During the last meet-up of the Decorah Sjakklubb I had a few games in which there were worthwhile positions to study. In this first position, I was playing the black pieces and missed a great opportunity on this play (only to get very lucky with finding it on the next play).
It turned out that I blundered in this position with b6. There were a few candidate moves that would have still been winning for black such as Rd8 or Nb6, but can you find the move that produces a much better advantage here?
I needed to take the bishop on g2 with Bxg2. When white takes the bishop back with the king, I then produce a check and simultaneous attack on white’s queen with Nf4+. After gxf4, I get white’s queen!
Which leads me to this potentially game altering position of my b6 blunder. There is only one good move for white here. After the previous study, it might be easy.
I was much too concerned about the queen attack on the pawn on b7 and pushed it to b6. But I overlooked another much more significant attack. Can you find it?
I was very lucky my opponent did not see Bxh3, at which point I would have had to give up the bishop just taken or the knight the queen is defending. This would have been a game changing move that would have given the advantage to white.
Fighting for a Draw
In my third game against a very good player, I was playing as white and began to crumble at the end. However, we found ourselves in this position with white to move. Although I am two pawns down in this endgame, I have a chance to draw here. The first few moves may be easier to find than the third move.
In this crazy position, I could have drawn the game! Can you find the first three moves?
The first two moves are 1. Ra8+ Kh7 2. Rxe6 fxe6. This creates a dangerous passed pawn! What is the third move now that we’re in this position?
There is only one move that works here that maintains a big enough threat for a draw.
If you found 3 Ke3, you did well! After this move, black has nothing better to do but check your king on the g file while the white king dances between the e1 and e3 squares. If black jumps up to g5 ever, the f7 pawn push becomes unstoppable since the white king can eventually hide behind his a3 and b3 pawns to overcome the barrage of checks.
I ended up losing this game, but was happy to learn quite a bit from this position.