||Irina’s Deep Strategy in the Dutch
Irina Krush smashes Marc Esserman’s Dutch Defense. This game is an impressive example of force imbalance in one part of the board. Marc has plenty of pieces, but they’re all on the queenside (not on the kingside where they are needed). Krush makes sure they stay there.
||Learn from Your Fellow Amateurs, Episode XII: Creating and
Attila Malinik versus Phil Hopkins (CL subscriber from England). Black plays well in the opening and wins a pawn but then gets careless and gives his opponent too much counter-play. Haven’t we all had games like this? (Phil did win in the end, though.)
||The Best Combination I Never Played
Going back over my old games, I found this strange gem from 1985. My opponent walked into a mating net and so I won easily, but what if he had defended properly? My computer found an amazing combination with a queen and rook sac to checkmate with a pawn! I had no idea, of course.
||Tactical Motifs 301: Loose Pieces, Part I
Undefended pieces are often a red flag for combinations, even if they are not currently being attacked. They are the ones most likely to be victimized by pins, forks, etc. John Nunn has a saying: LPDO (loose pieces drop off). I invented a new acronym: LPCRF (loose pieces cause red faces).
||Tactical Motifs 302: Loose Pieces, Part 2
More examples of undefended pieces. “You can be sure of succeeding in your attacks if you only attack places which are
undefended.” — Sun Tzu, The Art of War.
||Learn from Your Fellow Amateurs, Episode XIII: Star Moves and Superstar Moves
Kenneth Jackson versus Allan Jiang (CL subscriber). Allan pointed out a couple of “star moves” that he played in this game. But one of them was actually a mistake: He missed a “superstar” deflection sacrifice! However, he redeemed himself by finding a similar sac later in the game.
||Rook and Pawn vs. Rook: When You Can’t Reach Philidor’s Position
For intermediate to advanced players, this lecture addresses an important question — what happens when you can’t get to either the standard “book draw” (Philidor’s position) or the “book win” (Lucena’s position).
||The Clock Giveth and the Clock Taketh Away
Time trouble can affect the psychology of both players. In this game an International Master (Vladimir Mezentsev) loses his way against me, even though I had less than a minute on my clock and he had more than 20. Was he trying to rush me, or did he just get overconfident?
||Learn from Your Fellow Amateurs, Episode XIV: The Good, the Bad, and the Bogus
Chad Bam (CL subscriber) versus Eric Putney. One big challenge, when you are starting out, is learning to tell the difference between real threats and bogus ones. There are plenty of both in this entertaining game.
||A Rook Ain’t What it Used to Be
I analyze a fascinating game from the U.S. Championship between Ildar Ibragimov and Gata Kamsky, where the two players combined to offer (according to my count) ten exchange sacrifices. Didn’t anyone ever tell them a rook is supposed to be worth more than a bishop?
||Learn from Your Fellow Amateurs, Episode XV: Phalanx!
Klaus-Guenther Besenthal versus Ralf Adloff (CL subscriber from Germany). Somewhat like my 11/27/2008 lecture, but even more extreme. Even though White has an extra queen and rook, he has to settle for a draw against Black’s phalanx of 4 connected passed pawns.