10 January 2011

The fine art of scrambling

This is from a recent game on chess.com. Yours truly, Ruzulo, has played his favorite defense, which I've dubbed the anti-castling variation of the French based on the fact that white often has a hard time castling or ends up trading off the light-squared bishop, making white's backwards pawn immediately vulnerable. Unfortunately, I get in dire trouble after the questionable knight to a6 earlier in the game. At this point, I'm down in material and lack any avenues of attack. So what would you do if you were black?

My opponent (listening to the loud sound of the ticking clock) made a few errors such as putting the queen on the 8th rank instead of forcing a trade to fend off the perpetual check which resulted in a draw. For that matter, I should have brought the e7 knight up into the attack. But anyway, the lesson here is never give up in 5-minute chess where anything is possible.


mister anchovy said...

I can't answer your chess problem, although many years ago I played quite a bit and really enjoyed the game. I gave up the game when I started playing Go, which sometime back in the 80s. I still play Go today, usually once each week.

Karlo said...

Actually, you can use the arrows to navigate the game and see what I did. As for Go, it looks like a wonderfully addicting game.

Diana said...

Wow, that's very cool.

I love chess. I doubt I'd be a good enough player to solve your chess problem, even if I tried.

Diana said...

Well gee, you're both in a bit of a pickle there. I actually backtracked
to the beginning, and I'm scratching my head. All I can think of is this -- to break the impass disengage from it by moving your pawn to d4, allowing your opponent to make a move that might possibly change the dynamic in your favor. Then again, if you stop chasing his King with your Queen that might just give his superior forces the opportunity to close in on your King.

It's an interesting problem.

Let us know how it turns out.

Diana said...

Uh, you could also move your knight to
e2 to foil a possible move against your King with a whiteknight/queen combination.

See what you started? Now I can't stop trying to figure this out. haha

Xtreme English said...

I asked a friend (state junior champion), and she says:

"i would move knight f5 to d6 (sacrificing) so that it prevents the check mate and allows me to move my other knight which is blocking my queen from protecting my king. Looks fun!"

Diana said...

Hi M.E. :)

Interesting, I would never have
even considered sacrificing another piece at this juncture, but I can see
how your friend could be right.
Those knights are useless just sitting there and get in the way of the Queen protecting the King.

What do you think Karlo?

Karlo said...

You can use the forward button and see what I actually did. A sacrifice of some sort is definitely required. I'll have to check what the junior master recommends though. I have a sneaky feeling there were some better moves to be had.

Karlo said...

The knight f5 to d6 move avoids the check but after the queen takes the knight, I don't see any way to force a mate (or for that matter, even a perpetual check). If white's given a chance to play rook to c3, white eventually wins since black doesn't have any more forced lines of attack.

Diana said...

I'm lost. I don't know your starting point.

I see knight f2 as my starting point.
Clicking ahead I see the knight take the white pawn at d4. The queen takes the knight. You move your second knight from e1 to f3. And there is stays.

What am I missing?

Karlo said...

It's black's move but white has an immediate mating threat with Queen takes b7. The only options open are to move the black knight on e7 (sacrificing the queen!), to move the knight on f5 to d6 (sacrificing the knight), or to take h3 with the rook (sacrificing the rook). The advantage of the latter is that it produces a check and the king's force to take the rook to prevent mating threats. After the black queen moves up to h5, I don't think that white has any way to prevent the perpetual series of checks.

Diana said...

Ah, I see now. You're right, there is nothing white can do to avoid the perpetual checks and thus must concede the game.


Well done!