SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
What is the world record for leaving the Queen enprise on the same square for the most number of moves? I have no idea! BUT it would not surprise me if the Lalic vs Miles game from the 1996 Hastings tournament is a candidate for this honor–if not the actual record holder (!) FIVE straight moves…
gm TONY MILES
gm BOGDAN LALIC
A very sharp and unbalanced position, typical of Miles’ style of play. He subjects himself to a dangerous attack in the hope that his opponent will get carried away…HOWEVER, in this game Miles meets his match when Lalic does not miss a heartbeat and finds the most precise (and beautiful) way to execute the attack!
This game is well worth the reader to study time and time again!
The fun begins!!
The Queen can not be taken: 30… fxg6 31. hxg6 is a forced mate. For the moment there is no immediate mating threat, though that can change very quickly. For example: if 30…Na5 (trying to drive the Bishop off of its diagonal) then 31.Bxf7 Qf6 (forced) 32.h6! and the batteries on h1 and g1 blow the Black monarch to bits.
Should Black now take the pawn with 30… Qxd6, then White can win by taking the Pawn on f7 with his Bishop. If then 31…Qf6 then 32.h6! is a forced mate. Or White alternately win with the beautiful 31. Ng3! (a magnificent concept that we will see more of later) …Ne7 (31… b5 32. Bxf7) 32. Ne4!! Nxg6 33. hxg6 Kg8 34. Rh5!! (see diagram)
Despite being a Queen down, there is no good defence to stop White doubling on the h-file and soon delivering mate. as the reader can easily verify for himself, except by giving up the Queen on g6, which leaves White a piece up and an easily won game.
Tony defends the f7 pawn. The downside is that now the White d-pawn can play an important role. Premature now would be 31. d7? Nd6 32. Bb3 Rad8 when White has lost almost all of his advantage and all of his attack. And of course, completely wrong would be 31.h6?? as 31…PxQ and White no longer has a mate!
The question now is if White has nothing better than to exchange Queens and admit that his pretty attack has gotten nowhere…
Beautiful! Black can still not take the Queen with either his pawn or his Queen. White–in the meantime– intends to play his Knight to e4 and try to encourage Black to exchange Queens so that the h-file will be opened for the Rook on h1.
Here Black achieves nothing with counterplay: 31… Qf4?! 32. d7! (32. h6?? fxg6) 32… Qxc4 33. dxe8=Q fxg6 34. Qxg6 and White’s attack has simply increased in force: 34… Qf7 35. h6 Qxg6 36. Rxg6 Kh7 37. Rxg7 Kh8 38. Ne4 etc. Mate is not far off…
Finally, 31…Nxd6 solves none of the problems facing Black: 32.Nd5! Qf5-ch 33.Ka1!! and there is no defence. If 33…Rg8 34.Bd3! and it is curtains.
A sly resource! Black is angling to exchange Queens via a check on f5.
White wants Black to take his Queen! Magnificent: 32… Qxg6? 33. hxg6 Kg8 34. Rg5 and it is soon mate along the h-file–5 moves at most! And little better is 32… Qf4 33. d7!
BLACK’S NEXT MOVE IS FORCED:
Stubborn defence. White can still not play h6. White now plays his ace:
This little move deflects the Black Queen. You almost feel sorry for the defence as the White pawn attacks the Knight which defends against White playing Qxg7 mate! And Black can still not take the White Queen as the h-file is opened….the classic ”damned if you do and damned if you don’t” dilemma!
It has been a fascinating skirmish these past few moves, especially with the White Queen being enprise while all of this has been taking place!
NOW White can win in the most artistic fashion with the fabulous 34.Nf6!!! (diagram):
This move threatens mate on h7. The Queen can still not be taken and Black has nothing better than 34…Qf5-ch when 35.Bd3!!! leaves Black with only one move to avoid mate (diagram) :
Black’s best move is to resign! After 35…Qxd3-ch 36.QxQ NxN 37.f4 is humiliating.
INSTEAD, probably short of time, Lalic misses this beautiful win and chose a more prosaic method to win:
34. Ng5?! Qf5-ch 35. Qxf5! Nxf5 36. Nxf7-ch Kh7 37. h6!
White has a winning position and won convincingly enough in 49 moves.
is a Croatian-English grandmaster born in 1964 in former Yugoslavia. A member of both the Croatian National Team and the English National Team, Lalic’s peak rating was 2600 (1997). He has won many strong international tournaments and has many scalps to his merit , including against Shirov. Lalic has a son who is also a promising player.