In the last game I played as Black against my regular opponent, he opened with 1. e4 and I replied with my repertoire move, 1… d6. A few moves later we found ourselves with a situation that seemed familiar!
We arrive at the Maróczy Defence by transposition. (The pure Maróczy Defence is 1. e4 d6, 2. d4 e5…)
Next, my opponent decided to advance his Queen’s pawn, which the Chess.com engine rates as “good,” which really means just “okay.” Clearly, the chess engine prefers to exchange pawns, which often leads to an early exchange of queens (4. dxe5 dxe5, 5. Qxd8+ Kxd8).
I responded with 4… Be7 and realized that if my opponent were to play 5. Bg5 the “Maróczy Defence Pawn Grab” (as I call it) would be in play…
Back in April I completely missed the opportunity (see my previous blog post and video) when the exact same situation occurred. This time around, my opponent had completely forgotten about that game and conveniently played 5. Bg5? again, just as he did in April!
Here’s the Ginger GM, Simon William’s video account of his victory over Charlie Storey in the third round game of the British Chess Championships in Torquay in the summer of 2019.
I am posting this game because both Simon and Charlie are acquaintances of mind and occasional quaffing partners. I have learnt a lot from both of these professional players. Indeed, Charlie was the first person I met when I participated in my first ever chess tournament at the British Chess Championships in Torquay back in 2013.
In this chess tactic training lesson I will focus on how to use the art of distraction on the chessboard. Because distraction is a powerful chess tactic training yourself to see opportunities to distract will significantly improve your game.
The purpose of distraction is to cause your opponent to move a piece away from a key square. This chess tactic training lesson will show you several ways to do it. As you become aware of the power of distraction, you will begin to notice distraction opportunities as they arise. At least, you will start to look out for them during a game.
Very often, the art of distraction is employed against a piece that is guarding a crucial square. The guard may be distracted by the offer of a sacrifice of by the threat of capture. Once the guard has been distracted, the square you wish to occupy will now be unguarded and you can safely move in.
Distraction is often used during the late middle game or the endgame. Here is an example from an endgame in which Black employs the tactic of distraction against White’s knight on a4:
Chess Tactic Training – Distraction Problem 1
It is Black’s move.
What would you do in this situation if you were Black?
(Note: Black wants to advance his pawns UP the board towards row 1!)
This is a good example of how to use distraction in the endgame to achieve a decisive advantage.
If we analyse the imbalances we can see that White is one pawn ahead and holds a material advantage. However, Black holds a positional advantage with his occupation of the centre. The pawn on g7 is also guarding against White achieving an easy promotion of the h pawns. It is Black’s turn to move and sieze the initiative.
I will post the solution in the comments tomorrow!
Easy Chess Tips