Friday, November 20, 2015

Tactics part 2

When we check our games with a computer then very often we are frightened by the number of missed tactics. For some people this spoils the fun. They prefer not to look anymore at the lines spitted out by the tactical monster. I am on the other hand a real masochist as I would even skip sleep just to get an old fashioned beating (see my article interferences).

Of course I am just joking. In the first place it is my unrestrained curiosity which needs to be temporarily tempered by a quick qualitative analysis. I expect 99% of the chessplayers would be satisfied with these analysis. I on the other hand am only fully content after having evaluated each played move at least 1 minute by my 2 strongest engines, see details in my article analyze with a computer. It partly explains why my games are sometimes only months later published here on the blog. Qualitative analysis needs time especially if chess isn't your profession.

Except pleasure you could ask yourself why to make such thorough analysis of the games. Sure I have a blog and you don't want to appear completely foolish with some sloppy analysis on the internet but what if there would be no blog? Everybody understands the value of analyzing openings as the chance is real to use them in practice but how often the same tactical trick in a middle game will reoccur in practice? If I am objectively looking at my games then I have to admit similar combinations in the middle or end-game are very rare. On the other hand we learn most from our mistakes and we still remember them many years later.

I once missed in 2002 a not very difficult tactical combination. After the game I was especially upset not having won the game.
[Event "Open Avoine 3de ronde "] [Date "2002"] [White "Foucaud, S."] [Black "Brabo"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A80"] [WhiteElo "2010"] [BlackElo "2223"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "6rk/pp1nq1rp/2p5/1PPp3b/P2PPP2/2B2B2/3Q3P/1R3R1K b - - 0 26"] [PlyCount "4"] 26... Bxf3 {(This wins but much easier is Rg1.)} (26... Rg1 $1 27. Rxg1 Bxf3 28. Rg2 Rxg2 $19) 27. Rxf3 Qxe4 $4 {(Nf6 was still winning but the variations are more complex now to calculate.)} 28. Qd3 {(And after a number of adventures the game was drawn at move 51.)} 1/2-1/2
However this summer I got to my great joy a chance to play a similar motive in the last round of Open Gent. Not only I found the combination this time but I had seen it already a few moves earlier.
[Event "Open Gent 9de ronde"] [Date "2015"] [White "Barendse, T."] [Black "Brabo"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A90"] [WhiteElo "2150"] [BlackElo "2316"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "3rb1rk/pp4qp/2p1p3/3pPpn1/2P5/1P1NP3/P1Q2PBP/3R1R1K w - - 0 21"] [PlyCount "10"] 21. Qb2 $4 {(White completely misses the combination which follows hereafter.)} (21. f3 $1 dxc4 22. bxc4 c5 23. Nxc5 Rxd1 24. Rxd1 Bc6 $13) 21... Bh5 {(In 2002 I missed a similar but less complex combination which I still remembered very well.)} 22. f3 dxc4 23. bxc4 Bxf3 24. Bxf3 Nxf3 25. Rxf3 Rxd3 { (Black is winning which I capitalized a few moves later.)} 0-1
It really becomes weird when you find out that a similar tactical curiosity happens for a second time in the same game. Last season I missed to my surprise in the final round of the clubchampionship of Deurne a pretty easy win of the queen. Fortunately my chosen move was also winning swiftly as otherwise I would be very ashamed.
[Event "Klubkampioenschap Deurne r9"] [Date "2015"] [White "Van Lil, B."] [Black "Brabo"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C54"] [WhiteElo "1890"] [BlackElo "2318"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "r4rk1/pp4pp/2p1b3/4q3/4Q3/N7/PP4PP/R3R2K b - - 0 21"] [PlyCount "7"] 21... Qxe4 {(Played without thinking much as this wins pretty easily. However at home I discovered what I missed.)} (21... Rf1 {(This would have ended the game at once.)}) 22. Rxe4 Bd5 23. Re2 Rae8 24. Rd2 Bxa2 {(White resigned as he trusted my skills with 2 extra pawns.)} 0-1
Exactly the same motive but in a much more beautiful composition occurred in my game against Ted. Not only it costed me just a few seconds to find the right moves but I also saw the combination already before white captured the pawn on b7 !
[Event "Open Gent 9de ronde"] [Date "2015"] [White "Barendse, T."] [Black "Brabo"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A90"] [WhiteElo "2150"] [BlackElo "2316"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "7k/pp1q3p/2p1p3/4Pp2/2P5/3rP1P1/PQ6/1R5K b - - 0 28"] [PlyCount "9"] 28... Rxe3 {(B6 wins too but I already saw the combination after Qxb7.)} 29. Qxb7 Re1 {(I missed the same motive a few months ago although I won anyway that game quickly. Still I very much liked to get the second chance.)} 30. Kg2 Qd2 31. Kh3 Qh6 32. Kg2 Qh1 {(Next move will be mate so Ted resigned.)} 0-1
It takes more than one swallow to make a summer so these examples don't prove that spending many hours analyzing our games will bring a good return. Personally I think a good book about tactics or one of the many sites on which you can solve tactics (some were mentioned in my article invisible moves) will be more efficient. Solving some puzzles can be fun but doing every day your homework as some (Belgian) topplayers do, must be a monotonous hard labor for which I can't push myself as amateur.


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