Munich found this crushing attack by white at CT. See diagram.
It is a 1830 rated blitz problem which is a beautiful illustration of pattern recognition guided by context.
White to move.
You can find the solution here.
As you see a lot of people miss this tactic due to the wrong context. At CT you expect problems of a certain difficulty. You don't expect a simple capture. The 1830 blitz rating and my description of the crushing attack might have put even you on the wrong foot. But then again, if attacking a queen isn't crushing, I don't know what is:)
The message is that we see what we are looking for and that we don't see what we are not looking for. Even when it stares you in the face. Allthough that is very economical for the brain, it means that we have immense blind spots. Both in chess and in life.
If you think this doesn't apply to you since you saw the queen capture immediately, you are wrong.
At the Tata tournament I asked myself during the games what the potential reach could be of the training of complex tactics which I'm doing. I realized soon that there are, besides the opening, no tactic-less moves in my games. The amount of moves you can do is always restricted by the moves that cost you wood. You always have to look for tactics yourself. This always checking for tactics for both you and your opponent is time consuming, errorprone and draining your energy. Of course not every move is a tactic, but you have to watch out for them anytime. They always play a role in the background. Being able to do this automatically and flawless would have an immense effect on my games.
The training I'm doing I consider not to be about tactics, by the way. It teaches precision in reasoning. You usually recognize the patterns that are involved soon enough. But then you must make the combination work. And when you think it works, you must attempt to falsify your move. From the 37 topics on the list which constituted my thoughtprocess there are only a few left. I left out those topics which I already check for automatically. So it became a highly personalized list:
1. What is this position about?:
- Gaining wood
3. Can I falsify my move?
The first question helps for orientation in the position.
The second question helps me to identify threats. CCT prunes a lot of garbage moves, but it introduces new ones. Since I'm always looking at checks and captures automatically, there is no need to guide my mind towards that. But question 2 brings above all the relevant threats in the position.
The third question is designed to test the correctness of my combination.
You have seen me change from exercise to exercise the past 3 years. The reason for that was simply that I was never quite convinced that it was the right method.That's different now. I have at least found the right subject to train. Precision in reasoning is imo the subject to be trained to the max. What can change is the exact method. For now the current method seems to be working fine, so I will stick to it. In fact I already do for 2 months now.