## Wednesday, May 21, 2008

### The missing scans

In my previous post I arrived at the conclusion that I had no adequate scans for knightforks and for prelimanary moves. The diagram below shows that point quite well. There is a knightfork possible on f6, but both the white knight and the targets aren't in place yet (K on h7 and Q on e8). Some prelimanary moves are needed to get the job done.

White to move

But how do you train for such invisible knightforks? The prelimanary moves can be found by thinking, once the pattern of the fork is recognized. The prelimanry moves don't seem to be the problem. But how do you know which virtual fork has good chances to bear fruit? How to scan for this?

1. I wonder if this isn't actually a "weak-square" scan. As in: f6 is weak. If only I could sink a piece there, Black's game would fall apart. Hey, if I could drive the Queen away, then Nh5+ forces ...Kh7 and I get to play Nf6+. How can I drive the Queen away? --At this point, with the idea that the Black King can be forced to h7, and the idea that Re8 attacks the Queen (which you already noticed in when looking for undefended pieces), the fork is no longer deeply buried, and should fall to your regular double-attack scan. Shouldn't it?

Is that any help?

2. Hi Ed,
long time no see!
Under weak squares I usually understand squares where my pieces converge. In this case a trial and error of the movement of the knight made me aware of the fork. But that is what I try to unlearn. To replace random trial and error with systematic scans.

There seems to be little special about the square f6. The fork and the fact that I can reach it make it special. Besides that there are a lot of other squares that seem to be similar to f6 at first sight.

3. I think you mean e6! The starting move: 1.Be6! If 1...Bxe6 2.Rxe6 (attacking g6) Nxe6 3.Nxe6+

4. Caq,
Be6 is not so effective. Black isn't obliged to take and plays 1. ... Qg5

5. I look at the position and it's not the possible fork I'm looking at. As you said the two targetted pieces aren't on the squares e8 and h7. It also not so easy to get the knight to f6. My first thought is drop the knight back to d3 and and stick it on the outpost square e5. then I'm looking at trying to put pressure on g6.

Perhaps I'm not looking deep enough into the position to find the possible fork down the road.

6. I think it's no possibile to realize any knightforks now. Black hasn't completed his opening, so I think the best move is 1. Qe3, follow 2. Qe7+ Qxe7 3. Rxe7+ Kf6 4. Rf7+ Kg5 5. Kh3+, with the idea Bc4-e2 and Ra1-f1-f4 checkmate.

7. Nophiq,
1.Nh5+ Kh7 2.Re8 Qg5 3.Qe5 and mate in 5 (2.... Qxe8 3.Nf6 fork)

Your suggestion 1.Qe3 h5 and black is off the hook for the moment though still lost in the long run.