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Shinkman 1872

(Mate in 4 moves: Solution to this problem proposed two posts ago.)

I have said on several occasions that one of my way of training is solving what I considered the most interesting Chess compositions, those of mate in three moves. As you know, there are compositions featuring mate in 2 ,in 3, in 4, in 5, etc moves. Those labelled “mate in 2” are boring to me . And as far as I can remember I  had never tried to work with mate in 4 problems. I found  the above in the excellent book  “Chess Tactics for Advanced Players”, by Averbakh, one of those books from the Soviet period that one of my friends in the former East Germany sent to me as  a present many years ago. It is a real gem. Well, in one of the exercise sections the position appears. At first I was reluctant to work on it. A quick glance .But I could not take the position out of my mind.I love problems with few pieces, so I set up the board and after 45 minutes was able to solve it. 

The point is that I learned how these problems should be approached. Instead of struggling to find strong first moves, firstly I tried to understand how many moves Black had. Then, if one of those moves should be prevented so provoking the other.Then, why the White pieces were on the squares they were. In short: I dealt with it as if it were a mate in 3 moves…

At last, an idea came to my mind: instead of trying to find the strongest first move (and if the key were the second move? ), I began to think about the possible “end-positions” and then the solution appeared clearly when I saw d4 as the mating square and the only device was a pin in one of the variations and a curious self interception in the other. So, my friends, sometimes abstract thinking in images is better than void calculation of aimless variations. (Incidentally the difference between inductive and deductive thinking?) 

The solution provides a deep aesthetic pleasure:

1. Rb1,d3 /2. Ba1, e5 / 3. Rb2, Kd4/ 4. Rb4 mate . (If 1. …, e5/ 2. Bd8, d3/ 3. Bb6 Kd4/ 4 Rb4 mate )

As Kotov used to say, every effort you make analysing positions, endgames, problems… is valid to keep on progressing in Chess. At the chessboard you must be imaginative, inventive, avoid playing by inertia after calculating only 2-move variations, etc. Of course in many positions the art of accurately calculating 2-move variations is fundamental (even Botvinnik wrote about this topic). But in the rest of cases something more deep, something more concrete and accurate is required. The time spent in training your tactical vision can never be lost. To some people , solving these problems may seem boring… Well, you are the chessplayer. Accept it and devise your own training programme. Chess has to do with openings, strategy,tactics,planning and endgames. Do it as you wish. The greatness of Chess is that … you cannot blame any other people of your results !. Spassky mentioned “PERSEVERANCE” as  his main asset. So, at least, the rest of us, poor mortals, should avoid “indolence”. Shouldn’t we?.



Written by QChess

August 30, 2013 at 12:34 pm

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