Monday, April 5, 2010

Transposed Moves

Transposed moves -- changing the order of a series of moves -- has lost games and won them.  Here is an impressive case in point.

Amsterdam, 1933
Ruy Lopez Opening

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bb5, d6
4. d4, exd4
5. Qxd4 .....

This gets the Queen strongly into play and prepares for Queen-side castling.

5. ..... Bd7
6. Bxc6, Bxc6
7. Nc3, Nf6
8. Bg5, Be7
9. 0-0-0, 0-0
10. h4!, h6

11. Nd5 .....

This clever sacrifice of a piece is based on White's expectation of making good use of the resulting open h file.

11. ..... hxg5?
12. Nxe7+!, Qxe7
13. hxg5, Nxe4

After 13. .....Qxe4, 14. gxf6 Qxd4, 15. Rxd4 the threat of Rg4 is decisive.

14. Rh5 .....

White wants to double Rooks on the open file with a view to Rh8 mate.  This means that Black must play up his King Bishop Pawn sooner or later in order to open an escape hatch for his King.

14. ..... Qe6

After 14......f5, 15. g6! (nailing down the Black King) we get the same finish as in the game.

15. R1h1, f5

It seems that Black is safe after all, because after 16. g6 Qxg6, 17. Qc4+, he has 17. ..... d5.

16. Ne5!! .....

Threatens 17. Rh8 mate.

16. ..... dxe5

Or 16. .....Qxe5, 17. Qxe5 dxe5, 18. g6  forcing mate.

17. g6!, Resigns

For Black realizes that after 17. ..... Qxg6 White forces mate beginning with 18. Qc4+.  Thus we see that White's win was made possible by transposing g6 and Ne5.  A logical strategic play!

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