Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Afraid Of Ghosts?

Why do we mentally block out some moves? Because it looks dangerous?

Take the following position:

White to play. What is White's best move?

The surprising move White made was 1. Qf1! Walking into a potential pin of the Bishop on c4.

I could not see the continuation. The idea of walking into a pin is so alien to me that it seems counterintuitive. But if you look closely, there are a couple of ideas.

White wants to apply pressure and take control of the f-file and plans to transfer the Rook to f3 where it can control the weak d3 pawn horizontally and perhaps even play Rg3 at the opportune moment.

If the f7 pawn can be moved then White's control of the f-file would prove problematic for Black.

White also has the idea of blocking the Black queen's diagonal and eyeing the d1 Rook. Once this diagonal is blocked, Black's ominous looking Bishop suddenly need to move and the pin no longer works.

For some reason, my brain automatically blocked out this good move. One thing that stops me from playing this move is that my calculative abilities are still not up to par and this little exercise showed up my weakness in the ability to understand the position.

Oh, and just in case you're wondering who's White?

It's none other than the 2nd World Champion Emanuel Lasker. :)

So the next time when you're considering what move to make, take a step back. And challenge any assumptions. You may be surprised by what you can find.

1 comment:

  1. So true! I love the picture too...great post, and great blog!