In the previous lesson, we discussed “Hanging Pawn Structures” (HPS) in a famous game between Kasparov and Portisch. Let’s continue our study of that game.
We stopped after 16.exd4 16…Na5. So it is White’s turn now. How would you play here as White?
White to play
17.d5! A thematic move! White opens the centre and activates both his bishops.
17…exd5 – if Black chooses to take with 17…Nc4 18.Qe4 g6 20.Bxc4 Qxc4 21.Qe5 f6 22.Qxe6+ Rf7 22.Rc1 Qa6 22.Nd4 and White has the upper hand.
18.cxd5 Bxd5 – White has eliminated the HPS and has opened his bishops for a kingside attack.
White to play
How can White start an immediate attack in the above position?
White goes for a tactical blow 19.Bxh7+ Kxh7 20.Rxd5; White is threatening to play Qe4+ followed by Rh5.
20…Kg8 A natural strategic retreat by Portisch, but anyway who can stop the Force! 21.Bxg7!! A bolt out of the blue!
21…Kxg7 22.Ne5 centralizing the knight in an open position; pieces are best placed in central squares, opening up the diagonal for the queen. Preparing to move rook to d7 and also to play Nd7, preventing the queen from supporting the bishop with lot of threats.
White to play[22…f5 23.Rd3 Qc5 24.Nd7; 22…Rh8 23.Qg4+ Kf8 24.Qf5 f6 25.Re1 Nc6 (25…Qc1 26.Rdd1+–) 26.Nd7+ Kf7 27.Rxe7++–; 22…Qc2 23.Qg4+ Kh7 24.Rd3 Rc3 25.Qf5+ Kg8 26.Rg3++–]
23.Qg4+ Kf8 24.Qf5 threatening a simple mate on f7.
24…f6 forced. [24…Bxa3 not possible after Nd7 check – either Ke8 or Kg8 will result in forced mate in several moves. 25.Nd7+ Kg8 26.Qg4+]
White to play
How should White continue his attack now?
Kasparov played 25.Nd7+ [25.Ng6+ Ke8? (25…Kg7 26.Nf4 Rxd5 27.Nxd5 (27.Qg6+ Kh8 28.Ne6 Rg5) 27…Qc5 28.Nxe7) 26.Qh5 Rxd5 27.Ne5++–]
25…Rxd7 26.Rxd7 Qc5 27.Qh7 Rc7 28.Qh8+! And not 28.Rd3? Qxf2+!! 29.Kxf2 (29.Rxf2 Rc1+) 29…Bc5+ 30.Kg3 Rxh7=
28…Kf7 29.Rd3 A brilliant waiting move; only A FORCE can play like this. Now White threatens to play Qh7+ – forcing Black to play Ke6!
29…Nc4 30.Rfd1! Bringing the least active piece into the game. 30…Ne5?
White to play and win
Now it’s time to solve the riddle on your own and finish like the FORCE did
Kasparov first created a HPS and prepared a d5 thrust followed by opening the position and converting it into one of the favourable centres discussed in my course “Your Winning Plan“. Having greater piece position advantage destroyed the opponent’s king position
Also, you can see the whole game here and download the PGN: LINK
Moreover, if you want to learn such skills and use them in your games, then you definitely will have to study the course “Your Winning Plan”.
Additionally, I’ve discussed the point about the ‘least active’ piece (mentioned above at move 30) in my other course “GM’s Positional Understanding”.
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