“When your mind tries to verify a preconceived notion you can miss the obvious”
The internet continues to be a great source for chess entertainment. Take the following position with Black to move courtesy of GM Daniel King. He presented it with the following comment:
“Sometimes you can’t see the wood for the trees…”
How deadly could the discovered check 25… c5-c4+ be? I argue it is the most obvious move available to Black in this position:
My first thought was that it should be a clever in-between move, unexpected exchange or even a sacrifice, wrapped up nicely in a discovered check combination. For some reason the first move coming to mind was 25… Rxd2?? which falls to the obvious 26. Qe8+. Hmm, maybe there is no need for anything crazy. What else can it be?
The second thought was to see what happens to the simple 25… c4+. This works if White responds 26. Kh1 … The weakness of the back rank is glaring. However, I could not see the win in the main line below. It is just another tree.
Strangely enough my third thought was to see what comes out of 25… Ne3. My idea was that forcing the rook away from the first rank, I could exploit that situation with a combination of Rd8-d1 and the discovered check threat. Unfortunately the forced queens’ exchange eliminates any threats. That is not it either. Darn, there are many trees around.
Possibly you have been chuckling all the way here. No, I have not been building up the suspense. The simple truth is that I completely misjudged the obvious. The discovered check is indeed very tempting. However, the solution does not get more obvious than in the game. For sure Pauline wasted no time to think about the above. This example kind of makes sense of the idea that sometimes “the obvious is not so obvious“.
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