Saturday’s 5-second tactics
“The best way to develop people is to constantly get them out of their comfort zone.”
― Ziad K. Abdelnour
gm Ni Hua:
Capo d’Orso Open Porto Mannu 2014.6.11 Position before Black’s 20th move. White has played somewhat passively and the Chinese star has taken up an active position, his pressure on f2 and b3 just beginning to build. For the moment White seems to have everything under control…
BLACK TO PLAY AND WIN!
Chinese star Ni Hua needs no introduction to my readers. Ni is leading the tournament with 7 points from 8 games (a full point lead over the field) the final game taking place this morning.
The finish of Ni’s game against Mikhail Marin is worthy of close study:
6th Capo d’Orso Open Porto Mannu 2014.6.10 . Position after Black’s 34th move (34…Rc4). The game has been an excellent example of the fight for the initiative since the opening. With Black’s last move, however, it seems as though the battle is swinging in Black’s favour…
If now 35.Bc5 then Black can not just get his passed b-pawn going, but he can also penetrate decisively on White’s first rank: 35…Rc1+ 36.Kh2 Qa6! (Threatening …Qa1) 37.Rxh6!? Qa1 38.Rh8+ (There is nothing better than try for a perpertual check ) 38…Kxh8 39.Qh4+ Kg8 40.Qd8+ Kh7 41.Qh4+ Kg6! 42.Qg3+
And White’s dream of a perpetual has come to a screaching stop. Black wins.
BACK TO THE GAME CONTINUATION:
The Romanian star finds the only reasonable defence!
Precisely calculated, Marin’s defence is based on a subtle detail…
36…Kxh8 37.Qh4+Kg8 38.Qd8+ Kh7 39.Qh4+ Kg8!
Hua plays the best and resigns himself to a perpetual check. Black should not try to escape the perpetual check as in the variation given earlier: 39…Kg6??
40. g4! and Black can not escape mate!
BACK TO THE GAME CONTINUATION:
40.Qd8+ Kh7 41.Qh4+Kg8
Very instructive game!
6th Capo d’Orso Open Porto Mannu 2014.6.9 Position after 26 moves of play. A complicated game! Black’s last move was 26…Rg4, introducing aggressive ideas such as …h4 or even (especially!) …Rxg3+ with perpetual themes. On the other side of the board, Black has sacrificed his pawns! In the centre, Black’s King has not castled…IN short, chaos!
Praxis has shown that in such battles where there is action going on on both sides of the board, victory–if it is indeed possible–goes to the one who is able to hold on one side and win on the other. This game will bear this principle out. But before I proceed to demonstrate how the game continued, I want to point out to the readers that White is fortunate to have a strong defensive trump on the Kingside where he is weaker: Whenever Black plays …Rxg3+, White can simply hide his King with Kf1!, leaving the f-pawn to shelter his majesty. This defensive idea allows White to gain time in his effort to create threats on the other side of the board. That being said, let’s see how the game proceeds:
Threatening a Knight check on either d6 or c7, winning the Rook on b8. Black’s next move is forced, as 27…Rxg3+?! 28.Kf1! only exacerbates Black’s problems. The idea 27…Kf8!? looks reasonable, but after 28.Re1! the Black Queen finds that she has no good moves, and 28…Rxg3+ is once more met by 29.Kf1!, when 29…Qf4 30.Re4! wins immediately.
Often the best move is found by the process of elimination…
White must continue energetically, as otherwise Black’s threats will gain in force. The move removes Black’s best defender and renews the threat of a Knight check (this time on c7). Note that if Black now throws in 28…Rxg3+ 29.Kf1! is once more effective.
The Black King must advance, as otherwise White will take the Rook with check! It makes no real difference if the Black King goes to e7 or d7…
The alternative 30.Na6+ is also good enough to win. Should Black now retreat his King to d8 then 31.Rd1! is immediately decisive
30…Ke6 31.Nc7 Kf5 32.QxR Rxg3+
There is nothing better. Black grabs his best chance. If White captures the Rook then there is a perpetual check: 33.fxg3 Qxg3+ 34.Kf1 Qd3+ 35.Ke1 Qe3+ 36.Kd1 Qd3+ 37.Kc1 Qc4+ 38.Kb1 Qe4+ 39.Ka2 Qxa4+ etc.
A recurring theme (Kf1!) in this game! Now White wins quickly. The Black King is even worse positioned than his counterpart…the final moves were
33…Qf4 34.Qb5 Kg6 35.Nd5 Qf3 36.Ne7 Kf6 37.Qc6 [1:0]
Capo d’Orso Open Porto Mannu 2014.6.11 Shkapenko,P–Ni Hua: 20…axb3 21.axb3 ( 21.Nxb3 Rxa2! 22.Rxa2 Bxb3 23.Qb1 Bc4! 24.Rd2 Nxf2! 25.Rxf2 Bc5 ) 21…Rxa1+ 22.Bxa1 Nxf2!! 23.Rxf2 Bc5 With a winning game. The point is that if 24.Nf1 Bxf2+ 25.Qxf2 Qxf2+ 26.Kxf2 Ra8! Wins the Bishop!