Tactics practice

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Tactics practice

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:01 pm

A combination I missed in one of my recent games:



White to play and win (Black has just played his knight from d7 to c5). The first move may be obvious, the full follow-up is maybe not so trivial. I saw the first move immediately in the post-mortem (missed it in the game due to time trouble - on move 23!), but failed to see the full details of the combination, with the chess engine later pointing out how to make it work. I've posted White to play and win positions here before, but not quite sure how to handle posting the solution. Is there a way to do that in some sort of hidden way so that those wanting to try solving the position can avoid seeing the solution?

EDIT: Might be obvious, but the replies below do include the solution! So avoid looking there if you want to try solving the puzzle first.
Last edited by Christopher Kreuzer on Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Arshad Ali
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Re: Tactics practice

Post by Arshad Ali » Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:17 pm

1. Re7 g6 2.Rf7 --?

Robert Stokes
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Re: Tactics practice

Post by Robert Stokes » Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:31 pm

How about

1. Re7 and then if 1 . . . Bxe7 , 2. Qxg7 mate

or

1. Re7 and then if 1 . . . g6 , 2. Bxf6+ , Bg7 , 3. Bxg7 , Kg8 , 4. Nh6+

or .................................. 2 . . . , Kg8 , 3. Nh6+

Malcolm Peacock
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Re: Tactics practice

Post by Malcolm Peacock » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:01 pm

g5 is a bit harder to deal with ...

1. Re7 g5 2. Bxg5 Bxe7 (2...Ne4) 3. Bh6 Bf8 4. Bg7+ Kg8 5. Nh6++

Matt Fletcher
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Re: Tactics practice

Post by Matt Fletcher » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:09 pm

Malcolm Peacock wrote:g5 is a bit harder to deal with ...

1. Re7 g5 2. Bxg5 Bxe7 (2...Ne4) 3. Bh6 Bf8 4. Bg7+ Kg8 5. Nh6++
And if 2. ... fxg5 then 3. Qc3+ looks terminal.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Tactics practice

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:37 pm

Heh, no need to provide a solution hidden behind a spoiler curtain, though I will add a spoiler alert to the original post. The lines after 1...g5 were the hardest for me to work out, though nothing is more than a few moves deep (and sometimes long moves to the other side of the board, such as 3.Qc3+, are hard to spot). What I'm not sure about is whether I would have spotted the quiet Bh6 move even if I had had plenty of time on the clock. There is a temptation when calculating a few moves ahead and struggling to keep the position clear in your head to stop calculating when things look like they are not working, but it is often at precisely that point that you only need to look a few more moves ahead and everything will work! I do like the way that White finishes things off after 1.Re7 g5 2.Bxg5 Bxe7 3.Bh6 Qg8 4.Bg7+ as the king is trapped by his own queen and pawn, forcing the queen to take the bishop, allowing mate.

EDIT: I'm pretty sure the arrangement of pieces with BK: Kg8, BP: h7, WB: g7, WN: h6 is a bog-standard mating pattern. Does anyone have a database they can search for examples of such mates?

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Tactics practice

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:50 pm

Arshad Ali wrote:1. Re7 g6 2.Rf7 --?
It is interesting that quite a few people looked at 1...g6 as a defence. Is this because the assumption was that 1...g5 must fail because something like 1.Re7 g5 2.fxg5 Bxe7 3.gxf6 Bxf6 (maybe 3...Qg8 is better?) 4.Nh6 is terminal, with the mating threat on f7? In the post-mortem, I remember originally looking at 1...g6 and then finding 1...g5 later (and failing to see that 2.Bxg5 wins). In case anyone is interested, in the game I moved the rook back to e2 and eventually drew, though not without passing up more winning chances later (which I won't detail here).

Geoff Chandler
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Re: Tactics practice

Post by Geoff Chandler » Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:51 pm

Hi Chris

This works for a hidden solution but when doing it you have to change
the colour code to #F0F0F0 it is not on the font panel.

To get solution put mouse pointer between here:Hello Chris: and here, keep the left button pressed and drag.

or you could write out in the solution in full in a foreign language.

This is it in Arabic. (Arabic readers look away now.)

الخطوة الأولى هي الرخ إلى الملك السابع.

You add the link for the would be solver to translate it.

http://translate.google.co.uk/

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Tactics practice

Post by MartinCarpenter » Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:16 pm

Its much easier to spot that sort of quiet move when you know there's an answer that works :) Once its posed as a question then Re7 is the only thing that might even work so.... Actually it hadn't even occured to me as a candidate before browsing the answers.

Much harder over the board. Quiet moves like Bh6 aren't easy to see and the idea of Qc3+ seems genuinely hard for humans. For starters its a long move, but more than that, it isn't at all related to the themes white is working with in the initial position - the a1/h8 diagonal looks exceedingly well guarded.

Actually its not even very natural for me to consider letting black swap his suffering queen for that dominating rook/knight pair. If could get organised after Qxe7 I'm not at all sure if it'd have improved whites expected score. Suspect that black can't really do that though.

When you've got a nice position anyway its be very natural to go Re2 quite quickly.

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Greg Breed
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Re: Tactics practice

Post by Greg Breed » Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:26 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:[It is interesting that quite a few people looked at 1...g6 as a defence. Is this because the assumption was that 1...g5 must fail because something like 1.Re7 g5 2.fxg5 Bxe7 3.gxf6 Bxf6 (maybe 3...Qg8 is better?) 4.Nh6 is terminal, with the mating threat on f7? In the post-mortem, I remember originally looking at 1...g6 and then finding 1...g5 later (and failing to see that 2.Bxg5 wins).
is 4.Nh6 terminal? 5.. Qe7 and Qf8 both seem to defend f7, Bf6 and g8 sufficiently. I say this without much thought seeing as I'm at work... shhh
Hatch End A Captain (Hillingdon League)
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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Tactics practice

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:35 pm

Greg Breed wrote:
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:[It is interesting that quite a few people looked at 1...g6 as a defence. Is this because the assumption was that 1...g5 must fail because something like 1.Re7 g5 2.fxg5 Bxe7 3.gxf6 Bxf6 (maybe 3...Qg8 is better?) 4.Nh6 is terminal, with the mating threat on f7? In the post-mortem, I remember originally looking at 1...g6 and then finding 1...g5 later (and failing to see that 2.Bxg5 wins).
is 4.Nh6 terminal? 5.. Qe7 and Qf8 both seem to defend f7, Bf6 and g8 sufficiently. I say this without much thought seeing as I'm at work... shhh
You are probably right, Greg. I was just speculating there. I think the idea of trying to defend with g5 is difficult to see because the idea of letting the pawn cover be ripped to shreds is not natural. But the real point is to be able to see Re7 and the mates after Bxg5. I suspect some here saw all this very quickly, but some struggled. Does this indicate something about relative chess vision? Do tests with chess puzzles like this reliably distinguish players of differing levels of chess strength?

Malcolm Peacock
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Re: Tactics practice

Post by Malcolm Peacock » Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:52 pm

I saw the follow up after g5 because I knew there was something to find. But I don't know if I would find it during a game. Do I spend 5 to 10 minutes trying to make it work, and then if it doesn't work I lose on time later?

James Coleman
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Re: Tactics practice

Post by James Coleman » Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:30 pm

It all depends how much time there is to play with of course, but I'd say in general probably yes, since the upside of finding something is much bigger than the downside of wasting ten minutes on it to no avail, when recouping that time bit by bit would probably only involve minor concessions(if any).

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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: Tactics practice

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:55 pm

Geoff Chandler wrote:Hi Chris

This works for a hidden solution but when doing it you have to change
the colour code to #F0F0F0 it is not on the font panel.

To get solution put mouse pointer between here:Hello Chris: and here, keep the left button pressed and drag.

or you could write out in the solution in full in a foreign language.

This is it in Arabic. (Arabic readers look away now.)

الخطوة الأولى هي الرخ إلى الملك السابع.

You add the link for the would be solver to translate it.

http://translate.google.co.uk/
You could also setup the chessboard viewer to show you the solution after you press a button, just like this (press the "?" for the solution)
http://go.casaschi.net/pgn4web-widget-puzzles
You could even add all the tries and variations.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Tactics practice

Post by MartinCarpenter » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:42 am

This puzzle is I suspect a bit flawed as a puzzle/test of strength because there really is only one move which even gets close to working - ideally you'd want a few 'tries' which nearly do so, or at least (most realistically perhaps) ambiguity as to whether there was anything concrete or not.

A nice level of complexity though :)

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