On the Chess Forum we have been looking at mixing
mugging up on openings with tactical training.
'Mugging up' is an apt term for looking at openings.
The Mugs memorise the moves, the Masters study the moves.
There is a wonderful world of difference.
A handy way to get a feel for a feel for an opening and
at the same time become aware of it any tactical shadow
that may follow it around is to play over a pile of miniature
games with that opening.
A tactical shadow is a trick one often connects with
a particular opening. (though of course they can happen
in any opening and at any time during the game.)
A crass example is White winning the Black Queen
in the Advanced French. It is a very old trap (9 examples on RHP).
The chosen name of the Black player is very appropriate
TimmyToilet - HomerJSimpson RHP 2006
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 cxd4 5.cxd4 Nc6 6.Nf3 Qb6 7.Bd3 Nxd4 8.Nxd4 Qxd4
9.Bb5+ and White wins the undefended Black Queen. Doh!
So you store that idea and use it in other settings.
Aspasia - Zenic RHP 2008 (Owen Defence)
This next one came from a Petroff.
elsbeth - wimble RHP 2007
Black has just played 12...Qxd4 13.Bb5+
And from a Centre Counter.
Lazar326 - DrMountaigne RHP 2008
We can now see the d4 pawn is being held by the Bb5+ trick.
Alas Black did not and play continued 14... Nxd4 15.Nxd4 Qxd4 16.Bb5+
From a Sicilian. caluma - boblix RHP 2007
Black thought he was winning a piece with 9...Nxd4.
10.Bxd4 Qxd4 11.Bb5+
But beware. Chess is Chess. The beautiful game.
And I make no excuses at all for showing this one again.
Black tempts White into going for the Bb5+ trick winning his Queen.
Schack - PeeHan RHP 2008
Any collection of Miniatures (games under 25 moves) gives you
loads of tactical ideas. The very fact it's over in under 25 moves
tells you that something tactical has happened.
As a bonus you pick up subconsciously the opening principles, the theme
or spirit of the opening and your 'inner eye' senses when a trick shot is on.
Here are just some of the books I have.
Of course if you have a Data Base then you can search for games
in a particular opening under 25 moves, print them out, play over
them revealing the tactical ideas that made it a 25 mover.
Play over them on a proper chess set.
Don't sit there like Harry the Dip looking at the moves on a monitor.
All you are you are doing is watching the moving parts of a clock.
You have to get in and tinker. "What if this?", "What if that?"
“Why not this move.” “What happens if I play this….”
That is called analysing a game where you will be finding and
discarding the very moves that the players saw or indeed missed.
My most recent purchase is 222 Opening Traps after 1.e4.
by Muller and Knack.
They often give how many times 'the trap' has worked in serious play.
A bit like I do with the RHP 1400-1900 DB.
McShane (2480) - Molander (2289) Stockholm 2000
The book's quotes in "" ""
White has just played 5.c3
"White sets a trap without incurring any great risk."
This is playing a move that has a pitfall for the opponent to fall into.
Black played 5...Bg4.
"It is incredible how many strong players fall into this trap."
They then mention MegaBase (2005) has 32 victims.
So we look at how the game went.
Back at this position.
The 1400 RHP database has this position after 5...Bg4 35 times.
And only one player has played 6.Qb3. Most play 6.h3 or 6.0-0.
(the one hero who played 6.Qb3 was stinkybinky -v- edgargrau RHP 2009.
White failed to see the Qxb7 idea and lost.)
So the question I have to ask is how come in a database full of attacks on f7....
....this position appears over 820 times.
The lads are not going for an attack on f7 in this position?
The answer is so simple it is frightening. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
It is the fear of getting a doubled pawn.
They will not play 6.Qb3 because 6...Bxf3 gives them a doubled pawn.
They fear the doubled f-pawn so much after Bxf3 they fail to see
this attacking resource. They have been blinded by knowledge.
(I'll let the reader work out the simple win after 6..Bxf3 7.Bxf7+ and Qxb7+)
They have read or have been told by someone who has posted in the
forum that doubled pawns are bad and must be avoided at all costs.
Yes doubled pawns can be a telling factor in a game but not,
as some would have you believe in every single game.
Often, as in the line above they play no part in the game at all.
This is a major difference between a weak player and a strong player.
The stronger player knows when flippant rules of thumb can be ignored.
It is the position on the board what matters.
Don't fret so much about having a doubled pawn.
It means you have an open or ½ open file to work with.
Don't think you have an automatic win because you have
inflicted doubled pawns on your opponent.
In certain positions it is an advantage, in others it does not matter.
The object of the exercise is to checkmate the opponent King.
Not to finish the game with an intact pawn structure.
Faith was restored by...
Tadeh - pierrez RHP 2008
and this game.
dynomatic - cosmopolitician RHP 2007
This position arose.
What are you looking at...be honest.
The tripled c-pawns and drooling or the attack on f7.
Right men, get out there double your pawns, triple your pawns and attack.
We end with this. It reads like another of Swiss Gambit’s Problems.
Black to play and offer his Queen and get mated all in two moves.
Sheneval - ouroboros RHP 2009
Black sees the g-pawn coming to g5 and makes a square for his Knight.
White shuns winning the Queen with Nxf7+ .
He has heard that blunders often comes in two’s.