Friday, January 16, 2009

Forced Recaptures

This game was played a couple of days ago and I admit it's not easy to see the idea behind it.

I am White.

I am down a whole Rook for 2 connected passed pawns on the g-file and h-file and now Black had just played 1.... Nxf2 forking my Rook and Bishop.

It's definitely not easy to spot this but I had actually planned it to tempt the Knight to play Nxf2 (a juicy fork is always tempting especially when you're a piece ahead).

And this time Black fell into a very nasty trap I laid for him.

Can you see White's response?

If you want to puzzle this over before looking at the answer (with diagram), please do stop here now.

White to play and win.

------------- Answer ------------

Have you seen my idea? If you haven't, don't worry. Ready?

The idea is to play

2. Bg2!!

If the Knight does not capture the Rook nor block the h-pawn (I'll give the continuation after 2.... Rh8 later) then

3. h8=Q Rxh8
4. Rxh8+ followed by
5. g8=Q gives me a new Queen

So Black played

2... Nxh1


And now comes the shocker

3. Bxb7! (see 2nd diagram)

and now it's game over.

If 3... Kxb7
4. g7 and one of my connected pawns will be traded for the Rook and the other pawn will Queen easily.

If 3... Rh8
4. Bxh1 with Be4 to follow and then g7 and there's no stopping any of the pawns to queen and the Rook will still be lost in the process.

Oh if 2.... Rh8 then I would win transpose into the lines mentioned above after 3. Bxb7 and either .... Nxh1 4. Bxh1 or ... Kxb7 4. g7

Black chose the continuation after 3... Rh8 and resigned a few moves later.

This brings to mind an important rule: You are not always forced to recapture a piece that has just been captured. Always be on the lookout for tactics and combinations.

PS: I'll be away on holiday for the next couple of weeks, so till then, cheerios, everyone and take care.

7 comments:

  1. "This brings to mind an important rule: You are not always forced to recapture a piece that has just been captured. Always be on the lookout for tactics and combinations."

    A truth like a cow.

    Nicely executed!!!!

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  2. Nice tactic. I love those in between moves that allow one to get rid of a crucial part of the opponent's defense. Connected passed pawns so far up are well worth the missing piece.

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  3. When Black played 3...Rh8 4.g7! can be played immediately, as 4...Rxh7 allows 5.g8=Q+ forcing 5..Kxb7, which allows 6.Qxh7+ picking up the black rook on move 7 and the black knight on move 8.

    A rook cannot stop 2 pawns when they have reached either the 6th or 7th rank. One pawn will always sacrifice itself so the other can queen.

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  4. Cute tactic! Really enjoyed it. Keep them coming :)

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  5. Thanks everyone for their comments and compliments!

    Mustang, very nice spot on the alternate continuation.

    cheers and thanks everyone.

    ReplyDelete