Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Only Chess Forum

Only Chess Forum

  1. 21 Aug '10 15:34
    Hi everyone

    I recently finished Seirawan's Winning Chess Combinations and like all his other books it was a great read. However, unlike his other books I haven't been able to put his combinations principles into practice. I'm increasingly coming to the realization that I'm not a swashbuckler but a grinder, and I'd love to be a swashbuckler. I'd love to attack with a rapier flashing in each hand but the truth is I attack with a big, soft blanket.

    In 300+ games on rhp I've won less than ten by sacrificing a piece and I've probably lost less than five to sacrifices. My approach is to get a small advantage and increase it gradually by reducing the number of good moves my opponent can make. It's quite effective, quite gratifying, but not dazzling.

    So, I'm wondering, is the lack of combos I see in rhp due to (a) combinations being the sole preserve of master level players (b) the fact that correspondence chess doesn't lend itself to combinations because players can analyze more possibilities more accurately, or (c) I'm the guy with his back to the nudist beach and everyone else is producing fancy game winning combos.

    So let me know if you've produced great combos and if you do so regularly how do you do it - I'm guessing you know your tactics really well and can recognize mating patterns.

    Thanks everyone

    Graham
  2. 21 Aug '10 16:23
    Originally posted by Double G
    Hi everyone

    I recently finished Seirawan's Winning Chess Combinations and like all his other books it was a great read. However, unlike his other books I haven't been able to put his combinations principles into practice. I'm increasingly coming to the realization that I'm not a swashbuckler but a grinder, and I'd love to be a swashbuckler. I'd love to a ...[text shortened]... actics really well and can recognize mating patterns.

    Thanks everyone

    Graham
    C
    But why worry.You're a Karpov and he didn't do too bad now did he?

    I think I've had some nice tactical battles here.Played a few good combo's too.
    How?Well,I look for them.Always!

    Will go dig some up.

    toet.
  3. 21 Aug '10 17:34
    These are my most flashy games against,mostly,equal opposition.

    Game 7305362
    13.... Rxe4!


    Game 7400467
    14.... c5?!


    Game 7397649
    14.Bxa6!?


    Game 7487307
    17... Rh8+!!


    Game 7648071
    15.Bf4 Nxf3+?


    Game 7645525
    20.Qxg6!


    toet.
  4. 21 Aug '10 23:38
    Wow great post toet. A++ and rec'd.

    If you want to play more tactical games consider playing sharper openings. The Sicilian, King's Gambit, Modern Benoni, etc. With regards to playing "brilliancies", they're typically the result of sustained pressure, which is a superpower you probably won't develop until you're ~2000 USCF. I wouldn't worry about developing a personal style until you reach that mark, instead just play the best move. The subject of "chess style" is an interesting one though, and others will no doubt voice different opinions.
  5. 22 Aug '10 02:47
    Playing the 'sharp' openings does not necessarily mean these games
    abound with combinations. Combo's can come from any opening
    at anytime.

    If your games don't have any sac sac + mate tticks in them it
    this does not mean you are not playing well.

    Most of sacs I've seen have been the result of attacks that should
    never have been launched and defensive resources have been missed.
    Or some dreadful play just asking for a sac/mate combo.

    The swash bucklers are gamblers, dice rollers, banking on a defensive
    error to see them through. (guilty).
    If you are winning by simply outplaying your opponent without the fireworks
    then do not complain about it. Most hackers would like to do the same
    but have never matured into the complete rounded player.
  6. 22 Aug '10 08:14
    This is only speculation but perhaps playing gambits will train you to search for compensation and eventually you will still be playing as if you are seeking compensation even if you are not behind in material.

    Try out all sorts of gambits any ones you like and try to figure out what the gambiteer is getting in exchange for his material.
  7. 22 Aug '10 09:09 / 5 edits
    I will just post 2 examples of games I am quite proud of:



    black to move, can you find it?

    26...Rd3!




    25...Qxe2 is a mistake, how do you punish as white?

    26 . Rh3+ (doing it with the other rook also works) Kg8 27. Rh8+! Kxh8 28. Bf6+ Kh7 (Kg8 is met by Rxg6+) 29. Qh3+ with mate


    I tend to have quite a few combinations in my games, although that wasn't the case before. I have just started playing more relaxed, not worrying about doubling pawns, not castling as quickly but when I see potential for an attack I instead throw my h-pawn forward, that kind of stuff. I used to play very solid and positional but try to mix it up more nowadays. It has given me nice wins and terrible losses.

    IMHO most combinations come from inbalanced positions with weird pawn structures (I am structurally quite worse in both my examples). I think certain gambits like the smith-morra and blackmar-diemer don't necessarily lead to combinatory play, I actually always have quite boring games when playing against those openings Usually the structure is pretty symmetrical and the open space usually leads to early exchanges.

    I do not play openings (d4 as white, caro-kann as black) that are considered sharp (except for the benoni) and get sharp play quite often. But as others have stated, winning without flash is at least equally good as winning with a combo although not as satisfactory feeling, I know.
  8. 22 Aug '10 12:26 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Gatusso
    I will just post 2 examples of games I am quite proud of:

    [fen]3r3r/p1k3q1/2p1p3/4b3/5pP1/NPP2Q2/P4PK1/2R2R2 b - - 6 26[/fen]

    black to move, can you find it?

    [hidden] 26...Rd3! [/hidden]

    [fen]r4r2/ppp2p1k/3p2n1/2n2QB1/2P5/2P1P1R1/P3B2q/2K3R1 b - - 0 25[/fen]

    25...Qxe2 is a mistake, how do you punish as white?

    [hidden]26 . Rh3+ (doing it wit is at least equally good as winning with a combo although not as satisfactory feeling, I know.
    hmm ... I've seen this position (edit: the first one) ...
  9. 22 Aug '10 12:40
    Originally posted by Mephisto2
    hmm ... I've seen this position (edit: the first one) ...
    Where did you see it before, it would be really cool if this position happened in another game! Here's the game btw: Game 7670400
  10. 22 Aug '10 12:44
    It's less the opening that decides sharp play than it is the intention of the players.
    To showcase

    The 'swashbuckling' Danish Gambit


    The 'boring' Petroff


    Another thing that just pops into my head.Mikhail Tal,a boring player if there ever was one,used the extremely sharp English opening a lot in his career.

    toet.
  11. 22 Aug '10 12:51
    Originally posted by Gatusso
    Where did you see it before, it would be really cool if this position happened in another game! Here's the game btw: Game 7670400
    did you post it before perhaps?
  12. 22 Aug '10 13:51 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Mephisto2
    did you post it before perhaps?
    Nope, finished it the day before yesterday.
  13. 22 Aug '10 13:55
    Originally posted by Gatusso
    Nope, finished it yersterday or the day before.
    Well then it was a false déjà vue I had. The kind of thing patzer illusionists are good at creating Fact is I didn't even look at the position carefully, yet I knew (without checking the 'hidden' the key move.

    Sorry for the confusion.
  14. 22 Aug '10 15:20


    25.Rf5!! with the idea gxf5 26.Qxf5+ Kg8 27.Qh5 Ng7 28.Qg5!

    full game was

    Game 7645716
  15. 22 Aug '10 16:35 / 1 edit
    This game I played on FICS:
    Lagal's mate!