Friday’s 5-second tactics
From the 74th ch-ARM 1st League just the other day. Position after 25 moves. It may be tempting to proceed with 26.Rxc5 but after 26…axb6! 27.Qxb6 Rxc5 28.Qxc5 Qd2 29.Rc1 ( 29.Rf1 Qd7 ) Bb7 and Black is not worse despite the pawn minus.
In such positions a far advanced passed pawn can often be endowed with almost magical powers, and it is left to the reader to discover if this is indeed the case in the position above.
WHITE TO PLAY!
CAN HE OR CAN HE NOT?
From the 24th Porto San Giorgio Open just the other day. White had just played 15.Nh4, with the idea of playing Nf5 on the following move. A typical manoeuvre in this kind of position, with many similarities to Spanish-type play.
OFCOURSE, before embarquing on such a move, White must accurately calculate the consequences of the move 15…Nxe4. Here White convinced himself that he can as after 16.Nxe4 Bxh4 (what else?) he has 17.Nxd6, forking the two Rooks.
WHAT DID WHITE OVERLOOK?
Also from the 24th Porto San Giorgio Open. Position after 18 moves of play, all of it rather quiet manoeuvring from a Reti-ish opening. Things are about to get very violent…
The Knight must be taken as 19…Qd8 goes off to 20.Nxe7+ Qxe7 ( 20…Nxe7 21.Nf6+ gxf6 22.Bxb7! Rc7 23.Bxf6! etc ) 21.Rxd7!! Qxd7 22.Nf6+ etc
19…exd5 20.cxd5 Rcd8
( relatively best is 20…Nce5 21.d6 Bxd6 22.Nxd6 Bxg2 23.Kxg2 Rcd8 though White has a strong initiative after 24.f4 )
21.d6! Bxd6 22.Nxd6! Nd4?!
( Relatively best is 22…Ndb8 23.Nxb7 Qxb7, when White would continue strongly with 24.Qg4 )
Tired of having to defend, Black tries to change the course of events by equally violent means…however, it backfires. Note that 23.exd4? Bxg2 let’s Black off the hook
23.Rxd4!! Bxg2 ( 23…cxd4 24.Nxb7 ) 24.Rg4!
White’s attack is unstoppable.
THE GAME CONTINUED:
24… g6 ( 24…f6 25.Qc4+ Kh7 26.Qd3+ Kh8 27.Kxg2 ) 25.Qd3 Nf6 ( 25…Kh7 26.h5 Rg8 27.Nxf7 Bxf1 28.hxg6+ )26.Bxf6 Qxd6 27.Rxg6+ 1-0
74th ch-ARM 1st League. Kotanjian, Tigran–Babujian, Levon: 26.b7! Bxb7 ( There is nothing better; 26…Re8 27.Qxa7 is curtains ) 27.Qc7! Rd2 ( 27…Ba6?! 28.Qc6 ) 28.Qxb7! Qxf2+ 29.Kh2 and while the game is still not over, there is no doubt that White should win.