It is not a secret that I love chess, and that whenever I have the chance to play some online blitz -in the absence of better competitions or tournaments- I plunge happily into it. However, my results vary, as sometimes my mind cannot be taken away from the program that won't run or this or that administrative forms still waiting to be filled.

Today I had a little satisfaction with a blitz game against an apparently much stronger player - AMoreno, who is in fact International Master Alejandro Moreno Trujillo, Fide rating 2495, and who on Chess24 has a blitz Elo above 2800 (mine is usually in the 2400 points range). The diagrammed position arose after a hard-fought French opening, which I misplayed. Black is on top material-wise, but I do have the better minor piece, and a very active rook as well. I have no time to put this position in an engine for an evaluation, but I suspect that it is not so bad for white after all - black's bishop is very bad, and although the c3 pawn is passed, white also has some atouts, e.g. the weak b7 pawn.

But positional play is not what ended the game. I played the apparently innocous 1.b5!, and here black did not see he was suddenly in grave danger. He replied 1....Rf8?, after which he is completely lost. Can you see why?

The solution is that white can construct an effective mating net with 2.b6!!, and to avoid it black would have to give the exchange with 2....Ke7. The game continued 2....Ra8 3.Rc7 Bd3+ 4.Kf2 Rf8+ 5.Kg3, and now black may choose which of two mates to get:

He played 5....Rd8 and got mated by 6.Nf7++; otherwise, Rd7++ would have mated. A nice mating net, indeed!