SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Lviv, Ukraine, last month. Position after White’s 35th move. Things have gone from bad to worse for the White player as the clock is ticking away. White has a few tricks left, but unfortunately for him it is Vovk’s move. He strikes deeply:
35…RxB! 36.PxR Ne2!
The whole point! If now 37.Kc2 Be4-mate!!
White played the desperate 37.Kb1 but after 37…c2! he resigned as it is either mate or being down boxes of material.
Lviv,Ukraine. Black’s last move (18…Bd7?) overlooked a tactic. White pounced immediately:
19. Bxd6!! Bxd6 forced, as 19… Nxd6 allows 20. Bxg6! hxg6 21. Qxg6 Kh8 22. Qh6 Kg8
and Black is either losing his Queen or getting mated!
THE GAME CONTINUED:
20. Bxf5 gxf5 [ not 20… Bxf5? 21. Rxe8 Qxe8 22. Nxf6 etc] 21. Nh6 [21. Rxe8 Bxe8 22. Qxf5 is also crushing] 21… Kf8 22. Nxf5 Bc7 23. N3h4 Qc8?! hastens the end
24. Nd6! 1-0
After 24…BxN 25.Qxh7 followed by Ng6 is murder!
Lviv, Ukraine. Position after 28 moves. White is much better, ofcourse, with the Black King exposed, but Black’s defensive resources should not be underestimated! The strong passed e-pawn can turn the table in Black’s favour at any moment, and the direct 29.Qh6 allows 29…Qg6!, frustrating White’s attack.
WHAT IS WHITE’S MOST EXACT ROUTE TO VICTORY?
The 2012 Belgrade Trophy! Position after White’s 35th move. Ofcourse, Black has an obvious advantage with White’s King wide in the open. BUT he must exercise caution, as the direct 35…Rg1?! allows White to continue fighting with Rb8-ch and Qe5-ch, forcing an ending that is not so simple.
WHAT IS BLACK’S CRUSHING MOVE?