Deja Vu

One of the most underrated qualities a chess player can have is a good memory. This might be because many players want to see themselves as intellectuals and prefer to put their chess skill down to brain power rather than intense learning. Yet psychologists have discovered that chess skill is largely down to a process called chunking, where small pieces of memorized information are tied together as a whole.

As the recent World Championship match drew (ha ha!) to a close there was a good example of this. Carlsen’s winning queen sacrifice was noticed in the blink of an eye by Judit Polgar, one of the commentary team. And probably because she had seen so many tactical patterns before during her unique upbringing.

Here’s a position in which White had the same idea and it wouldn’t surprise me if Judit had seen this one before:

Nigel Davies

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About NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in St. Helens in the UK. The winner of 15 international tournaments he is also a former British U21 and British Open Quickplay Champion and has represented both England and Wales on several occasions. These days Nigel teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 15 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Besides teaching chess, Nigel is a registered tai chi and qigong instructor and runs several weekly classes.