04 October 2009

Mate Threats

I lost yesterday. My participation in the Eastern Washington Open is cut short this year to facilitate a college visit to my alma mater for two high school seniors--son and nephew. Yesterday, I played only round two. Today, I'm playing the last two rounds, but will not be paired against the strong players I long to play in these events. And this year's Eastern Washington Open is among the strongest in recent memory.

My pairings will be against weaker players because yesterday I lost to a C player--an improving middle-aged friend who has given me plenty of scares the past few years, and finally achieved a deserved win.

As my position was in its final stages of deterioration, I gave up another piece to expose his king. Had he panicked, I might have gotten a string of checks--though I didn't think I had a perpetual or any other chance of repeating the position. I had nothing else. My sacrifice gave him a powerful passed pawn. So, we reached this position.

White to move

I was prepared to resign if my opponent played 36.Rxf8 in light of the checkmate threats. Instead, Ted played 36.b8Q and I played on a couple moves more.

This morning, I sought solace in a few online blitz games. Again I am losing badly.

White to move

My opponent played 32.Qxc8??

This move threw away the win. Why?


  1. Nice one! I'm guessing you played 32...Qa7+, and after 33.Ke1 you would have a sequence of forcing checks ending with mate, as follows:
    34.Kd1 Qe2+
    35.Kc1 Qc2#

    I bet that felt good, to pull off a swindle like that! :)

    Best regards,

  2. 32. After Rh7ch, her Royal Ebony Highness is history.

  3. Anon, you are quite correct.

    Hank, if White blocks the check with the bishop, the queen defends c2 and Black can force a draw but find no win. He missed the bishop interposition and it ended as you show.

    Swindles are always fun.

  4. 1. Rh7+, pulling away the king of the defense of the queen and white has an easy win. Gosh, Caissa must have loved you when playing this game. :-)