! I just finished a big post on my blog about it. I won 2 and lost 2. I even won the unrated prize for best record. I can't wait till I have enough games under my belt for my rating to be "official".

I am going to another local tournament in two weeks. I am going to post some of the games as I finish analyzing them. WOW it was so much fun. I am hooked! When is your next tournament?