Saturday, 14 January 2012

How to lose quickly - Counting

One of the easiest ways to go wrong in chess are counting errors.  If there are multiple exchanges, make sure you get the correct order, or you may find yourself material down without realising.

Here I am in action as White in a recent game.

1.d4 Nf6, 2.c4 d5, 3.Nc3 dxc4, 4.e3
e4 is also an option here, but this solid move regains the pawn with a solid position.  White will play e4 later in the game.
4...Nc6, 5.Bxc4 e6, 6.Nf3 Bd6
Black's bishop on d6 and knight on f6 are not placed well and prone to a fork on e6.  Time for e4?
7.0-0 White plays safe 0-0, 8.e4 and now advances...
8...e5, 9.Bg5 exd5, I had planned 10.Nxd4 Nxd4, 11.Qxd4, but realised that Bxh2+ loses the queen.  Luckily I had 10.Nd5
The pawn can be regained on the next move quite safely and White is equal.
10...Be6, 11.Nxd4
There are many different captures and sequences in the above position.  This type of position is not that unusual when both players fight for the centre.  Just relax and take your time and ensure you don't mess the sequence up.
Black starts with 11...Bxd5, 12.Nxc6?? White goes very wrong.  Black's bishop has just captured a knight 3 points, White then captures a knight of his own points balanced, but the Black bishop moves out of danger by capturing the knight 6 points V 3 points, or a piece down!!
See if you can spot the best sequence from the diagram after Bxd5.
12...Bxc6, 13.Re1 Be5 White resigns, there is little point playing on a piece down against decent players.

The best sequence is
12.Bxd5 Nxd4, 13.Qxd4 c6, 14.e5

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