How to make use of important chess squares?


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Some time ago, our guest coach IM Boroljub Zlatanovic prepared a lesson for you on the topic “Weak Squares”. If you missed it, you can watch the video lesson now here.

IM Boroljub ZlatanovicToday, Boroljub has prepared another lesson for you on a similar topic – the right squares for your pieces.

 

Boroljub will explain to you clearly how to occupy the key squares with your pieces and grab a tiny advantage, and then convert it to a win. Let’s go to the lesson now. 🙂

 

Zlatanovic, Boroljub (2371) – Brankovic, Dejan (2351)

Otvoreno prvenstvo Paracina 2016 Paracin

24.01.2016

1.c4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.a3!? With the idea of expanding on the queenside.

chess puzzle

Black to play

 

5…d6 6.Rb1 a5?! b4 is stopped but b5 is weak now 7.d3 Bd7 8.Nf3 Nf6 9.0-0 0-0 10.Bg5 – with the idea of provoking h6. It will be clear soon.

chess puzzle

Black to play

 

10…h6 11.Bd2 Ne8 12.Ne1 Rb8 13.Nc2 Nc7

chess puzzle

White to play

 

14.Nb5! [14.b4 axb4 15.axb4 cxb4 16.Nxb4 Nxb4 17.Rxb4 b5

chess puzzle

White to play

 

18.cxb5 Nxb5 19.Nxb5 Rxb5 20.Rxb5 Bxb5 21.Qb3 is better for White, but that position could not satisfy him].

 

14…Nxb5 15.cxb5

chess puzzle

Black to play

 

Ne5 [15…Na7 is too passive 16.a4± 15…Nd4 16.Nxd4, with idea of provoking h6. Black must take with the pawn. 16…cxd4 (16…Bxd4? 17.Bxh6) 17.a4± White’s initiative on the queenside must be faster than Black’s play on the kingside or centre].

 

16.f4 Ng4 17.h3 Nf6 18.a4

chess puzzle

Black to play

 

Suddenly, Black is lacking harmony in pieces and space; he cannot provide the typical advance of the e-pawn and the f-pawn, and must play very precisely.

 

18…d5! 19.e4 Of course, that is connected with taking a risk, but what else is one to do? Black intends to play d4, stopping the pawn on e2, and later use d5 with the knight 19…b6?

chess puzzle

White to play

 

19…c4! would lead to an unclear position after 20.exd5 cxd3 21.Ne3, but Black probably decided to play passively because of the tournament standings. This game was played in the last round, and at least a draw would bring him 2nd place. However, White had to win to achieve the same finish. 20.Ne3 d4? 21.Nc4 

chess puzzle

Black to play

 

After that move, the game is almost over. Black is without any real counter-play and can only wait for White’s growing initiative on the kingside. 21…Ne8 22.f5 – continuing expanding.

chess puzzle

Black to play

22…e5?!

 

23.h4! Not only preventing g5, but also getting ready for Bh3, with the idea of preparing a strategically logical exchange of light-squared bishops. 23…Bc8 24.Bh3 Nd6 25.Qb3!

chess puzzle

Black to play

 

c4 is the most influential square on the board and it is extremely important to have continuous connection with it. Soon White’s queen will dominate on c4; later on, maybe a bishop and even the king in the endgame can use the route b3-c4-d5. 25…Nxc4 26.Qxc4 g5 27.hxg5 hxg5 28.Bg4!

chess puzzle

Black to play

 

Interesting position! White has not only a better dark-squared bishop, but also a better light-squared equivalent! Soon it will dominate on the a2-g8 diagonal, paralysing Bc8 and intending exchanging it at any time. 28…Bf6 29.Kg2 Kg7 30.Rh1 Qe7 31.Rh5 Bb7 32.Rbh1 Rh8

chess puzzle

White to play

 

33.Bd1!! A brilliant idea! Queen on c4 uses only a diagonal, so the queen and bishop must change places! 33…Rxh5 34.Rxh5 Rh8 35.Rxh8 Kxh8 36.Bb3 Kg7 37.Qc1 Qd8 38.Qh1 Qe7 [38…Qg8 was a better defence, but Black’s position still looks hopeless.]

chess puzzle

White to play

 

39.Qh5+- Bc8 40.Bd5 Bd7 41.Kf3 Be8 42.Kg4 Bd7 43.Bxg5! The most direct winning idea.

chess puzzle

Black to play

 

43…Bxg5 44.Qxg5+ Qxg5+ 45.Kxg5 f6+ 46.Kh4 Be8 47.g4 Kh6 48.Be6‡ Kg7 49.g5 Bf7 50.Bxf7 Kxf7 51.b3 1-0

 

You can download the PGN file of this game here.

 

Suggested: You may like to learn about “The advantage of space in chess“. 

 

P.S. Did you enjoy this lesson? Feel free to write in the comments below and discuss it; I’d really appreciate that. 🙂
Comments
Comments: 8

Comments 8

  1. “10.Bg5 – with the idea of provoking h6. It will be clear soon.” – I didn’t quite see why we needed to provoke h6…

    1. HI James,
      In my opinion, provoking h6 weakens g6. And in the game, you can see White played f4 f5 attacking g6 which aided his kingside attack. Also sometimes, Qc1 or Qc2 gains a tempo on the h6 pawn.

      Prasaadh | Student Support Officer

  2. “10.Bg5 – with the idea of provoking h6. It will be clear soon.” – I didn’t quite see why we needed to provoke h6…

  3. Dear Igor,
    Thank you for everything, hope to receive an email from you in the future as I would be glad to meet you in America. In the mean time, I have been studying the course “The Gm’s secrets” slowly, but surely, I already see unexpected progress, so thank you on that. My new question to you is this. In endgames, I see to have trouble where I probably should not. More than once, I would get to a superior position, would neutralize my opponent’s pressure, tan enter a superior endgame. Normally (especially the tricky opponents) do things which are described as objectively wrong as “the worse guy should not insistently push their pawns, this helps the opponent”(I paraphrased:)), however this is exactly what they do. They push their pawns, play aggressively, and usually I draw or lose these types of winning positions for this reason. Recently I tried the strategy of playing against their pawns, but that usually ends up leading to passive, bad positions. What is the correct way to play against an opponent like this in general (though every position is different, I just mean overall)? Thank you for your time, reading this, and hopefully be able to help me.
    Michael Witt
    P.S. Look forward to meeting you one day
    P.S.S. Have you heard of a place in America called Ohio? It is nice and I think you would like it here. I referred to it in my E-Mail.

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