Sunday, February 10, 2008

Some Chess

As many of you know I've been on a bit of a chess kick lately. I thought I'd share parts of two games I played recently. The first position isn't really all that interesting, except that it's an early game forced mate. My opponent missed the fact that I have a mate in 3, and so he did nothing to prevent it. The second position, however, is really a thing of beauty. Forgive me for tooting my own horn, but it's really rare for me to pull off such a combination.

I am White in both games. Oh, and just for those who are unfamiliar with chess notation... rows are denoted by numbers and columns are denoted by letters (order is from bottom to top and left to right, respectively, from White's view of the board).

Here is the mate in 3 position, only 13 moves into the game. Black has pushed his pawn to threaten the knight, but it guarantees White's victory. I won't say much more about it this one. Nothing too special, really. But, I thought it might be fun for those that don't really play too much to find the mating sequence.

This next one, I found a lot more interesting. And, maybe it is a lesson on why you shouldn't bring out your Queen too early. Some background... Black steals my pawn on b2, but he doesn't realize it is the start of a deadly combination. I follow with Rb1, which forces his Queen to a3 (the only safe spot for it). So, this is where we're at.

If you start looking a little bit deeper in this position, you will find that Black is in really bad shape. White has a strong move here. Knight to b5 is a huge winner. It is a sort of meta-fork. My Knight has forked Black's Queen as well as the threat of a King-Rook fork at c7.

Naturally, Black would want to save his Queen and prevent the c7 fork on his next move. On first blush, Black's obvious move would be Queen to c5 (note that a5 will not work, because the Bishop on d2 now covers it once the Knight has moved). The Queen is now safe, and the fork threat has been mitigated, as c7 is now covered. But, it turns out that it's all a big disaster for Black. The c7 fork can't be prevented without the loss of the Queen. Here's what the position looks like now.

If you want to think about this a bit, here's your chance. Otherwise, here we go on to see the rest of this combination unfold.

I move the Bishop to e3, which threatens his Queen. The Queen's only escape is to retreat to c8. But, it does her no good. Knight forks the King and Queen by taking the pawn on d6. And, that's the end of it.

In the actual game, however, my opponent sees that the Queen's retreat is futile, and opts to just take my Bishop with his Queen. He resigned a few moves later.

Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed this. I'll probably post up more positions in the future, so long as I'm still semi-obsessed with the game. I really did forget how much I liked the game, so I'm glad to have started playing again.

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