Today’s 5-second tactics!
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” ― Charles Darwin
Often the game of chess can be compared to Ping Pong, where the ball goes back and forth …except in chess the advantage goes back and forth, sometimes each move! Or, as in this example below, alternating mistakes…
gm Kryakvin, Dmitry
From the recently concluded Polugaevsky Memorial (2-07-2014). Position after Black’s 31st move (31…Qe6-b3) , attacking the Bishop on b2, but infact a serious miscalculation that puts Black on the brink of defeat (correct was 31…h5!, leaving the Black Queen in the centre, and with a tough fight in prospect)
Threatening a Knight check on e7 and then mate.
If now 32…h6!? 33.Ne7+ Kh7 34.Qxf8! Qxb2 35.Bxe4! is game over; or if 32…g6!? then Black gets horribly mangled on the long diagonal: 33.Ne7+ Kg7 34.Bd4! Qc2 (34…Qxa3 35.Nd5! ) 35.Bxe4 Qxe4 36.Nf5+! etc. Black therefore chose…
The only reasonable alternative at Black’s disposal, but also insufficient to save the game.
NOW White can win immediatly with 33.Bxe4! Qxe4 (Diagram below)
But White did NOT see this(!) and instead played weakly…
This move gives Black a surprising chance to save the game!
Correct defence now would be:
The whole point is that if now 34.Bxf6 (?) Qxf2+ Black has atleast a perpetual check, and possibly more! Fortunately for White, he can still draw with the precise 34.Nf5! :34…Qxb2 35.Nh6+ Kg7 36.Nf5+ Kg8 (Not 36…Kg6? 37.Qxf8! and White wins) 37.Ne7+ etc.
BUT , once again, this was overlooked by both players and instead the game continuation saw:
Now White does not let Black escape!
A pawn up and having the Bishop pair, White also has the attack! The game concluded 34…Be7 35.Qd4 h6 36.Bf5 Qc6 37.h4 Qf3 38.Qe5 Qd1 39.Kg2 Kf8 40.Qf4 Ng8 41.Be6 f6 42.Qb8 Qd8 43.Qxb7 a5 44.Qb3 Kg7 45.g5 hxg5 46.hxg5
Moral of the story: both chess and ping pong are great games, but should be played separately!
im Rozum, Ivan
gm Timofeev, Artyom
Polugaevsky Memorial, 10-07-2014. Position after White’s 38th move (38.Qd3). White is obviously better, Black’s centre about to crash and burn. Defending with 38…Nf7 does not work because of 39.Nxe5, while advancing bravely with 38…e4 goes off to 39.Rxg5! hxg5 40.Rxe4 Qg6 41.Nxd6 etc. Note the powerful role of the Bishop on the a1-h8 diagonal.
Desperate, Black tries a counter attack…
A shock sacrifice! White will get mated if he captures the Knight with his King, while capturing with the Queen allows Black to take the Rook on d5 with impunity: 39.QxN? QxR 40.Nxe5!? f3! and White is dead lost. Nor can White try 39.NxB? as the simple 39…Nf2! opens the flood gates.
WHITE PLAYS THE ONLY MOVE:
Opening the long diagonal. The threat is simply Ng6+ either winning the Queen or mating. Curiously, against the spiteful 39…Bxb4 simply 40.Ba1! is the reply when Black can resign. Black tries one last try…
White will be a piece up with an easily won ending
im Lugovskoy, Maxim
Polugaevsky Memorial, 10-07-2014. Position before Black’s 38th move. A sharp game! Who is attacking who? What really matters, in such positions, however, is who has the move!
BLACK TO PLAY AND WIN!
Polugaevsky Mem 2014.7.4 Position after White’s 36th move (36.Ne4), attacking the Black pawn on f6. Black is better and has been better for almost the entire middlegame. Here after the correct 36…PxP! Black would have reasonable winning chances: 37.Qxf6+ Kf8! 38.Qf5!? (what else?) 38…QxQ and 39…Nh6 and the only doubt is whether White has drawing chances. EVEN worse for White is 37.PxP? f5! winning a piece cleanly: 38.h6+ KxP 39.Qf6+ Kh5 etc.
Probably short of time, Black rushed things…
Black must have thought that this was the same as the last variation given above…
WHITE TO PLAY AND MATE IN 2!
Polugaevsky Mem 2014.7.10 Ovchinnikov,Vsevolod–Lugovskoy, Maxim: 38… Ng4! 39.Qe2 (39.Qe7 Rd7! 40.Qe2 is answered as in the game) 39…Nxf2! 40.Kxf2 Ba7+ 41.Kf1 Qd4! Now the roof caves in on White 42.Ke1 Qg1+ 43.Qf1 Bf2+ 44.Ke2 Rd2+!! 0-1Polugaevsky Mem 2014.7.4 Kryakvin, Dmitry–Ziatdinov, Raset: 36…f5?? 37.h6+! Kxh6 (Retreating to the backrank also gets mated) 38.Qf8# 1-0