Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Miss Easy Tactics! with Justin XIII

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

Horton - Hernández Delgado, Aragón Team Championship 2009, Casino Jaque v Estadio M. El Olivar C, board one, position after Black's 22...c6-c5.

White was winning back a pawn he had sacrificed for pressure: Black chose to return it on c5, rather than c6. Both players saw that if 23.Qxc5 Black could play 23...Ne6, gaining a little more space for his pieces, so White preferred to capture with the knight instead via 23.Nd3 Ne6 24.Nxc5, leaving him, after 24...Nxc5 25.Qxc5 c6, with an edge in an equal-material ending (which Black mishandled, losing rather quickly).

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

[Miss Easy Tactics! index]


Jonathan B said...

EJH is away from his computer. He's left me variations to publish ... which I shall do when I get back from work this evening.

Anonymous said...

That hole on f6 is rather inviting.

Anonymous said...

yes - it was good of EJH to come back to put a large sign warning others in similar situations to allow a piece to fall into it


Phil said...

How about...

23. Qxc5 Ne6
24. Nxd5! Nxc5
25. Nf6+ Kg7
26. Nxd7 Nxd7
27. Bxb7

leaves White a clear pawn up

Jonathan B said...

This is what EJH left us ...

"After 23.Qxc5 Ne6 24.Nxd5! wins immediately - because if 24....Nxc5 25.Nf6+ Kg7 26.Nxd7. White saw this but mistakenly rejected it because the knight on c5 could recapture on d7 - failing to see that the long diagonal is now completely clear and White can play 27.Bxb7.

(Note also that 23....c6 fails to 24.Nxc6 Rac8 [24...Rec8 25.Ne7+] 25.Qxd5 – or 25.Bxd5, which is also winning but is more complex.)

The actual game continued 26.Red1 Qe7 27.Rd4 Qxc5?! 28.Rxc5 f6? 29.Rb4 Rb8 30.exf6 Kf7 31.Bxd5+and Black lost on time a few moves later."

Jonathan B said...

... so nice one Phil.