11 May 2013

Alternate Solutions

When I get something wrong, I must know why. Many of my tactics training resources offer limited explanation, which helps force me to study the problem in more detail. If I am stumped after careful examination, I must set up the problem in ChessBase 11 (or in a similar resource that enables engine analysis). With the Anthology of Chess Combinations, that process is made easier because the disc containing the electronic version and "solver's kit" also contained a PGN file of the anthology.

Black to move

A queen sacrifice was the obvious place to begin with problem number 192 in the Anthology. After the second check, the position becomes more complicated if the White king steps towards the center. I found the pawn sacrifice and dance of my knights.

As I executed my solution, the software told me that one move was incorrect. I quickly found an alternate move that covered the same two critical squares. Try as I might, I could not discover what was wrong with my solution. Opening the problem in ChessBase allowed Stockfish to clarify that my move, as well as the published solution, lead to checkmate in the same number of moves.

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