Today’s 5-second tactics!
“Curse ruthless time! Curse our mortality. How cruelly short is the allotted span for all we must cram into it!”
PLAYING WITH FIRE…
I advise my students regularly not to do anything rash or foolish in the final moments of the game, lest you give your opponent undeserved chances. But no matter how often I repeat this sound advice, the temptation is strong to rush things and try to take advantage of one’s opponent’s shortage of time. It takes just one mistake to turn things around…and many a won game have been lost on this reef.
im Barria Zuniga,D
Roquetas de Mar. Position after White’s 39th move (39.Kg2). Despite material equality, White has a large, probably decisive advantage. The advanced passed a-pawn is so strong. If now 39… Qe4+ 40. Kh2 Qe2 41. Qb6! defends against Black’s hopes of perpetual check, leaving Black struggling about how to handle the coming Qd4+ and Rd7, leaving him completely paralyzed.
Plaskett desperately decides to play for some tricks…
Here White can win with the cautious 40. gxh4! (eliminating the h-pawn) and there is no perpetual chack: 40… Qe4+ 41. Kg3 Rh8?! 42.Qb2+ K-moves 43.QxR+ etc.
INSTEAD, White rushed things and allows his opponent to escape!
The saving clause that Plaskett had been praying for! Time controls like 90 minutes plus 30 seconds per move can be very unforgiving, but even so, the 30-seconds each move should be a saftey guage against committing suicide. Here White should have calmly used his 30 seconds and seen that he can still draw with 41.Kh2! After 41…Qxf2+ 42.Kxh3 Qf1+ 43. Kh2 Qf2+ etc, the game ends peacefully in perpetual. It is very risky to try , when one is short of time, 43. Kh4!? (43. Kg4?? Rxa8 44. Qxa8 f5+ winning all of White’s pieces!) 43… Qh1+ 44. Kg5 Rxa8 45. Qxa8 Qf3! and the draw is inevitable.
BUT White–refusing to accept that he has lost his advantage–decides to play poker and in doing so immediately gives Black all of the winning chances!
41.KxP?! Qh1+ 42. Kg4 Rxa8!
Here White realizes that he can not capture the Rook! 43. Qxa8 f5+! wins immediately, either mate or taking all of White’s pieces.
Curiously, even though the White Monarch is perilously placed on g4, White should still be able to hold the game with perfect defence! However, with both players desperately short of time, the remaining moves are just a mockery of the new time controls. Black missed a forced win before finally agreeing to a draw. Here are the moves:
43. Qb2+! Kh7 44. Qd4! Re8 45. Re5?? Rc8 [45… f5! wins] 46. Qd5 Qxd5 47. Rxd5 Kg7 [½:½]
MORAL OF THE STORY: Don’t play with fire when short of time! A half point is better than nothing at all!
Tudela Corbalan, Carlos
Roquetas de Mar. Position after 22 moves. Black is busted, but White must still win the game! Can you do it with style?
WHITE TO PLAY AND WIN!
Roquetas de Mar 2014.1.3 Gonzalez Perez, Arian–Tudela Corbalan, Carlos: 23.Nxf7! with a crushing attack. The game ended: 23…Kxf7 24.Ng5+ Ke8 25.Re4+ Ne7 26.Qd6 Rf8 27.Nxh7 Rf7 28.Qxg6 Qa8 29.Ng5 1-0