Compensation - Part Two
In order to simplify this concept of compensation, hundreds of games were looked over for their use in examples to show how players used the sacrifice of material to give mate. The compensation in this sacrifice was obvious in that even a Queen would gladly be sacrificed if a mate could be obtained. The problem is that one must be able to do two things. One is to place ones pieces in key positions to obtain the mate. The other is to find forcing moves to make it work and this is where the sacrifice is the most useful to accomplish a forcing move.
Now we shall discuss and show some examples of how this can be accomplished.
What is the secret key word to find mate?
The hardest of all is to be able to have the vision to see if a mate may be possible.
This brings about a key word that you will have to know for discovering how to find if a mate is possible.
To discover if a mate is possible first look over the position and fantasize if your pieces were in such and such a position then your opponents king would be trapped and mated. And to get there you would need to move your pieces thusly in this order.
Or there may be obstacles that may have to be cleared away and to do this you may have to sacrifice material. Look for the removing of obstacles that may have to be cleared away in the examples. So then your key word is “Backsolving”.
Masters use the technique called Backsolving to solve complex calculating problems. it's the technique of evaluating a position based on the evaluations of its candidate moves from a desired position.
Backsolving is one the most sophisticated techniques of the Masters, and one of the least understood by most chess players. You backsolve from your fantasized mate to get to the mated position.
The backsolving process is able to show that with forced play with a sacrifice by your piece or pieces, you could achieve a significant advantage and achieve a mate.
An example is to look at a game that has mated a king using a sacrifice. Look at the mate that had a sacrifice and then go back 3 or more moves from the mate and look at how it was accomplished.
To be able to get to the point that your vision will be able to see a mate in 3, 4 or more moves will take some practice, and there is no better way to get this practice than to look over many games with mates that used a sacrifice. Look at the mate and then go back 3, 4, 5 or more moves and see how it was accomplished.
Next find games in a database that have a mate with a sacrifice, go through the games and then try to see if you can find the mate before 3, 4 or 5 moves of the mate. After a while you will gradually become more efficient at finding those mates. But don’t expect success for quite a while; remember it takes Masters years to perfect this skill as a technique. Do you remember our discussion of technique in part one?
If you keep doing this with many games you will in time see that many such mates have in common, pieces in key positions that have taken advantage of a imbalance or weakness in the kings position that either was preexisting or was created by a sacrifice.
What is important is that preparation for the mate is important Often you will see a Bishop poised on a key square focused dead on a key vulnerable pawn that is only protected by the king. The g2 pawn for White and the g7 pawn for Black, if the kings have castled short. Or you may see a White Bishop focused on any of the Castled pawns in preparation of an assault on the castled king. Frequently a Bishop is placed on the a2, f2 diagonal to pin the pawn against the King to prevent it from being moved. The strategy here is that if the rim pawn h7 has been moved up to h6 as is often the case to prevent a Bishop pin, then a knight can park on g6 threatening to capture the rook and can not be taken because the f2 pawn is pined against the king. This is another reason why Masters rarely move the rim pawns in the openings but armatures do it regularly. The other reason is that during the opening, moving the rim pawns looses in tempo to quickly castle and to develop all of your pieces.
We previously said that before one can attempt a mate sacrifice, one has to place ones pieces in key positions to obtain the mate. The best way to show this is with a typical classical example.
If you fantasize that if your pieces were in such a position to give mate to you opponents king, than you can backsolve that position and try to calculate the proper move order to accomplish it. This is how the masters can see a mate in 4 or more moves. But it takes practice, a lot of practice. Most players don’t play chess this way to see if a mate is possible in 4 or more moves. It’s just far to complex and takes too much time with out a lot of practice doing it, and so few rarely practice doing it except the Masters who know that they must develop this technique if they are to win games.
Do you remember our discussion about techniques in our part 1 page?
The following games are all mates and you are to find the mates that are from 2 to 7 moves, but also you are to find the compensation involved if there is one.
There can be no better way to learn how to use compensation and the sacrifice except to actually do it. This exercise will help you to understand how it's done.
This is going to be a lot of fun for you to find the mates, and of course you will enjoy how inventive and the inovating ideas the players were in giving those mates.
1. Fercec Medak
2. Morphy - Maurian
3. Steintz - Rock
4. Wilder - Barouty
5. Matzat - Herzog
6. Holosova - Dvorakova
7. Berliner - Rott
8. Marttala - Jensen
9. Alekhine - Tanner
10. Reinhardt - Muessener
11. Brooks - Boyle
12. Kunsztowicz - Gerusel
13. Meister - Andrianov
14. Gutop - Kuindzh
15. Manor - Hansen
By going through the following problems you are going to learn how important it is to take your time and look for combinations that most players will miss because they are more interested in winning the game quickly, attacking and not really looking closely at the whole board for opportunities that may present themselves. How may of these kinds of opportunities have you missed in your games because you did not take the time to look for them and because you are playing quick games that just do not give you the time necessary to study the board to find them.
Some of the problems will be difficult and will require you to study the whole board for a time to find the solution. But if you just wiz through the problems and the solution you are just wasting your time here. If you really want to learn how to improve your chess skills you have to ask your self this question. Just how interested am I in improving my chess skills? Would you spend a whole hour in trying to find the solution? Not that finding the solutions will take you that long but rather just how motivated are you to improve?
If you have been getting lax in the study of training materials to improve and your motivation has been dropping as well, now is the time for a change. Doing these types of problems will stimulate your motivation and help you to realize that you need to do a lot more study in order to be able to see the possibilities as they occur and quickly find solutions to these types of problems if they present themselves in your games.
The upside to solving these problems will be the rush and the high you will feel when you finally do succeed. You may get a nice warm fuzzy feeling all over and want to scream and shout out loud, halleluiah, and then go out and party and get stoned out of your mind. Well you get the idea.
* The Problems