And a more complicated one: the idea is easy, but can you analyse it to a finish?
Ah, if only it was all like that...
[21. Qe6 Qd8 22. c6 or even 21. Rxd7 Kxd7 22.Rd1]
Patzer sees a check... It didn't affect the outcome in the end but White had to start all over again to build up another combination.
[17... Qxa2+ 18. Kxa2 Ra6+ 19. Ba5 Rxa5+ 20. Kb1 Ra1#]
18. a4 Bd7 19. e5 Bxa4 20. Bc1 O-O 21. Nd2 Bb5 22. Bb2 Nf5 23. Nc4 Bxc4 24. dxc4 ( Draw agreed)
I suppose I wasn't looking for a win just then!
You don't get away with that sort of thing against 200-grade players.
There are lots of opening traps like that: White bites off more than he can chew.
It was almost the only thing Black had to analyse, and I didn't!
20. Nh3 Qg4 21. Ng5 1-0
Simple over-optimism: I didn't consider 20...g5.
30. Rd8+ Bxd8 31. Nd6+ Kf8 32. Nxf5 Bxb6+ 33. Kh2 Bxf5 winning...
(but here and black's flag fell... 1-0 There ain't no justice...)
Not hard to analyse, just I felt I had to do something and couldn't see anything else!
[34. Kh2! ...when it's all a bit tricky!]
34... Qe8 35. Re6 Qxa4 36. Re7+ Kg6 37. Rxc7 Qd1+ 0-1
The tactic was obvious enough, what I failed to assess was how good White's pieces would be in the ending.
As last time, Black has secured (or provoked White into giving up) a material advantage that is difficult to make use of, this time with the opponent having the Queen.
22. Ne5 Nxe5 23. dxe5 Bc6 24. Qc3 Re6 25. f3 a4 26. a3 g5 27. Bxg5 Bxe5 28. Qd3 Bd4+ 29. Kf1 Ne3+ 30. Bxe3 Bxe3 31. b3 Bf4 32. c4! Bxh2 33. bxa4 bxc4 34. Qxc4 Bg3 35. Qg4+ Rg6 36. Qc8+ Kg7 draw agreed .
As we start to comment more deeply on these examples, we see two sources of error: mistakes in analysis, surely, but also misjudgements - errors in the general assessment of the board or the opponent.
Let's clarify this with an example:
14. Bc2 Bd7 15. Nxd7 Nbxd7 16. Qd1 Bd6 17. Ne2 Nd5 ...drawn
I wouldn't like to say there's anything wrong with the analytical abilities of either player - what we have here is and error of judgement. My guess is, it's a quiet position in a solid opening, and neither player bothered to look.
Chess is a tense game. This tension may make you want to believe things that aren't really true, and comfort yourself with things that mean you don't have to think too hard any more. Not a bit of it....
which was met by
Hoping for 2. Kxf3 Kg7 discovered check, winning the rook.
2. Kg5 Ke8 White resigns, unable to catch the f-pawn.
Afterwards, Petrosian explained that a move like ...f3 just didn't fit with "Black's hopeless position". But where there's life, there's hope!
"For a long time I had regarded my position as a winning one. Thus the whole opening phase of the struggle, when Korchnoi was unable to get out of trouble, had psychologically attuned me to the idea that the ending would be favourable to me ... and here comes the oversight 35 Rxh6?? I did not even see the threat ...f4-f3, possibly because it was in contrast to Black's hopeless position. Personally, I am of the view that if a strong master does not see such a threat at once he will not notice it, even if he analyses the position for twenty or thirty minutes." - PETROSIAN.
I have a whole book full of these types of disaster, when one player just turned the alarm off. You should be on guard all the time, with the alarm dial turned up to 11!
Please note that Petrosian was also thinking less than objectively about the game, and thinking only about his plans. Your opponent also has a right to exist...
Here White gets carried away with his attacking possibilities, when unflappable Exeter player Brian Hewson calmly sidesteps the main line of a sacrifice (11...fxe6) threatening a pin on the e-file.
and won. It is often the case that players will analyse one line very deeply but fail to spot an early alternative - as mentioned above, Grandmaster Kotov advised many years ago to identify each candidate move at the outset before analysing any one move deeply. Had White done this he could not fail to notice the possibility of Black castling, and should then spot the classic pattern of Q and K lined up on the e-file which suggests a pin from a Black R on e8.
The error made by Karpov above is actually a common one - missing an undeveloping retreat.
Other errors of this sort - hard types of move to spot - include long moves, sideways moves by Queens, captures by Pawns away from the centre, and so on. Another example:
How about that one: a Queen moving backwards into a position where it can be captured!
"examine moves that smite!"
...which is clearly good advice. But have a look at this:
Surprising and elegant, this 'creeping move' impressed many, including Kotov who has cited it more than once. The move prepares to answer ...Qe6 with Bxc5 and leads to a swift win. To Kotov, this was a far more brilliant move than the Queen sacrifice that ended the game.
26... Kg7 27. Nd5 Qe6 28. Bxc5 Bxc5 29. Qxc5 Nb5 30. Qe3 Qc6+ 31. Kb1 Nd4 32. Rc1 Qb5 33. Nc7 Qe2 34. Ne6+ Kh7 35. Qh6+ 1-0
It's hardest of all to spot a 'creeping' move in the middle of a combinational exchange.
7... Nd6 [better 7... d6]
8. Bg5 f6 9. Re1 fxg5 10. exd6+ Ne7 11. Ne5 cxd6 12. Qh5+ g6 13. Nxg6 Qa5 14. Nxh8+ Kd8
Have a look at the next diagram and see what you think.
[Obviously not 15. Qf7 Qxe1#]
It is tempting to try a forcing move, but none work.
"A quiet move in the midst of an attack is the sign of the master" - Du Mont
15... Qf5 (else Qf7) 16. Nb5 Ng6 17. Qxg5+ 1-0
Candidate moves must be established straight away and they must be clearly enumerated.
Once we have established all the candidate moves, we then proceed to work out the variations arising from them one by one.
In analysing complicated variations, one must examine each branch of the tree once and once only.
This task cannot be split into parts, by examining one move fully and then looking for the next one.
Kotov gives some example of positions where the analysis get progressively more detailed.
bare trunk bare trunk with coppice bush side-branch
The first move to look at must be 15. Ba4 Nd2+ 16. Kc3 Qe3+ 17. Kb4 a5#
..."and straightaway you have learned a lot about the position".
That is, you can regain at least one piece whenever you wish, still keeping the K exposed. Other lines include:
After that, you get serious. More testing (literally) is the Chess magazine feature, How Good is your Chess? which takes you through a real game and gives you points (There is a book of these under the same name by Danny King; BCM have a similar feature called Test Your Chess.) Here's an easy example of such a test:
This is all 'practice makes perfect' style with little explanation. The theory of candidate moves and trees of analysis I found in Kotov, Think like a Grandmaster (a summary is also to be found in Kotov, Plan like a Grandmaster). This book also describes how Kotov used to analyse complicated master games, writing down his conclusions for comparison. Both books give test positions with a full tree of analysis.
Another important book for theory is Nunn and Griffiths, Secrets of Grandmaster Play. It is a deliberately educative book, showing, firstly, what a complete analysis of a game looks like, but also giving lots of practical tips and observations, and trying to show how much players really see at the board.
And lastly, there are some good ideas in Dvoretsky, Secrets of chess tactics. In particular, he describes the technique of playing-out of positions for which an analysis has been published. For example, he played on from the following positions from the Nunn/Griffiths book with his pupils (Yusupov and Dolmatov) as if the position had arisen in a game against the clock. This is a realistic test and you can check your conclusions against what Nunn has analysed.
"I can see the combinations as well as Alekhin, I just cannot get into the same positions" -- SPIELMANN
Avni, Danger in Chess
British Chess Magazine, Find the Winning Continuation
Chernev and Reinfeld, Winning Chess
Chess magazine, Winning Combinative Play
Chess magazine, How Good is your Chess? (Book of same name by Danny King)
Dvoretsky, Secrets of chess tactics
Kotov, Think like a Grandmaster )_candidate moves, tree of analysis, analysis of master games
Kotov, Plan like a Grandmaster )
Livshits, Test your chess IQ, Vol.1
Livshits, Test your chess IQ, Vol.2
Livshits, Test your chess IQ, Vol.3 - Grandmaster Challenge
Nunn and Griffiths, Secrets of Grandmaster Play