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November 10, 2015
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Evaluation of a position – Part-2

  • Grand Master Igor Smirnov, Chess Coach, Author and Publisher.
  • This is the second part of the lesson “How to evaluate a position in chess?” by GM Petr Velicka. To write this lesson, Velicka was inspired by his two games from the summer open tournament in Ikaria.


    GM Petr VelickaBoth games have a common denominator: the position after the opening was equal, or even very nearly a draw, but the result of the game was a win for the stronger player. If you missed game-1 (the first part), then you can watch it here.

     

    Now, let’s continue studying the lesson with the second game.

     

    Prohaszka, Peter (2586) – Velicka, Petr (2397)

    Aegean Open, Ikaria 2015

     

    1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Bg4 3.Bg2 c6

    chess

    White to play

     

    The main line is 3…Nd7 4.c4 e6 5.cxd5 exd5 6.0-0 c6 7.d3 Ngf6, etc. Something like I played against Peter in the last year. 4.c4 e6 5.0-0 Nd7 6.Qb3 A jump by the queen to b3 – this is a speciality of Peter Prohaszka’s in this variation. 6…Qb6 7.d3 dxc4

    chess

    White to play

     

    A surer way to equilibrium is 7…Qxb3!? 8.axb3 Bd6=.

     

    7…Ngf6 8.Qc2!? (8.Be3 Bc5 9.Bxc5 Nxc5=) 8…dxc4 9.Qxc4 Bxf3 10.Bxf3 Ne5

    chess

    White to play

     

    11.Qf4 Nxf3+ 12.Qxf3 Be7 13.Nd2 0-0 14.Nc4 Qb5 15.Bd2 Rfd8 16.b4 Qd5

    chess

    White to play

     

    17.Kg2 Qxf3+ 18.Kxf3 Rac8 19.a4 Nd5 20.Rfb1 Bf6 21.Ra3+= /= P. Eljanov 2727 – T. Banusz 2582/Jerusalem 2015

     

    8.Qxc4 Bxf3 9.Bxf3 Ne5 I relied on this exchange combination, but the resulting position will not be fully balanced. 10.Qf4 Nxf3+ 11.Qxf3 Nf6 12.Nd2 Be7 13.Nc4 Qd8

    chess

    White to play

     

    White has a very small advantage, thanks to the possibility of starting active operations on the queenside or in the center.

     

    14.Bd2 (14.b4 0-0 15.a3 Nd5 16.Bb2

    chess

    Black to play

     

    (16.Na5 Bf6 17.Ra2 Qd7 18.Rc2 c5) 16…Bf6 17.Bxf6 Nxf6 18.Rac1+= /=; 14.b3!?+= /=) 14…0-0 15.b4 Nd5 16.Rab1 Bg5 17.Rfc1

    chess

    Black to play

     

    [17.e4!? Nb6 (17…Bxd2?! 18.exd5 Bg5 19.dxc6 bxc6 20.Ne5 Qd5 21.Qxd5 cxd5 22.b5) 18.Bc3+= /=] 17…Bxd2 18.Nxd2 a6 Better was18…f5!? – to take control of the squares in the center. 19.Nc4 [19.Qe4 Qf6=]

     

    19…Nb6 I had to play 19…f5!? Again… 20.d4 (20.e3+= /=) 20…f4 21.Qe4 Qf6; or first 19…Qe7!? 20.d4 And then 20…f5= 20.Qe3 Nxc4 21.Rxc4

    chess

    Black to play

     

    Even though material is quite reduced and the position looks equal, White threatens to play a4 and b5 with uncomfortable pressure through the ‘b’ file.

     

    21…Qd5 Prevents White’s plan. 22.Qb6 [22.a4 Rfb8 …23.Rd4 Qa2!÷; 22.Rd4? Qxa2 =/+] 22…Qb5 23.Qa5!? [White finds another option, but how to improve his position? 23…Rfd8 [23…Qd5 24.a4 h6 25.Qb6 Qd7

    chess

    White to play

     

    (25…Rfb8 26.f3 Qd8 27.Qe3) 26.Rd4 Qe7 27.Kg2 += ] 24.a4!? Now Black has to open the ‘b’ file or allow a b4-b5 advance. Of the two evils, I chose the former. 24…Qxa5 [24...Qd5 25.Qb6 Rd7 26.b5+=] 25.bxa5 Ra7

    chess

    White to play

     

    Black can play this strange move because the rook will be exchanged. 26.Rcb4 Kf8 27.Rxb7 Rxb7 28.Rxb7 Rd5 29.f4! Rxa5 30.Rb4+=

    chess

    Black to play

     

    The rook ending is still slightly better for White. His rook is more active and his pawn structure better. 30…g5 31.fxg5 Rxg5 32.Kf2 a5?! Inaccurate – better was 32…Rc5 33.Ke3 Ke7 34.Kd2 h5 += This position must be a draw, but White will try to win it. 33.Rc4

    chess

    Black to play

     

    33…c5?! After this mistake, the endgame will be losing for Black.33…Rf5+!? 34.Ke1 c5 would give a better chance of rescue, for compared to the game the White king would be less active. 35.e4 (35.Rc3!?+=) 35…Rh5 36.h4 Ke7+= 34.e4 Ke7 35.h4 Re5 36.Kf3 An instructive position – Black’s rook is almost caught in the center of the board. 36…f5 37.Kf4 Kd6

    chess

    White to play

     

    Hopeless was 37…Kf6 38.Rc1 fxe4 39.dxe4 Rh5 40.Kg4 Re5 41.Rc4 Ke7

    chess

    White to play

     

    42.Kf4 Rh5 43.e5 Rf5+ 44.Ke4 h5 45.Rxc5 Rf2 46.Rxa5+– 38.Rc2 I was lucky that this did not work 38.g4?! fxg4 39.d4 cxd4 40.Rxd4+ Because of 40…Rd5!… 41.exd5? e5 –+ 38…fxe4 39.dxe4 Rh5 40.Rd2+ Ke7 41.Rb2 c4

    chess

    White to play

     

    I tried to liberate my rook, but it wasn´t enough to rescue the game. 42.Ke3 [42.e5+–] 42…Rc5 43.Kd4 Rc8 44.Rc2 Rg8 45.Rxc4 Rxg3 46.Ke5!

    chess

    Black to play

     

    Another illustrative example of how strong and important a piece the king is in the endgame!

     

    46…Kd7 47.Rc5 Rh3 48.Rxa5 Rxh4 49.Ra7+ Kc8

    chess

    White to play

     

    [49...Kd8? Followed by 50.Kd6! Kc8 51.e5+– And after 49...Kc6 50.Re7+– …Rh5+ 51.Kxe6 Ra5 52.e5 Rxa4 53.Rxh7]

    chess

    Black to play

     

    This position is losing for Black because his king is cut off after the 7th rank. 53…Re4 54.Rh5 Kc7 55.Ke7 Rg4 56.e6 Rg7+ 57.Kf8 Rg1 58.e7+– And White will build a bridge. 50.Re7 Rh5+ [or 50...Kd8 51.Rf7 Ke8 52.Ra7+–] 51.Kxe6 Ra5 The rest of the game was affected by time pressure.

    chess

    White to play

     

    52.Rxh7? A mistake, which could cost half a point. White doesn´t need the h7-pawn to win.52.e5! Kd8 53.Rg7! Rxa4 54.Rg8+ Kc7 55.Kf6 Rf4+

    chess

    White to play

     

    56.Ke7 h5 57.e6 h4 58.Rh8 Kc6 59.Rh6 Kc7

    chess

    White to play

     

    60.Ke8 Kc8 61.e7 Kc7 62.Rh7 Kc8 63.Rf7+–; 52.Re8+! Kc7 53.e5 Rxa4 54.Ke7+– And White wins again by building a bridge. The h-pawn does not matter in this position. 52…Ra6+ 52…Rxa4!? 53.e5 Re4= Was a theoretical draw. 53.Kf5 Rxa4 53…Kd8 54.e5 Rxa4= Was a theoretical draw again. 54.e5

    chess

    Black to play

     

    54…Ra1?? 54…Kd8! 55.Kf6 Re4= Was once again a theoretical draw. Now White wins. 55.Kf6 Re1 56.e6 1-0

     

    You can watch the complete game with full analysis here.

     

    I was very near to equalizing this game after the opening and could equalize in the middlegame. But I didn´t find the right move. Then I had to play an uncomfortable rook ending. I could have saved it but failed.

     

    Why did my opponent win this game? Because of luck? OK, he was a little lucky, but he also played such that luck had no part to play . He placed problems in front of me constantly and played for a win all the time. In the end, I was very near to a draw, but I hadn´t enough time, I was tired after a long game and I lost.

     

    And the final bit of advice – a draw is not a draw not when you think the position is a draw. A draw it is when the scoresheet is signed!

    P.S. What are your thoughts about this lesson from GM Petr Velicka? Did you like it? :) Feel free to write in the comments below, for we’ll be glad to know your feedback.

     

    Quick Succes in chess

    • ayush

      if you make a 1 hour video lessons on this article then it will be easily understable to us igor .thankyu in advance.

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