We’re looking at some selections from Lev Alburt’s popular Chess Training Pocket Book. One of the things that is exceptional about the book is that he’ll take a theme like a back rank mate and open up a possibility using an actual game position that you might never have thought of. This position is an example. David Bronstein as Black played one move here and White resigned.
I use a large variety of books and magazines to find entertaining and instructive problems for you to solve. I recently went looking for one of my favorites to use with my chess students. Lev Alburt’s (with Al Lawrence) Chess Training Pocket Book. I have two volumes of them. They are compact, and you can carry them around with you. The problem choices are quite good as well. I’ll give you two of them to close out the week so you have an idea of what’s inside. Next week, I’ll use some examples from another great series, Igor Khemilnitsky’s instructional books. For now, though, it’s your turn as White, and you had better be quick about it as you’re about to be mated!
In the 1930s, the Nieuwe Rotterdamdamsche Courant had a chess column on their children’s page. According to Chess Review, the following problem by Sam Loyd appeared in its pages. It’s a mate. Since most of you are adults, we won’t tell you in how many moves!
This is our last “decision” time entry for the week. Again, there is no mating combination. It’s what most of our chess positions are: what do I do now? In 1948, future world class GM Larry Evans was playing an offhand game as Black against Rothman. He came up with a sequence of moves that had a cohesive plan in mind. What plan can you come up with as Black?
In continuing our “decisions” week theme, we ask you the following: It is your move as Black. The position is level. Do you take the White c5 pawn with your bishop? Why or why not?
This week is devoted to the theme of making decisions. Most chess games are not decided by mating attacks. They are decided by decisions players make in the middle game. Here’s a game between Weinstein and Green at the US Open in Rochester in 1958. You are Black. It’s your move. Should you win a pawn by exchanging on d5: 1…Nxd5 2.cxd5 Qxd5+ or not? Why or why not?