dinsdag 18 maart 2008

Look closer

In the next position it is white to move, what should he play?


You can see the solution if you highlight the space between the brackets. (Whites strongest move is 1 c3 (1 Bd2 is an okay move and leads to an even position after 1 ... Bxa5 2 Bxa5) after which Black is forced to play 1 ...Bxa5 which gives white the possibility to play 2 Bg5! and white is better: e.g. 2 ... Nf6 3 exf6 gxf6 4 Ne5! 0-0 5 Bh6 fxe5 6 Qg4 Kf8 7 Qg7+ and white wins material.)

I missed this today when solving this position. What really bothered me that I hadn't seen the second move at all!! I really felt caught with my pants on my knees when I saw the solution, because suddenly I realised that I had not followed the single advice I give to almost all my students all the tiime: search for targets. Had I done this then I certainly would have spotted the immobilised and vulnerable position of the queen on d8.

This is a major problem for all us patzers. We think, calculate, judge, plan etc. But we forget to do the most important thing in chess, to look, to look closer!

4 opmerkingen:

tanc(happyhippo) zei

Hello Phaedrus,

Good post. 2 weeks ago in a game, I totally missed a winning combination because the idea of moving a pawn just one step forward didn't register in my mind.

It was only after I fired up Fritz to do a blundercheck that the winning continuation showed up.

The problem of looking and looking closer (or finding a better move if you found a good move) is definitely one that looks simple to do on paper but hard to realise in an actual tournament situation indeed.

Polly zei

I was so tired that when I looked at this position that 1. I didn't see that white was in check, and 2. black bishop is covering c6. I kept thinking what's wrong with Nc6?

transformation zei

it took me too long, also, to see the check, and like polly, thinking:

"In CT-Art, level five, when the answer SEEMS obvious, it usually means its not the answer, and whats wrong with Nc6?, THEN noticing the check+, put up Bd2, and said 'ah', but there must be more..." but stopped to look now further, checking the answer instead.

i am in a BIG hurry to jump into my bathtub, the highlite of my night indeed!

or as the great chinese Taoist sage, Lao Tzu said: "The Tao that can be said is not the eternal Tao."

just home from work, so not exactly in chess brain yet, so didnt see it through unaided.

we all are on 'pins and needles' to see what you uncork next, oh Mighty Phaedrus, keep of the keys to Quality!

warmest, dk

Phaedrus zei

Thank you for your input my fellow bloggers.

This post touches the essence of my blog. I sincerely believe that it is possible to improve significantly if one learns how to look.

This position is not all that easy to solve, and I would not have been upset if I had rejected 1 c3 because I had missed 4 Ne5!.

But instead I already missed 2 Bg5. A move crying out loud to be played. Well at least to be taken into serious consideration.Just look at that queen, look at that diagonal h4-d8.

That is not deep! It is on the surface. It was my thinking that put it in the shadow of my mind.

In chess (and maybe in life isn't it DK) we often let our thoughts guide what we see, instead we should let what we see guide our thoughts.