Takchess Chess Improvement

A Novice chessplayer works to get better at chess using an improvement program based upon the methods of Michael de la Maza and the teachings of Dan Heisman

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Can you think like a Grandmaster ? (updated)

In the position above, Averbakh-Kotov Kotov sacs his Queen on h3 forcing a Kings March. There are a series of precise moves that black makes to keep up the pressure and turn this to a win.

I am playing this against Fritz to help understand what moves need to be made and when. I give the move order below so you can toy around with it as well.

This is a classic case where a side has a material advantage but can't use it. Given this exact position in the game, I hope I would make that Queen sac as black could force a draw if the game appear to be a loss.

(4401) Yuri Averbakh - Alexander Kotov [A55]
Zurich Zurich, 1953
A55: Old Indian Defence with Nf3 and e4 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nf3 Nbd7 4.Nc3 e5 5.e4 Be7 6.Be2 0–0 7.0–0 c6 8.Qc2 Re8 9.Rd1 Bf8 10.Rb1 a5 11.d5 Nc5 12.Be3 Qc7 13.h3 Bd7 14.Rbc1 g6 15.Nd2 Rab8 16.Nb3 Nxb3 17.Qxb3 c5 18.Kh2 Kh8 19.Qc2 Ng8 20.Bg4 Nh6 21.Bxd7 Qxd7 22.Qd2 Ng8 23.g4 f5 24.f3 Be7 25.Rg1 Rf8 Black prepares the advance f4 26.Rcf1 Rf7 27.gxf5 gxf5 28.Rg2 f4 29.Bf2 Rf6 30.Ne2 Qxh3+
Updated: Fritz saw this line that it liked when it analysed the info last night. The play is a series of checks with some of inbetween move to better blacks attacking position. ( I still need to further study this)

31.Kxh3 Rh6+ 32.Kg4 Nf6+ 33.Kf5 Nh5 34.Rg5 Rf8+ 35.Kg4 Nf6+ 36.Kf5 Ng8+ 37.Kg4 Bxg5 38.Qe1 Nf6+–+ -6.41/19 Line
This is a rather famous game and can be found here and with detailed annotation here at Life Masters AJ site ( an interesting site). It also appears in the Art of Attack chapter 2.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Attack on the Castled King -continued

I played the game as continued here which lead to a loss. With Black to Move, he simply took by Bishop. The open file was not open compensation for the loss of my bishop. I continued with a rather toothless attack.

Fritz as well as DrnknNite saw this Bayonet attack.

DrnknNite comments from earlier:

I don't think you need to sacrifice the bishop on h6, just take on f6 and then play g4, he must retreat his bishop otherwise you will open the g-file with g5 (this theme of forking a piece and a pawn to force a pawn exchange is very important), so Be7 is the only logical move, after that you can still play g5, he must play h5 or the g-file will open up and then you play g6, and he has the option of allowing you to open the g-file or if he plays something like f6 you sac the knight on e5 and after qh5 you are mating. So the conclusion after this simple line of thought is that the g-file will be opened by force after Black plays h6. Most times that an opponent pushes a pawn in front of his king this type of bayonet attack will work.

A great explanation that gets to the heart of the matter.

did 44 problems of ct-art l20 . I am somewhat rusty.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Marching on a castled position

Here is a game I played on Playchess . Takchess vs David Ciannemea 1.23.08 . I ended up trying to break into this castled position and was not successful. What I am hoping to get out of the Art of Attack is to reach a point where I will have more success cracking into the King's bunker. Eventhough the position is even here I want to push forward to see if I can create something and determine what is the best move order in positions like these.

What occurred next is white (me) to move here played Rd g1 then black played h6? the question mark is according to Fritz.

I plan to work on this position to understand the elements and coordination of pawns/pieces in the attack and post my results.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Chptr 2 The Attack on the King that has lost it's Right to Castle

Here are some nongame specific notes on this chapter in Art of Attack in Chess by Vladamir Vukovic.

Just because ones opponents King has lost its ability to castle this doesn't necessarily justify a mating attack on the king

For an attack on the king that lost it's right to castle (TLIRTC) to be justified it must also involve

1)exposure of the King and

2) an increased vulnerability to attack

In most cases,the attack is justified, In most cases, there is further weakness that faces the king the communication between the rooks is more difficult. An attack can be made directly against this weakness in the struggle for the open file.

The Three Acts in the King TLIRTC

1)Spoiling the King's castling chances or drawing it away from the castling position

2)The pursuit of the King across the board by checking

3) The final mating attack in the middle of the board on on the edge

It is not the fact that the King has to move about is important .It is the degree that this movement weakness the position. Sometimes the King gets tied up in a few squares and is harassed by his opponent with checks, This can bring new pieces into the fight with a gain of time.

The pursuit of the KTLIRTC is not always successful. In some occasion, the King comes out the winner by successfully moving to safety and his flight has become artificially castling on a large scale.

The pursuer needs to keep two things in balance:

1) The tempo in the attack

2) surely building a mating net that the King has no escape from.

The Net is often of more importance than the tempi and quiet moves that "spin the threads" point the way whereas many juicy checks may prove to be mistakes.

The position of the KTLIRTC represents an investment which is acquired by the price of sacrifices and positional disadvantages. The attacker should keep his hold of this investment and not worry about short term gains (checks) but be concerned whether the King will fall.

In practice the players struggle to keep a balance between these two opposing ideals for only the correct mix will lead to a win.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Starting Chpt 2 Attack on the King that has lost it's right to castle

Here is a chapter that is right out of CT-ART. Most of the combinations involves sacks that drive the king into the center of the board and then skillfully checkmated.

Or as I heard it said on playchess.com:

The King is walked to the center of town in broad daylight and shot.

These are the first three that I am studying:

The position above is from the first link. white to move which takes the queen. Why is it we always hear about value of the Bishop pair and never the Knight pair which here is devastating ?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Art of Attack Update

The Art of Attack is quite ambitious and tries to answer many deeper questions regarding attacking play in chess such as

When is an attack justified ?

What are the stages of an attack ?

What are the principles of attacking on the various types of positions, Castled Kingside, Queenside, King in the middle, Fianchettos ?

How should defence be conducted?

What is the proper coordination of pawns and pieces in an attack?

I hope to understand some of these concepts better and move beyond being an attacker using cheap traps. I hope to move toward his ideal of Alekhine who was an efficent attacker. One played attacking chess with a minimum of commiting his pieces until it was the right moment to strike.

This certainly is not a perfect book as Vukovics did not have the benefit of computer analysis. However, Nunn does does a nice job modernizing it and correcting some lines. I did spend sometime analysing a line which was just plain wrong . Looking closer at the notes, I realized Nunn corrected it in the footnotes.

I have just completely chapter one and studying it's ten or so games. I am hitting this book very hard and approaching it from a few tiers. Reading the book in it's entirety without following the games (just completed) Reading the games analysis lightly then followed by more heavy involved study. I am finding my myself puzzled if certain moves could be played and why some of the moves were played. So I am first trying to figure them out for myself then work with Fritz on it. I have played a few positions against the computer as well.

My tactical eye is not as sharp as from my peak of doing Ct-art . Maybe I should......

Monday, January 07, 2008

Check out White's Combination after black's 17th move

The more adventurous of us may want to take a run at it.............................


I continue with my Art of Attack book where I am deeply studying the games which leads to slow reading. Still on the first half of Chapter 1. I think it is slow but worthwhile.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

An Annotated Game from Art of Attack in chess Meesen vs Mueller Chptr 1

The Art of Attack in Chess is a chess textbook with a series of games which illustrate the attacking principles. This is the first one that illustrates the attack on the e-file. I decided to annotate some of these games to help understand why the attack worked and where defensive measures went wrong.

My annotations can be found here . To best view use the show Move list to see all my notes. Interesting enough this position with 7 g3 turned out to be a win for white here.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

It's confirmed, I'm a 2000 rated player !

Yes, it's true at the Boylston Chess Club I played a 2000 rated chess player in a New Years Day tournament . *)

I lost a Marshall Attack. It was interesting as he was normally a 1 d4 player and was a little surprised that I knew the line as a 1100 player which he was not as booked up on. At one point, I was left with the position in the diagram Black to move.

I went 0-4 against good competition. Here is the summary of my play.

1st game happy with Marshall Attack

2nd game made an unsound Knight sack for the hell of it

3rd game made a possibly sound Knight sack but didn't carry it through

4th game don't ask

Traveled with a high school student from our Chess Club who never played in a tournament before . He went 1 win, 2 losses and a draw. Beating a 1915 player and drawing against a higher rated player.

As always, a nice time at the Boylston chess club. Played some skittles games and discussed some lines of the Ruy and Kings Indian with some better players.