Chess Moves

One person's short journey into the world of Australian chess

Monday, January 02, 2006

New Year Blues And Clearing Diagonals

This looks like it's going to be the start of the same old year for me....

First of all, I lost 2 games with my BIL (brother-in-law) when we played over on New Year. However in one of the games, I'm surprised that I'm starting to think deeper (at least 2 moves ahead now).

Here's the position setup of one of my games. My position was rather precarious and the white Knight on b7 is a real thorn. My only choice perhaps was to draw from that position. So after this position, I played

1. ...Nf3+.
(If my BIL had taken that Knight, it would've been perpetual check with:
2. gxf3 Qxf3 3. Nc5 Qg4+ 4. Kh1 Qf3+ .....)
So he played 2. Kh1....

The rest of the game didn't pan out too well for me as I made an error allowing White to win the endgame.

I noticed that I'm very impatient and I would definitely need to learn to think things through at a slower pace (see what happens when you play too much blitz?). Oh well, hopefully, I will improve during this year.

Onto Australian chess news, while picking through the Australian Chess Championship games, I saw one game that is educational. IM Alex Wohl v James Obst.

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. b3 b6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 a6 6. Bd3 Qc7 7. O-O Nf6 8. c4 d6 9. Nc3 Be7 10. Bb2 Nbd7 11. Rc1 Bb7 12. Qe2 O-O 13. f4 Rfe8 14. Nf3 Rac8 15. Bb1 Qb8 16. Rce1 g6 17. Ng5 Nh5 18. Qg4 Ng7 19. f5 Ne5 20. Qh4 Nh5 21. fxg6 fxg6 22. g4 h6 23. gxh5 hxg5 24. Qg3 gxh5 25. Qh3 g4 26. Qxh5 Rf8 (see left diagram) 27. Nd5 exd5 28. exd5 Rf6 29. Rxf6 Bxf6 30. Bxe5 dxe5 31. Qg6+ Bg7 32. Rf1 1-0 resigns as it cannot stop Qh7 mate on the next move (Note that Black cannot play 28... Nf3+ 29. Rxf3 gxf3 30. Qh7# nor 28. ... Nf3+ 29. Rxf3 Rxf3 30. Qxg4+ with Qxf3 to follow and Black would have lost a pawn and a minor piece for nothing and his position has worsened).

It showed me the importance of knowing how to sacrifice to open lanes. Both White and Black Kings are exposed but Black is in more peril as:

a) the two White bishops on b1 and b2 are poised for attack (but only if the diagonals are cleared)
b) the e6 pawn and e7 Bishop is undefended (this would prove costly on move 31)
c) Blacks' Queen and c8 Rook are inactive and away from the King

Wohl chose to sacrifice his Knight via Nd5. The resulting exchange favoured White as it allowed White to open the lane for his b2 bishop to remove the Black Knight guard on e5 that's protecting the square g6 and the pawn g4.

Very nice technique!


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