30 November 2012

Bullet Skills

Winning one minute chess often becomes a matter of rodent control. The result hinges less on who plays better than upon who plays faster. Even so, strategy and tactics do come into play. Sometimes, bullet tests elementary checkmate skills. Can you checkmate with two queens in four moves or less? Some players know only one pattern for checkmate with two queens, or a queen and a rook. These players deservedly lose a few won games.

White to move

It is checkmate in two, but White played nine more moves before losing on time. White had 3.8 seconds: enough for two good moves. Black had 6.3 seconds remaining, and was down to 0.3 when White's time expired. Clearly White outplayed Black, but White was found wanting in basic checkmate skills.

After 52.Qg5 Kc5, White missed a checkmate in one. A no point through the last nine moves was White more than three moves from checkmate.

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