Tuesday, May 18, 2010

When Pawns Attack

What happens when pawns attack?  The game below, one of Spassky's brilliant games, illustrates this chess phenomenon. 

Beograd 1970
Nimzo-Larsen Attack: Modern Variation

(For a thorough discussion of Larsen's Opening, also called Nimzo-Larsen Attack, please visit Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)

1. b3, e5
2. Bb2, Nc6
3. c4, Nf6
4. Nf3, e4
5. Nd4, Bc5
6. Nxc6, dxc6

This move frees the c8 Bishop.

7. e3, Bf5
8. Qc2, Qe7
9. Be2, 0-0-0

Better than King-side castling.  Notice that the Rook immediately controls the d file.

10. f4, Ng4
11. g3, h5!

The beginning of a pawn barrage.

12. h3, h4!!

13. hxg4, hxg3!!
14. Rg1, Rh1!!!

An unexpected sacrifice.

15. Rxh1, g2!
16. Rf1 ....

If 16. Rg1, then Black plays Qh4+, followed by Qf2 or Qh1.

16. .... Qh4+
17. Kd1, gxf1=Q

White resigns. For after 18. Bxf1, Black plays 18. .... Bxg4+, 19. Be2 Qh1+ and mate next move. If 19. Kc1 Qe1+ and mate next move.

A splendid pawn attack.

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

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