Today’s winning 5-second tactics


“I think the only way to properly face doom is to be on time.”

― Jennifer duBois, A Partial History of Lost Causes


gm  Zhou, Weiqi


gm  Wen, Yang

TCh-CHN  2015.7.24  Position after 20 moves. Black is a pawn up but without this King’s Bishop he must be very wary of a sudden attack against his King.  In the game continuation White had the right idea but did not execute it properly: 21.Rxd6?! PxR 22.Qf6 Qe5! holding. There is better for White, much better truth be told, but you must find it!





This photo circulated the world in early July 1971. It shows Bobby Fischer playing the 6th game of his Candidates Match (quarter finals), held in Vancouver.  Bobby was leading by 5-0 (!) after an incredible blunder by the Russian grandmaster in the 5th game. Bobby also won the sixth game, an absolutely sensational result, resulting in a growing awareness of chess unprecedented up to that time.  It was the beginning of the Fischer Boom….

gm  Fischer,Bobby


gm  Taimanov,Mark

The position after 45 moves of play.  It looks like a dead draw (it is!), and most spectators must have wondered why Taimanov had not offered a draw. Ofcourse, it would have meant that Fischer would then have 4.5 points from 5 possible, but atleast  Taimanov would have a half point! No one could believe Taimanov’s next move…



Without any hesitation Fischer replied 46…Qd4+! and Taimanov resigned immediately, realizing that he loses his Rook after 47.Rf2 Ra1+ etc.


Poor Taimanov would never recover from this devastating loss, perhaps even more painful than eventually losing the entire match by 6-0.  He later confided to French superstar GM Joel Lautier in an interview:

“Until the match with Fischer in 1971, everything went smoothly in my chess career. This dramatic match changed my life into hell…The sanctions from the Soviet government were severe. I was deprived of my civil rights, my salary was taken away from me, I was prohibited from travelling abroad and censored in the press. It was unthinkable for the authorities that a Soviet grandmaster could lose in such a way to an American, without a political explanation. I therefore became the object of slander and was accused, among other things, of secretly reading books of Solzhenitsin. I was banned from society for two years, it was also the time when I separated from my first wife, Lyubov Bruk.”




TCh-CHN  2015.7.24 Wen, Yang–Zhou, Weiqi:   White can force the win of decisive material advantage for of a winning attck after the very precise: 21.Bd2! Qc7 (If 21…Qb5 22.Nd4 Qe5 23.Bf4 and 24.e5 wins a piece; or if 21…Qb6 22.Qe5! is even stronger than in the mainline given below) 22.Qe5! Kf7 ( If 22…Bf7 the 23.Bd4 ends the game on the move; 22…Qc8 allows 23.Bh6!)23.Nd4 Bd7 24.Nf3! and Black can not resist long.

%d bloggers like this: