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Calculation Exercise #1 (Easy)

Diagram above: Familiarize yourself with the position on the board. Black just played the move 1… Nb2.

Instructions: Apply the 3-step calculation method (TRC) to the position and try to find the best move for white. Then compare your own calculation process to the solution given below. Remember that the primary purpose of the exercise is to practice your calculation method.

Step 1: Find Opponent’s Threats (T)

Black is threatening to capture the bishop on b2. This implies that white must either:

• make a threat that is even stronger or
• do something else about the threat.

Step 2: Observe Tactical Resources (R)

Observing tactical resources is the key to uncovering tactical opportunities:

• The black knight on b3 is undefended.
• The black king is exposed to checks.
• White’s bishop on b7 can fork the black king and knight with Bd5+.

Step 3: Calculate Forcing Moves (C)

Variations you should have calculated:

• 1.Bxg7 Kxg7 and now 2.Bd5 would not be check anymore
• 1.Bd5+ Kf8 2.Bxb3 Bxb2 is simply an equal trade.
• 1.Bd5+ Kh8 2.Bxb3 Bxb2 is simply and equal trade.
• 1.Bd5+ Kf8 2.Bxg7+! Kxg7 3.Bxb3 +-
• 1.Bd5+ Kh8 2.Bxg7+! Kxg7 3.Bxb3 +-

Solution

Diagram above: 1.Bd5+ Kf8 (or Kh8) 2.Bxg7+ Kxg7 3.Bxd3 and white won a knight in the process.

The point is that the move 2.Bxg7+ is an in-between move that uses a tempo to remove the threat against white’s own bishop (black could play Bxb2) before capturing the knight on b3.