SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Losing is often a direct consequence of our brains not working properly on any given day. In particular, walking into threats that we are not aware of or that we simply don’t see (sometimes called a lack of sense of danger) can be very embarrassing.
POSITION AFTER 24 MOVES
A hard fought and unusual game up to now. Here White should play 25.h3 to force the Knight back. In that case the position would be about equal. INSTEAD, Magem played a horrible move just loses on the spot:
White must have thought that the Black Rook must retreat to g8 (when 26.Bxf7 wins).25…Rxe7!
Ofcourse! This simple move was completely overlooked by the Spanish Grandmaster! If White now takes the Rook then he gets mated (!!) after 26…Nf2-ch (the old Philidor mate with the classic Queen sacrifice on g1). So Magem now has to retreat his Queen to d2, leaving Black with a crushing position after ….Ne3 and …Rd8. INSTEAD, the Spanish GM threw in the towel in disgust!
It is funny how arrogance can sometimes lead us astray in chess. Witness the inter-play between the White Queen and the Black Rook in this game. Black tries to harrass the Queen at several positions. Black then sees the opportunity to open the position to get at the Queen and goes for it, not realizing that it is he himself who is being hunted! Before he realizes the danger, it is already too late.
POSITION AFTER 14 MOVES:
The position is about equal, and at first sight even appears boring. Black’s last move (14…Rfb8) starts the theatre between the White Queen and the Rook. White replied 15.Qc2!?, to get out of the line of sight of the Black beast.
SEVERAL MOVES LATER:
Black’s last move (17…Rc8) keeps up the stalking of the White Queen. This time, the hunted becomes the hunter:
Fressinet moves to gain the initiative in the centre, not fearing Black’s Rook on c8. Black immediately takes up the challenge:
Black’s Rook is trying to dominate the White Queen
19.bxc5 Rxc5 20.d4!
A very strong move! Black now finds that White’s threats are stronger! In particular, Black must surrender his center and soon he has problems defending his squares on the Queenside.
20…exd4 21.Bxd4 Rcc8 22.Qd3!
This last move is filled with poison. How does Black defend his b5-pawn? If 22…Rcb8?! then 23.Rb1 bxc4 24.Nxc4 allows the White Knight to invade on b6 with deadly effect. Or 22…Rab8 then 23. Rb1 bxc4 24.Nxc4 RxR 25.RxR Qe6!? (what else?) 26.Nb6! will soon lead to a win of the a-pawn.
Faced with this dilemma, Black jumps from the pan into the fire:
22…bxc4 23.Nxc4 Qb5
An artificial way to stop Nb6, as White soon shows, breaking thru the centre:
24.e5! PxP 25.Rxe5!
Now Black has much to worry about! There is now the threat to the Bishop on e7, a distant threat of a mate on the backrank (e8), the attack on his Queen. The threat of Nb6 has become the least of his worries!
25…Bc5 26.Rb1! Qd7 27.RxB! RxR 28.Nb6!
Ouch! Finally the White Knight goes to b6 and has the last word. Black loses decisive quantities of material. Dorfman threw in the towel. Moral of the story: you must show respect to the Queen.