SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
The French grandmaster Christian Bauer has a very dynamic style that has a curious twist in that he often implements strategic objectives with sacrificial tactical motives. Many of his games witness sharp fights that, when the smoke clears, see him emerging with slight , but long term, positional advantages.
The game below is an excellent example of Bauer’s mastery of both tactics and strategy. In a theoretically important line of the Keres’ Attack White offers to sacrifice a Bishop just to gain control over the f5-square! After some thought, his opponent decided to accept the gift, but soon found that the extra piece was useless.
Bauer was able to slowly build up the pressure and tie Black down in every sense of the word. An impressive artistic display!
POSITION AFTER 10 MOVES:
Usually White retreats his Bishop along the c1-e3 diagonal, with a slightly better game.
Provocative! Black can not leave the Bishop there as then he can not castle…
11…g6!? (to push back the Knight first) 12.Ne3 g5 13.Bg3 h4
White is master of both d5 and f5. He will soon occupy these squares with Knights.
14.Ncd5 Nc6 15.f3 pxB 16.pxp Be7 17.Nf5 000 18.Kf2!?
It is clear that White has compensation. The strong points d5 and f5 are both occupied by powerful Knights, and the open h-file is another White asset. To make things worse, Black can not easily exchange pieces and has no active plan. IN PRAXIS, Black suffers more than a piece-worth.
Bauer won in fine technical style. A game worth studying…