Friday, April 10, 2015

Appearance and Reality

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In the following game, Black leaps upon what he considers an error by White, only to find that he has attacked thin air, while, on the other side of the board, he allows a deadly attack!

Wall,B - Guest1468045, 02.04.2015

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ng6 7.Qxc5 d6 8.Qc3

A similar position including the "nudge", after 7.Qd5+ Kf8 8.Qxc5+ d6 9.Qc3 was seen in Wall,B - Boris,, 2012 (1-0, 32),  Wall,B -Guest4149739,, 2013 (1-0, 30) and Wall,B - Guest428245,, 2014 (1-0, 20). 

The alternative, 8.Qd5+, looking for mischief, was seen in Wall,B-Guest4395, Microsoft Internet Gaming Zone, 2001 (1-0, 18);  Wall,B - Seven11,, 2008 (1-0, 51); Wall,B - Chung,J,, 2010 (1-0, 25);  Wall, Bill - CheckMe,, 2010 (1-0, 23); and Wall, Bill - Guest249301,, 2013 (1-0, 30).

8...Nf6 9.d3 Re8 

10.0-0 h6 11.f4 Kg8 12.Nd2 c6 

Houdini rates Black about a half point better here; while Stockfish sees Black as maybe nine-tenths of a pawn better. That's plenty for White to work with.


Bill and I have exchanged emails about this move. I like it - a lot. It reminds me both of the comment attributed to Bobby Fischer - "I don't believe in psychology, I believe in strong moves" - and one by Nimzovich - that a particular move was strong, because it appeared weak...

Notice how Black jumps all over the move. Notice how Black loses.

13...Qb6+ 14.Kh1 Ng4 15.Bb2 Re7 

As Bill points out, Black pauses for some defense: not 15...Nf2+? 16.Rxf2 Qxf2?? 17.Qxg7#


Likewise, avoiding 16.Qc4+? Be6 17.Qd4 Ne3.


Here we go again: attacking the White b-pawn.


Which White abandons!


Black has the pawn in the bag, and forks two of White's pieces. What's not to like?


Bill was aware of 18.f5? Qxb2 19.Qxg4 Qxd4 20.Qxg6 Qxd2.

18...Qb5 19.f5 

We will come back to this position.


This looks like the beginning of panic. Black's Knights are at risk.

20.Rxf5 N4e5 21.dxe5 Nxe5 22.Raf1 Rae8


23.Bxe5 dxe5 24.Qg6 Qe2 25.Rf7 Rxf7 26.Rxf7 Qe1+ 27.Nf1 Re7 28.Qxg7 checkmate

Going back to the diagram after White's 19th move let's ask: What would have happened if Black had admitted that his "advantage" had evaporated, that his "right to attack" had therefore disappeared, and he had retreated with 19...Nf6?

As I had emailed Bill

Funny how 19...Nf6, admitting Black's mistake, would have mostly set things to rights.. : 20.Qxg6 Qxb4 21.e5 Nd5 22.Nb3 a4 23.f5! Bxf5 24.Rxf5 axb3 25.c3! Nxc3 26.exd6 Re2 27.d7! Nd5 28.Raf1 Re1! 29.axb3 Ne3 30.Bc3! Qxc3 31.Rf7 Rxf1+ 32.Rxf1 Nxf1 (what else?) 33.Qe8+ Rxe8 34.dxe8/Q+ Kh7 35.Qe4+ and it was a draw, after all... But even in this line White has almost all of the fun! 

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