12 March 2008

Reciprocal Thinking

Of the tactics books on my shelf, among the most challenging is Paata Gaprindashvili, Imagination in Chess (2004). The problems are difficult, designed to be set on a board and studied at length, rather than flipping through the diagrams at breakfast or lunch as is my habit. In the second chapter, Gaprindashvili advocates correcting an idea that seems not to work after analysis. We will often find that altering the move order or inserting an additional move into the plan transforms a failed idea into a successful one.

This position from Geller - Karpov, Moscow 1976 came up in Kaber's Exercises this morning. It is White's move.

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My initial idea was to play one of the knights to g6 with a check and fork. But, White's advantage seems minuscule after 1.Nhg6+ fxg6 2.Nxe6+ [Nxg6+ loses to Qxg6; the in-between Qxe8+ fails as well because after Kxe8, Ng6 is not check and the rook can move] Kf7 3.Qxe8+ Kxe8 4.Nf4.

Another move inserted in the sequence at the right moment leads to clear advantage for White. What is the solution?


I've previously mentioned the training set called Kaber's Exercises in "Good Luck." More information concerning this training resource is available there.


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