07 June 2013

The Knockout Blow

Tactics training emphasizes winning material to gain an advantage or sacrificing material to deliver checkmate. Occasionally, problems are presented where one must find the most efficient win from a position where most routes lead to victory. In the Spanish Thematic rapid tournament last night, I found the correct moves when the tactical opportunities presented themselves in the first two rounds. In the third, my opponent create chaos to test me, and I mostly failed.

My opponent could have had an advantage with 24.Nxd5, but erred with 24.Bxd5.

Black to move

In round two, I attacked my opponent's queen with 14.Ne4, to which he should have replied 14...Qd8 with a slight disadvantage. He played 14...Qg6, opening the door to tactics.

White to move

Game three was completely nuts, but not without instructive value.

The first position from game three was one that I anticipated during the game, but did not occur. I did not see that Black would have had a checkmate in eight.

Black to move

I considered, but did not play the strongest continuation after 15.g4.

Black to move

And then after 17.Qc2, I missed a forced checkmate in seven.

Black to move

Finally, though, I found the five move checkmate sequence after 21.Qxc7, ending the game and the tournament.

Black to move

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