Sunday, November 14, 2010

Center Play

Keeping a solid central pawn structure is crucial to a defensive chess play.  Once the center breaks down, it would be easy for the attacker to penetrate.  The posted game is an excellent model of this theory.

Stockholm, 1937

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, d6
3. d4, Nf6
4. Nc3, N8d7
5. Be2, Be7
6. 0-0, h6
7. b3 ....

White intends to position his Bishop at b2, to apply indirect pressure on Black's e5 pawn.

7. .... c6
8. Bb2, Qc7
9. Qd2, g5

Black's last move weakens his long diagonal.  Black should have kept a tight defensive game.

10. Rfd1, Nf8?

Black intends to post his Knight at f4 via g6, but it never made it. He should have concentrated on developing his pawn structure at the center,

11. dxe5, dxe5
12. Nxe5!! ....

 12. .... Be6

If 12....Qxe5, then White replies with 13. Nd5 Qxb2, 14. Nc7 mate.  In this variation, if 13....Qd6, then 16. Nxf6+ and wins.

13. Nb5!!, Qb8

If 13....cxb5, then 14. Bxb5 N8d7, 15. Bxd7 Bxd7, 16. Nxd7 Nxd7, 17. Bxh8.   In this variation, if 15....Kf8, then 16. Bxe6 fxe6, 17. Ng6+.  Either way, White wins.

14. Qa5 !! ....

A pretty move.  Black cannot shoo away the Queen with 14....b6 because of 15. Nxc6 bxa5, 16. Nxb8 Rxb8, 17. Nc7 mate.  In this variation, if 16....Bd8, then 17. Rxd8 Kxd8, 18. Bxf6+ and White wins.

14. .... Bd8
15. Rxd8, Qxd8
16. Nc7+, Resigns

There is no hope for Black.  If 16....Ke7, then 17. Ba3+ and White wins.

White executed one brilliant move after another.

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