SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
As Tarrasch pointed out on more than one occasion, to be a good player is not enough: you must also play well! This is especially true when one has a winning position and all that is required is accuracy. Ofcourse, I am being sarcastic: accuracy is not a human trait and in chess the player with the winning position often loses his advantage PRECISELY because accurate play is easier said than done!
For this reason, it is always exemplary when a player is able to remain calm and keep his feet on the ground despite the rush of excitement about him and on the board. Witness the following execution of White’s attack (Reyjkavik 2012). Everything was calculated to a ‘t’ and never once did White let his opponent off the hook.
POSITION AFTER 24 MOVES:
Black has failed to play the opening with the necessary care required in modern times and now finds his King position about to be over run by the enemy pieces…
25. Bf6 !
Baklan is up to the situation and immediately goes about creating threats, leaving Black with little option but to go along with White’s tactics and open the King position to direct attack.
Note that Black has no choice but to accept the gift since 25… Nf5 26. g4 Bxf6 27. ef g6 28. Qg5 Rg8
29. Qd2! Nxh4 30. Qg5 Nf5 31. Rh3 and Black will soon be mated along the h-file
25… gf 26. ef
The immediate threat is Ng5, so Black has little choice
26… Rg8 27. fe Rxe7
Now quickly come the Knight and Rook into play to finish off the game in style…
28. Nf6! Rg7
29. Re5! Qc7 30. Rg5! Qd8 31. Rxg7 Kxg7 32. Qxh7!
It is forced mate!