A couple of weeks ago I observed the top games at the RJ Shield and one thing is very obvious to me – players are not paying enough attention to what their opponents can do and sometimes they are even missing opportunities for themselves.  What can be done to correct this failing?

It is a failing of both vision (the ability to see candidate moves) and analysis (the ability to analyse lines of play to a conclusion) so I’ve been searching for a way for my students to improve this area of their game.  My solution is “Progressive (snowball) chess.”  This is a variation of chess where White has one move then Black has two move then White has three moves etc.  If you give a check your move sequence ends.  For some time I’ve been playing a couple of games of progressive chess with one of my students particularly as a means of thinking defensively.   When we first started he only thought of attacking and would find himself checkmated after only a few moves but he has been slowly getting the hang of it and now our games often go to seven or eight moves.   A couple of times I’ve realised that I’m in trouble and my student could win the game but fortunately for me he missed the winning line.

We had a very interesting game this week.  One of the strategies of progressive chess is to move your king out and give it lots of escape squares so that it avoids checkmate.  In our game I finished my moves with a King march to f3 and said “I’m going to be a bit daring … maybe you can get me in checkmate.”  My student thought hard over the position below but I had set a few sneaky traps.  For instance I had locked his Queen in as …Qxf6 is check and would end his move.  My student made his moves but did not deliver mate in six moves so my turn came and I found a mate in seven moves to win the game.   We then went back to the position in the diagram too see if he could have done better by finding a mate in six.  Perhaps you can help him and find a mate in six moves for Black.

[iframe width=”500″ height=”685″ src=”http://chessmicrobase.com/microbases/4068/games/555665?token=oyjmjbtv&embedded=1#hcp-” frameborder=”0″>]

One Response to “RJ’s Chess Puzzle #266”

  1. August 21, 2015 at 3:31 am, Bill Jordan said:

    or Rg8, Bh6, d6, e5, Qd7, Qg4#