SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
The Higher League of the Russian Chess Championships for Men and Women began today in Taganrog and continues until the 26th . This tournament acts as a qualifier for the full championships later in the year.
The men’s event is very strong at the top with Nikita Vitiugov (2733), Dmitry Jakovenko (2732), Evgeny Tomashevsky (2707), Alexander Morozevich (2694), Vladimir Potkin (2682), Sergei Rublevsky (2682), Mikhail Kobalia (2679), Ernesto Inarkiev (2679 ) etc. The women’s tournament is also star-studded. The following position comes from that event:
POSITION AFTER 16 MOVES
Harmony. In the position above, every school boy knows that White’s position has it and that Black does not! White has every single piece developed and working towards his objective: the Black kingside. Black’s pieces, in stark contrast, are tripping over themselves!
So what to do about it? Clearly a tactical motif must be some bang on g7 and then the White Queen going to h6 (hitting h7). Another idea is the diversion of the Black Queen by a timely Rxe6. How to combine them to push Black over the edge?
In the game White understood these tactical ideas, but mixed up the move order! White even lost after the imprecise 17.Bxg7?! Nxg7 18.Rxe6 (18.Qh6 NxN 19.Rxe6 Nf4!) 18… Nxe6 19.Nxd5 Bd4!
IN THE POSITION ABOVE, WHAT IS THE CORRECT ROUTE TO WIN?
(Solution tomorrow. Please, no computers. No cheating , Mr. Plotking!)
The way to win is 17.Rxe6! (first!) and now Black has the unpleasant choice between capturing the Rook or taking the Bishop on h6. Both get crushed: A) 17…Qxe6 18.Bxg7! Nxg7 (the imaginative 18…Be3 goes off to 19.Bxh7-ch! KxB 20.Qd3-ch f5 21.BxR etc) 19.Qh6 with a quick kill; B) 17…gxh6 18. Rxe8! Rae8 19.Nxd5 followed by Nxf6 (winning in all lines)
Moral of the story: It is often not enough to have the luck or the talent to reach a winning position; nor to know that there must be a win somewhere. In the end, you need to prove your superiority. Not once or twice; but each time.SPRAGGETT ON CHESS