Today’s winning 5-second tactics
From the first round of the Gibraltar Masters. Position after 19 moves. Ian is a talented youngster from Canada out to get valuable experience. Paired against a GM already in the first round must have come as a mixed blessing…against such strong players it is normally best to play solid and build up your position. But Ian decided that his best chance was to attack…
IN THE POSITION above Black had just played 19…h6!, taking the steam out of the attack. Now White should either play 20.b4!? or 20.Bh7+ Kh8 21.Ne4!? making a fight out of it; White is a bit worse, but the game is hardly over. INSTEAD, Ian played more directly
Unless your name is Mikhail Tal, such direct attacks rarely work against an experienced grandmaster…but this is exactly the kind of lesson that Ian is in Gibraltar to learn.
20…Re6! 21.Qg3 Kxf7
White doesn’t have enough for the piece.
Probably White should now consider 23.Bh7!?, preventing the King from sliding away.
23.Qg6+ Kf8 24.Qh7?!
Consistent, but now comes the lesson…
24…Bxf5 25.Qh8+ Kf7 26.Qxa8
OUCH! The Queen is gone…
From yesterday’s round of the Masters in Gibraltar. Position after White’s 24th move (24.Nc5) White is on top, ofcourse. Black has little choice but to play 24…Nc4 and defend an inferior position. After 25.Bd4 Bc6!? Black can still put obstacles in White’s way.
But probably feeling that she had little chance in the long run against a player of Nakamura’s class, Black decided to go for broke, only making matters worse…
Apart from the suprise value, this move speeds up Black’s defeat. Once more, unless your name is Mikhail Tal…
25.gxf3 Qg5+ 26.Bg4 h5
Harika’s idea: she gets her piece back…but now the Queenside falls
27.Nxb7! Rxb7 28.Qxa6 hxg4 29.f4! Qe7 30.b5!
Perhaps Black was hoping to regain the b-pawn with 30…Reb8, but 31.Be5! crushes. Nakamura had little trouble mopping up. Black resigned on the 38th move. MORAL of the story: unless your name is Mikhail Tal…save your pieces!
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