When You See a Good Move

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Many chess players are familiar with the quote by the second world champion, Emmanuel Lasker, that “When you see a good move, look for a better one.”

Knowing the quote and taking the advice are clearly different things.

Thursday I was foundering in the opening, and so afterwards a friend of mine was showing me this line he plays as White against the Sveshnikov. After 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Nb5 d6 7.Nd5 we reach this position:

Of course Black can’t take the “hanging” pawn on e4 since there’s a knight check on c7 picking up a rook

Wait a minute…it’s not just a rook. The only move is 8…Kd7 and now after 9.Qg4+ f5 10.Qxf5 is mate!

I start wondering if anyone has ever taken the e4 pawn, so I check. There are two games in my database. There’s this one:

And then there’s this one:

Notice that the first game is a blitz game, whereas the second game appears to be a classical tournament game. In that second game a player of almost 2100 FIDE strength misses a mate in two. My guess…he forgot to look for a better move.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott