Wednesday, June 29, 2016

From a Game...

In the State Library on Monday, I looked at a lot of material and came away with some stuff to look at later. I copied some pages from Korchnoi's 400 Best Games of Chess and today had a look at the first game, a win for Korchnoi from the 1946 Leningrad Junior Championship. (By the way, this game isn't in Big Database 2013, though it might be in the more up to date versions.)

The game Korchnoi-Razov isn't perfect, isn't in a topical opening for today, or even for when it was played, but it does show some things that players should be thinking about. In this respect, it is a good teaching tool.

1. Don't worry about openings so much. At sub master level, no one knows much theory anyway, and thanks to our current World Champion, openings are being relegated in importance in favour of stamina, tactical solidity and endgame mastery.

2. You don't have to play the best move to win games. But when you analyse, you should be trying to discover what was best, and why you made mistaken choices.

3. Any ideas that strike you as interesting, or that you haven't seen before, you should take note of. In this game, I particularly like Korchnoi's bishop retreat on move 13, dominating the knight. I've seen the idea before in a number of openings but it must have been very tempting for a young player to drop the bishop back to b3 to stay on the a2-g8 diagonal.

4. The opening is a Hungarian type opening which is pretty solid, but not very ambitious. At club level it can be a good choice for players who don't mind playing a bit cramped for a while.

Anyway, here's the game, with notes from the book and a couple added from me:

If you haven't seen this opening before, and aren't particularly impressed with black's play, then the key game is probably Rodzinski-Alekhne Paris 1913. This is a game that you should study if you haven't done so before. It is only 15 moves long, but a lot happens in it. White pounds away at f7, and Alekhine ends up giving his rook up on a8. But then all his pieces come to attack a deserted white king, with a beautiful final tactic and mate.

In fact, looking at these games inspired me to look at some other games in similar lines by some quality players. Here's a position from a game where Korchnoi was playing the black side:

White over estimated his position and advanced. The position is balanced, so the bishop on g5 should probably retreat. 1.Bh6?! Qe8 2.f4? Weakening the king side 2..Qc6 threatening mate on g2 3.Qc2

2..Bd4+ simple chess, advancing slowly, this time using a pin as justification 3.Kh2 Be3 blocking the e-file, and putting white's bishop on h6 out of the game 4.Re2 Qd6 5.Rf1 Rde8 6.Qb3

In this position, Korchnoi, as black, played 6..Qd3 and went on to win. However, he missed an excellent tactical shot here.

Black to play and crush!!

Here's a position from the 1800's. Those from the Birmingham area of England will be familiar with the club Walsall Kipping. You might not know, however, that Kipping was a player, and a pretty good one for his time, though I think he was more celebrated as a problem composer. Anyway, this position is from the game Kipping-Pindar Manchester 1861. White has just played Ne5, centralising the knight. Unfortunately, white resigned a few moves later!
Black to play and win

This is a fairly crazy but balanced position from the game van Oosterom-Kazimdhzanov Dutch League 2008. White played 16.Bb5. Why was this a mistake?

Finally, take a look at this position.
What do you think black played?

I'll post the answers tomorrow with some extra stuff

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