Saturday, October 13, 2007

Adventures in Coffeehouse Chess

I have a decent memory from my trip to the coffeehouse. I think the tactics I found today are a decent representation of the kinds of things I can find much better now than I could 6 months ago.

Black to Move

Due to a mating net on the back rank with Bf3, black picks up two pieces for his rook with 1. ... Rxf4 where 2. Bxf4 Bxf4 3. gxf4 is met by Bf3 and mate next. The game continued 2. Rxd6 Rh1+ 3. Ke2 Bf3+ and white resigned in view of Rxd1+.

Black to Move
(hopefully it's clear that the labels (a-h,1-8) on this diagram are backwards. oops!)

Material is unbalanced with black having two minor pieces for a rook. Black's long range plan should be to increase the activity of his two minor pieces. It turns out the unfortunate placement of white's pieces makes these positional ideas moot. 1. ... Qf6! and there's nowhere to run with the rook on a1 hanging in the backround. Protection doesn't help either, for example 2. Qf2 Re2 3. Qxe2 Qxd4+ also picking up the rook on a1. The game continued 2. Qf4 Re4 Fritz says Ne6 is better, but Re4 is so beautiful, it's why we play chess.

White to Move

Once again, just a lucky unfortunate placement of the pieces. The knight on b6 has had it's squares taken away by the queen and bishop trying to line up on h3. The placement of the queen is also important for finishing off the combo. The game continued 1. c5 Na4 2. c6 Bxc6 3. Nxc6 Nxc3 4. Nxe7+ Black resigned.

White to Move

In this position I engaged in dangerous pawn hunting on the queenside. My opponent has made inroads in my king position, but missed a chance to finish me off, instead going for a tactic that was refutable. There are dual threats of Nxa1 and Bd4+. White comes roaring back with 1. Qb8+ Bf8 2. Bh6 Qc5+ 3. Kg2 Qc6 4. Kh3 Qd7 5. Bxf8 f4+ 6. g4 Rxf8 7. Nxf6+ and black resigned since Kg7 Qxf8+ Kxf8 Nxd7+ leaves white a full rook ahead.

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