Some things it seem are better with age. Red wine springs to mind. And perhaps chess ratings! I’ve just received an email suggesting that I look at the new (revised) Australian Chess Federation ratings which apparently list me as the highest rated Victorian. Seeing that I haven’t played a rated tournament game in many years this is a great effort. Who says the ACF Ratings Officer isn’t doing a great job! (Answer: just about everyone!)
My mission these days is not to improve my own rating but to help others improve theirs. Last night, for instance, I was giving an on-line lesson to a boy in Brisbane on the topic of tactics. I had some really tough puzzles for him and he actually solved some of them, with just a couple of hints from me. Today I’m off to a school in Brighton for their lunch-time chess lesson so I thought that I’d give them a tactical puzzle also. See how you go with it. The solution is quite pretty but you need a bit of imagination to find the winning move.
[fen caption="White to play and win"]rnbk1b1r/ppqpnQ1p/4p1p1/2p1N1B1/4N3/8/PPP2PPP/R3KB1R w KQ – 6 11[/fen]