A very instructive finish!
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Chess can be an immensely satisfying activity to those who dig deep into its secrets. Often what is on the surface gives little or no indication to what hides immediately below. The student is paid back many times if he invests the time and effort to seek the truth in chess.
WITNESS the following position which occurred this past weekend at the Austrian Bundesliga…
POSITION AFTER 46 MOVES:
Pinter has squandered a winning advantage and allowed his resourceful opponent more counterplay than he deserved. The active Black Queen and doubled Rooks on the f-file are a headache for White. Pinter must prevent the check on g1:
47. Ra1 Qc5 !
The Black Queen keeps a vigil over g1. Now Pinter must decide what to do about the attack on his f3-pawn. Suicidal would be 48. f4?? ef! 49. Qe8 the point of Whites play 49… Qf2 and mate to follow.
The position is rich in tactical motives. First let me show how Pinter lost quickly with the natural defence of his f3-pawn:
Pinter must have overlooked Black’s next move.
If now 49. Rxf3 then Black wins with 49… Qg1 50. Kh3 Qh1 51. Qh2 Qxf3 52. Qg2 Qg4 53. Kh2 Rf2 etc. Pinter’s move is no better:
49. Qxf3 Rxf3 50. Kxf3 Qe3!
and Pinter resigned.It is forced mate
NOW FOR THE CORRECT DEFENCE!
RETURNING TO THE POSITION AFTER 47 MOVES:
Some positions can not be defended and here White must put his faith in counter attack. White has a truly surprising resource
Combined with his absolute control of the a-file, White is now actually threatening a forced mate (!!) with the shocker 49.Rh8!!
FOR EXAMPLE: 48… Rxf3? 49. Rh8!!
WOW!! 49…Kxh8 ( There is no escape after 49… Kg7 50. Qh6 Kf6 51. Qg5 Kg7 52. Rg8!! Kxg8 53. Qxg6 Kh8 54. Qh6 Kg8 55. Ra8 and once more it will be mate) 50. Qh6 Kg8 51. Ra8 mating
BLACK MUST THEREFORE PLAY MORE CAUTIOUSLY AND PREVENT THE WHITE ROOK SACRIFICE
48… Rf8! 49. Rxf8 Rxf8 50. Qe2!
Precise play. If now 50… Qxd5?! 51. Rd1 Qc5 52. Ne7! all of a sudden White has regained the upper hand thanks to his active Knight
Active play!. White is not out of the woods yet as Black now gets control of the a-file. Taking the Rook now loses quickly: 51. Rxa8? Qg1 52. Kh3 Bf2! Black is threatening mate! 53. Ra7 Kh8 54. Ra8 Kg7! 55. Ra7 Kf6 etc
Play would likely continue: 51. Rd1 Another precise move, preparing his next move. Other tries would allow Black to build dangerous pressure combining his active Queen, Bishop and Rook. 51… Ra3 52. Nd4!!
Black has little choice but to accept this as 52… Qxd5 53. Nc2! Would turn the tables in White’s favour 52… ed 53. Qe7 with a perpetual check. All is well that ends well…
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS