I had a brain fart while I was doing this level 30 Tactic on CT-ART:
White to move
Black looks solid. The weakness is the g6 pawn and the “misplaced fianchetto” bishop.
I had a hard time with this one. There are no clear “seeds of tactical destruction”. I first approached this by looking at the diagonals for White. The Bishop on b1 and the h7 square where the queen indirectly has a line of force going to that square. Then I started to look for ways to clear the diagonal and the h-file. I saw Nxf7 followed by Qxe6. But then I was at a loss.
Clearing the diagonal was not the plan. Rather, the tactic is the all the defenders are barricaded on the queen side so to speak. So, this sequence popped out with the intent of ripping open the kingside 1.Nxf7 Kxf7 2. Qxe6+ Kf8 3. Bh6+ Ng7. Still down materially and the position ran out steam. The correct NEXT move is even harder to see. Instead of the check with 3. Bh6 right away, 3. Bxg6 threatens mate on f7 and white gives up a SECOND piece in order to weaken once triangle of pawns. The Bishop of e7 is in the way for Black. The position continues with 3. Bxg6 hxg6 4. Bh6+ Ng7 and now the queen can take 5. Qxg6, down materially two whole pieces but with a killer position. Black is cramped to the point that White will be able to compensate the material losses.
5…Bf6 6. Rxe8. Qxe6 ( deflection) 7. Qxf6+ Qf7 8. Bxg7+ and Black is lost. ( next move is Re1+ and Black drops the queen).
In other news, I almost beat my 1880 opponent the other night at the club but blew a move 34 and gave the game back. I had such a strong position but fatigue got the best of my calculations and I missed a recovering move he had. It was reassuring to know that I almost tied for first place in the Under 2000 section at the club this month. I plan on conitnuing to focus on a consistent thought process and practicing tactics and game analysis. No new theory. So far this month, I picked up 50 USCF rating points!