Friday, May 18, 2007

Seeds of tactical destruction

Today I played a blitz game where I thought I mis-handled the opening and then all of a sudden, the seeds of tactical destruction were staring me in the face. The opening was a closed sicilian, which I know next to nothing about. I allowed my opponent to take much more space and lock the center -- I was not doing well. Thankfully, he was behind in development. and weakened just the right squares at just the right time:
Black to Move
White has just played 11. b3? Black has a nice tactical shot here taking advantage of the exposed rook and a reloading knight on c6. The game continued 11. ... Nxd4 12. Nxd4 Bxe5. Black has given a piece for two pawns, but now attacks the pinned knight twice while it is only defended once. If 13. Bb2, black "reloads" on c6 with Nc6. There are some other lines to check with this tactic, 12. Qxd4 Qxd4 13. Nxd4 Bxe5 looks just as good. We also have to know what will happen if white tries Nxe6 either directly after Bxe5 in either line or after Bb2 Nc6 in either line. So there are several branches to the calculation tree, but they all rely on the domination of the a1-h8 diagional, in particular the d4 square.

Perhaps all this tactics training pays off after all.

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At 12:29 PM, Blogger XY said...

Chess computers often get me with tactics similar to that. I think I'm safe, and then suddenly it just runs one of its minor pieces right into my pawn chain and it's game over.

At 3:32 PM, Blogger XY said...

Btw, what if white after 12. Nxd4 Bxe5 would have played 13.Be3? (Question mark to indicate it's a question and not a bad move...)

At 2:51 AM, Blogger likesforests said...

Wow, that's a beauty. I saw the weak diagonal and once you told me there was a tactic I could guess the first move, but it's awesome you could spot that there was a tactic and calculate all those variations over the board.

At 12:27 AM, Blogger Loomis said...

Well, as XY pointed out, I missed 13. Be3 which would have wrecked the whole idea. I actually thought in the game I could meet Be3 with Qb4 and then play Nc6, but this doesn't work at all. So I was just lucky my opponent didn't play this line. :-).


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