Saturday, March 26, 2005

Problems that are a problem to me

Black to move

This is problem I am not wired for.
I had no clue after 20 minutes.
Even after looking up the solution, it costed me a few days before I had the feeling that I really grasped it and would not miss it in a game.
Maybe it's easy for you? (without your computer that is!)
Source: TCT


  1. ..Qd5 looks like it attacks the vulnerable c2 pawn's defender and hanging Knight. Is that right? If you hadn't posted this and I saw it in a game, I seriously doubt I would try that. I didn't see it for about 7 minutes, walked away from the computer, and then came back for another 5 minutes and questioned "what about ..Qd5" spontaneously for no apparent reason. I recently did the TCT lesson on attacking the defender, so I guess I am looking for those.

  2. Yes, Qd5 is right.
    Even when I knew the solution there was some disbelief that it was really winning a piece or the exchange.

  3. It took me several minutes to see the solution. The white Q has the role of defending f7 against the N fork, and the white N is hanging. 1...Qd5 attacks both. If white exchanges Q's, the black Q is replaced by the pawn attacking the loose N (reloader motif), and the white Q has gone, leaving f2 undefended. Nice logic, but I must admit that I found it by brute force - looking at all black's moves in turn.

    I like the diagram. How do I make diagrams like it?

  4. Munich: found it in about 30-40 seconds. The square c2 is pretty obvious to probably be the key. Now you need to distract the white queen from that square. There are not many possibilities for black to attack the white queen. But Qd5 attacks the white queen and the white knight.
    After QxQd5 black has a "reloader". A reloader is a piece that is replacing the just taken piece and is still attacking.
    Here the black pawn e6xQd5 is a "reloader". It keeps the attack on the white knight.
    After QxQd5 there are two threats at the same time on the board. Nxc2 (the obvious threat) and the reloaded threat dxNe4. What can not defend against both.

    The real trouble in finding this puzzle for most people (I dare to say "most") is:
    The reloader-theme is not a very well known pattern. It exists occasionally. I intended to tag CT puzzles with "reloader" (the word I got from Bright knight from the empirical rabbit blog), but found out that I didnt find any of them for a week now. (But I know that there are some "reloaders" in my CT sets).
    A "reloader" tactic is a bit better to spot if the reloaded piece is replacing a check giving piece. A king on e4 instead a knight on e4 would suffer from a check, and thus everybody would see within 10 seconds the move Qd5 very fast if Ne4 was not a knight but a king.
    So the really "hard" thing for many people must have been, that Qd5 is not a check and that the high valued black queen is not winning much if it is attacking an other queen.
    On the other hand: this puzzle is pretty easy, because there are not many candidate moves.
    What caused me trouble the most was that it was a top to bottom play. I can solve puzzles much better if I had to find the tactic from bottom to top. (Here in this example it would have helped if the board would have been turned by 180°.)
    I found out that I need about twice as long if I need to find a tactic from top to bottom.
    I am not sure why this is so. I assume it harms my pattern recognition.