SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
There is lots of chess being played this summer and especially right now. The World Cup begins towards the end of this week in Khanty Mansiysk, and Canadians Bluvshtein and Hansen will participate. In the US the opens in New York and Los Angeles have also attracted some of Canada’s finest. There is a lot of great chess being played and I have really enjoyed playing over some of the games.
Ofcourse, it is not always great chess that stands out: sometimes very unusual positions arise or the games take weird and unexpected twists and turns…such is the case in the 3 examples below. Enjoy!
”Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing- it is always from the noblest motives.”–-Oscar Wilde
POSITION AFTER WHITE’S 48th MOVE (48.Kf5):
This is from the 6th round game between GM Kacheishvilli (Georgia) and 17-year old IM Parker Zhao at the Manhattan Open
just a couple of days ago…
IM Parker Zhao
This should probably be a simple technical win for the White pieces. At some point White will just chuck the b-pawn and infiltrate his Rook onto the 7th rank, allowing his King to penetrate via g6, exposing the Black pawns.
Realizing this–and not wanting to suffer any longer, Black decided to play for one last, desperate trick:
Clearly Black wants to put his Rook on d4 and then hope that White overlooks …Rf4-mate! (geez, isn’t that sleazy!) However, this is easy to prevent with the direct 49.b7 (threatening to make a Queen , which will cover the f4-square preventing the mate mentioned.
Should Black then try 49…Rb6!? then after 50.f4! Black can resign as there is no mate and he is going to end up a Rook down for nothing!
INSTEAD, Kacheisvilli mixed up his move orders and immediately blundered into mate:49.F4 ???
White must have thought that this amounts to the same as in the winning variation mentioned above!
There is no way to prevent the mate on f4 for very long. If now 50.fxg5
changes nothing. White tries one last hope:
50.R3b4!? Ree4! WHITE RESIGNS
Mate is unavoidable. There may be a moral here, but there is certainly no justice here!
POSITION AFTER WHITE’S 13th MOVE (13.Be3):
This is from the game between GMs Ni Hua (China) and Adly (Egypt) at the 26th Summer Universiade
in ShenZhen, China.
GM A. Adly
GM Ni Hua
The position is a bit uncomfortable for Black. It appears as though Black has not played his opening very precisely and now it is not easy to develop his Queenside. In particular, the Catalan Bishop (g2) is a very strong piece here. Black , instead of digging in deeply with moves like …Rd8, thinks he sees a way to exchange some pieces and relieve the pressure:
An unusually weak move from a 2600-plus player
Threatening mate. If now 14…Bxg5 then White would ge the Bishop pair. Probably Black should just retreat his Knight back to f6. Instead, he overlooks a brilliant tactical shot:
14…N7-f6 ??? 15.NxN!
Black suddenly realizes that he can not play 15…QxQ because of the forced mate following 16.NxB-ch Kh8 17.Nxf7-ch !! etc
Beautiful! How often does one see such a mate?
POSITION AFTER WHITE’S 16th MOVE (16.Bd4):
Kaname Sato (Japan)
IM Pruijssers (NLD)
This game is also from the Universiade championship. Black is rated just slightly over 2000 , but is a bit better after 16…Ba4!?; Instead he sees a very clever idea that is–however– not without risk:
16… Rxc2-ch !?!?
SHOCKING! To say the least… No doubt White had forseen this move, but he must have thought that the Black Queen was getting trapped:
Black has no choice but to take it, but how? He has 3 choices! Wrong now would 17. Qxc2?? Rc8 18. Qxc8 Bxc8; or 17. Kxc2?? Bf5 18. Kc1 Rc8 19. Bc2 Qxa2 etc when Black wins. That leaves taking with the Bishop. There followed:
17. Bxc2 Qxa2!?
This is Black’s idea. He threatens …Qa1-ch winning on the spot, and so the White King must make an immediate exit. Wrong now would be 18. Qxb4?? Bh6 19. Rd2 Qa1 20. Bb1 Rc8 21. Bc3 Bf5 22. Kd1 Qxb1 23. Ke2 Qxh1 etc
18. Qe3! Rc8 19. Kd2! Bxd4 20. Qxd4 Rc4!
Now White must play 21. Qe3 when after 21…Qxb2 22. Qb3 Qd4 23. Ke1 Qc5 24. Rd2 Rc3 25. Qb2 b3 the game is still confused and the outcome not at all clear. INSTEAD, White blunders and the game is quickly over:
21… Bf5! winning
22. Ra1 Rxc2-ch! 23. Ke3 Qxa1!
After 24.RxQ BxR the Rook and Pawn ending is completely hopeless.