SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Below are 2 positions from the recently completed Italian Team Championship. Each contains a relatively simple, but elegant, finishing tactic. See if you can solve each in 5-seconds or less. Good luck! Solutions below.
POSITION AFTER WHITE’S 38th MOVE (38.Qf7)
gm GEORGIEV, KI
Clearly Black is on top with his advanced b-pawn, but White is trying to make it difficult for his opponent, threatening mate in one move. Wrong now would be 38…Rg8? as after 39.Rb7 and 40.Qb3 the b-pawn ceases to be a threat and will likely be captured.
What did Georgiev play that forced his resourceful opponent to resign in just 3 moves?
POSITION AFTER 31 MOVES
Ofcourse Black is lost, but he refuses to resign! What did White play that forced his opponent to resign on the move?
NICE ATTACKING FINISH!
POSITION AFTER 25 MOVES:
White has the more dynamic position here, his pieces are more coordinated and he controls more space (pawn on e5). But the more critical factor here is the relative position of the two Kings: Black’s monarch lacks a stable home! Should he castle Kingside then White will shift his Rook to the h-file and probably mate him. The Queenside is even less inviting.
But how long can you safely keep your King in the centre against a world class player? Not very long! Caruana struck with the strong 25.Bxg6! trying to flush the King out into the open.
The rest of the game is an excellent example of the difficulties the defence encounters when his pieces lack the coordination necessary to fight off the enslaught. The extra piece was useless! A game similar to many of Tal’s positional sacrifices in the 1960’s. Definitely worth studying several times, and closely!
SOLUTIONS TO TWO PROBLEMS ABOVE
EXAMPLE 1: Georgiev played 38…Qc1-ch! 39.Kg2 Qc6-ch! 40.Kh3 and now the very brutal 40…QxR-ch! White resigned since 41.QxQ b2 will soon leave Black a Rook up!
EXAMPLE 2: White played 32.Rh7-ch!! mating in 2 moves