SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
POSITION AFTER WHITE’S 21st MOVE (21.h4):
WGM S. LALIC
GM S. GORDON
This is from the game Gordon vs Lalic at this year’s British Chess Championship that just finished Saturday. White is a bit better: the Black d-pawn might be a problem later in the game and White has some chances of a Kingside initiative. Probably Black should conider playing 21…f5 to chase away the Queen and anchor the Knight on e4. The game would still be a very tough fight…
Not wanting to potentially weaken the b1-g8 diagonal, however, Black chose to chase away the White Queen with 21…h5:
Black’s last move is based on a tactic: if White should play 22.Nxh5 then 22…Bd7! chasing away the Queen when Black can capture the Knight.
HOWEVER, the young English grandmaster thought a while and then finally took the h-pawn (!). There followed:
WHAT DID GORDON HAVE UP SLEEVE?
SOLUTION (23.QxN!! PxQ 24.Nf6-ch Kh8 25.Nd5-ch emerging a pawn up)___________________________________________________________________
The next tactic is from today’s game between Kramnik and Timofeev at the Russian Championship. Kramnik lost yesterday and today was out for revenge. He got it! Piling up the pressure on Black’s position from the very beginning of the middlegame, the Black Queen soon found herself being hunted. Having provoked some complications (involving sharp tactics) , now Black finally seems to be out of the woods, having all of his ‘bits’ protected. The only problem is that Black’s Queen is out of play…a factor that the ex-world champion now exploits:
POSITION AFTER 32 MOVES:
GM A. TIMOFEEV
33. Rxf7 !! RxR 34.QxN
All of a sudden, Black realizes that he is totally lost!
If now 34…Nd8 then 35.Qd5 with the winning threats of QxN-ch and Nxe5. Or if 34…Qd1 then 35. Ng5 Qd7 (forced) 36.Bc4! QxQ 37.BxQ Nd8 38 c6 wins material. FACED with no good move, Black tried the hopeless 34…e4
but after the simple 35.Qxe4
he resigned because the added threat of Ng5 is just too much to defend against.
If you understand Russian, you can find at this LINK
Kramnik analyzing this game immediately after it was over!