All chess masters have the important ability to visualize a board position after certain moves. Actually, even as a beginner, you are doing the same when you are working out a combination but may not be to a significant depth. Some people seem to have an instinct for it and even if you are not so blessed, you can still improve on this quality with practice, In fact, for great players, even the reverse holds true meaning that they can visualize a winning possibility and then work backward to find the moves that will lead to that visualized position!
Here is a position from a game between two Grandmasters. You would think that with a balance in pieces and pawns, the position looks equal. Though white pieces are more aggressively poised, Black pieces have the mobility to come to the King’s defense. But White visualized a passed pawn that could change the balance in his favor and lead to a win! Can you see that passed pawn?
White saw the possibility of the pawn at f5 to become a passed pawn if the Black pawn at f6 were removed for which it was necessary to remove its support pawn at g7. This is how he proceeded to realize his goal.
|1.||Rxg7||Rxg7||The support pawn is gone|
|2.||Nxf6||Qe7||The Knight created a fork while removing the “blockader”|
|3.||Nxe8||Qxe8||Only two pawns for a Knight, but White gets his passed pawn and Black’s Knight is pinned|
|4.||Qf4||Re7||The White Queen takes up position to put pressure on e5 and also to occupy f6 if needed|
|5.||f6||Ng6||Now the passed pawn is on March, showing its power! If 5. … Re6 6. Rxe5 Rxe5 7. f7 and Black needs to answer 8. Qf6# or 8. fxe8=Q+ or 8. Qxe5+ Qxe5 9. f8=Q#|
|7.||f7||Resigns||because of 7. … Qf8 8. Qf6#|