Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Look, Ma, A Tactic!

It’s a Wacky Wednesday, indeed, when your humble blogger pulls off a combined discovered-attack-fork-pin

When we learn about chess, we learn about tactics, don’t we kids? Those great maneuvers like forks, pins, skewers, and discovered attacks that not only win material but are jolly-good fun to spring on our opponents.

The trouble is, those of us at the subterranean levels of chess skill seldom get to use those tactics, because our “board vision” is poor, and we can’t see the tactical patterns in our games. That’s certainly one of my biggest problems.

By some miracle, however, I saw one good tactic in this five-minute blitz game, which I won on time. It came to me like a bolt from the blue, possibly through the grace of Caissa.

Not that it was great game; it wasn’t. Getting pawn-forked with 11. e5 was unfortunate, to be sure. And of course I should have played 8. … Nxc4, instead of castling. Duh.

But forget about all of that. Look at 13. … Nxe3!!! Okay, maybe two exclamation points would have sufficed. But look what happens. White can’t castle out of this pickle because the knight attacks both castling paths. Is there any way to save White’s queen? (Killjoys: Bring it on.) 14. Nf3 doesn’t help. 14. … Nxf7+ forks the White king and rook and unleashes a discovered attack on the queen. The queen can’t capture the forking knight because she’s pinned to the king by the rook. She can’t capture the rook because the king is in check from the knight. It’s a double attack, the king must move, and the queen is lost. Rooks are exchanged, and although the Black knight is later lost a White bishop is captured in the course of that sequence as Black exchanges down to an endgame where White is just about out of pieces. (And yes, yes, yes, I know: she would have been even further bereft of pieces had I played 23. … Rxe1, leading to mate in two. You think I don’t see that, Liquid Egg Product? I mean c’mon.)

Sometimes chess is fun even for those of us who aren’t very good at it.


Anonymous said...

OK, fine, you see it. ;)

It was a great move. I'm just wondering why White didn't resign on, say, move 25.

Tom Panelas said...

Thanks, LEP. I'm sure the move loomed greater in my mind than on the board, but I enjoyed it.

As for resignation, maybe White noticed what blunders I was capable of and found hope in that. :o)