08 July 2017

Three Tactics

A pin, decoy, and fork often work together to exploit an elementary error. Sometimes, exploitation of the error is complex, but it remains rooted in a fundamental pattern that should be well-known.

A few days ago in an online blitz game, I had this position.

White to move

I executed the pin. Rather than capturing my bishop (the decoy) and facing the resulting fork, my opponent resigned.

The pattern appeared in Greco.

White to move

Greco's game concludes: 12.Bb5 Qc5 13.Be3 Qxb5 14.Nxc7+ Kd8 15.Nxb5 1-0

This game deserves inclusion in all packages of instructive material to be used with beginners. My search of my largest database for positions with a White knight on d5, a Black queen on c6, and the move Bb5 (including all mirror positions with colors reversed) turned up well in excess of 400 games. Most led to defeat for the player whose queen was attacked, but not in every case.

I turned up this interesting position from the women's championship of France in 1931, the game Bastin -- Freeman, Paris 1931.

White to move

I posted this position in several fora on Facebook, but few responses identified the key move that begins the winning sequence.

9.b4 and the queen is trapped. 9...Qc6 10.Bb5 and Black resigned because 10...Qxb5 offer White the choice of capturing the queen--an error--or checkmating the Black king.

In Fries Nielsen -- Liersch, Germany 1980, White won Black's queen. However, Black gained more than sufficient material compensation for the queen and went on to win.

White to move

14.Bb5 axb5 15.axb5 Qxd5! 16.exd5 Rxa1 and Blkack has a rook and three minor pieces for a queen and two pawns.

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