Chess tactics: Some days are really not yours!

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In a previous article on chess tactics, you saw how a GM (Tartakover) transferred his vision to reality by adopting sacrificial tactics. In the game below, see how the same GM displayed a surprising lack of vision to succumb to the brilliance of another GM (Reti) in only 11 moves!

Here is how it happened.

1. e4 c6
2. d4 d5
3. Nc3 dxe4
4. Nxe4 Nf6
5. Qd3 e5
6. dxe5 Qa5+
7. Bd2 Qxe5
8. 0-0-0 Nxe4

Position after Black’s move 8

mysterious oversight

Even as a beginner, you would surely try to guess White’s motives behind his castling, even surrendering his Knight when he could easily provide additional support for it (the Knight of course could not move as it was pinned). Black on his part must have seen that White Rook could pin his Queen on the next move, but he might have banked on 8. … Be7 to take care of it. Was it a false sense of security or was the
temptation of gobbling a Knight too irresistible?

9. Qd8+ Kxd8
10. Bg5+ Kc7
11. Bd8#