TIL #1

Today, during an online (not chess.com correspondence) chess game, I learned that a typical tactical trick must always be carefully calculated before executed.  The typical tactical trick, from this position:

is simply to play Nxe5.  Of course, if white inserts the tempo-gaining capture, Bxd7+, the knight can hop out of the danger to capture the bishop.  If white just takes the en prise knight on e5 with Nxe5, the bishop is now hanging, so Bxb5 takes back a piece, resulting in the net of the originally captured e5 pawn.

…Nxe5

     Bxd7 Nxd7

     Nxe5 Bxb5

The issue?  After the latter line (Nxe5 Nxe5 Bxb5) there is Qb3!  This forks the bishop on b5 and the f7 square.  After Qb6, attempting to defend and create an escape hatch, Qxf7 Kd8 Qxf8, white regains all the material with a tremendous attack.  Black is completely lost.

Luckily, my opponent did not spot the winning continuation and simply played Bxd7.  I went on to win the game in about 20 moves.  Maybe this is unfortunate, because the lesson will not be as painful!

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