SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
The (always) very strong French Championship is taking place right now and below are some bits and fragments from some of the games. France today is a super-power in chess and its national championships always generate much interest.
POSITION AFTER 19 MOVES:
A typical QGA opening had resulted in a sharp and unbalanced middlegame where Black was ok, but could not afford to fall asleep at the wheel, even for one moment! But this is exactly what happened, and now Black finds himself facing a very coordinated and motivated force…in particular, f7 is a focus of White’s efforts.
WHITE TO PLAY AND WIN!
(Degree of difficulty: not very high)
I very much like this game! Especially the great energy that White displayed at certain points in the game. The surprising nature of Vachier’s play at each turn reminds me of the great late Bobby Fischer’s play against Miguel Najdorf at Varna 1962…
POSITION AFTER 7 MOVES:
POSITION AFTER 13 MOVES:
Exploding the centre…
POSITION AFTER 18 MOVES:
Heading straight for the jugular…
POSITION AFTER WHITE’S 55th MOVE (55.Qb5)
This game certainly should win a prize for being one of the most combative–and confusing–games of the championship! It appears that both sides are trying to win at the same time…
HERE Black has a double-discovered check at this disposal that appears to be quite strong, but which Maze rejected and preferred to play an ending after 55…Ne5-ch!?, where he is just worse, though unclearly so.
The main line is 55…Nh4-dbl check! 56.Kf1 Qh1-ch 57.Ke2 Qf3-ch 58.Kd2! Qxf2-ch when Black can take some pawns with check, all the while having a perpetual check in reserve. To be fair, the game should end in a draw, but Black risks nothing! As it was, in the game continuation Black lost.
When was the last time a grandmaster turned down a double -discovered check?
THE UNSTOPPABLE ATTACK!
Some times it is just too dangerous to play the Sicilian defence! Your opponent starts to play for the initiative and you have no choice but to counter-attack and fight with great energy and precision. At every turn numerous false paths present themselves and you really can not relax for even a moment.
In this game Black’s Queenside initiative seems to evaporate and White does not give Black a second chance as his Kingside pawns just roll down the board…
POSITION AFTER 23 MOVES:
Here White broke thru by throwing everything forward:
24.f6! Bf8 25.g6!