Monday, August 28, 2017

Central Pawn Sacrifice

A pawn sacrifice at the center of the board is sometimes necessary to open up a central file.  This post gives us an example of an attack while the opponent King is not yet castled.

 BORIS SPASSKY vs. ALEX AFTONOMOV
Leningrad, USSR, 1949

1. d4, d5
2. c4, dxc4
3. Nf3, Nf6
4. e3, e6
5. Bxc4, c5
6. 0-0, e6
7. Qe2, Nc6
8. Nc3, b5
9. Bb3, Bb7
10. Rd1, cxd4
11. exd4, Nb4
12. d5!! ....

White intends to open the e-file.

 





















12. ... N4xd5
13. Bg5, Be7
14. Bxf6, gxf6

Not 14.....Bxf6, Black would lose a piece after 15. Nxd5 Bxd5, 16. Rxd5 ...

15. Nxd5, Bxd5
16. Bxd5, exd5
17. Nd4, Kf8
18. Nf5, h5

 





















Black thought that White's Queen is going to h5, so he 'blocks' the square.  White's reply surprises him.

19. Rxd5!! Qxd5
20. Qxe7+, Kg8
21. Qxf6!! Resigns

Black cannot handle the simultaneous threats at e7 (Knight fork) and mate at g7.

To view the game in PGN format, you may visit  Spassky vs. Aftonomov.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Power of the Bishop Pair

It is always advantageous when you have two Bishops working together.   This phenomenon, known in the chess world as the Bishop Pair, has been proven in countless grandmaster battles.  This post is an example.

DAVID JANOWSKI vs. FRITZ SAMISCH
Marienbad, Germany, 1925

1. d4, Nf6
2. Nf3, e6
3. Bg5, c5
4. e3, Nc6
5. Nd2, b6
6. c3, Bb7
7. Bd3, cxd4
8. exd4, Be7
9. Nc4, 0-0
10. Qc2, Qc7
11. h4, h6
12. Qd2, Ng4
















After 12.....hxg5 13. hxg5, White's attack would be devastating along the h-file.

13. Bf4, d6
14. Ne3, Nxe3
15. Qxe3, h5
16. Rh3, e5
17. dxe5, Nxe5
18. Nxe5, dxe5
19. Bxe5, Bd6
20. Qh6!! ....

 Black resigns.  White's Queen cannot be captured because of the threat Rg3+.

If 20....f6, then White's attack would be relentless:  21. Qh7 Kf7, 22. Bg6+ Ke6, 23. Bxd6 Kxd6, 24. 0-0-0 ...

Amazing game.

To view the game in PGN format, you may visit  Janowski vs. Samisch.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Queen's Gambit Declined

HARRY N. PILLSBURY vs. SEYMON WINAWER
Budapest, 1896d3

1. d4, d5
2. c4, e6
3. Nc3, c6
4. e3, Nf6
5. Nf3, Nbd7
6. Bd3, Bd6
7. 0-0, 0-0
8. e4, dxe4
9. Nxe4, Nxe4
10. Bxe4, Nf6
11. Bc2, h6
12. Be3, Re8
13. Qd3, Qc7
14. c5, Bf8
15. Ne5, Bxc5

Black hopes to get an extra pawn, but White's reply surprises him.

16. Bxh6, Bxd4

If 16.....gxh6, then White attacks with Qg3+ and threatens to capture the Queen with Ng6+.

17. Qxd4, gxh6
18. Qf4!! ....

Still threatening the Black Queen ....

18. ... Nd5
19. Qxh6!! ...

Black cannot capture the Knight because of the threat Bh7+.

19. ... f6
20. f4!! ....

White maintains the threat.

20. ... Re7
21. Ng6!! ...


21. .... Re8

If 21....Rh7, then White mates with 22. Qf8.

If 21....Rg7, then 22. Qh8+ Kf7, 23. Qf8 mate.

22. Qh8+, Kf7
23. Qh7 mate.



Superb play by Harry Pillsbury !

To view the game in PGN format, you may visit  Pillsbury vs. Winawer.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation

VAHAP SANAL vs. HJORVAR STEIN GRETARSON
Chess Olympiad, 2012

1. e4, c5
2. Nf3, d6
3. d4, cxd4
4. Nxd4, Nf6
5. Nc3, a6
6. Bg5, Nbd7
7. Bc4, Qa5
8. Qd2, e6
9. 0-0-0, b5
10. Bb3, Bb7
11. Rhe1, Rc8
12. e5 !! ....

The beginning of White's attack, the objective of which is to create weaknesses along d and e files.  However, Black refuses to take the bait.


















12. .... b4


Black decides to counterplay.

13. exf6, bxc3
14. Qf4, Ne5
15. Nxe6, fxe6
16. Rxe5 !!


















Black resigns.  White threatens mate at f7.  Now, if 16..... Qxe5, then 17. f7+ Kd7, 18.. Qxe5 and Black is lost.

An exciting 16-move game.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Bishop's Opening, McDonnell Gambit

ARNOLD DENKER vs. ARTHUR RANDOLPH SHAYNE
Rochester, New York, 1945

1. e4, e5
2. Bc4, Bc5
3. b4, Bxb4

A pawn sacrifice, common in Bishop's Opening, the objective of which is to consolidate White's center.

4. c3, Bc5
5. d4, exd4
6. Nf3, Nf6
7. e5, Ne4
8. 0-0 ....

White could take the d pawn immediately, but he has other things in mind.

8. ... Nxc3
9. Nxc3, dxc3
10. Bg5, Be7
11. Qd5, Rf8
12. Bf6! ...

A subtle move.  This neat Bishop gambit forces White to open the e-file.

12. ... gxf6
13. exf6, Bxf6
14. Rfe1+, Be7
15. Ng5! ...

15. ... c6

Black tries to drive away White's Queen, but Black is unperturbed.

16. Nxf7, cxd5

If 16.... Qc7 then 17. Qh5! with great attacking possibilities.

17. Nd6 mate

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Sicilian Defense

Viswanathan Anand vs. Peter Svidler
6th Round, 2016 Moscow Candidates Tournament

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bb5, a6
4. Ba4, Nf6
5. 0-0, Be7
6. Re1, b5
7. Bb3, 0-0
8. a4, Bb7
9. d3, Re8
10. Nbd2, Bf8
11. c3 ...

Anand prepares for d4....

11. ... Na5
12. Bc2, c5
13. d4, exd4
14. cxd4, d5
15. e5, Ne4
16. axb5, axb5
17. Nxe4, dxe4
18. Rxe4 ....

The Rook is poisoned.  If 18....Bxe4, 19. Bxe4 followed by 20. Bxh7 and 21. Ng5 with good attacking prospects.

18. .... Nb3

Black offers his Knight in return, to lure White's c2 Bishop away from action.

19. Rxa8, Bxa8
20. Ng5, Nxc1
21. Qh5!! ....

   
White's attacking prospects are greater than the value of captured material.  Here, White has a two-pronged attack.

21. .... h6
22. Qxf7+, Kh8
23. Rg4 ....

The move takes the Rook away from harm, and defends the Knight from Black's Queen.  If 23. Qg6, then Black equalizes with Qxg5.

Now, if 23....hxg5, then 22. Qh5+ Kg8, 23. Bh7+ Kh8, 24. Bg6+ Kg8, 25. Qh7 mate.

23. .... Qa5

Black creates a diversion on the Queen side of the board.

24. h4 ....


Whites creates an escape square for his King.

Having no other good move, Black resigns. White's Queen cannot be prevented from going to g6 and h7.

At this point, if 24.....hxg5, then 25. Qh5+  Kg8, 26. Bh7+ Kh8, 27. Bg6+ Kg8, 28. Qh7 mate.

If 24....Qe1+, 25. Kh2 Ne2, 26. Nf3 !!...

A superb play by Viswanathan Anand!

Sicilian Defense

GM Ian Rogers vs. IM Michael Hennigan
Hastings Premier, 1993

1. e4, c5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bb5, e6
4. Bxc6, bxc6
5. 0-0, d5
6. d3, Ne7
7. c4, Ng6

Undeterred by a double-pawn, Black develops his pieces.

8. Nc3, Be7

Black should have moved 8. .... Bd6 right away.

9. b3, 0-0
10. Ba3, Bd6
11. Re1, d4
12. Na4, e5

Black has to block the advance of White's e-pawn.

13. Bxc5, Nf4
14. g3?! ....

A dubious move.  14. h3 makes more sense.

14. .... Nh3+
15. Kg2, Bg4

Black threatens Ng5 winning the Knight.

16. Qd2, f5!!
 


17. Ng1 ....

White cannot take the pawn.  Doing so would put tremendous pressure on the f-file.

If 17. Nxe5 Bxe5, 18. Bxf8 Ng5! Black plays aggressively.

17. .... Nxg1
18. Kxg1, Bf3
19. Bxd6, Qxd6
20. Qg5, f4
21. Rec1 ....

White's King intends to run to the queen side.

21. .... Rf6
22. Kf1, Rg6
23. c5, Qc7
24. Qh4, Rh6
25. Qg5, Rh5!!
 
 The Queen is "mated", so White resigns.  While 25.....Rxh2 is also good, the text nails down the Queen immediately.

A superb ending !
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