Sunday, February 13, 2005


My Chess Mistakes, Vol. 1

To me, intermediate chess is alot like beginning chess. Intermediate players make the same mistakes that beginners make, but are just a bit more aware of it. Of course, if players never made the same mistake twice, eventually everyone would become a Grandmaster...Yikes!

Some mistakes seem happy to crop up again and again, no matter how many times one might see it. To battle my own beginner tendencies, I began writing down notes. This note still holds true a year later:

"Bishops on the move leave b and g pawns vulnerable, and the c pawn becomes a target if the Queen moves very far."

Pretty simple, huh? Well, I suppose it is. If only I could remember it.


I was Black here:
1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 e6 4. O-O Be7 5. b3 O-O 6. Bb2 a5 7. c4 a4 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9. d3 Bf6 10. Qc2 axb3 11. Qxb3 Bd7 {see diag.} 12. a4 Bc6 13. Ne5 Qc8 14. Nxc6 bxc6 15. Nc3 Rd8 16. d4 Nxc3 17. Bxc3 Bxd4 18. Bxd4 Rxd4 19. Rfd1 Rd6 20. Rac1 Qa6 21. Rxd6 cxd6 22. Rb1 Qc8 23. Qb6 Na6 24. Qxc6 Qxc6 25. Bxc6 Rb8 26. Rxb8+ Nxb8 27. Bb7 Kf8 28. a5 Ke7 29. a6 Nd7 30. a7 Nb6 31. a8=Q Nxa8 32. Bxa8 1-0

(Actually black might have a winning or at least drawn position is 22 ...d5)
11...Bd7 {DOH}

Not seeing the Qxb7 threat was my mistake. I have been calling this and other similiar glitches "after the move" mistakes. If you want, leave a comment on whether or not White can safely take the b pawn.


6 more problems to do in circle 4 of 81-120.

Actually, I think your Bd7 was a good move as it offers a pawn for a vicious attack. White gets into all sorts of trouble if he takes the b-pawn. Here is one possible line:

12. Qxb7 Nc6 13. d4 Nb6 14. Ne5 Bxe5 15. Bxc6 Rb8 16. Qa6 Bxc6 17. dxe5 Qd5 18. f3 Nc4
Grabbing the pawn is not so good I think. It leaves white behind in development, black gets more space and the position of the queen can trigger tactical tricks.
The psychological punch by not seeing 12 Qxb7 seems to be the biggest problem for black to overcome.
I was thinking 12. Qxb7 Nc6 too, but then attempting to trap the Queen with Nb6, which does not work. Both a 1750 player and my computer found 12... Bc6 13. Qb3 Ba4 (14. Qb7 Nc6), which seems to put white in a bind.
Yes, but the good thing about Nc6 is that now it becomes difficult for the White queen to retreat (13. Qb3? Rb1 and White's Bb2 is a goner). I would say that the aim of Nc6 isn't so much to trap the queen as it is to build an attack against White by generating threats against the queen.
I see. Maybe 12. Qxb7 Nc6 then attempting to threaten the a2 pawn with Nb4. I can handle that! (heh)

The other line seems to gang up on the Queen quickly in order to get at the b2 Bishop. In case your interested here is the computer dump, which is a bit over my head:

[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "rn1q1rk1/1ppb1ppp/4pb2/3n4/8/1Q1P1NP1/PB2PPBP/RN3RK1 w - - 0 12 "]

12.Qxb7 Bc6 13.Qb3 Ba4 14.Qb7 Nc6 15.Nbd2 Be7 16.Bxg7 Kxg7 17.Qb2+ Bf6 *
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