November 12, 2006

Thoughts upon a position: 6. Strong Combinational Vision

Michail Botvinnik himself has often blamed his “old illness” – weak combinational vision – for many lost games of his late career. As a matter of fact we do admire Botvinnik for his positional play, yet when he was younger he was able to produce beautiful combinations as the one I ask you to find. The game was played in 1930. The move is not important. The idea behind it, is what offers great enthusiasm. More than that, it comes from my childhood memories and my uncle, who was Botvinnik’s admirer. I asked him recently “Why a Botvnnik’s combination?” and he replied: “When you are ten, you don’t understand much about strategy, don’t you?”

a8 b8 black Bishop on c8 black Rook on d8 e8 black Rook on f8 black King on g8 h88
a7 black Pawn on b7 c7 d7 black Bishop on e7 black Pawn on f7 black Pawn on g7 h77
black Pawn on a6 b6 black Pawn on c6 d6 e6 black Knight on f6 g6 black Pawn on h66
black Queen on a5 b5 c5 d5 white Knight on e5 black Pawn on f5 g5 h55
white Pawn on a4 black Knight on b4 white Bishop on c4 white Pawn on d4 white Pawn on e4 f4 g4 h44
a3 b3 white Knight on c3 d3 e3 f3 white Bishop on g3 h33
a2 white Pawn on b2 c2 d2 white Queen on e2 f2 white Pawn on g2 white Pawn on h22
white Rook on a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 white Rook on f1 white King on g1 h11
a b c d e f g h  

I’m waiting for your comments.

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Posted by Michalis Kaloumenos at November 12, 2006 10:06 AM

Well 1. Kxf7 Rxf7 2. e5 and the Knight has to loook for a safe spot(in case it goes to e4 then Kxd4 fxe4 but I think the Knight should head backwards). After that Qh5 and maybe Bf4 should make the job done. Now, I will check the databse to see how close I got. Regards.

Posted by: Sobral at November 12, 2006 12:38 PM

Yes, Bxf7+ forces a defensive capture, and keeps Black from finding a free spot for the Queen. After Rxf7, ... Nc4 dooms the Queen.

The marker here is the fact that the Black Queen only has one free square at the start position. That should always raise a flag to the possibility of a combination, don't you think?

Posted by: Lon at November 12, 2006 11:09 PM

Ng6,Re8; exf5,atacking the bishop, and then white plays Bxf7+ ,followed by Qc4 .

Posted by: Francisco Adnet at November 13, 2006 01:26 AM

Lon resolved well.-Congratulations!!!

Posted by: crackingchessmen at November 17, 2006 01:18 PM

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