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January 22, 2016
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How to approach a position from a different angle?

  • Grand Master Igor Smirnov, Chess Coach, Author and Publisher.
  • A few days ago, we published the first part of the article “Interpretation of chess moves” prepared by Srikanth, a friend of the RCA Academy Manager, in which we saw the “reason” behind the blunders made by Bobby Fischer and Vishy Anand. If you missed it, you can read it here.

     

    Now you can continue reading the article with the second part.

     

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    In this part, we shall observe a couple of games on how a similar position is approached from different angles.
    perceptionThe human mind is good at creating trouble … more for oneself than for others. Hence, Einstein said, “We cannot try to solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that we had when we created it!!”

     

    Therefore, any serious learner of this game needs to study… rather seek… what were the preconditions for getting into trouble! Though this is a difficult topic, one cannot hope to become a master and sustain mastery without doing it!

     

    Vassily Ivanchuk – Yuriy Kryvoruchko

    World Rapid, 2015

    Chess Puzzle

    Black to play

     

    White has just sacrificed a pawn on c5 to gain some activity… a typical theme in such a type of position.

     

    19…Be7?!

     

    First of all, this is a very human response: defending the bishop in a direct way. The basis of putting it on e7 (and not on d6??) is to cover the path for White’s rook to e8 and exploit the undefended bishop on b2, after White’s queen finally captures on c6. If the bishop were not on e7, then White’s rook would land on e8 with the support of his queen on c6… and Black would lose an exchange.

     

    But he could have played right away the move he made one move later!

     

    20.Qa4 Nd8!
    Chess Puzzle

    White to play

    Though this move is still good, the move that was played earlier, shutting in the queen, has compromised the position a bit – yet Black hangs on in!

     

    21.Ne5! Bc8 22.Bd5
    Chess Puzzle

    Black to play

    22…Kh8? And this is why we are human beings!

     

    A machine would automatically play 22…Ne6 or 22…Be6; and though Black’s position would still look clumsy, it would not be without hope!

     

    23.Bf7 Bf5 24.Qe8 Qe8 25.Be8
    Chess Puzzle

    Black to play

    25…Rb2 26.Ng6 Bg6 27.Bg6 1-0

     

    In the next game, we travel back almost 80 years!

     

    Salo Flohr – Landau Salo

    Kemeri, 1937

    Chess Puzzle

    Black to play

    A similar setup to what we saw in the previous game and the typical pawn sacrifice on c5. The difference is that the Black rooks have different placements and, instead of the queen, it is the rook that has become tucked in on f8. This is a placement that is good only if Black wishes to expand his f-pawn at some point, which, of course, cannot even occur as a ‘bad plan’ here!

     

    15…bc5 16.de5 Ne5 17.Ne5 Be5 18.Be5 Qe5 19.Rfc1! Qg5
    Chess Puzzle

    White to play

     

    A pseudo activity and pseudo threat. But, paradoxically, in such simple positions the point is that the defending side finds it more difficult to conceive a decent move… forget a plan of action.

     

    20.Qc5 Re5 21.Qa7!

     

    At times, grabbing a corner pawn with the queen is also prudent – but this is only an exception to the rule! In this position, all the Black pieces that now appear to have assumed active positions will be forced to retreat.

     

    21…Bh3 22.Bf1!
    Chess Puzzle

    Black to play

    Economical and very effective defence against Black’s only threat! Salo Flohr and Tigran Petrosian are great at such economy of moves!

     

    22…Qg6 23.Rc5!

     

    White methodically pushes back Black’s pseudo active pieces! 23…Rc5 24.Qc5 Rc8?!

     

    It is very difficult to suggest a decent move for Black, but surely this is not the one. The very ‘active’ play by Black, putting his bishop in the mouth of the g-pawn, prevents him from dissolving the position further and securing his pawn! If the bishop were not on h3, Black would have had a successful defence with Qd6!

     

    25.a4 h5 26.a5 h4
    Chess Puzzle

    White to play

     

    The pawn push by Black on this side is irrelevant.

     

    27.Qd5 Bf5 28.a6 Be4 29.Qd7 Bf5 30.Qe7 h3
    Chess Puzzle

    White to play

    31.a7 Be4 32.Qd7 Ra8 33.Qh3 c5 34.Qd7! Qc6
    Chess Puzzle

    White to play

    35.Qc6 Bc6 36.Ra5! Be4 37.f3 Bb7 38.Rc5! Ra7
    Chess Puzzle

    White to play

    39.Rc7 f6 40.Kh2! Kh8 41.bb5 1-0

     

    A very good example for comparing the ideas of two different players. Though all games fall under this category, some are more pronounced in the way one side succeeds through simple moves and the other fails miserably!

     

    Both these games are also a good example of the utilization of space – a nebulous concept like the very science of space itself!

     

    You can check all complete games here.

     

    P.S. What are your impressions of this series of articles “Interpretation of chess moves”? Share your thoughts in the comments below. I’d really appreciate that. :)

     

    Quick Succes in chess

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