SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
The 2012 season of the Catalonian Team Championship is one of the strongest ever, featuring a number of world class grandmasters amongst the leading teams. The Cuban superstar Lazaro Bruzon (playing for Barbera) has been having a fantastic season, winning virtually every game he has played. And it is not just his result, but the games themselves are really gratifying to watch!
The current number 2 Cuban player is a potential world top-10 player!
Witness the following example in his game against the Israeli GM Oratovsky. (My Canadian readers might remember that he has played in Canada in the past.) An unusal opening leading to a messy middlegame, everything seems to be fine for Oratovsky until…he realizes that he is dead lost! ENJOY!
POSITION AFTER WHITE’S 20th MOVE (20.Ba3):
White is ganging up on the weak c-pawn. Does Black really want to play the passive 20…Qa5? As in similar positions that arise from the English and related to the Maroczy Bind, visual impressions can at times be misleading. Dynamic considerations take precedence! Notice the small detail of the White h-pawn…
Oops! It is never a good sign when Bruzon simply ignores your own threats! Especially when it is too late to turn back…
21. Nxc5 Bxh4!!
A remarkable conception! Almost all of White’s pieces are over on the Queenside and can not immediately get back to defend the King, which is defended only by a Rook and a pawn coverage. This gives Bruzon the idea to sac the house to get at the monarch… White has no real choice but to accept the offering!
22. Nxb7 Bxf2!!
Some days it is better not to get out of bed! Poor Oratovsky! He has no choice, again , but to accept the gift: 23. Kf1 Qh4 wins quickly, and even worse: 23. Kh2 Qh4 is mate!
23… Qh4 24. Kg1
Here perhaps the most precise winning move is 24…Qg4!, but Bruzon no doubt expected Oratovsky to resign after this strong move:
A beautiful attacking finish! Here most GMs would just throw in the towel and congratulate Bruzon on his magnificent attacking concept, but Oratovsky can not be accused of being a gentleman: he found a way to avoid mate by sacrificing both his Rooks and Queen (!!)… and then play on a Queen down for a half dozen moves or so…