19 November 2014

Lesson of the Week

The lessons this week focus on elementary tactics that build a foundation for more complex tactics. They stem from a major blunder by the current World Champion. Magnus Carlsen is the highest rated player in history and regarded by growing numbers as the strongest player ever. Even he makes mistakes, however.

In the sixth game of the current World Championship match with Viswanathan Anand, Carlsen played 26.Kd2 to reach this position.

Black to move

Anand was in some time pressure and missed the correct response. He could have gained an advantage that would have made a win in this game likely. He went on to lose and remains one point behind.

My advanced students are asked to find the combination that Anand could have played.

Some of them are presented with other positions inspired by this game, which was a Sicilian Kan.

Black to move

This position arose in Ricardi -- Polgar,J 2001. It is one of the reference games for the Kan in the Encyclopedia of Chess Openings (ECO)

Black played 25...Kg8 and the game was drawn by repetition a few moves later. Pablo Ricardi sacrificed a rook to expose Black's king. How would he have continued the attack if she had played 25...Ke7?

Beginning students are shown the solution that Anand missed in the first diagram and are given a worksheet with six elementary discovery problems created after a pattern found in Bruce Pandolfini, Beginning Chess (1993). Each problem in Pandolfini's book has ten pieces or fewer. I have found a lot of value creating worksheets for my students with similar problems.

Beginning Tactics: Discovery

White has a winning move in each of these positions.

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