Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Miss Easy Tactics! with Justin XII

[Our pedagogical series in which we look at a portion of a game I played the previous week in which some obvious tactic is overlooked. Readers are invited to practice their skill by seeing if they can spot what was missed.]

Horton-Ruiz Diez, Casino Jaque v Ibercaja B, Aragón Team Championship 2009, position after Black's 41...Qa4-b3.

Play now proceeded 42.Qd7 Qc3 43.Qd4 Qa3 44.Qd7 Rc5 45.Qd8+ Kh7 46.Qd2 Qb2 47.Kg2 Qb7+ 48.Kh2 Qc6 49.Qd3+ g6 and White later lost - though if he'd sat tight with the queen on d2 he might very well not have. But in the above sequence, what did both players miss?

(The complete game is given below.)

[Miss Easy Tactics! index]


Jonathan B said...

ooh I think I can see this one.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, it's 45.Qe8+ and 46.Rxc2.

And you're right, it really is easy.

That one must still be hurting!

Alu Chin

ejh said...

Well, it's less easy with thirty seconds to play a move and the imperative to get the queen back on d2 the main thing on your mind: but yes, as the opponent was graded 2299 and the match was lost 2.5-1.5, it did hurt more than a little when I found it later. (Oddly, though, I'm more annoyed about my failure to stick to the keep-the-queen-on-d2 discipline - tactical oversights are one thing, but losing because you don't sit tight, that's another.)

As often with tactical oversights move orders come into it - you're thinking something like "queen check, then queen check...ah, he's got f5 which wins" and my opponent quite likely thought much the same.

Jonathan B said...

Sometimes this series doesn't seem too easy to me - but even I got this one.

Of course it's easy now but have played a full game and in the heat of battle it's strange what players can miss.

Your last point is interesting EJH - how did *he* miss it too.

ejh said...

Well, the whole series is about things that one player permitted and the other didn't take, so in all instances (I think) they both missed it. As for why...I'd guess the same reasons, except interestingly that he wasn't quite so short of time as I was (I'd been playing with less than a minute, plus thirty seconds a move, since before the sequence began, while he began it with fifteen minutes to spare). I don't believe he saw it but bluffed - he'd have said so afterwards, I think - so I'd speculate that the reasons were the same, i.e. an assumption that the queen was staying on the d-file, a brief investigation of the e8-e4 idea and the "refutation" of ...f5 noticed, plus perhaps in both our minds an assumption that the rook was stuck on c1 and unable to move.

Games are mostly decided by the awareness of tactics, I think. That's why I keep losing them.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't gloating, just stating a fact.

I've made enough time trouble blunders myself to share your pain. The worse one was taking a draw through perpetual check against a strong GM when completely winning - more than 10 years on and that still hurts.

Alu Chin

ejh said...

It's quite OK, no offence was taken or assumed.

Jonathan B said...

Actually it turns out this one was more complicated than I thought.

I'd missed the ...f5 idea. I though White could check on e4 first and then take the pawn or do it the other way around.

I'd also looked at taking the pawn before even checking on the back rank ... but perhaps then Black can take back with the rook then block the check with the queen because the a3-f8 diagonal has been opened up