Today's 5-second tactics
Tsolakidou, Sta’a – wim Benmesbah, Nat’a
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 d6 6.c4 Be7 7.Bd3 Be6 8.O-O Rc8 9.N5c3 Bg5 10.Nd5 Bxc1 11.Qxc1 Nge7 12.Nbc3 Bxd5 13.exd5 Nb4 14.Be2 a5 15.f4 Ng6 16.a3 Na6 17.fxe5 Nxe5 18.Qf4 O-O 19.Kh1 Qb6 20.Rab1 Qb3 21.Ne4 Nxc4
Black , in her search for counterplay on the Queenside, left the Black King with little protection. White is quick to seize upon this opportunity.
Gaining a vital tempo to bring in yet one more piece into the attack. If now 22… Qc2 23. Bd3!
There is nothing better. Black threatens the White Rook
The opening salvo! Black can not take the Rook because of mate in 2.
23… Kh8 24. Qf5!
Defending the Rook on b1 and threatening mate at the same time! Now 24…PxN 25.Bd3 is unavoidable mate in 2 moves.
24… g6 forced 25. Rh3!
Threatens mate on h7 and if 25…h5 then simply 26.Rxh5+ and mate next move. Black could resign now but continued for several useless moves before throwing in the towel: 25… Qxb1 26. Qxb1 Kg7 27. Qf1
gm Kovalev, Vl – gm Edouard, R
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. Ngf3 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nc6 6. Bb5 Bd7 7. Nxc6 Bxc6 8. Bxc6+ bxc6 9. c4 Nf6 10. Qa4 Qc7 11. cxd5 exd5 12. O-O Be7 13. exd5 Nxd5 14. Ne4 O-O 15. Bd2 Qb6 16. Qc2 f5 17. Nc3 f4 18. Rae1 Bf6 19. Re6 Bxc3 20. bxc3 f3 21. g3 Qd8 22. Rfe1 Nc7 23. Re7 Nd5 24. R7e6 Nc7 25. R6e4 Qd7 26. Rh4 h6 27. h3 Rae8 28. Rxe8 Rxe8 29. Be3 Nd5 30. Bd4
White has misplayed an advantageous position (turning down a repetition at one point) and now Black is able to turn things around with a series of powerful blows
If now 31. Bxc5 Re1+ 32. Kh2 Qb5! threatening both the Bishop and …Rh1+!! mating in two moves via the f1-square. White can not retreat the Bishop to e3 as 31…NxB 32.PxN Rxe3 33.Re4 (what else?) 33…Rd3! with decisive advantage, especially since the White King is too exposed. SO White decides to sacrífice his Bishop on g7, hoping for some tricks…
31… Re1+! 32. Kh2 Ne3!!
Edouard’s sharp tactical eye spots a brilliant counterattack! I have NEVER seen a grandmaster play so well with his Knights…readers might remember how the French star found some absolutely brilliant tactical shots to save his game against gm Libiszewski in the recently concluded Spanish Team Championship.
In the position above, White can not take the Knight because of 33…Re2+, and if he dives in with 33. Qg6 he would lose the Queen after 33… Nf1+ 34. Kg1 Nxg3+ 35. Kh2 Rh1+ 36. Kxg3 Rg1+ etc.
So White has little better than to continue as in the game:
33. Qb3+!? Kxg7 34. Qb8!?
And here Edouard could cap the perfect counterattack with an elegant mate in two starting with 34…Qxh3+!!, but –probably short of time–chose a somewhat slower way to win:
34… Rh1+ 35. Kxh1 Qd1+ 36. Kh2 Nf1+ 37. Kh1 Nxg3+ 38. Kh2 Qh1+ 39. Kxg3 Qg2+ 40. Kf4 Qh2+ 41. Kxf3 Qxb8 Black has won the White Queen.