Today’s winning 5-second tactics


‘In the end, it all comes to choices to turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones.’

Amber Frey



Successfully attacking a fundamentally sound King position requires good preparation. Besides placing our pieces in excellent positions, we must probe and create weaknesses in the adversary’s game. Trying to simply over-run a sound defensive position is more a game of poker than chess, and carries with it dangers of a strong counter-attack.

im  Preotu, Razvan


Zhang, Yuanchen

2015 Canadian Zt Guelph 2015.7.15  Position after 16 moves of play. A sharp game; White is playing directly to attack the Black King, his e5, opening up the b1-h7 diagonal) is a key motif.  Black is betting on a counter-attack against White’s centre as the best route…White did not want to play the defensive 17.Be3!?  because of 17…Ng4, but perhaps he should have considered this instead of the move played: after 18.Nd5!? cxd5 (18…Bxd5 19.exd5 g6 20.dxc6 Bf6!? is probably the mainline’ here) 19.exd5 g6 the game is very unclear. INSTEAD, Zhang decided to play directly:



Black’s next moves are all forced…

17…Rxd4! 18.Be3 Rxd3 19.Bxb6


Black has two pieces enprise…this must have been what White was counting on before embarking on his attack on move 17.  True, maybe the opponent won’t find all the best moves, but what if he does?  Where will that leave you then?

19…Rxc3! 20.bxc3(20.exf6 Bc5+) Nd5 21.Bd4 c5 22.c4?! cxd4 23.cxd5 Bxd5 24.Bd3


The smoke has cleared.  White’s attack never really got started; Black has the Bishop pair and two pawns for an exchange, and therefore the better chances.  Here the most precise is 24…Bg5!?; in the game Razvan played …Rc8, but won the game anyway pretty quickly after White played imprecisely.



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