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Nenad Fercec vs Bojan Medak
Metalis Open (2000), Bizovac CRO, rd 2
Pirc Defense: General (B07)  ·  1-0



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Given 16 times; par: 16 [what's this?]

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Sep-08-09  johnlspouge: < <lost in space>: I love Mondays! >

Nice to see, <lost in space>. At least my humor is not <lost on you>. (See posts below: Danger, danger, Will Robinson :)

Sep-08-09  BOSTER: Black king without castling in the middle of the board. Most black forces are scattered. The same time white advanced pawn c7 and g5 with bishop help on h3 create mating net. There is no surprise that white can find here
18.Qxe5 if 18...dxe5
19.Rd8+ Ke7
if 18...Be7
19.Qxh8 Bf8
20.Qe5 Be7
21.Bc5 and White win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <playground player: I think these puzzles train us to look for sacrifices, which is probably a good thing. It seems the answer very seldom involves a quiet or developing move.

I dunno about anybody else, but for me the hardest part of chess is actually GETTING to one of these positions where a decisive move finishes off my opponent.>

That's where those quiet developing moves come in!

A combination arises when we have some form of positional superiority - ie better posted pieces. In today's puzzle, white had the deadly pawn on c7. the rook controlling the d file, both bishops on tasty diagonals and a stalemated enemy king. We need to accumulate those sorts of advantages in our games and then combinations will appear as if by magic.

I reckon the process goes something like this:

1. understand the positional features of a position that give you an edge - eg control of open files/ diagonals, king safety, weak enemy pieces, outposts, etc.

2. Try to get those into your position (and deny them to the other guy). You won't know what you are going to use that open file or outpost for, but that doesn't matter just yet. If you can, put increasing pressure on the opponent, so that he has to misplace his pieces to defend.

3. Recognise when the pressure you have built up makes the position so juicy that a combination is likely.

4. Switch to puzzle mode to look for those flashy moves that just scream out Monday or Tuesday on

I recall group kibitzing OTB with an English IM (Andrew Ledger). We examined one sideline and Andrew said: "This can't be right. I must have a combination here." The point was that he didn't know what the combination was yet, but he could see that all the preconditions were there. In other words, the position had got juicy. And sure enough his instincts were right - there was a tactic to bust that sideline.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Got it, of course. But the light square weaknesses are so glaring that it took me a few seconds to see that the key breakthrough was on a dark square, e5.

Come to think of it, the weaknesses *everywhere* are glaring.

Sep-08-09  Patriot: <Once> Great points!
Sep-08-09  YouRang: It took me a minute, but I did finally realize that eliminating that pawn on d6 would be deadly for black (opening the d-file for the rook and the a3-f8 diagonal for the bishop).

After that revelation, 18.Qxe5+! forcing 18...dxe5 was easy to see.

Sep-08-09  TheBish: N Fercec vs B Medak, 2000

White to play (18.?) "Easy"

If it's Tuesday, it's time for a queen sac!

18. Qxe5+!

Not a true sacrifice, but a combination or "shot", because Black gets mated after 18...dxe5 19. Rd8+ Ke7 20. Bc5#. Also losing is 18...Be6 (or Be7) 19. Qxh8, so it's time for Black to resign.

Sep-08-09  cracknik: Very easy. Even for a Tuesday.
Sep-08-09  wals: [Event "Metalis Open"]
[Site "Bizovac CRO"]
[Date "2000.??.??"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Nenad Fercec"]
[Black "Bojan Medak"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B07"]
[WhiteElo "2464"]
[BlackElo "2253"]
[Annotator "Rybka 3 1-cpu (30m)"]
[PlyCount "39"]]

♗07: ♙irc Defence: Miscellaneous Systems

1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. f3
c6 5. Be3 b5 6. Qd2 Nbd7 7. g4 Nb6 8. g5 Nh5 9. b3 e5 10. O-O-O Nd7 11. d5 b4 12. dxc6 bxc3 13. Qxc3 (13. cxd7+ Bxd7 14. Qxc3 Rc8 ) 13... Nb6 ? <dubious> (13... Nc5 14. Bxc5 Qc7 ) 14. c7 Qd7 (14... Qe7 is no salvation 15. Bxb6 Bd7 16. Be3 ) 15. a4 Nxa4 (15... Qe7 does not win a prize 16. Bxb6 Bd7 17. Be3 ) 16. bxa4 a6 17. Bh3 (17. Qc4 keeps an even firmer grip Ng7 18. Qd5 ) <+ 5.47> 17... Qxa4 ?? <blunder terrible, but what else could ♗lack do to save the game? (<+ 2.01> 17... f5 18. f4 Qxa4 19. fxe5 d5 20. Rxd5 Be6 ) 18. Qxe5+ dxe5 (18... Be6 hoping against hope 19. Qxh8 Bxh3 20. Nxh3 Rc8 ) 19. Rd8+ Ke7 20. Bc5# 1-0

The above may be of interest to those seeking help.

Sep-08-09  Free Thinker Boy: What about 20...Kf6?
Sep-08-09  vulcan20: I can't believe I missed a Tuesday! The Black pawn on e5 was too "far away" from the king for me to consider sacrificing the queen for it.
Sep-08-09  minasina: <Free Thinker Boy: What about 20...Kf6?>

It's illegal because of white pawn at g5.

Sep-08-09  alphee: It seems it was a long time since we had to deal with a Queen sac. This one was easy but we are still at the second day of the week.
Sep-08-09  patzer2: For today's Tuesday puzzle solution, 18. Qxe5+! initiates mate in three.
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ:

A new page, dedicated to chess miniatures form this site. (This game is already briefly annotated and posted.

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: I also created a new game collection (JUST FOR MINIATURES!!!!!) ... and added this game to it. (Game Collection: Interesting "Chess Games" Miniatures!)
Sep-08-09  buk2: even I managed to figure this one out.
Sep-08-09  BOSTER: <Once> <Fritz has lovely little feature...,it flashes a little red light when a tactic is possible, would not it be great to have something like that for OTB play?> I don't think that this could be very helpful.
Most impotant in chess position not to reveal the combinations, exhibiting our skill, but to create such positions. Here, when we are solving our puzzles, thanks to <> such positions have already created,and we can not perform like a star in film, maybe most of us are curious spectators. If this is not enough read this:
Spielmann once said:" I can see combinations as well as Alekhine, but I can not get to the positions where they possible". This is a point!
Sep-08-09  WhiteRook48: this is bad
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: <Fritz has this lovely little feature. In one of its training modes, it flashes a little red light when a tactic is possible. That makes you slow down, treat the position like a chessgames puzzle and really look for those dazzling queen sacrifices.

Wouldn't it be great to have something like that for OTB play? As it happens, I think we can build our own version of Fritz's red light. Whenever a position starts to look "juicy", we ought to think - "hey, this looks like a puzzle! I wonder if there is a brilliant tactic here?">

<Once> Here is an interesting factoid. Most masters - during a lesson - give students lots of problems to solve ... like, "White to move and mate in three." When I give a student a problem, ALL I ever tell them is who is on the move.

Many times, they want more information. (Like, has "White moved here? Can I castle?" Stuff like that.) I never give them that.

HERE IS THE REASON WHY: I have found that the average Class "C" player can solve a mate in two ... IF YOU TELL THEM THAT IT IS THERE!!! However, they routinely miss these things when they pop up in their own games ...

The point? No one will whisper in your ear, "Hey! You can sack the exchange here. Either you have two run-away passers in the end game ... or you will chase the King out to h5 and deliver mate."

---> That is the kind of stuff you should figure out on your own! ***

Here is another thing I have noticed. You might think that players have gotten MORE tactically aware in the last 20-30 years. I have actually noticed a steep decline in overall tactical ability ... as compared to when I was starting out. The reason? I think that most players are getting lazy. They NEVER force themselves to work something out on their own. They give a half-hearted attempt at it ... then they fire up their favorite analysis engine ... ... ...

Sep-08-09  King.Arthur.Brazil: I found it directly! I played Qxe5, and tick the clock... noone answered...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <LIFE Master AJ>

I think we are both saying similar things. Most puzzles are artificial because we know that there is a combination to be found. Real games are much more like the way you set your puzzles. Presumably the answer to one of your puzzles could be anything from a quiet developing move to a smiting combination.

There are two questions that commonly crop up on (and both came up from this puzzle):

1. How can I spot opportunities like this in real OTB games, when there is no-one telling me that a combination is possible?

2. How can I get to positions like these where combinations are possible?

I think your approach to these questions is essentially a pragmatic one. We gain both of these skills through practise, and exercises like the ones that you have described will fit the bill. Another way is to play through a game a move at a time trying to predict the next move - a feature available here on and I guess not used as much as the daily puzzles. Perhaps you are right that we are getting lazy!

My approach is admittedly a little more theoretical. I like to understand what it is about a position that makes it ripe for tactics. This is often to do with pawn structure and piece mobility (or lack of it). Or as Dan Heisman calls it, the seeds of tactical destruction.

Understanding when a position is ripe for a combination helps in two ways - it puts you into puzzle mode and it also helps you to know how to engineer those puzzles in the first place.

Two different approaches but both have value. As we all have different learning styles (eg pragmatist, reflector, theorist, activist) it often helps to offer people the choice.

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: <Once> All true!
Sep-11-09  kevin86: A queen sac opens the gate for mate.
Feb-08-16  southeuro: any reason why white didn't go 13. bc+
just seems odd NOT to take a piece back with check...
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