Please assist.

Hello. I'm wondering if a better player would leave a comment that would help me understand how to evaluate the position on move 20. White is winning, however I was blind to the tactical advantage. EDIT: after queen takes rook on c6

If you would like, I ask that the observer evaluate this with the engine off first, to see if you could spot the advantage, and then perhaps explain your thought process so that I might know how to better deal with these sharper positions in the future. Once more the query starts from move 20. Thank you in advance for any comments.

You mean what would I play as white after 19...Qc6? I would not find any tactics, and cry because I’m a piece down.


@Kusokosla exactly. But look at the engine. After queen takes rook on c6 white is +8 !!!

There is a tactic. But I missed it and lost the game.

Spoiler below:

The tactic is a tough one, after being shown the idea by the computer it’s easier to see that black queen leaving c6 would expose the a4-e8 diagonal, so then white can easily find Qa4+. Unfortunately black can block with Bishop to c6, and then again white would have to visualize a tactic that isn’t all that easy, a quiet move Qb3 hitting the black queen and f7 behind her. This is wayyyy too hard for me. But from analysts like this we learn, so hopefully next time you and I both will see something like this better.

I’m 2250 here and I still focus on much easier tactics than this one! Don’t feel bad, it’s a hard one.

The lesson to be learned is to spot that open diagonal after black plays Q:d5, and secondary tactic after ...Bc6 is the in-between move Qb3! Hopefully after you see thousands of open diagonals and in-between moves in other puzzles you can spot such tactics easier.

@Kusokosla. Thank you. I feel a little better now : ) it's amazing how much can go into a tactical position such as this.

I spotted a cool sequence after queen takes rook on d5: if qc2 to a4 and black blocks with qd5 to c6 go nf3 to e5 if qc6xqa4 bc4 to f7 is mate.


Actually positional play and tactical means are closely linked. Just play with the pieces in your head (=calculate) but I wouldn't try to kill it words. Or just shuffle the pieces with the help of an engine and you will learn much about all the relevant interactions.

By the way the natural and non-committing 20.Ne5 (inviting everyone to the party, protecting and attacking) followed by 21.Qa4+ is a killer. Simple chess with hardly any calculation at all.

@Sarg0n. I'm slowly learning how to incorporate exactly that: "positional play and tactical means are closely linked" into my games. I have always tried to play the most aggressive move I can find, and in turn to many times overreacting my idea and losing by position. As I learn how to balance these two out kind of like you said there should follow my improvement.

Ah look at move 21 after the black queen goes to c6 my bishop can hit f7 check! King must take and then the knight lands a royal fork!
Ugh.. It is. So simple. That initial reaction of discouragement from being a piece down can blind a player from there on.

@Kanaan92 For the next time, if black not play e6 after Bc4, you can take the pawn on f7 witch check. After Kxf7 you can play Ne5.
Black has no more chance in this game. Thats a little trap at morra-gambit.