Pin Power

One of the tactical motifs you see all the time while doing Chess problems is the pin. In this position from one of my recent timeforchess.com games I found pins very effective. I haven't analyzed the game with a computer but the game played out demonstrating the power of pins even if its not 100% tactically accurate.

Fen Position r4q2/p1b3kp/1p2Rnp1/1Pp2p2/P7/2Q3N1/6PP/5R1K

31. Ne4
Exploits the pin of black's knight to his king, and the pin of the f5 pawn to the knight, and even more obscurely threatens to pin the knight to black's Queen on f1 . This puts whites knight en prise but it cannot be captured.
31. ... Bd8
Protecting the Knight.
32. g4
Leaving the Knight en prise but still pressuring the pin of black's knight.
32. ... Qf7
33. Ng5 Qb7
34. Rc6 h6
35. Ne6 Kf7
36. Nxd8 Rxd8
37. Qxf6 1-0

Its important to note that black's king position and the open center of the board contribute to the power of the pins.

I'm not at all sure I even see 31. Ne4 a year and a half ago as a "candidate" move. I believe I would have instantly ruled it out as a losing move and looked for a more quiet move to solidify my position. I think this is where doing circles and studying tactical problems can help you. I recognized the pattern of the knight pinned on the diagnol to the king and pawn also pinned to the same knight on the file by the rook. It reminded me of a position I spent time on from 1001 Combinations. It wasn't the same position but it was close enough that it caused me to not abandon the 31. Ne4 candidate almost out of hand like I would have previously.


Not Everyday

Do I beat a computer. Even bad computers usually beat me. So I proudly present this screenshot, I dubbed "I_win_no_takebacks" .. sorry I dont have the full score, but notice I pushed the computer all the way to the ropes once I had the advantage.

in case your Tivo was on the Fritz

Here is the Assignment America Story

Turns out they were younger than teens. Still was a nice story.