SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
From the NZL Championship, Wellington last week. Position after 13 moves. Black’s last move (13…Bg6) wins a piece as the Bishop on f4 is dangling should the Knight retreat, and clearly 14.g4? BxN 15.PxB Qxf4 changes nothing.
Things are never so simple, however, when Black has no development to speak of. In such situations sacrifices are as natural as a baby’s smile! For instance, worth consideration is 14.Bxe6!?, as 14…PxB 15.Rxe6+ Kf7 16.RxB! KxR 17.Qd3+ with a strong attack for the Rook.
WHITE PLAYED EVEN STRONGER:
Breaking open the centre to get at His Majesty!
14…BxN (Taking with the Queen is the same thing) 15.Pxe6!!
Chess board magic!
Beautiful! Taking the Queen gets crushed quickly after 16.Pxf7 dbl+ and 17.Raxd1+ ; taking the Bishop on f4 instead is mated in one move: 16.Pxf7++
Finally, the desperate 15…f5 goes down in flames brilliantly after 16.e7!! BxP (taking the Queen also loses quickly) 17.RxB+! etc. OUCH!! What did Black do to deserve this?
So Black has little choice but to try to get out of the centre:
Now 16…Kf8 gets mated in 2 moves starting with the classic 17.Qd8+!!
Good enough, but 17.g3! was and even faster way to win
Black is completely busted. Probably best is now 17…OO, but after 18.Bxe7 Qxc4 19.BxR there can be no doubt of the outcome. See the pgn viewer below for how the game actually ended.