Colorado Springs Chess News

The Knights Are Better Here!


False Step

Posted by Paul Anderson on June 30, 2014 at 6:35 PM

 Game Of The Week

This week's game comes from the Colorado Springs Chess Club's Wednesday Panera event.  I got paired with Ken MacRae in the final round.  I had never played Ken before.  So, I didn't know what to expect.  I just knew he must be doing as well as I was in this tournament, and I should not take him lightly.

I decided not to check his rating and avoid any bias that might come from having that information.  I was going to assume that he was quickly improving and scored some good wins in the previous rounds.  His strong performance was the reason why we were finally meeting in the final round battling for 2nd place.

I was starting to think the game was going my way, as it looked like I was about to win a Pawn. However, Ken had already conceeded that Pawn and was putting together his counter-attack.  I finally realized his intention when he pushed the e Pawn (23. e4).

Now it was clear that he was not going to sit idly by and let me grind him down to a won endgame.  He was going to sacrifice his Bishop to wipe out the Pawns in front of my King and try to create mating or perpetual check threats.

I decided that I could survive the attack by bringing my Queen back to g7 and win with the extra material.  However, I realized, after the game, that his aggressive move created a false step in my thinking.

I saw this idea in the TV show Numb3rs (pronounced num-three-ers), about a mathmatical genius who helps his brother with his FBI cases.  Whenever television shows or movies want to portray great intelligence in a character they usually default to having them play chess or use a chess analogy in their work, often getting the chess totally wrong.

Here Charlie, the math genius, talks about how chess players have to think before they move.  Of course, that is clearly not the case, but I will let that one go since it is the false step idea that he mentions that I thought had some merit.

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The idea of the false step is to use a move that has multiple threats in the hopes that your opponent will only focus on the obvious attack and miss the more subtle one.

His example is not good, as the Queen sacrifice is not really creating a false step.  The only legal move is to capture the Queen, opening the way for the Rook mate.  This was a forced line and not a false step in thinking.

Here is my example.  This position is just after I had won the Pawn and had my Queen ready to defend on g7.

Black to move

See the diagram and answer here:

I was so worried about his Bishop sacrifice that it created a false step in my thinking.  I felt I needed to defend and stopped looking for my attacking moves.  I completely missed the attacking idea of Overload (25...Qe3+!). 

The Queen has an aggressive move that double attacks the King and the Bishop, winning the piece that was going to sacrifice.  I could have gained more material and kept a safer King, if only I had been thinking what I could do rather than just what my opponent could do.

The nice thing for me is that Ken also fell into the false step of  thinking later in the game.  With my exposed King, I was looking for ways to trade off our Queens and reduce the perpetual check possibilities.  I played 31... Qg3 with the idea of creating two threats. 

One, the double attack on the Rook and King is scary, but two, it also attacks the Queen.  The only defense is to trade Queens (what I really wanted).  However, Ken saw the attack on the Rook and defended it, thereby dropping his Queen.

So, I won by creating a false step in my opponent's thinking by using two threats rather than just offering a Queen trade, which surely would have been refused.  Obviously, creating a false step does not guarantee your opponent will fall for it, but they do happen. 

False Step


[Event "June Panera Wednesday"]

[Site ""]

[Date "2014.06.25"]

[Round "4.2"]

[White "MacRae, Ken"]

[Black "Anderson, Paul"]

[Result "0-1"]

[ECO "A40"]

[PlyCount "64"]

[EventDate "2014.06.04"]

[TimeControl "5400"]


1. d4 c6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Bf4 Bg7 4. e3 d5 5. Nbd2

Bg4 6. h3 Bxf3 7. Nxf3 Nf6 8. Be2 Nbd7 9. Ne5 O-O 10. Bh2 Ne4 11. f3 Nxe5 12.

dxe5 Nc5 13. c3 Nd7 14. f4 Nc5 15. O-O Qb6 16. Qd4 e6 17. b4 Na4 18. Rfc1 f6

19. Rab1 fxe5 20. fxe5 Qc7 21. Bd3 b5 22. Qg4 Rae8 23. e4 Bxe5 24. Bxe5 Qxe5

25. exd5 exd5 26. Bxg6 hxg6 27. Qxg6+ Qg7 28. Qxc6 Nb6 29. Rb2 Re3 30. Rd2 Rc8

31. Qd6 Qg3 32. Rf2 Qxd6 0-1


This Week In Chess

On June 24th, the Colorado Springs Chess Club held its 4th Tuesday of the month event: A Thematic Swiss.  Each month a different opening is chosen from MCO-14 and all games in a double, Swiss tournament start from that position.  This month's opening was the Ruy Lopez (1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5). 

Thematic Double Swiss (G10, 3SS):

5.0 Paul Anderson

4.0 Mark McGough

3.5 Dean Brown

3.0 Daniel Herman

3.0 Spencer Shook

3.0 Larry Kledzik

2.5 Sara Herman

0.0 Shirley Herman

Tuesday Night Chess Tour Cumulative and 2nd Quarter Results

# MAX POSSIBLE 96.00 52.00

1 Paul Anderson 64.20 32.70

2 Daniel Herman 50.33 30.00

3 Mark McGough 33.87 20.53

4 Richard Buchanan 32.00 8.50

5 Koji DelConte 25.00 10.00

6 Shirley Herman 23.00 11.00

7 William Benedek 19.03 9.53

8 Dean Brown 17.50 12.50

9 Joe Pahk 15.70 2.20

10 Earle Wikle 15.00 10.00

11 Katie Wise 12.20 8.20

12 Imre Barlay 12.00 6.00

13 Jeff Fox 11.50 11.50

14 Sara Herman 11.33 7.33

15 Josh Bloomer 8.00 0.00

16 Anthony Thomason 8.00 8.00

17 Larry Kledzik 8.00 3.00

18 Mike Makinney 7.00 7.00

19 Mike Madsen 7.00 2.00

20 Gunnar Andersen 6.50 3.50

21 Eugin Pahk 6.00 0.00

22 Ben Matthews 6.00 2.00

23 Alex Freeman 5.33 0.00

24 Peter Barlay 5.00 3.00

25 Paul Protheroe 5.00 5.00

26 Rezheen Hamid 5.00 5.00

27 Kevin Kaaoush 4.00 1.00

28 Alex Torres 4.00 1.00

29 Arthur Knize 4.00 4.00

30 Mitch Vincent 3.00 3.00

31 Peter Wise 3.00 1.00

32 David Silva 3.00 3.00

33 Spencer Shook 3.00 3.00

34 Richard Brown 2.50 2.50

35 Gary Atkinson 2.00 0.00

36 John Byrne 2.00 0.00

37 Robert Jimenez 2.00 0.00

38 Ron Dotson 2.00 0.00

39 Chris Wynkoop 2.00 0.00

40 Isaac Martinez 2.00 2.00

41 Tim Brennan 2.00 2.00

42 Brian Wall 2.00 2.00

43 Luke Thurman 2.00 2.00

44 Steven Readel 2.00 2.00

45 Tara Martinez 2.00 2.00

46 Bobby Dzagen 1.00 0.00

47 Adam Metzger 1.00 0.00

48 Web McNairy 1.00 0.00

49 Jeremy Hawks 1.00 1.00

50 Phil Van Hawk 1.00 1.00

51 Brandon Hilliard 1.00 1.00

52 Dragan Plakalovic 1.00 1.00

53 Thomas Mullikin 1.00 1.00

54 Daniel Cabrera 1.00 1.00

55 Anthea Carson 1.00 1.00

Winter Springs Open 

By NM Buck Buchanan

Tournament Announcement

Winter Springs Open, Manitou Springs, CO – Dec. 6-7, 2014

4-SS, Time Control G/90 with 30 seconds increment

Manitou Springs City Hall, 606 Manitou Ave.

Sections: June (open), July (U 1800), August (U1400)

EF $35 if rec'd by 12/3, $40 at site. $5 discount for juniors, seniors, unrateds. Additional $5 discount for Supporting Members of Colorado Springs Chess Club

Cash prizes per entries

Register 8:30 – 9:30 AM. Rounds 10 AM, 4 PM Saturday; 9 AM, 3 PM Sunday

Entries to Richard Buchanan, 1 Sutherland Rd., Manitou Springs CO 80829, Information (719) 685 1984 or [email protected]

CSCA membership required: $15, juniors & seniors $10. OSA

Colorado Tour Event

Categories: 2014

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