Wednesday, March 08, 2017

You had just one job . . .

Diagram 1. White to move
r3r2k/pp4b1/2q1Nppp/1R1Q1P2/2n5/2P5/b2NBPPP/4K2R w K - 1 1

When you compare our comments, it looks as if we are looking at quite different positions. Which is a clear indicator of what our problem is. We see way too much possibilities. I saw an in essence simple position. Nc4 is hanging, and how am I going to round it up, with the knight or the bishop? Hence the title of this post. I had just one job. . . Choosing between 1.Nxc4 and 1.Bxc4
After thinking for more than three and a half minute I flunked it with 1.Bxc4. Based on some vague notion that "it was more active to attack Ba2".

Now let's have a look at this position in the light of my next post. Which black piece is the most immobile? Answer: the black knight. Why? It is hanging and immobile due to lack of time. White is to move first. That may sound silly, but that is because this is a silly position, with a knight already hanging. We start in the middle of something.

In order to decide between taking with the bishop or the knight, I must look at blacks possible counterplay. According to my hypothesis in the next post, counterplay can be only viable when it is geared around a sitting duck of mine. What is my most immobile piece? Definitely Ne6!

Counterplay will be directed to undermining e6. I must use Be2 as a defender of my king OR as a defender of e6. What I must definitely NOT do is exchanging my bishop against the desperado on a2.

Finally the position has become quite simple indeed.


  1. 2271.3 - I flunked! I could "see" the interaction between BRe8 and WB e2, but did NOT "see" the hanging Black Bishop on a2.

  2. It's tempting to just castle in this position as White. I like how you get these hard problems to put on your blog, really wild positions I haven't seen before. Normally, your problems involve finding tricky ideas where you find the idea or you don't solve it correctly.

    This problem relied on my ability to brute-force calculate the logic of the position, gained through decades of solving chess positions, but it was a huge tip-off once I clicked the link and ended up in my ChessTempo account that there was for sure going to be a winning tactic that worked.

  3. flunked too.
    Material =
    The problem is about material
    The weaknesses are clear : The pin(s) along the e file, the weak defender f4 and the lose pieces Ba2 and Nc4. I was to lazy to calculate it to the end ( i did play several blitzgames before :/ ) and played Bxc4 based on a hallucination to eventually give up the Ne6 for the Ba2. But we need to keep the white bishop to protect the Ne6, the rook cant do because of Lf8.
    For me this is a calculation puzzle, the decision, how to take at c4 , is based on the situations 3 moves deeper.

  4. I made a couple of runs at this and didn't come to a firm conclusion. I am unable to get the engine going for chesstempo.
    What's the plan for white, ,bd3 0-0 and rook b7?. An interesting problem.