Monday, October 04, 2010

Miss Easy Tactics! with Justin XVI

[Our pedagogical series in which we look at a portion of a game I played recently - two, in today's double-bill - in which some obvious tactic was overlooked. Readers are invited to practice their skill by seeing if they can spot what was missed.]

Horton-Salas Calvo, Ciudad de Huesca tournament, September 2010, round five. Position after 32.Rh1xh5, capturing a pawn.

White would obviously like to put the bishop on f6 and after 32...Rc2 he continued 33.Rxc2 Bxc2 34.Nd5. However, after 34...Ke8, as played, the tactics don't work, as if 35.Bf6 Black has time for 35...Rc8.

So, remembering Kasparov's 39.Qg4 nothing-move from 1993 (though Black was not pushed for time) White threw in 35.Bd4 to throw the onus of sorting out the position on to Black instead - and indeed, after the unfortunate 35...Kd7 36.Bxa7 Ra8 37.Nb6+, he was in receipt of a fortunate point.

But in the above sequence, what did both players miss?

- - - -

Gómez Zazurca - Horton, Ciudad de Huesca tournament, September 2010, round two. Position after 27...f7-f6.

Play now proceeded 28.Qc5 Bxd1 29.Qxc3 Qxa4 30.Nf5 Qxc2 31.Qb4 Rd7 and Black had enough to win.

But in the above sequence, what did both players miss?

[Note: this one may be quite hard by the standards of the series. But it can't be too hard because it's the only one of the series I actually saw during play, albeit too late to find a deviation I was happy with! ejh]

[Miss easy tactics index]


ejh said...

Nobody fancy this? I'll post solutions this afternon some time, If my internet connection is still working then...

Jon H said...

In the first one I think you missed 33.Ne4, which attacks d6 and also gains a tempo after 33...RxR 34.NxR (and thus Bf6 will win).

ejh said...

Yep, that's the one. I suppose it seems like the knight's just going a long way from the action, but if it's doing so with, as you say, gain of tempo, then of course it doesn't matter.

One down.

Anonymous said...

How about 29. ... Qxa4 30. f3 shutting the d1 bishop's exit door? It might hang on after a later ... Qa1, though.

Anonymous said...

The German moderator is back, I see.

ejh said...


30.f3 is right: the bishop is trapped and the game will probably end in a draw. I saw this before playing my 29th but couldn't find a better move than the one I played.