Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Bain Errata

Rabbit listed 2 positions that he threw out as unusable.  Here's the 1st.

Diagram 26: White to move

Bain gives the solution as 1. 0-0 Qxe4 2. Re1.
The tactic relies on a blunder to be successful.  I think it's useful to know that 0-0 is a viable move for white here, but as Silman and Heisman have stressed repeatedly in their writings, assume the best move from your opponent!  The point of that is to not make moves that hurt your position in the hopes that your opponent will fall for a trap.  In this case, 0-0 is a perfectly fine move, but it doesn't fit well with the rest of this tactics book.  Assuming best move for your opponent, 1... Be7 breaking the pin or 1... Nf6 keeping up the pressure on e4 is what I would expect.

He also lists diagram 95 as a dud, but I believe he is using the older edition which is corrected in the 10th edition.  That one has a correct solution.

Which brings me to this.  I've found a superior line to diagram 266!

Diagram 266: White to move

Bain gives the solution as 1. Nf6 Bg7 (1...Nxf5 2.Rh7#) 2. Bxb1 winning the exchange.  On my 1st pass, I had my solution marked as wrong and I didn't question the book at all.  After a short think on my 2nd pass, I came up with what I thought was the winning solution 1. Rh7+ Kg8 2. Nf6+ Kf8 3.Bxb1 winning the rook outright.  Up a rook is better than up the exchange right?

I did a quick verification with Houdini who found an improvement in Bain's line which also wins the rook outright.  1. Nf6 Bg7 2. Rd8+ which forces the dark-squared Bishop off of his threat of the f6-Knight. ... Bf8 3. Bxb1.

So which solution is "better"?  I guess it doesn't matter too much.  When given a choice, Houdini rates Rh7 v Nf6 as +9.55 v +9.17 at 22 ply.  The resulting positions after white wins the rook is given as -9.23 vs -9.02 for black.  Mine doesn't come with the mate threat though, so there's the small downside.  Given the choice between the two now, I'd say I'd rather end up with the same position but having a small chance of my opponent missing the mate.  Mostly I'm just happy I found a solid tactical shot not listed in the book, although mine is more obvious since the moves are all forced.

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