SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Today’s example comes from the game Kotenko vs Iordachescu , played in the Moscow Open this year. Black has some pressure in the position below, which occurred after Black’s 39th move (…Rb3). The b-pawn is in need of constant attention, and the Black h-pawn creates some cramping on the King side.
Even so, White’s position is quite sound and there should be little doubt that the game must end in a draw with correct play. White should now play the active 40.Nc4 and after 40…Rd3 play 41.Rc2! Black will have to worry about is own a-pawn.
INSTEAD, WHITE DID NOT REALIZE THE DANGER AND PLAYED THE PASSIVE 40.Nf1?
AFTER BLACK’S SURPRISING 40…Rd3! WE GET BY FORCE THE NEXT POSITION AFTER THE EXCHANGE OF ROOKS: 41.RxR NxR:
White must have thought that this was the simplest way to draw. But a big surprise is waiting for him! Do you see it? White is dead lost no matter what he plays…White now played the logical 42.Kf1 and Black shocked White with the cruncher 42…Nxb2!
Black can not take the Knight because Black wins by simply advancing the a-pawn! Black is now a passed pawn up and the end is quick once the Black King marches into the King-side….43.Nc3 a3 44.Ke2 Kf6!
45.Kd2 Ke5! 46.Kc2 Kf4!
White resigns. It is hopeless. After 47.Ne4 Black wins easily with 47…Nd3! and 48…Ne1. Black will soon be three pawns up.
Moral of the story? Watch out for those damn Knights…