SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
GM Katerina Lahno, playing in the ‘B’-tournament, won a nice attacking game against Sipke ErnstPOSITION AFTER 25 MOVES:
gm SIPKE ERNST
With Black’s …Nf7 coming soon, the indicated continuation is the rational retreat 26.Be3 (26.Bd2!?) , though after 26…Nf7 chances appear to be balanced. While Black’s Queenside play is easier to execute than White’s Kingside initative, White’s play is more dangerous, given the residence of the Black majesty. If I had to choose which side I had to play, I would take the White pieces, though with some reservations.
Lahno has other ideas and prefers to push forward immediately. From the practical point of view, there is much to say in favour of this approach (”Fortune favours the brave.” comes to mind), but there are consequences.
26. g5!? fg
Now 27.Bxg5 allows Black to push back the White Queen from her active post with 27…Rf8, considerably easing Black’s defence. However, there is an argument in favour of the flashy 27. Nf5!? gf 28. ef when White does not really appear to be worse, for example 28… Nxf5 29. Bxf5 Bxf5 30. Qxf5. While this would appear to offer some justification to Lahno’s previous decision, it does not call into question the soundness of Black’s Kingside defences.
Lahno disregards this possibility and played instead
The White Bishop on h6 is blocked from retreat. Furthermore, White does not really threaten anything at the present; Black should probably just maintain his position with the flexible 27…Qb7, for instance. It is not clear what Lahno had in mind here…INSTEAD, Black plays walks into a storm and immediately finds himself under a strong attack:
This natural move works well had White recaptured on g5 with the Bishop, but here is quite weak, as Lahno’s play soon proves. No doubt Black did not perceive the difference…
A spectacular move. The Knight can be taken 4-ways , but none of them are satisfactory! In the meantime, White simply threatens to take off the Knight on g7, so Black must do something or perish…
28… gf 29. ef !
The threat is simply 30.f6
29… Bxf5 there appears to be nothing better : 30… Nxf5 31. Bxf8 Nh4 32. Qh3 Ng6 33. Bxe7 Qxe7 34. Qc8 30. Bxf5
Black defends as well as he can, but he can not prevent the attack from gaining momentum
31. Bxg7! Kxg7 32. Qh5!
Threatening mate in one move!
32… Rh8 33. Be6 !
Lahno is merciless!
Black soon threw in the towel (33… Bd8 34. g6 Ng5 35. gh [1:0])
Photo of Elisabeth Paehtz (Fred Lucas
). The ‘Paris Hilton’
of European chess?
POSITION AFTER WHITE’S 36th MOVE (36.Be6??):
I suppose that White simply overlooked Black’s next move. In any case, it leads to a pretty finish
36…Rxf3! 37.RxR Rg1 38.Ka1 Rc1! the point
If the Queen moves away then …Qxa4 is mate! White must now part with her Queen , but the game is quite hopeless. Black won a handful of moves later.
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS