Today’s 5-second tactic
”It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions.”
Jim Rohn –
POSITION AFTER BLACK’S 19th MOVE (19…Neg4!)
gm Vachier Lagrave, M
gm David, Alb
From the Italian Team Championship on the 30th of April of this year. An interesting position! After a hyper-modern opening by White, where he attempted to make the Queenside the focus of play, we see the French superstar finally make some threats on the Kingside, where his natural counterplay lay…he intends to follow thru with …Qc5-h5.
White probably saw that after the forcing line 20. bxc6 bxc6 21. Rb1 Qc5 22. Qa4!? Qh5! 23. Nxg4 Nxg4 24. Qxc6 Qh2 25. Kf1 Black has the annoying 25…Nf6 with threats. Even so , he should play this and he would have chances of surviving. INSTEAD, the Luxemburg grandmaster set what he thought was a clever trap for his opponent:
This move is designed against …Qc5, which would now lose a piece when White captures on g4.
Vachier Lagrave falls into White’s trap!
21. Nxg4 Nxg4 22. Bxg7 Qh5 23. Rb1
From his experience in the Dragon, White must have confidently thought that the White King, with the help of the fianchettoed Bishop, could defend itself long enough until reserves come to the rescue…
That looks like the end ot it, as the Queen and Knight can not do much more, but Black had seen further…
Threatening to win immediately with ….Bh3!
If now 25. Bxe5 Bh3 26. e3 Bxg2 27. Ke2 Bf3 and the White King is soon mated. No better is 25. f3 exf3 26. exf3 Bh3! And finally, 25. Ne3 Bh3 26. Ke1 Bxg2 27. Kd1 Kxg7 and now it is Black who is a piece up.
David must have here realized that his trap was infact no trap at all! Not giving up hope, he cleverly sets up a real trap…
If now 25… Bxg4? 26. Bxe5! Rxe5 27. Rb3! and White beats back the attack…
This brilliant move ends all resistance! Black simply threatens mate in one and White has little better than what follows
26. exf3 exf3 27. Bxf3
White is two pieces to the good but is helpless!
The only way to avoid being immediately mated is by returning material: 28.Be5 RxB 29.QxR PxQ 30.Ke2, but after exchanging Bishops and playing ….Qf4 there is no saving White. A brilliant ending, filled with tactical surprises.