Monday, January 15, 2007

Beginning: 6 days, 600 problems!!!

This is my First Circle. Over the past six days, I've blasted through all of the Level 10s through the Level 30s. I was surprised at how many of them I recognized from my attempt last May to complete the 7cir program. (Not that the solutions popped out immediately, but I got this "I've seen this before" feeling, and it didn't take long to find the solutions.)

Most of the problems were pretty straightforward. A few, however, have inspired hour-long exhaustive explorations into the reasons behind every variation, especially logical-looking defensive moves that the opponent did NOT play.

For example, the next one I need to work on before I move on to the Level 40s is the following sacrifice by Tal:

Question Number One for me will be: Why is 1.Rxf6 superior to Nxf6? "Positionally" speaking, I know that the Queen and Knight work well together, as their moves complement one another, although concretely speaking, I will certainly need an answer like "the knight needs to remain there to guard the crucial c5 and d6 squares."

[Edit: Immediately after posting this, I saw that 1.Rxf6 threatens (say, after 1....axb3?) 2.Rxg5+ Nxg5 3.Qxg5+ Kh8 4.Qxh6+ Kg8, though this may not be best for White.]

It seems that the "real" tactical program has for me begun tonight, now that I am encountering problems in which these analyses are helpful.


Montse said...

keep up the good work

The Hungarian Knight said...

Good luck

Sancho Pawnza said...

The real reason Rxf6 works is because of the amount of counter play White receives due to the pin (after White plays Qxe5) since the knight is now undermined.
Some sample lines. (Included are some of Black dubious replies in order to show why Black can only recapture with the Rook.)
First your sample line of
1.Rxf6, axb3? (not 2. Rxg5+? relieving the pressure) but 2.Rxf8!
Now the threat of 2...bxc2 is hollow because Black will never see the threat amount to anything after
3.Qxe5+, Kxf8 and 4.Qh8+ leading to a forced mate. 2...Kxf8 also leads to a White win

1.Rxf6 Qxf6?? 2.Nxf6 1-0

1.Rxf6 Rxf6 2.Qxe5 axBb3 3.axb3 gxh5 and now White can simply play 4.Nxf6 and after 4...Qxf6 not 5.QxQf6? but 5.Qc7+ winning the bishop after ...Qf7 with 6.Qxc8 with the threat of 7.Rd7 winning Black's Queen.

Of course Black can avoid the Queen loss. But the main point is after Rxf6 White has all the play and Black is forced not only to defend accurately for the next 5 or 6 moves, but will have a hard time doing anything but for the rest of the game.

In other words Rxf6 brings White plenty of plans, and Black a lot of headaches. Think about how that translates into terms of clock management, and you can see how White is holding all of the cards.

Great blog and welcome to the family!