SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
The European Club Cup is providing lots of excellent, combative chess! Continuing with earlier blog entries, here are some exercises for my readers to test their tactical skills. Enjoy!
POSITION AFTER BLACK’S 33rd MOVE:
White has a clear advantage, but given that the position is so sharp it is necessary to play with precision. Should White now play the obvious 34.Bxe6ch(?) then after 34…Kh8 the advantage would be on Black’s side since the attack on g2 then becomes serious.
GM Anna Muzychuk (born Ukraine 1990)
The most precise move. Now Black does not have time to take on g2 because of the e7 discovered-check theme. Nor would 34…Kh8 do because after 35.Qxf6 Qg3 (what else?) 36.Qd8ch Rg8 37.Qxd4ch Rg7 simply 38.Bf1 defends against all of Black’s threats and Black finds himself dead lost and can resign with a clear conscience. Therefore, Black played the most reasonable alternative, to block the advance of the e-pawn:
A beautiful shot! Black can not take the Rook (36.e7ch!) and retreating Queen to e8 loses atleast the Bishop after 36.e7ch and 38.RxB; and probably 38.Qxf6 is even stronger! BLACK RESIGNED
________________________________________________________________________POSITION AFTER BLACK’S 34th MOVE: MUNGUNTUULJAVAKHISHVILLI
White has the attack but Black seems to have everything under control, atleast for the moment; the natural 35.Bxd4 is met by 35…Qf7 holding. White finds a clever idea that permits the sleeping Bishop on b1 to enter the game with decisive effect:
There is nothing else!36.f6!!
This opens up the b1-h7 diagonal and Black finds himself completely lost and will have to shed material to avoid an immediate mate.
36…Rxf6 37.Rxf6! Ouch…
Black can not recapture with his Queen as it is mate on h7. Black should now just throw in the towel, but was in denial…37…Qg7!? 38.Rxe5!! CRUNCH!
Back rank problems can now be added to Black’s woes. Black played one more move and then resigned…
_______________________________________________________________POSITION AFTER BLACK’S 26th MOVE:
LUKE McSHANEARTHUR KOGAN
White has an obvious positional advantage, but the main asset in White’s camp (his passed d-pawn) is completely contained and the presence of opposite coloured Bishops gives the defence hope in the long run.
GM Arthur Kogan (Russia, 1974)
Kogan’s solution to these technical obstacles is surprisingly efficient:
27.Bxc5!! bxc5 28. Rxc5
White intends to simply advance his passed pawns on the Queenside! Without any concrete counterplay Black can only sit by helplessly…
28… Be6 29. c4 Rfb7 30. Rd4 Kf7 31. Re5 g6 32. c5
Kogan had no problem ending the game. His opponent resigned on the 37th move.
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS