September 29, 2012
I tend to lose a good amount of games in which I’ve obtained a clear advantage. What usually happens is that I am low on time and miss more or less immediate threats posed by my opponent. To avoid such frustrating losses, a chess club colleague of mine suggested that I make general consolidation moves before pressing the advantage. One example for such a move is Kg2 in the position below. Rather than giving Black an opportunity to invade the king’s vicinity with devastating effect, White protects the intrusion square h3, solidifying the King’s defence and forcing Black to come up with a less direct attacking scheme.
Of course, the chunk that’s shown in this gif is related to a common mating pattern of Queen + Bishop, e.g. this one:
Or this one:
September 15, 2012
After a bit of a dry spell, I’ve taken up studying tactics and openings again, among else by joining chess.com. They offer you a 30-day diamond membership trial and so far, it looks like I’m going to keep it. I prefer their tactics trainer to ChessTempo because the puzzles are much more straightforward and easier, hence more fun and hopefully more likely to ingrain basic patterns in my brain. I’m also a fan of their Chess Mentor feature and the videos. The layout is crisp yet appealing, and the overall feel of the site is that of a community of mostly novices and intermediate players who are motivated to improve but not overzealously so, which is exactly what I’m looking for.
In today’s tactics training, I came across a classic pattern that I had forgotten about, so I made a gif of it. The two patterns it combines are back rank mate and interference.
In the comments, the Chess Adventurer suggests I explain the concept of interference. (From a previous post:) An interference is a piece sacrifice with the intention of cutting off vital lines or blocking escape squares. In the gif below, White sacrifices the knight with check to disrupt the line between Black’s rook and queen.
In the next gif, White uses his bishop for an interference between two connect rooks, effectively trapping Black’s rook in the White camp: