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Play Better
with

Leonard Barden
Foreword by
Viktor Korclinoi

CONTENTS
8

Before You Start

30 Top Ten Checkn1ate Attacks

16 Top Ten Novice Pitfalls


Scholar's mate; forks; copycat chess; back row mate;
poisoned pawn; hanging bishop; pinned knight;
the master check

22 Top Ten Opening Traps


Ruy Lopez; Cambridge Springs; Caro-Kann; Stonewall;
Vienna; Blackmar; Morra Gambit; Anti-Dragon;
Pi re/Modern; Grunfeld

First published in 1980 by


Octopus Books Limited
59 Grosvenor Street,
London Wl.
C

19HO

0 L

Octoru-; Books L1mited

T054380

I \f).'\ () "70114 ll'lh- I

Pnnted m Spa1n by
Artes Graflcas Toled(

g6 pawn; f6 wedge; attack on h7; dark diagonals;


queen and knight; back row mate; smothered mate;
heavy piece attack; Greek gift; rooks on the seventh

38 Top Ten Endgames


Active rook; active king; outside passed pawn;
pawn charge; one pawn win; wrong colour rook pawn;
zugzwang; bad bishop; FischerjKarpov endgame;
Petrosian endgame

106 Winning Plans for White

46 Test Your Chess IQ


50 Learn from the Champions

92 Winn ing Plans for Black


French Defence; Sicilian with 2

Nf6; Ruy Lopez

Schliemann; Mestel Philidor; Old Benoni; King's


Indian Defence; Tarrasch Gambit; Mestel' s Defence;
Catalan; English King's Indian; King's Indian Attack

Italian Game; Ruy Lopez; Vienna Gambit; French


Defence 3.Nd2 Sicilian Cutty Sark Attack; IQP system;
Caro-Kann; Queen's Gambit Accepted;
PircjModern Defence; Alekhine Defence; Queen's
Bishop Attack; Orang-out ang

122 Pro Techniques for A111ateurs


136 Chess for Cha111pions
150 Glossary of Chess Ter111 s
152 Index
Index of complete games; Index of openings

Foreword
byViktor Korchnoi
Improvi ng one's ability as a chess player is not an easy task.
The physical development of muscles on arms or legs can be
easily achieved by training with weights. Training will also hel p
improve speed a t running o r swimming. But how much time and
effort must be spent at chess to have any effect ? Thousands of
people play chess regularly but never improve their game at all .
At one time I studied the text-books of Lasker, Capablanca and
Euwe. I admired Euwe's lectures for their consistent and logical
approach, but I particularly remember Lasker's manual. He was
a rea l optimist, writing that in just 1 20 hours he could teach a
novice to such a high standard that he would be able to stand up
to a master. I don't know how many players have followed
Lasker's advice but, frankly, there is still a great distance between
those who know how to avoid blunders and those who think
independently, who can play openings, who appreciate the
subtleties of chess strategy - I mean masters.
' One does not have to be a grand master to tutor young chess
players successfully. The ab il ity to teach is something quite
special . I never really managed to teach my own son to play chess.
He would pester me to play, but I would point to a book on the
shelf and say ' First, read th is book and then we will play .' For a
ten year old like him, chess was a game, l ike an electric train, but
for me it is a profession, my work. I could not understand his
att i tude to chess, nor could he understand mine.
The task of a teacher is to discover talent in a pupil, to rouse his
enthusiasm and only then to make him an expert by keeping him
regularly occupied with new and increasingly complex problems.
I would like to introduce the author of this book- well-known as
a teacher of British juniors. In 1972 money was made available for
chess education for j un ior players in London, and it was Leonard
Barden who worked with them. In 1976 I had an opportunity to
become an inspector of thi s 'kindergarten' . I played a simul
taneous display with London schoolboys on 30 boards. The dis
play lasted over seven hours and was exhausting, although
enjoyable, work. I was held to a d raw by no less than ll players
and lost to one. In 1979 Boris Spassky also put Leonard Barden's
work to the test. Spassky won 13 games, lost five and drew the
rema inder !
In 1978 and 1979 the young generation of British chess players,
tutored in part by Leonard Barden, received the highest accolade,
winning the World School boys' Championship .
I do not want to intrude into Leonard Barden's field of teaching,
for in education he i a respected expert. But as a leading chess
player I am often asked the same questions. At the risk of repeat
ing the contents of this book, I will attempt to answer some of
them .
Perhaps the main point which troubles the beginner is the
extent to which abil ity w i ll depend on natural talent. In an age
where chess books and instruction are widely available, talent

is not such a vital factor. The ability to work hard is more impor
tant. I know of several grandmasters with no specific talent for
chess. One of them, Botvinnik, was World Champion for 15 years !
To compensate for lack of talent, he possessed an exceptional
capacity for work and an iron wilL
So is studying chess useful and, if so, when should one begin ?
Clearly, it is not something to rush into headlong at any serious
level. To play chess seriously can involve considerable stress, and
chess can become a passion that interferes with other studies.
But in moderate doses chess is generally useful. It is usual to
begin at 10 or 12 years old and studies have shown that at that
age chess develops perseverence, increases attentiveness, en
courages the ability to think logically and teaches objectivity.
Indeed, in some schools where chess has been introduced along
side other subjects, the level of achievement has been raised.
I am sometimes asked how to perfect one's game. Learning how
the p ieces move is a simple matter, b ut knowing this is no more
than knowing a few words of a foreign language. You would be
foolish to claim to be able to speak it. And, like a language, chess
can be studied for a lifetime - there are always new things to
learn. Not even World Champions can exhaust the possibilities.
If you have mastered the basic science of chess and want to
take your ability further, it is a good idea to note down your
games to analyze them later. You can do this with a friend or
teacher, but better still by yourself. You should be really thorough
and write a commentary on all your games, whether you have
won or lost. In this way, you can investigate your own thought
processes and discover the errors made by both you and your
opponent.
It is more useful to play with a partner who is better than your
self. If he is much better, you will not understand why you lose.
But if he is much weaker than you, the game will only serve to
boost your ego. The occasional boost to the ego does have its
value, however!
It is worthwhile studying a few games in detail - perhaps in
volving an opening that interests you or the style of a particular
grandmaster. A memorized opening is a weapon you can use in
practical play. And by imitating grandmasters you can bring
yourself up to their level. Don't feel ashamed to copy the play
of Capablanca or Fischer. They, champions of the world, began
the same way .
I t i s only necessary to learn one o r two openings, and perhaps
some essential positions in the endgame. There is no point in
endless learning of countless variations. What is important is the
development of flair, the understanding of your chosen openings
and a feeling for the delicacy of strategy.
Chess is both simple and complex. Armed with this knowledge,
you are ready to proceed to develop your chess skill, with the help
of Leonard Barden' s splendid book.

BeforeYou Start

Chess is a game for two people, played on


a board of 64 squares coloured alternately
light and dark. The l ight squares on the
board are 'white' squares and the dark
ones 'black'. Both you and your opponent
may use a ll the squa res during the game.
For p lay, the board is placed so that
each p l ayer has a white square on his
right at the end of the row nearest him
(fig. 1). Re m e m ber 'Wh i te on the right'
and you will n ever face the embarrassing

moment common to many novices when


an experienced player comes to look at
the game and says scornfully 'You' re
p layi ng with the board the wrong way
round!'

fig. l

The line-up

At the start of the game, the chess pieces


or men are placed on the board as shown
in fig. 2 (illustrated).

Each player has


l king
2 bishops
l queen
2 knights

2 rooks
8 pawns

You may only have one piece on a square


at any time. Note that the white queen
always starts on a white square and the
black queen starts on a black square.
White always moves first, then Black,
then White again and so on until the end
of the game.

Chess diagrams in this book are printed


with White at the bottom of the board,
moving up. This is usual in chess books
as well as in magazine and newspaper
articles about chess.
How to win and draw

Chess starting position. Note the white


square in the bottom right-hand corner. The
white queen always starts on the white square
and the black queen on the black. With
millions of ways to play the first few moves,
novices should try to control central squares.

The ultimate object of a chess game is to


capture the king, or more precisely to
force your opponent's king into a position
where it is inescapably trapped - a situa
tion called 'checkmate'. If it is no longer
possible for either side to win, the game
ends in a draw.
To win at chess, you must be more
skilful than your opponent in moving and
manoeuvring your pieces. Sometimes this
may mean gaining an overwhelming
material advantage so that checkmate of
the enemy king becomes inevitable. On
other occasions a strong player will
sacrifice some of his men so that the other
pie<Oes can successfully attack the king.

There are s ix types of chess piece, each


with its own way of moving over the
board . This probably derives from the
ancient Ind ian game of Chaturanga, one
of the precursors of modern chess, in
which dice were thrown to determine
which piece moved . Each of the six sides
of the d ice corresponded to a particular
piece, so that if you threw a one you
moved a pawn, two meant a horseman
(the predecessor of the knight) could
move, and so on.

moving your own man into its place. In


fig. Sa White has the choice of capturing
either the rook or the pawn with his
bishop. The bishop cannot jump to the
squares beyond the black men. The player
of White may, if he wishes, make a non-

Bishop a nd Ro ok moves

The bi shop may move any number of


squares along one diagonal in any one
move. It cannot jump over other chess
men. A bishop moves on squares of one
colour only, and each player has one
bishop for black squares and the other
for white squares (fig. 3). The rook can
move any number of squares alorig one
verti cal column ( ' file ') or horizontal row
('rank') in any one move. It moves on
straight lines only, and cannot jump over
other chessmen. The rook can land on
both black and white squares (fig. 4).

fig. 7

can take the powerful queen. It is im


portant to keep pieces guarded when
possible, so that if your opponent takes
one of your pieces you can retaliate by
capturing one of his.
capturing move with the bishop, or
decide to move a different piece.
In fig. 5 b, White has taken the rook
with his bishop and removed the captured
rook from the board. This all counts as a
single move.

fig. 6

The white rook in fig. 6 can take the


black knight but cannot go to the square
beyond it. The rook cannot move to the
square occupied by its own pawn, nor to
the three squares beyond it.
Quee n moves and captures

Ca ptures

A chessplayer can choose whether or not


to capture an enemy piece. You do not
have to capture and there is no penalty
for not capturing. You capture by taking
the opponent's p iece off the board and
10

The queen is the most powerful of the


chess pieces and can move like a bishop or
a rook. The queen can move along
d iagonals, ranks or files, but must keep to
one diagonal, rank or file on any one
move. In fig. 7 the queen can move to
any of the squares marked by crosses.
Fig. 8a shows a capturing move of the
queen. She can either move like a bishop
to capture the rook, or like a rook to
capture the bishop. The queen has cap
tured the bishop in fig. 8b - but watch
out ! Now it is Black's move and his rook

fig. Bb

Knight moves and captures

The knight moves differently from all the


other chess pieces in that (a) it can jump
over other pieces and (b) it does not move
in a straight l ine. The knight's move is
always L-shaped (fig. 9a). It goes either
two squares up (or down) the board and
then one square across, or alternatively
two squares across and then one square
up or down. If a piece of your own or your

opponent's l ies between the knight and


i ts destination. the knight simply jumps
over it. In fig. 9b the white knight can
jump over either bishop.

fig. llb

can move to any of the squares marked


with crosses on the next move (fig. llb) .
By promoting pawns i t i s possible to
have two or more queens, or three or
more knights, bishops and rooks. In
theory, a player can have nine queens on
the board - the original one and eight
promoted pawns.
If the promoting pawn captures an
opposing man on the pawn's final, pro
moting move, this still counts as part of
the same move. If you need a second
queen and your set has only one, use an
upturned captured rook, a lump of sugar,
or anything distinctive to hand.
King moves and captures

square marked by a cross.

fig. lOb

Pawn p romotion
fig. 9b

The knight can jump over any piece in


the path of its move without taking it. If
you find its move a little hard to remember,
note that it always travels from a white
square to a black one or vice versa .
The knight captures any enemy man
on the square where it lands. In fig. 9 b,
the white knight can capture the black
pa wn.

A pawn slowly inching its way up the


board will normally be blocked or cap
tured before it reaches the opposite side.
But any pawn which does reach the far
side is immediately promoted into a queen,
rook, bishop or knight (but not a king) as
the player wishes (fig. l l a) .

The king moves one square in any direc


tion and it can generally capture opposing
men in the same way as do other pieces.
In fig. 1 2a the king can move to any of the
starred squares while in fig. 1 2b the king
can capture either the rook or the bishop.

Pa wn m o ves a nd ca ptures

The pawn is unique among the chessmen


in that it may move forwards only.
Normally a pawn's advance is limited to
one square at a t ime, but for its first move
the pawn is allowed to move either one or
two squares. The pa wn is also the only
man whose capturing move is different
from its 'normal' move. Pawns can only
capture enemy men which are one square
diagonally ahead of them. The white
pawn on the left of the board in fig. lOa
has the option of moving one square or
two for its first move. The two middle
pairs of pa wns block each other and none
of them can move. Either of the pawns on
the right can advance one square. The
white pawn in fig. lO b has the option of
ca pturing the knight or advancing to the

fig. l2a

Check to the king!

fig. lla

Removing the pawn from the board and


su bstituting the chosen piece is all part
of one move. The player usually decides
to promote the pawn into a queen because
that is the strongest piece. The new queen

The object of chess is to capture the king.


When the king is attacked it is said to be
'in check' and it must get out of check
immediately. Figs l3a and l3b show two
examples of check. In both these positions
the attacked king must move immediately
to a square where it is not in check, that
is, not being attacked by an opposing
piece.
11

Getting out of check

You can escape from check in three ways:


(a) by blocking your opponent's threat to
your king (b) by capturing the checking
piece or (c) by moving the king out of
check. In fig. 1 5a Black can escape from
check in any of the three ways.

Mo re o n ch eck

The king is never allowed to move into


check, nor to stay in check. In fig. 1 4a the
king can take the bishop or move one
square diagonally north-east. All other
moves would still leave the king in check
and are not allowed under chess rules .
Kings cannot move to squares next to
one another since this would effectively
be a move into check (fig. l 4 b).

fig. l6b

fig. l5b

Black has captured the checking rook


in fig. 1 5b with his bishop. He could also
have escaped from check by interposing
the bishop between the king and rook, by
capturing the knight with the king, or by
moving the king to one of the two other
squares not attacked by the rook.
Discovered and double check

fig. l4b

If White advances his pawn or moves his


white-squared bishop, the black king is
in check from one of the other white
pieces - a discovered check (fig. 1 6a).
Discovered checks can be strong because
the moving piece has the chance to attack
another opposing man.
If White moves his rook to either
arrowed square in fig. 1 6b the black king
is in check from both white pieces - a
double check. It is impossible to meet a
double check by interposition or capture,
so the king has to move.
Check mate

You have won the game when your


opponent has no way to move out of check.
12

The capture of the king on the next move


is then inescapable and the king is check
mated.
Figs. 1 7a and 1 7b show two checkmates.
In the first the black king is checked by
the white queen. The queen cannot be
captured because the king would then be
in check from the rook - and there is no
other way to escape from the queen check.
In the second example, the black king
is in check from the white rook. It cannot
retreat up the board because its escape
squares are guarded by the white knight
or bishop or blocked by the black rook.
The black king cannot of course move next
to the white king.

Draw by sta l e mate

Not all games end in checkmate. When a


player is not in check, but has no legal
_
move available,
he is said to be stalemated,
and the game ends in a draw.

fig. 20b

fig. 17b

More checkma tes

Checkma tes _occur most frequently with


,
the loser s kmg on the edge or the side of
the board. Figs l8a to l 8d show typical
checkmating (wh ich experienced players
call 'mating') finishes. In the first two,
the black king is hemmed in by i ts own
pawns and so has no escape square when
attacke by the white rook or knight. The
other d _Iagrams show two white pieces
.
combimng for the final attack.

fig. 19

The situation in fig. 19 is not checkmate


the black king is not even in check. But
if the black king tries to move, it will
either be in check from the white queen
(not allowed) or directly next to the white
king (also not allowed). If Black had
another piece in the diagram it would not
be stalemate because he could move that
piece. It is only stalemate when the player
on the move has no move at all he can
make, and when his king is not in check.

White plays the arrowed bishop move


Black has no legal reply but is not in
check, hence a draw by stalemate.
In fig. 20b White's queen keeps check
ing on the arrowed squares and Black's
king cannot escape the checks. Black is
ahead on pieces and would win if White
did not give perpetual check.
Draws by agreement

If the material is even, with very few


_
pieces
left, and there is no reasonable
chance of mating or promoting a pawn,
the players generally agree to draw the
game. One player says 'Draw ?' and the
?ther accepts his offer. Only a bad blunder
m fig. 21 could permit a win for either
side.

Othe r ways to draw

If neither you nor your opponent has


enough pieces to bring about a checkmate,
the game ends in a draw. For instance, a
lone king can never checkmate another
l ne king. A king and a bishop against a
_
k ng, or a kmg
and a knight against a
kmg, are also situations where checkmate
is impossible.
If your king can be continually checked
b t not heckmated by an opponent's
piece or pieces, the position is a 'perpetual
check' and the game is drawn.
In fig. 20a White's king and bishop
cannot checkmate Black's lone king. If
fig. 21

fig. l8d

fig. 20a

The scoring system for chess games in


matches and tournaments is 1 point for a
win, t point for a draw, and 0 for a loss.
There are very few d aws among begin
ners, but the proportiOn gradually rises
as the players become stronger. In tourna
ments and matches among grandmasters
the world's leading players - as many as
two games in three may be drawn.
Two rare methods to reach a draw
happen when the same position occurs
three imes with the same player to move
each t1me; ad when both players make
50 moves Without taking anything or
moving a pawn.
13

Wha t a r e the pieces w o rth?

but more i f l ikely


I
to become a queen
-

then jumps over the king to the square


immediately on the other side of the king.
This all counts as a single move. Castling
may be done once only by either player
d uring a game. In castling, always move
the king first.

one move. An en passant capture is


optional, but can only be made on the
move succeeding the captured pawn's
two square advance as shown in figs.
24b and 24c.

Rul es about castling

You are not allowed to castle


if there is any piece occupying a
l
squa re between the king and rook.
2 if you are in check. If you get out of
check without movi ng your king, then
you can castle later in the game.
3 if your king has to cross a square
where it would be in check.
4 if you have already moved your king,
even if you later moved it back again.
5 if you finish up in check.
6 if the rook intended for castling has
already moved during the game. If one
rook has moved, you are still allowed to
castle with the other rook.

No attacking value \j;;


in the opening and
middle stages of the
game, when the king
must be safeguarded
from checkmate.
However, when only a
few pi eces remain,
attack ing value
ra pidly increases up to
4 or S

Usual ly, though by no means al ways,


the stronger army wi ns a chess battl e.
Novi ces will find it useful to keep a point
count of the pieces on the board . An
advantage of two points or more (two
pawns ahead, or rook against bishop or
kn ight) is sufficient to win games between
reasonably experienced players. In an
endgame where few p ieces remain, a one
point lead may be enough . But you can
afford to be ten or twenty points behind,
or eveR more, if you are certain to check
mate your opponent's king.
Castling

Castl ing is a special move made by the


king and the rook, before they have
moved from their starting posi tions on
the board .

fig. 24b

fig. 23

The white king cannot castle on either


side in fig. 23 because it would mean
crossing a square where the black knight
would give check. The black king cannot
castle on the short side because he would
be in check from the bishop, but he can
castle on the long side even though the
castl ing rook is attacked. The castling
rook can jump from or through an attacked
squares even though the king cannot do
SO.

Pawn takes e n passant

The special pawn en passant ('in passing')


capture is the least understood rule of
chess. It ensures that a pawn advancing
two squares on its initial move can still be
captured b y an o pposing pawn on an

adjacent file.

fig. 22

In castl ing, the king moves two squares


in the di rection of the rook. The rook
14

If the black pawn in fig. 24a advances one


square, White can capture it. When the
black pawn advances two squares,
White's pawn can capture ' en passant'
just as if the pawn had moved only one
square. The capturing pawn has to be on
the fifth square of a file, and the en
passant capture can only be made if the
opposing pawn advances two squares in

fig. 24c

The moves summarized

Straight line ranks and files for the rooks;


criss-cross diagonals for the bishops ; the
queen moves like a rook or bishop; L
shaped jumps (two up or down and one
across, or two across and one up or down)
for the knight ; and one cautious square
for the king. A pawn advances forward
one or two squares on its first move, and
one square at a time after that ; it captures

one square diagonally forward; and at


the far end it is promoted .
Attacking the king is check, and
attacki ng the king so that it cannot
escape is checkmate. If you are pieces or
pawns ahead you are on the way to a win
if your king is safe. Remember the point
cou nt, and don't give away pieces for
those of lesser value without a good
reason.

Notations compared

1 . e2-e4
2. Ngl-f3
3. Nbl-c3
4. Bfl-b S
5. Nf3xd4
6. e4-e5
7. e5xf6
8. Bclxd2
9. 0-0
1 0. Bd2-c3
l l . Rfl-e 1
1 2. Re 1 -e5
1 3. Bb5-d3
1 4 . Qd 1 -g4
1 5 . Qg4xg7+
1 6 . ReS-gS mate

Writing the mo ves

Every square on the boa rd has i ts own


unique com bina tion of reference number
and letter.

e7-e5
Nb8-c6
Ng8-f6
Nc6-d4
e5xd4
d4xc3
c3xd2+
Qd8xf6
Bf8-e7
Qf6-g5
0-0
Qg5-f6
h7-h6
Qf6-h4
Kg8xg7

l. e4
eS
2. Nf3
Nc6
3. Nc3
Nf6
4. BbS
Nd4
5 . Nxd4
exd4
6. eS
"dxc3
7. exf6
cxd2+
8. Bxd2
Qxf6
9. 0-0
Be7
10. Bc3
QgS
1 1 . Rel
0-0
1 2. ReS
Qf6
1 3. Bd3
h6
1 4 . Qg4
Qh4
1 5 . Qxg7 +
Kxg7
1 6. RgS mate (fig. 26)

1. P-K4
2. N-KB3
3. N-B3
4. B-NS
5. NxN
6. P-KS
7 . PxN
8. BxP
9. 0-0
1 0. B-B3
1 1 . R-K 1
1 2. R-KS
1 3 . B-Q3
1 4. Q-N4
1 5 . QxPch
1 6 . R-NS mate

P-K4
N-QB3
N-B3
N-QS
PxN
PxN
PxPch
QxP
B-K2
Q-N4
0-0
Q-B3
P-KR3
Q-RS
KxQ

a bly best ? ! probably not best


pro
motes to, e.g. fxe8 Q + means 'the f7
pawn takes a piece on e8, promotes to
queen, and gives check'.
=

Rules o f play

fig. 25

If the white bishop moves from cl to gS


we can write this as Bc 1 -g5 or just BgS.
The letter B is used for the bishop, R for
the rook, N for the knight, Q for the queen
and K for the ki ng. If there is no prefixing
symboL it means a pawn move.
A piece being played from one square
to another constitutes one move. In
writing the move the piece symbol comes
first followed by the square of departure.
The square of departure is l inked to the
square of arrival by a hyphen if the move
is a non-capturing one. In condensed
notation used in this book the departure
square is omitted .
A capture is wri tten with an x rather
than a hyphen, so that Nxf7 means that
a knight takes whatever man is on f7.
Pawn c aptures a re written giving the file
_
from which the pawn starts and the
square where it arrives, e.g. fxg6 means a
pawn on the f file takes on the g6 square.
If both rooks or knights can move to
the same square, the move actually
played is indi cated by the rank or file
from which the piece departed . An
example: White's rooks on a2 and f2 can
both move to e2. If the a2 rook moves, it
is wri tten Rae2, if the f2 rook moves, it is
written Rfe2.
If both pieces are on the same file a
similar procedure is used . An example :
Whi te's rooks a re on e7 and e 1 and can
both move to e 5 . If the e7 rook moves the
notation is R7e5 and if the el rook moves
it is descri bed as R l e 5 .

Nota t i o n s compare d

The notation just described is called the


algebraic notation and is used in most
countries of the world for chess publica
tions. The descriptive system, in which
each square is indicated by two combina
tions of letters and numbers depending
upon whether White's or Black 's move is
being recorded, is favoured in English
speaking countries but is increasingly
being replaced by the algebraic system.
The popular BBC2 Master Game chess
tournament uses the algebraic system,
and the International Chess Federation
(FIDE) has announced that it will recog
nize only algeb raic as an official notation
from 1 January 1 9 8 1 onwards.
For readers who are already familiar
with descriptive notation but not with
algebraic, the game above (Posch v
Dorrer) is in full algebraic, condensed
algebraic, and descriptive notation.
Summary of abbreviations

(king) Q (queen) R (rook) B (bishop)


N (knight) P (pawn) 0-0 Castles short
(on the k ing's side of the board) 0-0-0
Castles long (on the queen's side of the
board) + check - moves to x takes
ep en passant ! good move ! ! brilliant
move ? poor move ? ? blunder ! ? pro bK

As well as the moves of the pieces, there


are rules of beha vi our during a game
which also form part of the international
laws of chess.
If you touch one of your pieces, you
must move that piece if possible, while
if you touch one of your opponent's
pieces, you must capture that piece if you
can. This rule is interpreted in a common
sense manner, and a player whose sleeve
brushes against his tall king as his hand
reaches out to move a pawn is not
penalized.
If a piece is slightly dislodged from the
centre of its square, and you want to
replace it properly, you have to tell your
opponent before you touch the piece. The
conventional way to do this is to say
'J'adoube' ('I adjust') which allows you to
make any necessary adjustments. Piece
adjustments should only be made when it
is your own turn to move.
Once you have moved a piece, placed it
on a new square and let go ofit, you cannot
take the move back or put the piece on a
different square. Novice players, worried
about the touch-move rule, can often be
seen to pick up a piece, put it hesitantly
on a new square, then keep a finger on
top while peering around the board to
see if the move is safe. This isn't illegal,
but it is bad manners and your hand
blocks your own view (.)f the board. If
you suddenly notice you are making a
mistake while the piece is stil l in your
hand, replace it on its original square and
think again. You must stil l move the
piece you have touched, but at least there
is a chance to find a better square for it.
If you castle, you have to either pick
up your king first, or the king and rook
together. If you touch the rook first you
may have to move just the rook.
15

TOP TEN

Novice PitfallsPitfatl one - Scholar's mate

Almost every novice falls at least once for


the Scholar's mate:
e5
1 . e4
Bc5
2. Bc4
3. Qh5

How to avoid Scholar's mate


Black should play 3
Qe7 in the dia
.

fig. 27

The begi nner now decides to chase away


the annoy i ng white queen and plays
3. .
Nf6 ?? 4. Qxf7 mate. The check
mating queen is protected by the bishop,
and the atta cked black king has no escape.
.

Scholar-'s mate z s the basrc beginner's pitfall.


Whrte threatens instant checkmate by his
queen capturing the pawn next to the black
).:inf!_. w11h the white queen f!_Uarded by the
t)[shop If Black knows how to meet thzs
attack. he can gazn the znitzative.

16

gram. Then 4. Qx7 + ? Qx7 . 5. Bx7 +


Kx7 leaves Black a bishop for a pawn
ahead with a winning game. And 4.
Bxfl + ? Qxf7 5. QxeS + Qe7 6. QhS +
K d8 is little better.
If White answers 3
Qe7 with 4.
NO then 4 . . . . Nc6 5 . Nc3 Nf6 and White's
queen has i ts retreat cut off. If 6. Qh3 d S !
and the black pawn, advancing to attack
the white bishop, at the same time dis
closes an attack by the black bishop on
the white queen. In that event, White's
premature attack leads to decisive mater
ial gain for Black .
.

Pi tfall two
Schola r's rook fork

A variant of Scholar's mate, which also


claims a large number of novice victims,
is:

l. e4
2. Bc4
3. QhS

eS
BcS
g6 ? ?

Black knows he must stop Scholar's mate,


but hasn't learnt that he must protect his
f7 pawn with his queen. So h is 3. . . g6 ? ?
:
is an instinctive forward defensive prod
which White answers by 4. QxeS + and
5. Qxh8, winning a rook and the game .
How to a void Schola r's rook
fork

There are two simpler ways to stop


Scholar's mate attacks than in the solu
tion to Pitfall One. Once White plays
2 . Bc4 in a novice game, he telegraphs his
intentions. So Black can counter at once
by 2 . . N c6 ! and if 3. Qh5 g6 (now the
eS pawn is protected by the knight) or if
3 . Q O (again threatening Qxf7 mate) then
Nf6.
If Black suspects a Scholar's mate is
coming, he can take evasive action even
on move l. Simply, l . e4 e6 2. Bc4 ? d 5 !
controls the centre of the board and drives
off the white bishop at once.
.

Pitfall three The weak f7 p a w n

Another elementary attack which baffles


many beginners occurs when White's
kn ight and bishop combine to attack the
f7 pawn. This pawn is the weakest
defence poi nt in the early stages of a
game, protected as it is only by the king.
The pitfall runs:
eS
l. e4
Nc6
2. B c4
Black stops Scholar's mate.
3. NO
Nf6
4. NgS

18

White threatens 5 . Nxf7 with a 'fork' (a


double attack against two pieces) of the
black queen and rook. What should
Black do? Certainly not 4 . . . . Qe7 ? 5 .
Bxf7 + K d 8 6. B b 3 Ke8 7. d3 when White
has won a pawn while Black has had to
move his king and so cannot castle.
Also risky is 4 . . . . d5 5. exd5 Nxd5 ?
6. d4! If then 6 . . . . exd4 7. 0-0 Be7
8. Nxf7 ! Kxf7 9. Qf3 + Ke6 10. Re1 + and
White has a crushing attack. If instead
6 . . . . Nxd4 7. c3 wins one of the knights.
How to avoid
the weak f7 paw n

Black may be able to survive with


absolutely correct play after 5 . . . . Nxd 5,
but this particular game is not for novices.
Instead meet 4. Ng5 with 4 . . . . d5 5 . exd5
Na5 6. BbS + c6, and though you will be
a pawn down your pieces come into action
quickly.
Pitfall four- Th e copycat trap

Copying your opponent's moves when


you play Black may sound a plasible
idea so what can go wrong? Sometimes,
not very much. When White starts the
game with a non-committal opening
move - say 1. c4 or 1. ND which are less
forcing than 1. e4 then Black may be
able to mirror his opponent's plans for
half-a-dozen moves without disaster.
However, if you try copycat chess
when White opens with l. e4, you could
quickly be in trouble.
The pitfall goes:
eS
l. e4
Nf6
2 . NfJ
3 . NxeS
-

A master game i n progress. White pieces aim


at the central squares, the clock indicates that
it is White's turn to move.

Nxe4
3. . . .
N f6 7
4. Qe2
Now Black notices that i f 4 . . . . Qe7
5. Qxe4, but that would be better than
what happens.
5 . Ne6 +
Discovering check from the white
queen, while at the same time the knight
threatens the black queen. White wins
queen for knight.
How to avoid the copycat trap

Black should play 3. . . d6 ! first, chasing


away the dangerous white knight. Only
then should he recapture the lost pawn by
4 . . . . Nxe4.
.

Pitfall five The back r o w mate

The novice who has held his own against


an experienced opponent for many moves
may finally be caught out by leaving his
king behind a row of unmoved pawns.
It's a common situation, and one to guard
against.

fig. 31

Here material is almost level. Black has a


bishop and four pawns to White's rook
and three pawns - just half a point down
on the point count. Black sees a chance to
restore the material balance, and seizes it
without a final safety-first look round the
board .
19

1.
Qxb2 7
2 . Q e8+ ! Bxe8
3 . Rxe8 mate

How to avoid
the poisoned pawn

Black should have played 7 . . . B d7,


which prevents the white b ishop on d3
movi ng away with check. Black would
then be threatening to capture the pawn
with no i mmediate danger.
.

How to a v oid
the back row mate

Black should have played 1. .


. h6!
maki ng an escape hole for his king. In the
early and middle part of the game, pawn
moves in the v ic inity of the king can
create serious weaknesses in the defences.
In the late stages however, with few
pieces left, it is important to provide
agai nst sudden raids on the back row.
.

Pitfall six The poiso n e d pa w n

It i s a famous chapter in chess lore that at


the world championship match in Reyk
javik Bobby Fischer captured Boris
Spassky's b2 pawn with his queen and
within a few moves found his queen
trapped in ignomin ious fashion. There is
also the story of the millionaire who left
his fortune to his nephew on condition
that he never took the b2 pawn with his
queen.
This would be a useful hint for novices
to remem ber, but in actual play there are
few instances where one side has the
chance to take off the b2 pawn with the
queen. A more likely poisoned-pawn pit
fall occurs where the queen greedily
captures the d4 pawn like thi s :
e6
l. e4
d5
2 . d4
3. e5
c5
N c6
4 . c3
5 . NO
cxd4
6. cxd4
Qb6
Black is eyeing the d4 pawn and
expects to build an attack against it by
means of N(g8)e7 and Nf5,
7. Bd3

Pitfall seven The Vienna push

Many chess nov ices become famili ar with


just one basic openi ng - a routine and
stodgy development of the pieces on the
l ines of l. e4 e5 2. NO Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5
4. d3 d6 and so on. Such players can be
thrown mentally off balance when White
does something different and unfamiliar
as early as move two.
The 'somethi ng different' is 2. Nc3,
known as the V ienna Game. White can
fol low up with a pawn advance w ich
induces some 80-90 per cent of novices
into a weak and panicky response.
e5
1. e4
2 . Nc3
N f6
3. f4

Ho w to avoid t h e Vienna push

20

Novices like to develop bishops early.


The more experienced player prefers in
most cases to bring out the knights first,
i nce the bishops have a greater variety of
choice and it can pay to commit them late
in the opening. But an early bishop move
is not bad in itself.
What the novice must guard against
when playing Black and developing hs
king's bishop (the one at f8) on the queen s
side, is that the bishop may become
unguarded and vulnerable to a white
queen check.
An example of this kind of pitfall :
Nf6
1. d4
e6
2 . c4
Bb4
3 . Nc3
d5
4. e3
5. N O
b6 7 7

fig. 34

3. . . .
exf47
Qe77
4. e 5 !
Black does not like the idea of retreating
his knight back to g8, but the text is
worse.
5. Qe2
Ng8
6. d4
d67
Black should swallow his pride and
play 6 . . . . Qd8.
7. Nd5
Q d8
If 7 . . . . Qe6 8. Nxc7 + wins the queen.
8. Nxc7+ Kd7
If 8 . . . . Qxc7 9. exd6 + wins the queen.
9 . Nxa8 and wins.

but White takes no notice, apparently


leaving the d4 pawn to its fate.
7. . . .
Nxd4 7 7
8 . Nxd4 Qxd4
9 . B b 5.ot- Kd8
10. Qxd4 and w ins

Pitfall eightThe hanging bishop

Black should play 3. . . . d5 4. fxe5


Nxe4. White can still stir up complica
tions with 5. d3 (see page 110) but there
is no question of a forced loss for Black.

Black plans to put his bishop on a good


square at b7.
6 . Qa4 +
and wins the bishop or (if 6 . . . . Nc6) the
knight
.

How to avoid
t h e hanging bishop

Black here set up the pitfall for himself.


Before his 5 . . b6 77 White's Qa4 + was
no threat, as the black knight could inter
pose at c6 protected by the b pawn.
Simplest for Black was 5 . . . 0-0.
.

Pitfall nine- The pin n ed knight

Pitfa ll ten - Th e ma ster che ck

Many novices, after a little experience


with chess, settle on a routine opening,
both for White and Black, bringing out
the knights and bishops in the centre.
This is an understandable choice for
players lacking wide experience, but
even this apparently harmless openi ng
contains hid den pitfalls. Variants of one
such snare catch many novices each year.
e5
l. e4
Nc6
2. NO
Bc5
3. Bc4
d6
4 . d3
5. Nc3
Nf6
So far there is complete symmetry, but
remember pitfall four and the dangers of
copycat chess.
6. B g 5
0-0 7

Some experts would include this final


pitfall among the traps to catch exper
ienced players which are described in
Chapter 3. But this trap has now been in
circulation since the year 1943 and has
occurred so often and been described in
print so many times that regular match
and tournament competitors have little
excuse for allowing it. Its great danger is
to the novice, who takes up the Sicilian
Defence 1 . e4 c5, the most popular open
ing in chess, and is attracted to the
'Dragon' system where Black develops
his bishop at g7, on the promising long
d iagonal from h8 to al.
c5
l. e4
d6
2. NO
3. d4
cxd4
4. Nxd4 Nf6
g6
5. Nc3
6. f4
This pawn advance is a signal that
White is hoping to set the 'Levenfish
trap' named after a Russian who popu
larized this opening. Usual moves are
6. Be2, 6. Be3 and 6. f3.
Bg7
6. . . .
This natural move is already inferior.
Somewhat better is Nc6.
dxe57
7. e5
A better practical chance is 7 . . . . Nh5

7 . Nd5 1
Black's knight is pinned aga i nst the
queen and can be attacked by two white
pieces. This weakness is made worse
because the pawn front defending the
king will be weakened .
7.
a6?
8 . Bxf6
gxf6
f5
9 . Qd2
1 0 . Qh6
Threatening 1 1 . Nf6 + , winning the
queen or mating by Qxh7 .
10.
f6
1 1 . Nxf6+ Kh8
12. Qxh7 mate

8. Bb5 + (8. g4 ? Nxf4 ! 9. Bxf4 dxe5) Bd7


9. e6 fxe6 10. Nxe6 Bxc 3 + 11. bxc3 Qc8
though a 1979 British Championship
game J. Littlewood-Mestel showed this,
too, as favourable for White. Play ended
12. Bxd7 + Kxd7 13. Ng5 Qc4 14. Rb 1 Kc7
15. Rb4 Qxa2 16. Qe2 Nc6 17. Ne6 +
Resigns. If 17 . . . . Kc8 18. Rxb7 ! with
mate in three if the rook is taken. Can you
work out the mate ?
8. fxe 5
N g4 7
8 . . . . Nd5 also allows the unpleasant
9. Bb5 + . Best, in a poor position, is 8 . . . .
Nfd7 9. e6 Nf6 10. exf7 + Kxf7.
9. BbS +
setting Black a dilemma, for both Nd7
and Bd7 now lose a knight to 10. Qxg4.
The best chance now is 9 . . . . Nc6 10.
Nxc6 Qxd1 + 11. Nxd1 Bd7, but in
practice if Black reaches the position
after 9. Bb5 + he looks round for a way
to avoid losing material and thinks he has
found it with . . .
9.
. .
Kf8
10. Ne6 +
and wins the queen.
.

How to avoid the master check

Black should. play 6. . . Nbd7 ! This is


the simplest way to a sound game while
avoiding trappy lines. The game might
continue 7. NO Qc7 8. Bd3 Bg7 9. 0-0 0-0
10. Kh1 a6 11. a4 b6 12. Qe1 Bb7 1 3 .
Qh4 e 5 .
.

fig. 36

Ho w to a v oid
the pin n e d knight

Black should have played 6 . . . . h6 !


chasing away the attacking bishop and if
7. Bh4 gS. This pa wn advance is safe
while Black still has the option of long
side castling, although too risky once the
black king has castled short.
Black wasted a further move with the
irrelev ant 7. . . a6. Instead he should
play 7
. . Be6 when, if 8. Bxf6 gxf6
9. Qd2 Bxd S . Then Black still has the
inferior position because of his weakened
pawns around the king, but he has
avoided any early mate threats.
.

21

Opening tra ps a re a more advanced form


of novice pi tfa l ls. Pitfalls are there for the
player new to chess who has only a hazy
idea of text book moves and general
stra tegy. It is possible, however, to fall
into standard opening tra ps even after
two or th ree yea rs experience, and in
positions with which a player thinks he
is familia r.
The secret of a good openi ng trap is
that the loser's moves should be natural

a nd plausi ble. There may be only a small


difference between the trap situation and
one where the loser is adopting the classi
cal tenets of the masters. But that d iffer
ence is crucial, and it means quick
victory or defeat.

Many weaker players are less familiar


with the Ruy Lopez 3. BbS than with 3.
Bc4, and therefore choose what looks a
solid defence eschewi ng tactical risks.
4. d4
B d7
Nf6
5 . Nc3
6. Qd3

T r a p o n e - T h e master sta n d by

When chess masters give simultaneous


displays against 20 to 40 opponents at
once, their usual plan is to win many
games on technique. This means picking
up a pawn or two, exchanging pieces, and
simplifying into an endgame where the
ultimate victory comes by promoting
one of the extra pawns to queen. B ut
how to win a pawn or two in the first
place? One way is by a standard trap
against a defensive set-up chosen by
many average chess club members.
1 . e4
eS
Nc6
2. NO
d6
3. BbS
6. . . .
Be7 7
B lack continues to develop normally, but
here this is a serious m istake.
7. Bxc6! Bxc6
8. dxeS
dxe S
9 . NxeS

White has won an important pawn. The


purpose of 6. Qd3 was to protect the e
pawn so that Black cannot regain the lost
material.
For maximum effect, such moves as
7. Bxc6 and 8. dxeS should be made
rapidly and with a flourish, to indicate
to Black that he has blundered. Not
i nfrequently players of Black become
demoralized by the unexpected turn of
events and continue 9 . . Qxd 3 ? 1 0 .
c x d 3 0-0 11. Nxc6 bxc6 1 2 . K e 2 when
White has further assets to add to his
extra pawn. He has weakened the black
queen's side which can be pressurized by
moves like D, Be3, Rhcl and Na4 when
the pawns at c6 and c7 are vulnerable.
.

Attack formation against the Sicilian Defence


is the most popular black opening. White
prepares a queen side castling then a pawn
storm on the black king. Only precise play
keeps Black in the game
;

23

How to a void
the master sta ndby
In place of 6. . . . Be7 ? Black should
exchange pieces by 6 . . . . Nxd4 7. Nxd4
exd4 8. Qxd4 Bxb 5 . Strictly speaking,
White's 6. Qd3 is inaccurate and he should
first play 6. Bxc6 and then 7. Qd3. The
problem with that order of moves is that
Black is more likely to notice the threat tt>
his e5 pawn and to take measures to
protect it - so White has to weigh up his
opponent and decide whether to play it
strictly by the book or to maximize the
chances of the trap .

T ra p two- Springing the


Ca m b ridge Springs

the queen.
There are several variants of this basic
trap - for example if White plays 7. Bd3
(instead of 7. Nd2) Bb4 8. Qc2 Ne4 9. Rc1 ?
(White should play 9. Bxe4) Nxg5 10.
Nxg5 dxc4.
How to a void
t he Ca m b ridge Springs

.The simplest counter for White is to


anticipate the Cambridge Springs once
Black plays 5. . . . c6 and exchange
pawns by 6. cxd 5 . Later on, White can
still avoid material loss by 9 . Bxf6
instead of 9. Bd3.
T ra p three

The Queen 's Gam bit Declined is a popular


opening in club and social chess. One of
Black's possible formations, an early
queen development introduced at a 1904
US tournament at Cambridge Springs,
contains a trap which always has a chance
of success against opponents unfamiliar
with this sligh tly offbeat line.
1 . d4
d5
2 . c4
e6
3 . Nc3
Nf6
4. Bg5
Nbd7
Black already sets a trap: if White tries
to win a pawn by 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Nxd 5 ?
Nxd5 7 . Bxd8 Bb4+ 8. Qd2 Bxd2+
9. Kxd2 Kxd8 Black has won a piece.
Perhaps this looks too much like a trap,
for it ra rely occurs in practical play .
c6
5 . e3
Qa5
6 . NO
A logical move, for i t removes the black
queen from the pin by White's bishop
and starts a counter-pin on White's
knight.
7. Nd2
Bb4
8 . Qc2
0-0

4.
fig. 38

9 . Bd3 ?
A natural developing move, which
eyes Black's h7 pawn, but . . .
9. . . .
dxc4
Black now w i ns a bishop after both 10.
Nxc4 Qxg5 or 1 0. Bxf6 cxd 3 attacking
24

Caro-Kann knights

A defence often preferred by solid and


conservative players, but recently gain
ing fashion as a weapon of counter
attack, is the Caro-Kann 1. e4 c6. It is
almost routine to meet this defence by
2. d4 but in doing so White passes up the
chance for a double trap which is well
worth a try at club and social level .
c6
1. e4
d5
2. Nc3
3. Nf3
dxe4
P ushing on the d pawn is not very good 3 . . . . d4 4. Ne2 c5 (d3 5. cxd3 Qxd3 6.
Nc3 followed by 7. d4 and White controls
the centre) 5. Ng3 Nc6 6. Bc4 e5 7. 0-0
fol lowed by d 3, Ne 1 and f4 with attack
ing prospects for White.
If 3 . . . . Nf6 4. e5 Ne4 (Nfd7 5. d4 and
Black will soon have to advance c5 with
loss of a move) 5. Ne2 and Black's knight
is driven back by d 3 with gain of time for
White.
4. Nxe4

. .

Bf5

Another move here is 4.


. N d 7,
intending to play Ngf6 without allowing
Black's pawns to be weakened. Then the
trap is 5. Qe2 Ngf6 ? ? 6. Nd6 mate ! This
trap has succeeded in a master tourna
ment and world champion Alekhine once
brought it off against four opponents who
were in consultation.
Bg6
5. N g 3

6 . h4

h6

to provide a retreat square for the bishop.


7. NeS
In the usual order of moves with this
variation, White has played d4 rather
than Nf3 and so cannot bring his knight
quickly into the attack. Now White
threatens to weaken Black's pawns ser
iously by 8. Nxg6, so the bishop retreats.
Bh 7
7. . .
8. Bc4
threatening 9. Bx7 mate.
e6
8.
g6
9. QhS
N f6
10. Qe2
After countering two successive mate
threats, Black is usually only too happy
to snatch at what appears to be a breather
with the chance to develop a piece by this
knight move or by Nd7.
11. Nxf71 Kxf7
1 2 . Qxe6 + Kg7
13. Qf7 mate
This useful trap has occurred in a master
tournament and has also enjoyed practi
cal success at lower levels.
.

How to avoid the


Caro-Kann knights

Black can avoid the main line trap by


4. . . . N f6 or 4 . . .. B g 4, and he can side
step the trap in the note to 4. . . . B5 by
playing Ndf6 or e6 instead of Ngf6.
T rap four - The Stonewall

The Stonewall Opening is considered a


regular opening by many books, but it is
really just a practical trap. White sets up
an attacking formation which depends
for its success on Black countering with
conventional development rather than
with moves designed to offset White's
wall formation. It is inadvisable to try it
against strong opponents, but at the
lower levels of club chess and in friendly
games it can prove a devastating weapon.
The Stonewall's name describes White's
strategy. The first player sets up a wall of
pawns in the centre, behind which he
masses his pieces for a full-scale attack on
Black's castled king.
A great advantage of the Stonewall in
social chess or at the more modest levels
of club play is that it is a system type of
opening which can be prepared in a
single evening, is easy to understand,
and not likely to be forgotten when the
player reaches the board. Admittedly
there is a disadvantage when meeting
stronger opponents. The stonewaller sig
nals his intentions at an early stage and
thus gives his opponent time to switch
into a defensive formation designed to
reduce the impact of White's wall.
So if your chess is of the friendly
variety, in the club third or fourth team
or in the minor or novice section of a
weekend congress, the Stonewall attack/
trap can prove a useful point scorer.

Higher up on the c hess lad d er


recom mend i t .

l . d4
2. e )

don ' t

dS

N f6
If Black bri ngs h is b i shop into action by
BfS W h i te does best to a bandon h i s
projec ted wall forma tion a n d attack on
the quee n ' s s i de by c4, Nc3 and Q b 3 .
3 . Bd3
e6

4. Nd2
5. c3

cS

a necessary precaution to prevent the


bi shop be i ng cha sed off its good d iagonal
by c 4 .
5. . . .
N c6
6 . f4
Wh i te's last move compl etes the wall of
pawns on the black squares and gives the
open i ng i ts name .
6. . . .
Be7
7. N g f3
It is tec hn ica lly more preci se, but psycho
logically unnecessary, to play 7. Qe2
first - to stop Black sett i ng up a wall in
turn by 7 . . . . Ng4 8. Qe2 f5 . But in a c l u b
o r so cial game Black will rarely consider
such a non - routine manoeu v re, and it is
wo rth the sl ight r i sk of a l lowing i t to
ga in an ex tra move for W h i te's a ttac k .

7.

8. NeS

0-0

Now White's outpost k night, supported


by the pawn wall, is ready to spearhead
an attack against the black king.

8.

c4 7

Bd7
bS
aS

9. Bc2

1 0 . 0-0

1 1 . R f3

12. Rh3

b4 7

Black reasons that he can advance on the


quee n ' s flank w hile W h i te is attacking on
the other side of the board, but in most
such situations it is the threats to the
k i ng which are the more dangero u s .
1 3 . Bxh7 +
Stonewall p layers have real chances of
rea c h i ng this winni ng sac rifice against
u n p repa red opponents .
13. . . .
Nxh7
1 4 . Q h S and wins.

W h i te threatens 1 5 . Qxh7 mate ; if the


k n ight moves then 1 5 . Qh8 mate ; while
i f 14 . . . . ReS there is mate in two b y
e i ther 1 5 . Q x h 7 + o r 1 5 . Q x f7 + .

How to a void t h e Stonewall


Black c a n make W h i te ' s attacking p l a n
more d i ffi c u lt in t h e accompanying d i a
gram b y playing 8 . . . g 6 ! i ntending Ne8
and f6, d r i v i ng away the attacking knight
or for c i ng i ts exchange . But simpl est of
all, if you t h i nk your opponent plans a
S to newall, is to counter it on move 3 by
3 . . . . g6 ! and Bg7 when the white b i shop
' b i tes on the granite' of a sol i d ly defended
k ing' s position. If White's Stonewall
a tta ck d oes not succeed, he h as a long
term stra tegic handicap in that h is bishop
on c 1 remai ns blocked in by its own
pawns.
.

How to avoid
the Blackmar Ga mbit

T r a p fiveT h e Vie n n a que e n check

Trap six The Blackmar pawn snatch

The Vienna queen check is a more ad


vanced snare from the same opening as
pitfall 7 - the Vienna push. It has two
distinct advantages over many opening
traps in that the Vienna is an unfashion
able opening which will often be virgin
territory to the opponent ; while the
move which sets up the trap appears a
blunder.due to White making two routine
moves in an unusual order.
e5
1 . e4
Nf6
2 . Nc3
3. f4
d5
For 3 . . . . exf4 ? see pitfall 4 .
Nxe4
4 . fxe 5
5. d3

The Blackmar Gambit is one of the dashing


by-products of chess opening theory
which catches a goodly haul of victims in
club and social play though it has few
successes in master tournaments. Like
most pawn sacrifice gambits, whose
object is rapid piece development, it
depends for its results on Black becoming
too greedy and capturing irrelevant
pawns.
1. d4
dS
dxe4
2 . e4
3 . Nc3
N f6
exO
4. 0
Black can decline the gambit by 4 . . . . BfS
or 4 . . . . e3, but these enable White to
gain a slight edge without risk and taking
the pawn is best.
5 . QxO
5. NxO is a sounder line, but the capture
with the queen poses the question of
whether Black really knows the opening.
If he does not, he may be swept off the
board .
Qxd4
5.
6. Be3

5. . . .
Qh4 +
looks natural to 'punish' White for not
preparing d3 by 5. Nf3 . However, con
trary to appearances, Black's queen check
is a losing blunder.
Nxg3
6. g 3
7. NO
Qh5
8. Nxd5
White counters the threat to his rook by a
counter-threat to the black rook. If Black
now defends his c7 pawn by Na6, Kd8 or
Kd7, White wins the g3 knight by 9. Nf4
Qh6 1 0. Nh3 .
Nxh 1
8.
9 . Nxc7 + Kd8
10. Nxa8 Be7
1 1 . Bg2
Bh4 +
1 2 . Kfl
Nc6
1 3 . d4 !
Less good is 1 3. Bxh 1 NxeS ; but after
1 3. d4 White remains at least a pawn up
with the better position (N2 1 4. Qe 1 and
the black knight remains trapped).
It

How to avoid the


Vienna que e n check

Black has two better plans in the diagram,


5 . . . . Nxc3 6. bxc3 d4 7. NO Nc6 8.
cxd4 Bb4 + simplifying, or 5 . . . . Bb4
6. dxe4 Qh4 + 7. Ke2 Bg4 + with
complications. For these, see page 1 10.
26

fig. 4 2

Q b4 7
6.
7. 0-0-0
Bg4 7
8 . NbS I
e5
B lack i s already lost. I f h e tries to
stop 9. Nxc7 mate by 8 . . . . Na6 then
9. Qxb7 Qe4 (Rb8 10. Qxb8 + ) 10. Qxa6
Qxe 3 + 1 1 . Kb1 Bxd1 1 2. Qc6 + Kd8
1 3. Qxc7 + Ke8 14. Nd6 + Bxd6 1 5.
BbS + wins.
9. Nxc7 + Ke7
10. Qxb7 1
This final coup closes the trap. If 1 0 . . . .
Qxb7 1 1 . BcS mate, or if 10 . . . . QaS
1 1 . Be 5 + Qxc5 1 2. N a6 + wins the queen.

Black has chances to refute the gambit by


6 . . . . Qg4 7. Qf2 e5 with the threat Bb4.
A move later, 7 . . . . c6 may still be a
defence. If Black is completely unfamiliar
witl:t the gambit and wishes to duck all
White's homework, he can transpose into
completely different openings by 2 . . . . e6
(French Defence) or 2 . . . . c6 (Caro-Kann).
Trap Seven - The mazy Morra

The Morra Gambit ( 1 . e4 cS 2. d4 cxd4


3. c 3) has an attraction for many young
players when they start to meet the
fashionable Sicilian Defence. The Sicilian
is the most analysed of all openings, and to
choose the trappy Morra against it
avoids the burning of much midnight oil.
The gambit can certainly be defended; but
isn't easy to counter at the board, and
features trap variations which continue
to claim victims in match and tournament
chess.
l . e4
cS
cxd4
2. d4
dxc3
3. c3
4. Nxc3
Nc6
The plausible 4 . . . . d6 5. Bc4 Nf6 ? fails to
6. e5 ! Qc7 ( dxe5 7. Bxf7 + Kxf7 8. Qxd8)
7. Bb5 + Nfd7 8. Nd5 Qd8 ( if Qa 5 + 9. b4 !
Qxb5 9. Nc7 + ) 9. Qc2 ! and Black cannot
avoid heavy material loss. If Nc6 10. Bxc6
bxc6 1 1 . Qxc6 threatens both Nc7 + and
Qxa8.
d6
5. NO
Another apparently safe line which gets
Black into difficulties is 5 . . . . g6 6. Bc4
Bg7 7. e5 ! Qa5 8. 0-0 Nxe5 9. Nxe5 BxeS
1 0. Nd5 e6 1 1 . Re1 f6 1 2. Bb3 K7 1 3.
Rxe5 ! fxe5 1 4 . Qf3 + Ke8 1 5. Bh6 Nxh6
1 6. Qf6 and wins.
6. Bc4
e6
Again 6. . . . Nf6 ? runs into trouble after
7. e5 ! and if dxe5 8. Qxd8 + Kxd8 (NxdB
9. Nb5) 9. Ng5 Kc7 10. Nx7 Rg8 1 1 .
Nb5 + Kb8 1 2. Nxe5 Nxe5 1 3. Bxg8
Nxg8 14. Bf4 and wins, or if here 7 . . . .
Ng4 8 . e6 Bxe6 9. Bxe6 fxe6: 10. Ng5 Nf6
1 1 . 0-0 Qd7 1 2 . Re1 e5 1 3. Qb3 d5 14. f4 e6
1 5. fxe5 with advantage.
7. 0-0
Nf6
8 . Qe2

Geared up - many experts arrive at the board


a few minutes early. The aim is self'"motivation
for tough four or five hour playing sessions
and a final mental rundown on opening plays.
Preparations for major matches may start
months in advance with the aid of trainers and
files on opponent's games.

'1 :
& ,w- -
- ..
'':;i.;
-.1 , . . ,. . . \
:;-:
.
' t. ,

: "1
-; . . '"".1.
.,

-;U '.
;:<" '& '

\
\\
'

'

',

r.

'
\

' 'r,
:-:

'

\ \.
\

.....

__, ;.-

- :.

_;.;

...

.
...::..;a

..,.,.....,_

......

< '

' ..t:' .

'i. ',
.:.
Jr.
-:.

' :J:-

.-;... '

'

' '

: ' . :

ot;
. ....-:

'

-.

,... __ \' ,''-

_ _...,

:..

g6 4. cxd4 dS 5. exdS Nf6, when Black


regains his pawn with a reasonable game
and - most important - the gambiteer is
diverted from the lines he knows well.
T rap e ight - The anti-dragon

8. . . .
a6 ?
This last is a plausible move, since It IS
normal in the Sicilian Defence for Black
to ad vance his queen's side pawns. The
pawn move also allows the black queen
to go to c7 without risking harassment by
9. Nb5. Nevertheless a6 is a mistake which
falls into another of the mazy Morra 's
traps.
9 . Rd 1
Qc7
Be7
10. B f4
I f 10 . . . . e5 1 1 . Nd5 NxdS 1 2 . exdS Be7
1 3 . dxc6 exf4 1 4. cxb7 Bxb7 1 5 . Rac l
with fine open lines for White's pieces.
If 1 0 . . . . NeS 1 1 . BxeS dxeS 1 2 . Rac l
Bd7 1 3. Bxe6 ! Bxe6 1 4. NdS Qb8 1 5 .
Nc7 + Ke7 1 6 . Qd2 with a winning
attack against Black's exposed king.
0-0
1 1 . Rac1
Rd8
1 2 . Bb3
If 1 2 . . . . eS then again 1 3 . NdS ! with
advantage .
1 3 . Nd5 1
This is a typical idea in the Morra Gambit
White takes advantage of the concealed
attack along the c file by his rook against
the black queen to regain the gambit
pawn with advantage after a temporary
knight sacrifice.
13.
exd5
h6
14. exd5
1 5 . dxc6
dxc6
Bd7
1 6 . Nd4
1 7 . Nxc6 ! Bxc6
1 8 . Ba4
followed by R or Bxc6 with a distinct
advantage for White : he has two bishops
against bishop and knight, while the
isolated black d pawn and especially the
a pawn are targets for the white pieces.
How to avoid
the M o r ra Gambit

A better defence to the Morra Gambit


from the diagram is 8. . . . Be7 and 0-0.
But many players who adopt this gambit
do so regularly and know its nuances and
subtleties even when Black defends well.
This also applies to declining the gambit
by 3 . . . . Nf6 or 3 . . . . d S . Therefore I
recommend club players confronted with
the Morra Gambit to sidestep it by 3 . . . .

28

At the average club player level, few


opening traps have enjoyed such con
sistent success as the special anti-Dragon
attack employed against the Sicilian
Defence. The Dragon (named because
Black's pawn formation d6-e7-f7-g6-h7
has a vague resemblance to the outline of
the mythical beast) is one of Black's
most popular systems, but it can blow
up in its owner's face if even one or two
moves are too slow or inaccurate.
Such inaccuracies give White the
chance to carry out a standard system
which has brought success in hundreds
of games. It is easy to understand, to
remember, and carry out, and the Anti
Dragon can therefore be recommended
as a very good trap for club play and in
the lower sections of weekend congresses.
l . e4
c5
2 . NO
d6
3. d4
cxd4
4. Nxd4 Nf6
5. Nc3
g6
6 . Be3
Bg7
Nc6
7. 0
8 . Qd2
0-0
9. Bc4
Bd7
1 0 . Bb 3

played, but weak, is 10 . . . . a6 ? when


White continues as in the column.
Ne5
l l . h4
Nc4
1 2 . Bh6
Qxc4
1 3 . Bxc4
14. Bxg7
Kxg7
1 5 . hS I
It is an important part of the Anti-Dragon
trap that this advance should be played
at once and not delayed until White has
pushed g4. If now 1 5 . . . . NxhS 1 6. g4 Nf6
1 7 . Qh6 + Kg8 18. NdS Rfe8 1 9. gS NhS
20. RxhS gxhS 2 1 . Nf6 + exf6 22. gxf6
and mates.
Kg8
15.
Rac8
1 6 . 0-0-0
b5
1 7. Qh6
1 8 . g4 1
e5
If 18 . . . . e6 19. QgS Ne8 20. Qe7
followed by 2 1 . hxg6 wins.
1 9 . gS
Nxh5
20. Rxh5
gxhS
5
2 1 . Nd5
22. g6
Resigns.
The finish is similar to the note to Black's
l Oth move : 22 . . . . hxg6 23. Qxg6 +
Kh8 24. QxhS + Kg7 25. Rgl mate.
How to avoid the ant i-dr agon
Black has two reasonable plans at move
1 0 : the simplifying 10 . . . . Nxd4 1 1.
Bxd4 b5 (when White should continue by
1 2. h4 aS 1 3. a4) and 10 . . . . Rc8 11 . Bb3
NeS when White continues 1 2. Q-Q.;.O
with complicat-ed play. This main lime
of the Anti-Dragon system can also be
reached with 1 0. 0-0-0, but by adopting
the less familiar 1 0. Bb3 White takes little
risk while giving Black the chance to go
badly wrong on move 10.

Trap nine Pieces beat the queen

Judging by the point count table on page


14, three pieces (two knights and a bispop,
or two bishops and a knight) shoula :
prove stronger than a queen. And - "it.'
usually happens in practice, e<;:ept a,
minority of occasions when there '111*.,:
tactical chance favouring th. player
. .... mfl\
the queen or else when the quee,
. . 11)11p
freedom of action to capture pa.':::f';i
'
One good example of putf;ing\:'
of three pieces against : the qu . .
practical use occurs in a promising c "

:
to the Pirc Defence ( 1. e4 d6) and : th
Modem Defence ( 1 . e4 g6l These popar:
systems are often played in contemp:rt
tournaments. Black can and slllould'ava
the queen v piees situation, but
strategy has brought good reults,
when Black has avoided the trap. -' : '
g
l . e4
2 . d4
B g7
d6
3. Nc3
Nf6
4. Bc4
5. Qe2
This position can arise Just the sam:e if
Black begins 1 . . . . d6 and continues
.

Here 1 0. 0-0-0 is the more usual move,


but the immediate bishop retreat has in
practice often caused Black to go wrong.
10. . . .
Qc7 7
One of several plausible but inferior
moves in this critical position. Another
example from actual play is 10 . . . . NaS ?
1 1 . Bh6 ReS 1 2. Bxg7 Kxg7 1 3. h4 Nc4
1 4. Bxc4 Rxc4 1 5 . hS ! eS 1 6. N4e2 NxhS
17. g4 Nf6 18. Qh6 + Kg8 1 9. gS Nh5
20. RxhS ! gxhS 2 1 . NdS fS 22. g6 hxg6
23. Qxg6 + Kh8 24. 0-0-0 Resigns, for
White's rook will join in the attack at g l
or h 1 with decisive effect. Also frequently

.. -

.
.

N f 6, 3

g6 a n d 4

).

B7

:\ e h
11
l' l h J .x c "i d .x c "i I H g "i . a n d i 1
, (l h . c "i J :-: c '1 ;
l x e 'i N J S R B d 2
! < d l < ) \ \ ed h 0 - 0 - 0 , 1 n h o t h c a ses w i th
g( ) ( IJ ,J t t ,l l{ J n g c h a n c e s fo r W h i t e . A n
1 n t c r - L I u h g a m e ( R H a r rn a n --0. H i l l ) w e n t
)
0-0 h . c S d x e 'i 7 . d x e 5 N e8 8. f4 c 6
9 :\ 1' 3 B g 4 1 0 Be 3 B x f3 ? 1 1 . Q x f3 K h 8 ?
( \\'eakcns t h e f7 sq u a r e ) 1 2 . Rd 1 Qc7 1 3 .
e4 b6 1 4 . N g 5 c6 1 5 . Q h 3 h6 1 6 . 0-0 Qe 7
1 1 . B x e 6 ' fx c6 1 8 . N x e6 R g8 1 9. fS ! g x fS
2 0 . N x g 7 Q x g 7 2 1 . R x f5 Q h 7 2 2 . R h S
R e s i gn s .
6. eS

IS

B g 'i

fo l l o w ed by

N f6 + or ( b ) l l .

0-0-0 1 4 . R h e 1
K hH ( 1/ H / 5 1 5 . Bc4 e6 1 6 . fJ in ten ding g4)
l S . B h S c6 1 6 . Ba4 h 5 1 7 . N x e6 fx e 6 1 8 .
B h 3 d S 1 9 . B f4 + Ka8 20. N e4 .
B c6 1 2 . B d ) Q d 7 I 3 .

Nd4

Ho w t o a v o i d this t ra p
B l a c k c a n s i d e s tep t h i s o p e n i n g by p l a y
i ng 4 . . . . N c6 or 4 . . . . c6, al tao ugh White

c a n then a v oid wel l-analy zed. variations


by 4 . . . . N c 6

5.

dS N d4

6.

N ce2 or 4 . . .

B b 3 N f6 6 . f4 . (See a lso pa-ge

c6

1 1 8.)

I f B l ack reac hes d iagram 45 his best


Nd7 7. Nf3 N b 6 ! $. Bb3 00
9 . B f4 a S 1 0 . a4 Bg4 1 1 . 0-0-{} Qc8 1 2 . Qe3
d x e S 1 3 . d x e S Be6 with a solid position
( K . A r kel lChandler, Manchester Bene
d i c t i n e 1 9 79) .
l i ne is 6 . . . .

Tra p t e n Ca t c h i n g t h e m a st e r s
M o st o p e n i ng traps find t h e i r v ic t i ms
am ong pl ayers in c l u b matc hes and

6.
I f 6.

. . .

N x d4 ?

N g4 a ga me N i g el S h o r t- D .

.J e r s e v 1 9 78, c o nt i n u e d 7 . e 6 !
:\ x d 4 8 . Q x g4 N x c 2 + 9. K d 1 N x a l \ 0 .
c :-: G + K f8 1 1 . Q h4 d 5 1 2 . Bd 3 Be6 I 3 .
:\ 1' 3 A x fi 1 4 . R e i d4 1 5 . B g 5 ! B f6 1 6 . N e4
B x g S 1 7 . N e x g S B x a 2 1 8 . N x h 7 + Kg8
I 4 R :-: e7 Q x c l ") (a b e t t e r t ry is B f7 ) 2 0 .
() x c l R x h / 2 1 . QJ Bd 5 2 2 . Qx a l a n d
\ \ ' h i t c s o o n \\ on \\' i th h i s e x t ra p i ec e .
A l so i n s u ffi c i e n t i s 6 . . . . N h 5 7 . B b S !
Sikkel.

dxeS ( Black's

b e s t c h a n ce is 7.

. . 0-0
8
F3.\ d) bxc6 9 . s4 dxC'5 w i th so me
L' P mpe n sa t i o n for t h e k n i g h t ) 8 . d'i 0-0 ( i l
cih 4 . J\ d) cxh 5 1 0 . cxh 7 B.\ h 7 1 I . Qxb5 +
Will ' ) 9 . d :-: c6 h x cb I 0. B x c6 R b8 1 1 . Q d 1
8 .1 6 1 2 . Q x d 8 a nd W h i te won on ma te r i a l
( R ega n -- S h a m k o v i c h . N ew York 1 97 8}
C pnn t h e retreat 6 . . . . N d 7 there can
fo l l ow 7. N f3 d x e '5 ? 8 . B x f7 + ! K x f7
9 Ng 5 + a nd wins.
7 . e x f6 !
N x e2
8 . fx g 7
R g8
9 . N g x e2 R x g 7
10. Bh6
R g8
1 1 . 0-0-0
T h i s p o s i t i o n h a s o c c u r red s e v e r a l
1 1 m es i n
m a t c h and tou r n a ment chess
hLl ,w ..,c p l a ye rs w i th B l a c k have been
,J t t r J L t cJ hy B l a c k ' s t wo e x tra p a w n s in
<; u p pn rt of t h e q u een. B u t p r a c t i c a l p l a y
h ,1 .., '> h n w n t h J t W h i t e c a n u se h i s p i e c e s
1 < 1 b rea k d n w n A l a L" k ' s pa w n b a r r i c a d e .

w e e k e n d c o n g resses.
Ma sters,
better
p r i m e d , u s u a l l y know enough to sidestep
c1 nd a v o i d them . B u t a trap in the Grun
fe l d Defe nce ( w h e re Bla ck a ll o ws W h i te a
pawn c e n t re then tries to u nd e rm i ne it
w i th p ie c e s) i s unusual in that it bagged
four ma sters in n a ti o nal and i n t erna t ional
p l a y in under a yea r. It has the e s sent i al
fea t u re for a ll practical traps. n a me l y that
t h e op ponent falls in to it by making

a p p a r e n t l y natural and
1.
2.
3.
4.

d4
c4
Nc3

cxd s

5 . g3
6. B g 2
7 ; N f3
8. e3

9. 0-0
10. dS
1 1 . e4

sensi ble mov e s .


Nf6

g6

dS
NxdS

Bg7

I n the earlier moves, W h i te h a s s u p p o rte d

h i s centre p a w ns w hile Black has trie<rl to

b l o c ka de the d pawn and o rg aniz e l o n g


d i stance coun terplay with b ishops and
k n i gh ts . It is natural for White t o try and
e l im i na te the p i n on h is k n i ght - but
a fter 1 2. h 3 ? the trap is sprun g .
BxD
12.
c6
13. Bxf3
1 4 . Qb3
If 1 4 . dxc6 Nxc6 and the b l a ck krfig'ht
reaches the outpost square Gi4.
14.
cxd S
1 5 . Nxd5
Nbxd5
NfJ
1 6 . exd5
1 7 . Qxb7 7
1 7 . Bg2 held out longer in Murra yiHbli.
Reykjavik 197 5 : 1 7 . . . . Nd4 18. Qd3 fS
1 9. d6 Qxd6 20. Bxb7 Rad:S 2 1 . 1Bg2 f4
2 2 . Be4 Qe6 2 3 . Kh2 hS 24 . b3 (24. JBel2
Bh6 threate.ns fxg3 +) Kh$ 2 5 . Ba 3 fxg3 +
26. Qxg3 Bh:6 2 7 . Qh4 Bf4 + 28. Kh l R:f6
2 9 . Rad 1 gS 30. R esi gns - the queen is lost.
17 . . . .
Nd4
1 8 . Bg-2
Qd6 !
Now thre is no good deFence to B.la,ek ' s
threat to win the . queen b y Rfb-8 . In
Lomba rd-Kirov and Sapi-Ri b l i , 1 9 7 5 ,
W h ite resigned at ortce . In . Gmmek
Szymczak, 1 97 5, White made the gesture
1 9 . BgS f6 20. Rfcl Rab8 2 1 . Qxa7 Rf7
before he a1so gave up, faced w i th loss
of queen or bisho p .

How to avoid this trap


Since the natural 12. h3 turns out to be a
l o s i ng m istake, White should try 1 2 . Qb3
or 1 2 . a4 - and .much earlier in the opem
i ng h e could transpose to another regu:la.t
va r iation by 4. e4 .

. N b6
N c6
0-(l)

eS

Ne7
Bg4

12. h3?

gnud \\ i n n i n g c h a n c e s .
P t l S S J b lc c o n t i n u a t i o n s a re : ( a )

\\ J t h

c) I 2

h 4 lkh I 3

1 1. . . .
B x e6 fx c6 I 4 . N e4 K d 7
29

TOP TEN

Chec
ate
Attacks

C h e c k m a t e on t h e c h e s s bo a r d is fi n a l
t h e re is no r e c o v e r y . A n d some t y pes o f
m ,l l L' a n d '- n t a m p a t t er n s o f p i ec e s LTO P
u p l r c ej u c n t l y a t a l l l e v e l s o f p l a y . I n
n o \' l 1 e ( h e s s t h e v m a v oc c u r i n a n e l e
m e n t a ry fo r m . fac"i l i ta ted by poor d e fe n c e ;
at t h e m a s t e r a n d e x p e rt l e v e l w h e re bo t h
p a rt i c i p a n t s a rc a l e r t t o t he i m p l i c a t i o n s
of sta n d a rd a t t a c k s, t h e y have to be
( a re fu l l y p re p a r e d l o ng i n a d v a nc e an d
p e r h a p s c r e a t ed by i m a g i n a t i ve fi n e s s e s
-

a n d '>a n i fi c e s

a c c i d e n t t h a t a l most a l l t he
i n \ o l v e t he q u ee n , t he most
p o \\ C r lu l c h e s s bo a rd p i e c e . a s s i s t ed by
( l nt' or m o re l e s s e r u n i t s . T h e seco n d a rv
p l C( C n l l r m a l l y mo\TS i n f i r s t to co n t r o l O'r

lt 1s
,l ! t J ( k s

no

The c h ess student who bcomes fami

l i a r w i th t h e mechan ics of these m a ti n g

c o n s t e l l a t i o n s is i n p os s ess i on o f a re l i a b l e
po i n t s c o r e r . O n c e the a t ta c ker has h i s
c o m b i n ed fo r c es l i n ed up aga i n st the
k i n g , it i s o ft en i m poss i b le to fi nd a
d e fe n c e .

Check mate attack one The f6 wedge

Thtre are some middle games where one


s i de p lays for space on the queen's wing

w h i le his opponent has a free hand to


o rganize an attack on the king. A strong
attac k i ng dev ice in suitable positions is to
a d vance the f pawn to f6 where it co,m
trols the g7 square and also acts as a
wedge stopping defe nders coming to aid
the k i n g .
T h e basic pattern : t h e white queen
w i thin range, no b lack piece availa b le to
guard g7. White w i ns b y 1 . Qh6 and
2. Q g7 m a te If the b l a ck b i shop was at
c5 i nstead of c6, Black would have the
defe n ce Bf8 (fig. 47).
.

o L ( u py a k e y s ll u a rc n e a r t h e e n e m y k i n g,
t h e n t h e q u ee n c o m e s i n

fo r t h e k i l l .

' -. ;

fig. 4'8

Here B lack p l a ns to d efen d both g7 aind.


h7 against mate threats by 1 . Qh:G :Rg8 an61
if 2. Rh3 NOS. White in ste ad plays a
b rillia nt but standard sacrifice from the
f6 wedge : 1 . Qha ltg8 2. Qxh 7 + ! Kx.h7
3. Rh3 mate .
.

The

game

Szabo-Hartoch,

AmsterGiam

1 9 72 ill us tra tes a more complex posit;:i;CDm,


but with exactly the same idea as in fi.

Qb6 Rg8 2. Bg4 Nxc3 3. it<\13 Qfr8


4 . Qxh7 + Kxh7 5. Rh3 + Qh6 6. Rxh6

48 : 1.

mate .

The f'6 wedge. The white pawn has penetrated


to the heart of the black game and the pieces
prepare a checkmate attack. In master chess
Black tries to avoid such passive positions.

:n

C h e c k m a t e a t ta c k t w o

C h eck mate attack three Q ue e n and b ishop aga inst h7

T h e m a t i n g g6 pa w n

h a s i c pa t t ern o f t h i s s i t u a t io n i s t he
p a \\" n on gb. t h e q u een w i th i n
s t r i k 1 n g ra n ge a n d t h e b l a c k k i ng u n a b l e
I l l r u n ta r . W h i te m a t e s by
1 . QhS +
K gR 2 . Q h 7 + K f8 3 . Qh8 m a t e .

The

,l d , a n c ed

fi g . 5 1

m o re a d v a n ce d e x a m p l e comes from a
l i g h tn i ng game. at H a s t i ngs in 1 94 8 .
T h e re a re m a n y p i eces on t he boa rd a n d
B l a c k . m a t e r i a l a h e a d . t h reatens Q x f2 + .
h u t e v e n a t t e n se c o n d s a m o v e W h i t e
, i s u a l i zed t h e c h a n c e t o fo rc e h i s q u e e n
to h 7 I . R h 8 + K x h 8 2 . Q h 1 + K g8 3 .

H e re ( J . Benj a m i n-G . Carter, London


A m a te u r Cha m p i o n sh i p 1 9 7 5) we see
W h i te c r e a t i n g t he g6 pawn several moves
in a d v a nce. The key is the p u sh w i th the
h pa wn to a t tack B l a c k ' s c a stled pos i t i on
w h i le the w h i te kn ight w a i ts at e 5 . Once
t he pa wn can reach h5 the knight is
sa c r i fi c ed a t g6 to set up the mating
p a tte r n .
For a sports pa ra l l e L i lT!agine a long
p u n t hy a r u g b y ful l - back d eep into the
opp o s i n g tea m ' s 2 2, w i th the p u n te r ' s
t h ree-q u arter l i ne fo l l ow i ng th ro ugh i n
s u p por t . The ' sa c r i fi c e ' of seve ral a ttac k
e rs t o ta c k l i ng d e fend e rs matte rs not so
l o ng as t h e re is a spare man to ta ke the
h a l l a c ross the l i n e .
H e re t h e b a l l is t h e g 6 pawn at move 1 4 .
The b i shop (mo ve 1 5 ) and the rook ( 1 7)
a re ta c k l ed but then t he queen go es
t h ro u gh to score t he w i n n i n g try by the
right-hand post .
l . e4 e5 2. N f3 N f6 3. Bc4 Nxe4 4. Nc3
N f6 5 . N xe5 d5 6. Bb3 Be7 7 . d4 0-0 8 .
Bg5 c 6 9 . Qd3 N fd 7 ? 1 0 . h 4 f G 1 1 .
N xd 5 ! cxd5 1 2. Bxd 5 + K h8 (see fig. 5 2 )
1 3 . N g6 + ! hx g6 1 4 . h 5 ! Q a 5 + 1 5 . c3
Qxd5 16. hxg6 + K g8 1 7 . Rh8 + Kxh8
1 8 . Q h 3 + Kg8 1 9 . Qh7 mate .

fig . 5 3

B e fore the k i ng is cas tl e d , f7 is the most


v u l n e r a ble sql!lare, as we saw in Scholar ' s
Mate and other early attacks. After
castling, the squares h7 and g7 (b7 and c7
in the case of l ong castling) are often
pro te c ted o nly by the king and are thus
p ri me ta r ge ts for the checkma te atta cker .
Fig. 53 is an example of a qu ee n - bi sh o p
a ttack on h7 which a ris es from a usefu l
open i ng trap : l. e4 e6 2. d4 d.S 3 . Nc3
dxe4 4. Nxe4 N d7 5. NO N gf6 6 .
N x f6 + N x f6 7 . Bd3 Be7 8 . Qe2 0 -0 9.
B g 5 b 6 ? 1 0 . B x f6 Bxf6 1 1 . Qe4 and if
Black moves or p ro te cts his att a c k ed rook
then 1 2 . Qxh7 mate .

Qh7 mate.

fig. 54

useful manoeuvre to know is a device


where the queen and b i sh op combine to
attack first h7, then f7. Here the o b v i ous
l. Qxh7 + 7 allows the bl ac k king to
escape, but White instead fo r c es mate by
1 . Bxh 7 + Kh8 2 . Bg6 + Kg8 3. Qh 7 +

K8 4. Qx7 mate .

12

c h a nged . I n t h e s ev eral p o p u l ar defences


w h e re t h e b l a c k b i shop is d eveloped at
g7. it ra r e l y p a ys to e x c h a nge it for a
w h i te k n i g h t .
A ba sic pattern for a dark d iagonal
a t t ack i s : White mates by 1. Rg8 + Kxg8
2. Q g 7 or 2. QhS .

fi g . 58
F\ d l77f'/,

C t 1 C h r a n e- - S ta u n to n ,

London

I X 2 . H n \\ Jrd S t a u n t o n . t h e h e s t p l a y e r

i n t lw \ \ t 1 1 1 d .J t t h e t 1 m e . k n e w a l l a bo u t
t he y u l' c n b i s h o p a t t a c k on h 7 ( i n t h i s
( J SC h 2 ) . H e f i n i s h e d t h e g a m e b y l . . . .
x h 3 ! 2. g x h 3 R g 4 + ! 3. h x g4 Q h 2

fig. 57

mate.

C h e c k m a t e a t t a c k fo u r
T h e da r k d i a go na l s

The d a r k - s q u a r ed b i s h op

1.

K u p reychik-Romanishin,
U SSR championship 1 97 6 . Black has
sa c r i fi ced a pawn for th is prom i sing
a t t a c k o n W h i t e ' s k i n g, but the obv ious
ND + a l l o w s N x f3 a n d i t i s not easy for
t h e l i g h t d i ago n al attack to bre a k through .
W ha t B l a c k really wants is to get h i s
qu e en i n fron t of t h e b i shop as in the
basic pattern : so he plays 1 . . . . Qf7 !
(attac k i ng W h i te ' s a7 bi shop) 2. Rxe 8
N f3 + ! a nd W h ite resigned. If 3 . N xf3
Q x f3 4. R x f8 + K x fB wi th no d e fence to
Qh I mate.
Example

Example 2. I . D. Wells-G . Kenworthy,


Cum bria v. Yorkshire 1 9 7 8 . Here i t isn 't
c l ea r how the dark d i agonal b i shop on c 3
c an g e t at t h e w e a k g 7 square (protected
only by Black ' s k ing) with other p ieces
in the way. The 1 4-year-old playn
W h i te settled the game with l. Nd7 !
Qxd7 (if Nxd7 2. Rxg7 + KfB 3. Qxh7
w ins) 2. Bxf6 Be7 (if g6 3. Qxh7 + ! Kxh7
4. R h 3 + Kg8 5. Rh8 mate) 3. Rxg7 + K f8
4 . Rg8 + Resigns. I f Kxg8 5 . Qg5 + and
6. Qg7 mate.

l u r k i n g near

t he b l a c k k i ng a t f6 or h 6 , or fu r t h e r back
a l o ng t he o pen d i a g ona l

l -h 8 , p ro v i d es

m a n y o p po r t u n i t i es for ma t i ng attacks i n
c o l l a b o ra t i on w i t h t h e qu een or other
p i ec e s .

W h en

Black

is atta c k i n g, then

t h ere a re e q u a l l y goo d outposts for his


l i g h t - s q u a red b i s h o p at n or h 3 . or any

u se fu l s q u a re o n t h e a 8- h I d i a g o n a l .
D a r k d i a go n a l a t t a c ks J re pa r t i c u l a r l y
s t r o n g \"\ h e n t h e o p po n e n t ' s b i s ho p o f t h e
s d m l' c o l o u r h a s b e e n c a p t u red or e x -

33

Exa mple 2 . P l a c h etka-S veshnikov,

Du bna

1 9 7 9 . An i d eal pos i tion for a queen/knight


ma te ex c e pt th at the wh i te queen is
d e fend i n g . So l . . . . Rc4 ! 2 . Qe3 Qh3 +
3 . K g l R x h4 ! 4. gxh4 N f3 + . W h i t e has
to g i ve up h is queen by 5. Qxf3 to avoid
m a te, a nd Black t h en w i ns easily o n
m a te r i a l .

C h e c k m a t e a t ta c k fi v e
Queen a nd knight

C h e c k m a te a t t a c k s i x
B a c k r o w m ate

fi.g. (;i 3
Example 1 . M i les-Bennett, Totnes 1 97 4 .

l : g u re
\ \ h e re
l l l . l ( L' cl

fi g . 1 9
) 9 s h o w s t h ree bas i c pa t te r n s
q u ee n ,! rd k n i g h t c o m b i n e to
( J '-. t l eJ k : 1 g .

Missing a b a c k row mate in t h i s game c0st


5 00. Gerald Bennett (Black, to move)
was a point in front of his rival in the race
for the 1 , 000 Cutty Sark Grand Prix as
both e xperts h urried their moves to reach
the t i me c o n trol . Black played 1 .
bxc3
2. bxc3 Rb8 3. Reb l Rxb l ?? (expecting
W h i te to reta ke the rook w i th a d rawn
e nd ing) 4. Ra8 + and Black is mated .
M iles ca ught up with his ri val by this
game, and they shared the 1 , 000 .
.

fi g . 6 2

We

ha ve a l rea d y

seen a n elementa ry

e x a m p le of a b a c k r ow mate in P itfa l l
h ve ( pa g e 1 9 ) . B u t ta k i n g a d v a n tage of a
c ra m p ed k i ng on the b a c k row is an
i m p ort a n t aspect of many mating d e v i c e s .
For e x a m ple , all t h e b a s i c q u een and
k n i g h t ma tes ( fi g . 5 9) show a back row

k i n g a l t h o u gh the d istinctive fea ture of


th ese posi tions is W h i te's c h o ice of
a t t a c k i ng pieces.
A g o od pia yer is on the alert for a mate
a n y t i me the board is ope ned up and the
enemy back row is unguarded or under
p ro t ec t e d . Here ( S i magin-Kholmov, Mos
cow 1 966) W h i te has made a bolthole for
h i s k i n g i n t he ap p ro v ed manner, b u t h e
is s t i l l s h o rt of n i g h t squa res and th e
b a c k row is u n g ua rd ed . W h i te innocently
took a pa w n by l . Bxc7 ? Ng4 + ! and
re s i g n ed beca u se of 2 . h xg4 Rh6 + 3. Kg 1
Rd l m a t e .
,

fi g . 60
r, u mplt' 1 . S p a s s k y -- A v t o n o m o v , Len i n
g r ,1 J 1 9 4 9 . Bo r i s S p a s s k y. wo rld c h a m p i o n
t 1 1 h e . \\ o n t h i s p o s i t i on as W h i te ( t o
nw n j a t t \\' e l v e v e a rs o l d hv a c o m b i n e d
-1 u e cn a n d k n i g h t a t tac k . H e pl a y ed 1 .
R x d 'l ! Q x d 5 2 . Q x e 7 + K g8 3 . Q x f6 a n d
B l a c k re s i g n ed as i f R h 7 ( to s t o p 4 . Q g7
ma t e ) 4 . N e / + w i n s t he q u e e n .

fig. 64
2. Bernstein-Ca pa blanca, St
Petersburg 1 9 1 4. A classic example of the
back row mate . Both kings are vulnera ble,
e . g . i f B lack plays the obvious l . . . . Q.b l +
2. Q fl R d 1 ? 3. RcB + mates . Capa ' s
startl i ng solution was I .
. Q b2 ! If
2. Q x b 2 Rd 1 mate. If 2. Q e 1 Qxc3 3. Qxc3
R d 1 + mates. If 2. Rd3 Q b 1 + 3. Qd 1
Qxd 1 + 4. Rxd 1 Rxd 1 mate .
Example

fi g 6 1

34

John Nunn of Oxford University, in 1 MO


Britain 's first winner at Hastings for 26 yeers.
Hast i ngs is the world's longest-running
grandmaster annual.
Mathematician Dr Nunn says there's no
direct link between his two interests : 'in maths
you need to be right, i'n chess only more right
than your opponent '.

fi g .

6 'i

Exl1 mple 3 . T a i --O i a fsso n . L a s P a l rnas 1 9 7 5 .


E x - wo r l d c h a m p i o n M i k h a i l Tal i s a
fa m o u s t a L t i c i a n . b u t h e re h e is on t h e
rece i v i n g e n d . T h e key to t h e pos i t i o n i s
B l a c k ' s p o te n t i a l bac k r o w m a t e R d l . A t
p r es e n t t h i s i s harm l e ss beca use of Ne 1
\v hen t h e \v h i te q u een g u a r ds t h e kn i g h t,
\\ h i l e r em n v i n g t he k n i g h t by B x f3
w o u l d be m e t by g x fJ w h en t h e w h i te
k i ng h a s a h o l e . B l a c k won b r i l l i a r.tl y by
c o r.1 h i n i n g t he b a c k row t h e m e w i th a
t h re a t to t h e r ook a t e 7 : 1 . . . . R d l +
2. N e ! Q g '> ! ! a n d T a l r e s i g n e d . If 3 .
Q x g ) R. x e l m a t e . o t h e r w i se W h i t e l oses
t h e e"7 roo k .

C h e c k mate atta ck seven


S m o t h e red mate

A k i ng be h i nd u n moved pawns and bo xed


i n bv his o w n d e fe n d e r on the ra n k can

'
be a s i g n a l for a smothe red mate attack
by a k n i g h t . H e re W h ite's kn ight gi ves
t he mo st usual mate - at f7 - while the
b l a c k k n i g h t c an mate because the white
p .n-v n is p i n ned by the queen.

Exa mple 1 . Cap abla n c a M att i s o n

Examp le 2. Unzicker-Sarapu, Siegen 1 970.


White (to move) seems to have g-r eat
difficulties despite being a bishop ahead,
as Black threatens to win by Rxd6. But
the game ended l . Bf4 ! N xf4 2. Q x 7 +
Kh8 3. Q gS + Rxg8 4. N 7 mate . White
needed to visualize this possibility several
moves before fig. 68 was reached .
C h ec k mate atta c k e ight Heavy piece atta c k

Example 1 . Alekhine-Borochow, . Holly


wood 1 932. With queen and both rooks
all threatening the white king, it looks
easy for White, but the obvious 1 . Rh3
can be met by BfS. Alekhine (playing
a blindfold simultaneous exhibition)
found l. Ne6 ! which blocks the line of
Black's d7 bishop while removing the
knight from the g file. Black resigned
because of l . . . . Bxe6 2. Qxh 7 + Kxh7
3. Rh3 mate .

fig. 71

Cads

bad 1 9 2 9 . White to move. The great


Capa 's o p ponent resigned rather than
a l l ow t h is position ! Why ? Beca u se of
1 . c S + Kh8 2. N fi + K g 8 (if Rxfl 3.
R d 8 + with a back row mate) 3. N h6 +
K h8 4 . Qg8 + ! Rx g 8 5 . N 7 mate .
This fo rm of the smothered mate with
a queen sac r i fice is known as Philidor's
Lega cy after the great eighteenth century
chesspla yer. musician and unofficial
world c h a m p i on of his time.

T h e basic pattern o f this manoeuvre


o c c u r s with White's queen and rooks
poi sed for attack while the black pieces

are stranded on the other side of the board .


White (to move) wins by opening up the
black king and checking with queen and
rook to force mate : l . Rxb6 + axb6 2 .
Qxb6 + Ka8 3 . Qa6 + (i10t 3 . Ra 1 + ? ?
Qxa l + ) K b8 4 . Rb 1 + Kc7 5 . Rb7 + Kc8
6. Qa8 mate .

Examp le 2. Hi.ibner-Petrosian, world


championship interzonal, Biel 1 976. This
diagram (fig. 7 1 ) will go down in chess
history as a remarkable grandmaster
blunder where West Germany's best
player had an easy win with a heavy
piece attack but failed to see it.
Black's king is hopelessly exposed ancl
ex-world champion Petrosian's last move
Qd6 was a desperate attempt at bluff
with a threat of his own. Hi.ibner staTed
at the position and didn't hear even when
the audience started to discuss the right
move. He played 1 . g3 ? ? lost the game a
few moves later, and with it a possible
world title chance.
White can win by I. QeS + K g 7 2 .
R e 7 + K h 6 (Qxe7 stops mate but loses on
material) 3. QfS + K hS 4. R x h7 mate .

Check mate attack n i n e The G re e k G i ft


The sa c r i fi ce B x h 7 + was first worked out
300 yea rs ago and has continued to claim
v i c t i m s e v er s i n c e . Often called the 'Greek
G i ft' it c an become possi ble w h en the
w h i te b i sh o p is on the b 1 -h7 diagonal
w h i le the defending knight has left its
best sq u a re at f6 a nd

cannot return. A
and knight may
follow ; White may win b y bringing his
rook i n to t he a t ta c k v ia the thi rd rank .
Somet i mes t h e b l a c k k i ng is driven round
the board so h a rd t h at he has to g i ve up
dec i s i v e m a t e r i a l to stave off mate.

quick m a te by q u een

sacrificed a knight to reach this position


and, with b ishop pinned against the
queen, forced a spectacular win. The
final checkmating position is nine moves
deep, but White knew the Greek Gift
idea and worked it out accurately : 1 .
Bxh7 + Kxh7 2 . Qh5 + Kg8 3. Bd2 !
(not 3. Rf3 ? ? Rd 1 mate) Rxd2 4. RO Rxg2
(hoping for 5 . Kxg2 Q c 6 ) 5. Rh3 ! K8 6.
Qh8 + R g8 7 . Qxg8 + Kx g 8 8 . Rg1 + Kf8
9. Rh8 mate .

fig. 74

fig. 7 2
Example 1 . The basic pattern can be seen
from Y a t e s - Marin, Hamburg 1 930. The
pos i t i o n was reached from the opening by
l . e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 N f6 4 . Bg 5 Be7

5. e5 Ne4 6. B x e 7 Qxe7 7. Qg4 0-0 8 .


B d 3 Nxc 3 ? 9 . bxc3 c5 1 0. N f3 c4 ? and
now 1 1 . Bxh7 + and Black resigned .
If 1 1 . . . . Kxh7 1 2. Qh5 + Kg8 1 3. Ng5
and B l a c k either has to surrender his
queen o r be mated by 1 3 . . . . Rd8 1 4 .
Q h 7 + Kf8 1 5 . Qh8 mate . Declining the
Greek G i ft does not help : 1 1 . . . . KhS 1 2.
Q h S f S 1 3 . B g 6 + Kg8 1 4 . Qh7 mate.

The basic pattern - the white rooks in


command, the black king's flight barred
by its own rook, and mate in two by 1 .
Rxh7 + Kg8 2 . Rdg7 mate .

Example 3. Kuzmin-Sveshnikov, USSR


championship 1 97 3. Sometimes the Greek
Gift sacrifice involves giving up both
bishops. Here Bla,k' s pieces are cramped
bhind a row of pawns while his knight
is far away exchanging on the queen's
wing. White ignored the obvious capture
of the knight and played 1. Bxh7 + !
Kxh7 2 . Qh5 + Kg8 3 . Bxg7 ! Now White
threatens 4. Qh8 mate, while 3. . . . f6
would be fatal because of 4 . Qg6. So
Black took the second bishop by 3 . . . .
Kxg7 and the game ended 4 . Qg4 + Kh7
5. RO threatening 6 . Rh3 mate. Black
could stop the mate only by crippling
material loss (5 . . . . Qd8 6. Rh3 + Bh4
7. Rxh4 + Qxh4 8. Qxh4 + ) so resigned
the hopeless position .
C h e c k mate atta c k t e n
R o o k s on the seventh

A more complex example has White


offering a draw in this postal game
position, suggesting l . . . . Rg2 + 2.
Qxg2 Rxg2 + 3. Kxg2 when White's pair
of rooks balance Black's queen. But Black
refused, played 1 . . . . Qxd4 !, and White
resigned. If2. Qxd4 Rg2 + 3. Khl Rxh2 +
4. Kgl Rbg2 mate .

fig. 77

Chess is not just a matter of applying


general principles - every position is
liable to have its individual quirk. Hre
(Capablanca-Wohlbrecht, St Louis 1 909)
the great Capa, knowing about rooks on
the seventh, casually played 1 . Qg5. It
brought an instant resignation when
Black saw that if QxgS 2. Rg7 + Kh8
3. Rxh7 + Kg8 4. Rbg7 mate. Capa
graciously accepted the resignation, then
pointed out 1 . Qg5 Re l + 2. Kf2 Rh l !
when Black can defend . Said Capa, 'I
should have played l . Nd l ! threatening
Qb3 + . '

fig. 7 3

Examp le 2 . P . G . Large-J ;M. Ripley,


Aaronson Masters 1 978. White (to move)

37

TOP TEN

En games

World champion Anatoly Karpov was


once asked by a group of chess club
players what they should do to improve
their results. Karpov replied, 'I don' t
know what you d o a t the moment. ' The
club players said they played a lot of
match ga mes, and stud ied the openings.
'But the endgames not very much ?' asked
Karpov . 'Do the opposite - study end
games ! '
Endgames are a weak spot for many
players, largely due to the common
practice in British team matches of
stopping play somewhere between move
30 and move 4 5 and letting an expert
adjud icator decide what ought to happen
with best play. N ot having to fight his
own battle, and rarely making enough
moves to reach a standard ' technical'
endgame, the average club player pays
little attention to it.
But times are changing, and more and
more competitive chess is played at
congresses where games continue to a
fi nish. Even in inter-club chess, the trend
is to require more moves before play is
stopped for the adjud icator's verdict.
38

Thus endgames are becoming pro


gressively more important.
Many endgame books list the nuances
of slightly differing positions in knight,
rook or queen endgames. Studying end
games this way is a great mistake as wel-l
as being both hard work and boring.
Only when you reach a 'theoretical' ending
across the board should you consult the
reference books and compare your method
of play with that of the masters. With
that exception, concentrate on the basic
principles emphasized in this chapter.
Endga m e one T h e active rook

Rook endgames are the most frequently


met in endgames in practice, and the key
principle is to maintain the rook as an

Wrong colour rook pawn. If Black's king can


reach h81 White can never win as his bishop
does not control the q ueening square.

ac t i ve p i ece ready to attack enemy

pa wns

rather than pa ssi vely d e fe n d i n g your own


pawns . The best acti ve rook posi tion is
on t h e seventh row w here i t often attacks

off

pawns and cuts


t he enemy ki ng on the
back row. I f y o u r rook is passive, it
frequen t l y pays to sacrifi c e a pawn to
esta b l i sh the rook in a better pos itio n .
F i g . 7 8 shows a typical c a se of acti ve
aga i n st p a s s i ve rook where White ' s rook
atta c k s the a pawn w h i le Black is tied

d own to d e fend i ng it. I f - B la ck does


nothi ng, W h i te bri ngs his k i ng to b7 a n d
captu res t h e pawn with a s i mp le w i n .
B l a c k ' s best c h a n ce t o m a k e it more
d i ffi cult for h i s o p p o ne nt is to give up
the a pawn at once by 1 .
. Rb8 2. Rx a7
R b 3 + 3 . K d4 Ra J B l a ck still loses, but
th ere i s more c hance for W h i te to go
.

wron g .

fig. 7 9

Examp le. Alekhine-Capablanca, 34th


match game 1 927. Another important
a ctive rook situation is behind an 'out
s i d e' passed pawn, distant from the

enemy king, with the opponent's rook


forced to . passively blockade the pawn.
The classic endgame in fig. 79 decided
the wo rld championship in Alekhine' s
. favour by 1 . Ra4 1 Kf6 2. KO Ke5 3. KeJ
h 5 4. Kd3 Kd5 5 . Kc3 Kc5 6. Ra2 ! ( th i s
is the important 'zugzwang' - compulsion
to move - technique ; Black has no useful
choice so must retreat and allow White's
king an entry route) Kb5 7. Kd4 Rd6 +
(RxaS gives White an easily won pawn
endgame) 8. Ke5 Re6 + 9. Kf4 Ka6 10.
Kg5 ReS + l l . Kh6 R5 and now the
quickest win was 1 2 . Kg7 RO 1 3 . Rd2 !
Kxa5 14. Rd5 + and if Kb6 1 5. Rd6 + KcS
1 6. Rf6 or if Kb4 1 5. Rd4 + KcJ 16. Rf4.
Note that the value of the rook sup
porting a passed pawn is less if the pawn
is still in its own half of the board. If the
white pawn in fig. 79 was at a4, a3, or a2,
then the black rook blockader would be
progressively more powerful. Its hori
zontal action along the rank would make
it difficult for White to improve his king's
position and would also give Black's
king more opportunities to become an
effective fighting piece.
39

E n d ga m e t w o
T h e a ct i v e kin g

Look aga in at the point count for the


pieces on page 1 4 . The king's value
r a p i d l y increases when only a few men
remain, and in an endgame the more
active king can be decisive. The ki ng is
rarely in da nger, and can usually be
employed aggressively to attack the
enemy pa wns.

Examp le. A verbakh-Suetin, . USSR cham


pionship 1 954. S ometi mes the active king
is used to attack its opponent rather than
win material. Here Black's king is coralled
by the white queen, so by joining in the
attack White's king forces mate. The
game ended 1 . Kg5 ! Qd2 + 2. f4 ! exf4
(the pa wn endgame after 2 . . . . Qxf4 +
3. Qxf4 exf4 4. Kxf4 is a standard win
since White's king can pressurize his
rival into surrendering the g pawn) 3.
Q'7 + K h 8 4. Kh6 R es i g ns. If 4 . . . . f3 +
5. g5 parries the check, and mate by
Qf8, Qg7 or Qh7 cannot be stopped.

black king, while the black majority


advances smoothly. The game went 1 . . . .
g5 ! 2. h4 h6 3. d5 Ke7 4. Kd4 Kd6 5.
hx g 5 hxg5 6. a4 a5 7. b3 g4 ! 8. Ke3 (if
8. Kc4 f4 ! 9. gxf4 g3 and Black's outside
passed pawn will queen) Kxd5 and Bla c k
won .

End g a m e t h ree The o utside passed pawn

fig. 8 3

fig . 80
Fig. 80 is a basic example of how the
more acti ve k i ng wins. Such a king is
usually centralized like White's here so
as to move rapidly to the scene of action.
The action in fig. 80 is on the queen's
side and White simply eats up the black
pawns by Kc5-b6xa6. Black should have
activated his own king earlier to keep the
white monarch out of his position.

An outside passed pawn, that is a passed


pawn far distant from the enemy king, is
strong in all kinds of endgames (see the
Alekhine-Capablanca rook ending, page
39. But when there are only king and
paw ns left, then such a pawn, actual or
potential, is usually decisive.
Many inexperienced . pa}',en . are de

ceived in pawn endgarp es ' by' ' believing


that any passed pawn, wh:erevr situated,
is a great asset. But a .pass ed' pawn in the
centre is often less' effective than a
maj ority of pawns on the flank which tie
down the opponent's forces on one edge
and open up the rest of the board to
invasion .
Examp le 1 . Evans--Reshevsky, US
Championship 1 969. Here White already
has a passed pawn and Black only a
potential one with a 3-2 king's side
majority. But White's pawn is easily
blockaded and indeed attacked by the

Example 2 . G ulko-D voretsky, USSR


championship 1 97 5. In complex endings,
a fast running passed- pawn can clarify
the result with dramatic effect. Think of
this position as like a soccer match : while
Boris Gulko (White, to move) sprints
down the left wing with his a pawn, Mark
Dvoretsky's striker rook slips behind the
sweeper knight and his midfield bishop
gets ready for a cross by the far post. But
the black forwards are stranded upfield
and the outside pawn combines with
White's striker rook to score : 1 . a6 1 (not
1 . Nfl ? Bd5 threatening Rxg2 + ) Rxe3
2. Rb8 + I (not 2. a7 ? Bd5 draws) Ke7
3. Rb7 + Resi gns . If 3 . . . . Kf6 4. a7 and
the pawn scores the winning goal.

Israeli chess master Zilber, at the /CL


Hastings Premier, ponders the aggressive
white queen. Note White's scoresheet to record
moves. Hastings runs a promotion system
enabling any good player to reach the
grandmaster group.
40

Endgame four The p awn char g e

fi g . 84

classical type of breakthrough to


queen can occur in a pure pawn endgame.
It is well known, and opportunities for it
occur rarely ; but the practical player has
to know it so as to be able to take measures
against it well in advance. Here White
wins by 1 . g6 ! and if hxg6 2. f6 gxf6 3. h6,
or if fxg6 2. h6 gxh6 3. f6 and wins. It
is virtually impossible to force this break
through : White's intentions are tele
graphed as his pawns charge up the board
and Black should put a stopper on the
idea before it happens by a suitably
timed . . . g6 or . . h6.

fig. 85

Example. Etmans-Tilstra, Holland 196 7 .


More practical than the 3v3 classical
pawn charge is a similar opportunity to
break through in a 2v2 situation. Here
White (to move) has a distant passed pa wn
and two bishops against two knights. The
one distant passer cannot make much
progress, so White creates another by
1 . Bxc7 ! Nxc7 2. g4 1 hxg4 3. h5 KfB
4. h6 Na6 5 . c6 Nc7 6. KgJ and, with
Black's king and knight tied down to
stopping the pawns, the white kiag
is free to simply stroll up the board and
eat up all the black pawns by Kg4,
KfS, Kxf6 etc.
41

E n dga m e five
The o n e pa wn w i n
A basic endga me w h i ch every p layer
needs to know even at nov i ce l ev el is
king and pa wn a ga i n s t k i n g It can occur
q u i te frequentl y if a game is played out.
The four d iagrams show the essentials.
.

Fig. 85c - this is where most player-s go


wrong. Black must go straight back by
1 . . . . K8 2. Ke6 and now confront the
white king by 2. . . . Ke8 3 . f7 + K8
4. Kf6, d ra wn by stalemate. If . he plays
instead l. . . . Ke8? then 2. Ke6 Kf8
3. f7 Kg7 4. Ke7 and White has reached
the shepherd position.
Fig. 85d - an a pawn or an h pawn
vastly improves the weaker side's draw
ing chances. Here White has an id eal
situation akin to (b), but can make no
progress. If l . Kb6 Kb8 2. a6 Ka8 3. a7 is
stalemate.

Example. Golombek-Pomar, London


1 946. The technique of pawn promotion
can be tricky and require tactical finess
ing, even in such a simple position as
shown here. Play went 1 . f7 + K8 a nd
now 2. Kf6 ? would be stalemate (fig. 85 c ).
But the presence of another pair of pawns
gives White a win by 2. Kd7 ! Kxf7 3 .

Fig. 8 5a - an easy w i n for W h i te . The K


shepherds home the pawn v ia b6, b7 a n d
b8 a n d B l a ck can o n l y watc h .
F i g . 8 5 b - another i d eal position to a i m
for if you have the pawn. W h i te w i ns, n o
matter whose turn it i s to move. I f it i s
Bla c k ' s move then l . .
Kg8 2 . Ke7 and
W h i te shepherds home the pawn as i n
( a ) . If it is White's move, then 1 . Kg6 Kg8
2. f6 Kt8 3. f7 Ke7 4 . Kg7 w i th a nother
shepherd s i tua tion .
.

42

Kd6 K f8 4. Ke6 K g 7 5 . Ke7 K h8 6. Kf6


Kh7 7 . Kf7 Kh8 8 . Kxg6 Kg8 (now White
has reached fig. 8 S b) 9. Kh6 K h8 10. g6
Kg8 1 1 . g7 Kf7 1 2. Kh7 reaching the
familiar shepherd situation and forcing
Black to resign .
Endga me s i x T h e w r o n g c o l o u r r o o k pawn

O ne o f t h e u ne x pec t ed e n d g a m e draws
can occur w h en o n e player has a bishop
and a rook p a w n (a or h pawn) whose
queen i ng s q u a re i s a different colour to
th at of the b i sh o p . Then there is a real
danger for the superior side that his
oppo n e n t ' s k i ng m ay be a ble to reach t h e
quee n i ng s q u a re from which it can never
be d i s l odged .

Endgame seven The Zugzwang trick

The b o a rd s h o w s the basic drawing


reso u rc e . Black s i m p l y p la y s 1 . . . . K g 7
fol lowed by 2.
. . Kh8 and White can
only

the king osci llating ad


g7 a n d h8 at the price
draw b y stalemate.

prevent

i n fi n i t u m b e t w ee n
o f a l l o w i ng

fig. 8 8

Despite the simplicity of Black's drawing


plan, there are a few surprising excep
tions to the wrong colour rook pawn
ending. West German grandmaster Klaus
Darga stumped players all round the
world with this little ending 'Fo a long
ti me, nobody found the solution, ' claimed
Darga. ' Everyone was beaten, whether in
Havana, in Belgrade, in Tel A viv or in
Moscow. Even Tal and Spassky gave up,
after they tried in vain for three-quarters
of an hour to work it out' . The chess
magazine edi tor who published the posi
tion after hearing Darga' s story tried l .
Bg2. 'That's the same first move as
S pa ssky p l a y e d , ' said Darga laughingly .
This story has probably gained in the
telling - i t ' s ha rd to credit that grea t
players of the cali bre of Tal and Spassky
c o uld fail to crack such a p uzzle. Unusual
ly, for the wrong colour rook pawn, White
can manoeuvre his three men so as to stop
Black getting to the corner square h8 in
front of the pawn : 1 . Bd7 ! KO 2. h4 K e4
( i f Kf4 3. Kd4 ! Kg3 4. h5 and the pawn has
a stra ight run) 3. h5 Ke5 4. h6 Kf6 5. Be8 !
and the black king must move away,
allow ing 6. h7 and 7. h8 = Q.

Knowledge of zugzwang - German for


' compulsion to move' - is essential for
the chessplayer. Zugzwang crops .up
quite often in pa wn endings when oneor
both kings attack or protect a p.awn
and the game is decided by who . ha5 to
give way first. A tip for sucn endings :
try to keep as many spare pawn moves in
hand as possible, away from the scene of
action. Often the player who uses up his
pawn moves first will be 'in zug;zwang '
and compelled to make a losing king
move.
Example 1 . Popov-Dankov, Bulgaria
43

1 97 8 . Here the first player to move his


king loses his central pawn and with it
the ga me. White (to play) can easily go
wrong by the routine 1 . a S ? h S ! and
White soon runs out of waiting moves.
Instead he plays l. g4 ! a6 (if g6 2 . gS !
hxgS 3. g4 or l . . . b6 2. bS) 2. aS g6 3.
g5 ! hxg5 4. g4 Kd6 5 . Kxe4 K e6 and
Black resigned. After 6. d S + the white
king either shepherds his pawn home or
penetrates the black position and eats up
the pawns on either wing.
.

Example 2. N. Stone-G. Waddingham,


national junior squad under- 1 4 champ ion
ship 1 97 9 . This is a critical zugzwang
position, but White didn't realize it and,
without much thought, played l . b4 ? ?
b 5 ! 2 . a S Kg2 3 . Ke4 K x h2 4 . Kf4 KhJ
and White resigned . He has no spare
moves left. is in zugzwang, and has to
allow Black to win the g pawn and the
ga me.
I nstead I . bJ ! keeping the spare move
would have won : 1 .
bS 2. aS Kg2
3 . Ke4 Kxh2 4. K f4 Kh3 5. b4 ! and Black
has to abandon the g pawn. Black could
try l . . . . aS 2. c4 bS (hoping for 3. cxbS
b6) but then comes 3. axbS b6 4. c S ! and
w ins.

The ' bad ' bishop is not a case of episcopal


sinnin but merely describes a bishop
whose mobility is seriously handicapped
by its own pawns. These pawns offer
targets for the combined action of the
opposing king and bishop (or king and
knight) which can often invade via
squares of the colour not controlled by
the bad bishop.
If you have the 'good bishop' whose
action is not impeded by your own pawns,
then you try to stop the inferior side
making pawn breaks which might free
the restricted bishop. Once the bad
bishop player is tied down to passive
defence then the player with the advan
tage can shift his attack from wing to
wing until he breaks through.
Examp le 1 Schelfhout-Menchik, 1 9 3 S .
This i s a typi cal bad bishop position.
Three of Black's four pawns are on the
same coloured squares as his bishop and,
just as important, the white king and
bishop can combine against them. Though
White has doubled pawns and one of
Black's pawns is passed this means little
beside a classic bad bishop weakness.
The game ended quickly by l . Bg2
Bd7 2 . Bh1 Be8 3. BO (zugzwan now
Black must unguard one of his pawns)
Bd7 (if B7 4. Bxc6 Bxc4 S. Be8 ! and the c
pawn advances) 4. BxhS Bc8 5. Be8 Bb7
6. Bd7 K g6 7. Kg3 Kf6 8. KO Kg6 9 . Ke3
Kf6 1 0. K d4 Ba8 1 1 . Bc8 Ke7 1 2 . KeS
and wins easily.

Endgame e i ght
The bad b i s h o p
fig. 92

fig. 9 1

44

Examp le 2. A verbakh-Lilienthal, Mos


cow 1 949. This is an example of winning
w i th a knight against a bad bishop. Note
that four of Black's five pawns are on
white squares, restri cting the bishop ; the
knight is ideally placed on a central black
square whence it cannot be dislodged ;
and Wh i te's only real problem is how to
create a route for his own king into the
black camp. This explains White's first
move I . g S ! after which Black has two
choices :
if I . . . . f5 2. Nf3 Be8 3. NeS Kd8 4. Kf3
Ke7 S. Ke3 Ke6 6. Kd4 Ke7 7. Nd3 Ke6
8 . N b4 aS 9. Nd3 Bd7 1 0 . a4 Be8 1 1 . b4
axb4 1 2 . Nxb4 and White wins with his

a pawn ;
if 1 . . . . fxgS 2. fxgS BcS 3. Kf4 aS 4. KeS
Bg4 5. Kf6 BhS 6. Ke7 Bg4 7. a3 Bd 1 8.
Ne6 + Kb7 9. Kd6 Bxb3 1 0 . Nd8 + Kc8
1 1 . Nxc6 a4 1 2. Ne7 + and wins.
In both variations, what matters is not
e
SO. much the individual mov s, but the
overall method by which White's K and
N combine to squeeze the black K. The
decisive material gain comes only when
Black has no counterplay at all.
Endgame nine The FischerfKarpov endgame.

fig. 9 3

Both Bobby Fischer and Anatoly Karpov,


en route to becoming world champions,
proved particularly formidable in the end
game balance of rook, bishop and pawns
against rook, knight and pawns. It was
not the material itself which did the trick,
but the ability of Bobby and Anatoly to
create positions where the board was
open, with good diagonals for the bishop
which could be shown as superior to the
knight.
The principles for playing the Fischerj
Karpov endgame are partly those relevant
to all good endgame play : activate your
pieces, especially the king and rook ;
restrict the opponent's pieces, especially
here the short-stepping knight; and look
for opportunities to infiltrate the oppo
nent's position with the king.
But there are also some special prin
ciples for the FischerjKarpov endgame.
You should avoid situations in which the
knight can be swapped for the bishop to
reach a rook endgame when the clefeneler
then often has good drawing chances ;
look instead for opportunities to eliminate
the rooks when the B v. N en dgame is
clearly won. The attacker should use his
rook to control important files an:d stop
counterplay, and try to fix some of the
defender's pawns on the same colour
square as the bishop.
Such 'technical' endgames can take a
long time to win, and this . brings . il\1
another special factor : the stronger . side
must be alert for chances to make use of

adjournment when this w i l l ena ble h i m


to analy se the position i n d epth, a n d o f
adj u d i cation, i f t h e game i s not con
ti nuing to a fi n i s h .
This i s n o endgame for novi ces : i f y ou
have not a l ready had some years chess
exper ience a nd become q u i te a strong
player, then it i s enough i f you s i mply
note the general pri n c i ples and fo llow
them as best y ou can. A fterwards try to
find some of the games of the two
champ ions a nd see how they ta c k l ed a
simi lar pos i tion to yours .
The game Fischer-Petrosian, 7th match
game, 1 97 1 , was one classic o f this
endgame type. F i scher's b i sh op controls
the open board, he has a 2- 1 quee n ' s
side majori ty, a nd Bl a c k 's a pawn i s
weak. Further, the useful move D has
deprived the black k n i ght of a possible
outpost square at e4 and cleared a path
for the w h i te k i ng to adva nce rapid l y
towards t h e centre.
Fisch er won by economi cal and precise
play w h i ch made the ga me o ne of h i s
most a d m i red v i cto r i es : 1 . R c 1 (threat
2. Rc6) Rd6 2. Rc7 Nd7 3. Re2 g6 (Black
cannot move h is k n ight because of 4.
Ree7) 4. K 2 (the k i ng heads for the
centre and an a c t i ve pos i t i o n ) h 5 5. f4 h4
6. Kf3 () 7. K e 3 d4 + (othe rw i se c omes
8. Kd4 and B la c k has no play at al l) 8. Kd2
N b6 (hoping to create a d i vers ion by
attacking the b pa wn, but this gives
White the c h a n ce to d ou b le rooks on the
seventh ra n k ) 9. R2e7 N d5 1 0. R7 + K e 8
1 1 . Rb7 N x b4 1 2. Bc4 R esigns. There is
no an swer to White's threats of 1 3. Rh7
and 1 3 . R x b4 . ( For the full ga me see page
77.)

Example 2. Ka rpov-Pomar, N i c e 1 9 74.


Anatoly Karpov, Fi scher's s u c cessor as
world champio n, has a l so made a spec i a l i ty
of th i s en d i ng. The board shows an
unusual examp le of the Fischer/Karpov
endgame i n that White plays for mate
rather than win of materia l ; but Karpov
still keeps to the princ i p le of u s i ng a ll his
th ree pi eces -- k i ng, rook and b i shop - i n
t h e de c i s i ve atta c k .
l . RfB + K c7 2. Ba 5 + ! ( forc i ng a

weakness, for if now 2 . . . . Kd6 3. Rd8 +


Ke7 4. Ra8 a6 5. Ra 7 and Black loses
a key pawn) b6 3. Bd2 ! Ne4 4. Bf4 + K b 7
5. R f7 + Ka8 (not Ka6 ? 6. Bb8) 6. Rf8+
Kb7 7 . b4 (starting to aim for mate, and
red u c i ng the chance of Black simplifying
towards a d raw by . . . c 5 ) Rxg4 8. Rf7 +
Ka8 9. Kc2 (remem ber the principle of
the acti ve king) h5 7 (Black e i ther over
looks what is comi ng or feels despair
a bout his position. 9 . . . . c5 is a to ugh er
defe nc e) 10. a4 h4 1 1 . Kd3 ! (driving
a way the knight and tightening the
mating net) Ng5 1 2 . R8 + Kb7 1 3. Rb8 +
Ka6 14. Bd2 ! Rg3 + 1 5 . Kc2 R e s i gn s .
W h i te will mate, either by 16. b5 + or,
if Bl a c k plays b5, by cxb5 + .
Endgame ten P etrosia n ' s e ndgame

The converse of the FischerjKarpov end


game is Petrosian's endgame, also a
speciali ty of a world champion. On his
way to the title, Petrosian won several
games by the technique of e nti c ing his
o p ponent to advance pawns on one flank
(h6 and g S or a6 and b 5-b 4 ), then aiming
for a p ositi on where these pawns would
be fi x ed in a rigid chain with a b i sh op
semi-immo b i l ized behind it. Meanwhile,
Petros i a n ' s k n ight would occupy the
holes c rea ted by the pawn advance,
espec ially f) on the k i ng's s i de or c4 on
the oppo s i te fla n k .
Techni ques to prepare for Petrosian 's
e ndgame include developing a b i s h op at
gS in front o f a fianchettoed enemy bishop
at g7, to encourage h6 a nd g5 ; and to
a d vance a n a or h pawn to a4j5 or h4j 5 ,
again to encourage the opposing b or g
p a wn to push forward.
Once the rigid pawn front is esta blished,
Petrosian and his imitators play for the

endgame. They a void giving the opponent


any chance to exchange his restricted
bishop, b ut willingly exchange other
pieces w hen possi ble. Eventually, the
k ni g ht a ndjor k i ng w ill infiltrate along
the squa res of the opposite colour to the
bad b i shop a nd into the e ne my c a m p .

Petrosian-Belyavsky,
1.
Example
USSR Cha mpion ship 197 3 . Petrosian
spots the way to his ending : L Bxe 5 ! (at
first sight this is a mistake because Black
can straighten out his pawn front by fxe 5 .
However, then comes 2. e4 ! and either
dxe4 3. Nd 2 and Nxe4 or 2 . . . . d4 3. Ne 1
followed by Nd3 accentuates the lack of
scope of Black's B) Bxe5 2. 1Ucl ReS 3.
Rc5 (threat 4. Rxd5)' Rd6 4. R1c2 K7
5. Kfl (the active king again !) Ke6 6. Ne 1
d4 (if Black awaits events, White switches
his knight to b4 with decisive pressure
against the weak pawns) 7. f4 d3 8. Rd2
Bb2 9. RxdJ (avoiding the trap 9. Rx b 2 ?
d2) Ra8 1 0. Rxd6 + Kxd6 1 1 . N d3 a5
1 2. Rc4 BaJ.
The Petrosian ending has done its jo b :
White is a pawn up, Black .still has an
inactive bishop and rook together with
pawn weaknesses, while White's three
pieces remain active and in control. The
game finished 1 3 . Ra4 Bc5 14. Nxc5 Kxc5
1 5 . b4 + Kc4 (Kb5 1 6. RxaS + with a
won pawn ending) 16. Rxa5 Rb8 17. a3
Kd3 18. Kf2 Rb7 19. Rc5 Ra7 20. Rxc6
Rxa3 2 1 . KO Resigns.

Example 2. Petrosian-Najdorf, Bled . 1 96 1 .


Petrosian's endgame cm be cre ated far in
advance d uring the middle game.
Black's queen's side pawn advance has
weakened the dark squares, the white
k n i g ht has a useful outpost on b4, and
the central pawn structure has left both
black bishops with little scope. The key
to the position is that after the exchan
o f queens White's rook and knights are
already poised to pour into the badly
d efe nded dark squares : 1 . Qb6 ! Qxb6
2. axb6 Rb8 (otherwise 3. b7 will win a
piece) 3. Rc7 B8 4. Na5 Rxb6 5. N4e6
Nxc6 6. Nxc6 Resigns. After 6 . . . . Bb7
7. NaS Ba8 8. Rc8 Bb7 9. Rb8 ! White
wins a piece, an eloq uent demonstration
of the weakness of the Petrosian endgame
bad bishop trapped behind its pawn wall.
(For another example, see page 69.)
The Fi sc her and Petrosian endgames are
both important in expert chess. For
further examples see How to Play the
Endgame in Chess.
45

Test b o a r d 1
W h a tever y o u r s k i l l level at chess, y o u
c a n o bta in an idea of your natural
a p t i t u d e for the game by looking at fig.
97 for ten seco n d s only and then setting
up the pos i t i o n, as far as

you can recon

s t ru c t it. on a c h es s bo a r d .

fi g . 9 7
T he po s i t i o n

was shown

in Holland

t o fo u r c h e s s p l a y e r s : t o Dr M a x E u w e ,
l o r m c r w or l d c h a m p i o n ; to a c he s s
m a s t e r ; to a n e x p e rt a nd t o w n c h a m p i o n ;
a nd to an a v e rage c l u b p l a y er . E u w e
e a s i l y d i c ta t e d t h e p o s i t i o n without a
s i ngle m i s t a k e ; t h e ma s ter added a pawn
on c2. The l o c a l champion omitted the
black b i shop.

transferred the rook on b4

/ ) u t eh p s \c h o l n,r.: t s / A J n u n Jc G roa t 's chess I Q


r ,,c '.., ho u n t h, pos 1 1 10 n f(J r 1.1 f e w seconJs.
t o rmer wo r/,/ c h u m p w n IJr A1ux Eu u e
rcco n s t ru c t eJ 11 pc,ji'ct ly. b u t averae players
co u iJ only recall l 'l.lf:UC o u t lines.

46

b8, misplaced or left out half a dozen


pa wns, and i magined an extra white
bishop. The average player could only
set up half a dozen of the p ieces correctly,
though he rightly j udged within the
seconds at his disposal that Black has a
ma terial plus .
Readers who succeed i n reconstructing
this position w i th fewer than four mis
takes after ten seconds probably have

to

d i s t i nct natu ral gifts for chess v i sua l iza


t i on - not the only aspect of chess talent
but a n i m po r tant one .
Dr Euwe, in h is comments on the
posi t i o n, rema r ked that he a l ways saw
p i eces in c l usters rather than i n d i v i d ually ;
for example he saw the e n t i re cram ped
b l a c k k i n g ' s posi tion as a whole. It is
c l ea r from this ex peri ment, set up by the
psychol ogist Ad rian de G root. that great
r hessplaye rs have an outsta n d i ng a b i l i ty
to v i sual ize the boa r d . Possession of this
fa c u l ty d oes not e l i m i na te h u man error,
and d u r i n g his play i n g career Dr Euwe
wa s noted for gross over sights.

counted as great e x agg e ra ti on by Hort,


but in general this is a test w here good
players find their way ro und the board
q u i c k l y . A mong lea d i ng British m en
players, Jonathan P en ro s e, ten times

nati onal c h a m p ion, took two minutes to


complete the k n ight tour, Bill Hartston
took th ree m i n utes, Ray mo nd Keene four,
Peter Cl arke 4 ! and m y sel f five. Strong
c l u b players may take 5- 10 minutes, and
anyone who beats six m inutes is likely to
have a bove average chess talent.

Test board 3

Test boa r d 2

fig. 99

fig. 98

Fig. 98 can be treated both as a chess party


game and as a serious test of skill. It can
be tried by anyone who knows the
moves of a knight and a pawn. You need
a chess set and board, and a friend with a
watc h .
The o bj ect i s to transfer the knight,
making legal k n ight moves only, from
a l to aB. stoppi ng en route at every square
w h ich is not oc cupied by or gu a rded b y a
b lack pa w n . Thus the knight v isits every
squa re al ong the bottom row from a1 to
h l , tu rns at h l up to h2 then leftwards
alo ng the second row, and so on. The
b l ack pa w ns stay on their d i agrammed
squa res and can not be capture d .
A d d l 0 seconds t o your total time
whenever the k ni ght lands on a square
occu pied or control led by a black pawn.
As an exa m ple, your first series of
moves would be to m o v e the knight
from a l to c 2, to a 3, and then to b1 - th en
you have to find a route to c l .
This l i ttle test measures quick sight
of the board, flexible thinking patterns,
and quick recall of patterns of play - all
aspects of chess s k i ll .
The test. and some others, were said
in a German magazine to be used in
evalu ating new y ou ng talents in East
Germany and C zec hoslovak i a . The claim
that this test had shown up the future
gran d masters Hort, S m ej ka l . Kavalek and
J a nsa at an ea rl y age in Pra gue w as d i s48

N a ti onal chess coach Robert Wade has


p o s ed t h is simple test of endgame judg
ment at a number of junior tournaments.
At the London under- 10 championship
n one of the youngsters found the correct
answer although their general standard
of pl ay was good for their age. Strategic
p l a nn i ng is also involved in the puzzle,
which is simply to decide the best way
for White (to move) to improve his
position.
The answers to this and the following
five d i a gr a ms ( figs. 99-104) are given at
the end of this chapter.
Test board 4

This puzzle has the unique feature of five


d i fferent ver d i cts given by players ran g
i ng from a b e gi nner to a grandmaster : the
test is to see how many of the moves in
the five sections below you can fill in.
Ea ch of the blanks denotes a missing
move. If there are two blanks after a
move number, both a white and a black
move h a ve to be found .
(a) A novice watching this game thought
that Black must win on material. Black's
threat of 1 . . . . cannot be stopped.
(b) His friend, an average club player,
thought that White could allow the threat
and win the game by 1 . . . . . . . 2. . . . . . .
3 . . . . . . . 4 . . . . when White wins easily
through his advantage on material.
(c) White looked at the position hard,
then resigned the game. He was an expert
p la y er, and foresaw that after 1. . . . ,
which the second spectator anticipated,

Black could reply 1 . . . . 2 . . . . . . . . and if


3. . . . renewing the threat of the second
move then 3 . . . . and White no longe r has
any saving resource.
(d) Black, a stronger expert, accepted
White's resignation. But then, to White's
horror and the astonishment of the two
kibitzers, he pointed out that after White's
anticipated first moves of 1. . . . . . . White
could improve his play dramatically by
2 . . . . and after 2 . . . . reply 3 . . . . followed
b y 4 . . . . winning on material.
(e) This game was played in 1 9 14 and
casually noticed by the Hungarian grand
master Szabo 36 years later. Szabo pointed
out that the spectators and both players
had all been wrong in their assessment.
Szabo said : 'After 1 . . . . as given in the
last variation, Black can improve on one
of the previous lines of play with 1 . . . .
2. . . . . . . 3. . . . . . . and White can only
choose between 4 . . . . and 4. . . . ' .
If you fill in the blanks correctly, you
will see why the spectators and players
thought that White or Black won, what
the grandmaster noticed which the lesser
players overlooked, and the true result
of the game with best play on both sides.
Test board 5

fig. 1 0 1

Petrosian-Gulko, USSR championship


1975. The ability to calculate moves
ahead is not the mostimportant item in a

may not possess this faculty to any marked


degree .
As an illustration, look at this diagram
from Furman-Smejkal (both strong grand
masters) played at Tallinn in 1 97 1 . Furman
(White, to move) saw no serious prospect
of halting Black's w id el y separated passed
p a wn s with the short-stepping knight
and, as a gesture before resignation,
play ed l . Ne 4 + KO 2. Nxc5 . After 2 . . . .
a2 3. N b 3 Ke4 4. Kg2 Kd5 White
res i g n ed, since the black king soon chases
the knight away from the a pawn which
then queens.

chessplayer's IQ. In many positiOns, a


strong master or grandmaster simply
'feels' that the best move is the right
choice, subconsciousl y weighing up the
pros and cons of the numerous different
factors.
But in the endgame, where many of the
great champions like Capablanca, . Fischer
and Korchnoi have been at their best,
you someti mes have to work out move
sequences very precisely . Petrosian
(White, to move) did so h ere, and it was
the decisive game of the championshi p.
It isn 't easy, but a potential chess expert
should be able to demonstrate a win in
under five minutes, working just from
the diagram without board and men.

Test board 8

Test boa r d 6

Grandmaster moves which perplex the


ordinary player usually turn out to have
a rational
and explica ble basis when
exami ned closely. Occasionally, however,
someone makes a move so deep that even
fellow-masters would not consider it.
When I demonstrated this position from
the Karpov-Spassky match at two leading
London chess clu bs, it took in each case a
full ten minutes for any of the 30-odd
members present to spot Karpov 's next
move as Wh ite, and then only by desper
ate guessing after other more obvious
possibilities had been discarded . The
move and its idea were hailed in the
Russian chess magazines as a world
champion calibre plan.
The pu zzle is to decide White's next
move as well as the reasoni ng behind it.
If you succeed on both counts and the
game is not already known to you, then
your strategic vision ranks anywhe r e
between strong expert and gra ndma ster
.

Test board 7

One of the rarest elements in the mental


make-up of a great chess master is what
the public calls ge niu s' and the psycholo
gist knows as creativity, flair or instinct
for the unusual. Even ou ts tan d ing players
slightly below world championship class
'

After the game, ex-world champion


TaL one of the most imaginative p lay ers
in chess history, asked grandmaster
Smejkal 'What would you have done
after l . Nb3 ? ' . ' Wh y , a2 of course'. 'Then
you would only have drawn. ' Smejkal
could not understand Tal's r ea soning. If
you can see what Tal meant in less than
a minute, your chess equivalent of
'la te r al thinki ng' is highly developed.
Test board solutions

Test Board 3: l. Ra2 1 (or l. Ra3 or l. Rb2),


is best, planning to double rooks before
exchanging the a pl wn for the black b
pawn. Black then has to remove his own
rook from the a file to avoid losing a pawn,
a fter which White exchanges pawns and
infiltrates the black position with his
rooks. He will then double rooks on the
seventh rank and decide the game b y
mating threats to the black king.
Test Board 4: (a) l. . . . al = Q (b)
1. Rh7 a l = Q 2 . Rxb7 + Ka3 3. Ra7 +
Kb2 4 . Rxal (c) l . Rh7 Ka5 2 . Rxb7 Ka6
3. Rb8 Ka7 (d) l . Rh7 Ka5 2. Rh8 al = Q
3. Ra8 + and 4. Rxa1 (e) l . Rh7 a1 = Q 2 .
Rxb7 + Ka5 3. Ra7 + Kb4 4 . Rxa 1 (draw
by stalemate) or 4. Rb7 + (perpetual
check).
Test Board 5: l. Qd5 + and if (a) KfB
2. QO + exchanges queens (b) Kh8 2.
Qd8 + Kh7 3. Qd3 + transposes to (c). (c)
Kh7 2. Qd3 + Kg8 3. Qb3 + Kh7 (KfB 4.
QO + ) 4. Qh3 with a won pawn endgame.
Test Board 6 : 1. Nb 1 ! plans to regroup

This position, with Black to move, is a


test of long-term planning and ge neral
judgment. Five verdicts on the d i agra m
were given by five different players : (a)
'Perhaps Black can ciraw if he plays weB'
(b) 'Black has a positional advantage' (c)
' White wins because of his outside a pawn
which his king can support' (d) 'Black
has a decisive advantage and wins mateFial
by force' (e) 'The position looks about
equal, perhaps with a shade of advantage
to Black' .
The verdicts come from a grandmaster
(grading 240), an expert (grade 1 90), a
county strength player (grade 170), and
two club players, one slightly above
average (grade 1 50) and one rather weak
(grade 1 20). The puzzle is twofold : to
decide which player gave which verdict,
a nd to decide why the grandmaster's
assessment was correct.

the knight via d 2 to f3 where the extra


pressure on Black's eS pawn forces a
decisive weakening of the pawn defences
in front of Spassky's king. Play continued
l . Nb1 Qb7 2. Kh2 Kh7 3. c3 Na6 4. Re2
R8 5. Nd2 Bd8 6. NO f6 7. Rd2 and
Karpov's attack won in a few moves :
7.
. Be7 8. Qe6 Rad8 9. Rxd8 Bxd8
.

10. Rd1 Nb8 11 . Bc5 Rh8 1 2 . Rxd8 !


Resigns. If 1 2 . . . . Rxd8 1 3. Be7 wins.
Test Board 7: l . Nb3 a27 2. Nc l !
draws. If 2 . . a l = Q or R White f5
stalemated, if a 1 = N 3. Nb3 ! forces a
.

draw and if a l = B Black has the wrong


colour rook pawn shown on page 43.
Test Board 8: (a) above average club
(b) expert (c) weak club (d) grandmaster
(e) county strength. Grandmaster Waiter
Browne played Black and continued 1 . . . .
Ra4 1 which wins an important pawn
after 2. Nd2 Ne5 3. Kfl Nd.J 4. Rb7 K8
followed by N c l or Nb4 winning the a
pawn. In the game, White gave up a
pawn by 2. eS but still lost.
49

Learn from the

Each of the great pla yers of the past, and


the leading grandmasters of today, has
his individual approach to the technique
and psychology of chess. Some aim to
control events and reduce the risk tak i ng
element in the game to a minimum, while
others try to randomize the position and
create scope for their flair in calculation
or judgment. Some are purely interested
in the game and its mechanisms, others
play the man as much as the board .
One reliable method of improving your
chess is to choose one of the great
masters, replay and study a large number
of h is games, and try to use him as a
model for your own style and chess
board tactics.
T h is chapter looks at 2 1 past and present
champions and highlights their outstand
ing qualities.
-

The white knight on f5 outpost square is the


key to the R uy Lopez attack preferred by
reigning world champion Anatoly Karpov
(page 78) . Capablanca and Fischer also
favoured the Ruy Lopez.

Paul Morphy
1 83 7-84

The 'pride and sorrow of chess', Morphy


was a great player but his true status
when compa red w ith other c ham pions
remains an enigma even today, nearly
lOO years after his death. A mo ng all those
recognized as best in the world for their
time he had the shortest active career
and he never met an opponent who
threatened to beat him. His fame rests on
fewer than 75 serious games plus a larger
number of brilliant offhand victories.
Morphy was hailed as a prodigy at the
age of 12 when he defeated the master
Lowenthal, who was visiting Morphy's
home city of New Orleans, in a series of
friendly matches.
Then, in 1 857, an event occurred which
substantially advanced Morphy's name
and career. This was the first American
chess congress held in New York, and by
good fortune it took place at a time when
Morphy was. technically ready for it.
Similar strokes of fortune occurred in the
careers of some later players, notably
Lasker and Fischer.
The congress was staged as a series of
knock-out matches, and Morphy out
classed his first three opponents before
defeating Louis Paulsen 6-2 in the finl.
Paulsen later proved himself an e:x:ceHent
match player and a deep strategist, many
of whose ideas in the openings were

taken up by grandmasters a century


later. . That Morphy could defeat this
master of defence may be a better indica
tion of his strength than his more highly
praised victory over Anderssen.
Morphy's successes rested on his un
derstanding of open positions, the need to
d evel op pieces rapidly in. the classical
king's side openings and to take the
initiative in an economical way without
wasting moves. Generally, Morphy's con
temporaries either attacked without the
support of a sound development or
played manoeuvre chess with wasted
and irrelevant moves slowing down their
plans. Morphy's economy of effort and

51

nw ,m '>

1 1!

gi \ l ' '> h i s h e s t g a m e s an i m p r e s s i o n

'> i m p l i . i t y a n d fl o w as he fo und t h e

1 11 1 1 .\ 1

,h' . u r a t c m o v e a t e v e r y s ta g e .

\ 1 1 1 1 p h ,. .,

ch : r t n g

thL

m o '> t l a m o u s v i c t o ry w a s
.
t n t cr \ a l o f a n o p e ra
e r f o r

f l L J lh l' d f!, ,J t n -> t ! W l l c o n s u l t i n g d i g n i t a n e s

lt

:"

l fw rl l l l \ 1 l L k b r a t cd a n d t n '> t r u l t i \'C

! r t L n d l \ ga me ( ) I a l l t i m e

\\' h i t c : P . .\ l o r p h y B l a c k : D u k e o f
B r u n sw i c k a n d
Cou n t I so u a rd

P h i l i d o r D e fe n ce
( Pa r i s . 1 8 5 8 )
I . e4
N f' J
3. d4

2.

e5
d6
B g 4 '?

f h t '> p t n on t h e k n i g h t . i n d i re c t l y c o n
t n J I ! t n g t h e c e n t r e , i s goo d i n ma n y
< l f' C n t n g'> h u t h e r e a l l o w s \.Y h i te a fo r c e d
'>L'Lj U L' Il l l' ga t n i n g t h e a d v a n t a g e
4. dxc)
H x l3
-I
d :-: l' ) ) () x d K + a n d b N x e ') w i n s a
) . () x f 3
h . Bc4

dxc5

:\ I 6 ?

t l I l L' r
I .
() h ) !
\1 ( 1 \ t n . ,1 p t l' l. c . a n d p a r t t c u l a r l y the
cj ll l' l' n
l \\ l c l' 1 11 t h e u p c n t n g I S u s u a l l y

l i l l l t r a t\

Ill

-,o u n d p l a y . h u t g r e a t c h a m

f' t u n s k n 1 1 \\ \.\ h e n t o b r e a k g e n e ra l r u l e s .
H L rc \\' h t t c t h r ea t e n s b o t h 8 B x fl +
l ( t l l \\ l'li h \ lJ C)eb m a t e a n d a l so 8 Q x h 7
7. . . .
() c 7
8 . :\ d
\ l l i l l l f!, LT t h a n K () x h 7 Q h4 + e x c h a n g 8.

Y.

c6
Bg 5

b5 '?

Paul Morph v. t he 'pride and sorrow o f chess', beat all corners i n a career of only t h ree years.

1 3 . Rxd7 !

14.

Rd 1

Rxd7
Qe6

N o w W h i te c o u l d w i n s i m p ly b y 1 5 .
B x f6 ,

but

Mo rphy

chooses

the

most

artistic fi n i sh .

fi g I O 'i
N o t e t h a t \V h 1 te h a s b e e n b ri n g i ng h i s
p i c . cs i n t o a c t i o n a s q u i c k l y a s p o s s i b l e ,
\\: h i l c B l a c k h a s m a d e q u e en a nd p a w n
m o v e s a n d e x c h a n g e d o fT h i s d e v e l o p e d

h 1 s h o p N mv W h i t e i s a l re a d y s e t u p f o r a
d c v a s t a t tn g sa c r i f'i ce - B l a c k s h o u l d h a v e
pia vcd Y
Qc7

against champions of later generations ?

1 5 . Bxd7 + ! Nxd7
N xb8
1 6 . Qb8 +
1 7 . R d 8 mate

Knowledge of opening play a round 1 8 60


was still rudimentary aad Morphy would

Mo rphy travelled to Europe in 1 8 5 8


a nd d e feated all corners i n cluding an
8 - 3 margin over A n d er s sen, who had
won the fi rst i nternatio nal tournam'ent
at London 1 8 5 1 . The E n g l i sh champion,
S ta u n to n , d u cked Morphy's at tem p ts to
a rr a n ge a m a t c h - w i sely, for Staunto n ' s
b e st

s u c c e s ses

were in t h e

1 840s and

11.

Bxb5 +

N bd7

th ere i s no d o u bt Morphy would have


w o n . But a ft e r prov ing his supremacy
o v e r h i s c o n temporaries M o rphy q u i ckly

1 2.

0-0-0

Rd8

l o st i n te r e s t in c h ess and his later l i fe was

1 0.

N xb5 !

cxb5

marred by mental i l l ness which l e ft hi m


reel use, shunning the ga'llile f0r the
1 5 yea rs before his death .
How would Morphy have perfl!Jrlil'led

need an intens-ive course of N"ie>derl'l


theo ry to have any chance of competil1lg
w i th present-day masters . He would
c e rtainly have been a ble to ab.se>rb S'\'.Hh
i nformation quickly, for he knew tM.e
theory of his time and one of his v i cte>r-ies
over Anderssen came through a prepared
variation of the Ruy Lopez.
In h is a uthor i ta tive book The Rating of

Chessplayers Past and Present (Batsford)


w h i ch i ncludes comparative performances
of modern grandmasters and their p rede
cessors, Profe ssor A rpad Elo a ssesses

Mo r phy with a rating of 2690, sufficient


In present-day terms to make him stronger
than any player except the world cham
pion and his challenger. I doubt this
verd ict. which depends on a small number
of games and does not allow for Morphy' s
illness wh ich would have affected his
results in later life as it did with Rubin
stein.
But the assessment makes it worth
while examining the games of Morphy's
match with Anderssen, another confirmed
great player. Anderssen had not com
peted si nce 1 8 5 1 and handi capped h i m
self w i th inferior openi ngs such as l . a 3
and the Centre Coun ter which prov ided
Morphy's best win of the matc h .
White :
P.
M orphy . Black : A .
Anderssen
Centre Counter ( 7th match game
1 8 58)
I . e4
dS
2. exdS Q x d S
3. Nc3
QaS
4 . d4
e5
5. dxe5
Qxe S +
6 . Be2
B b4
7. Nf3
Typical of Morphy's style - he has an
advantage and sacrifices a pawn to in
crease his lead in d evelopment.
B xc 3 +
7.
QxcJ +
8 . bxc3
9 . Bd2
QcS
N c6
lO. R b l
1 1 . 0-0
N f6
12. B f4

rega ining the pawn but allow ing simplifi


cations. 1 2 . RbS Q d 6 1 3 . Re i 0-0 14. Q c l ,
keeping u p the pressure, was recommen
ded later, and is more what would have
been ex pected from Morphy .
12.
0-0
1 3 . Bxc7
N d4
1 4 . Qxd4 Qxc7
1 5 . Bd3

solved most of Black's problems.


1 6. N g5 1
Now Black's game is difficult because
White threatens N or Bxh7 and also
pressurizes the two Q-side pawns.
1 6. . . .
Rfd8
If 1 6 . . . . BhS 1 7 . Ne4 Ng4 1 8. NgJ b6 19.
RbS wins, while moving the other rook
to d8, which is positionally natural, loses
a pawn to 1 7 . Qxa 7 .
Bc8
1 7 . Qb4
1 8 . Rfe 1
aS
I f 1 8 . . . . h 6 1 9. Re7 R d 7 20. B h 7 + , but as
played all Black's pawns are weak and
are easy endgame victims to White's
active rooks and minor pieces.
1 9. Qe7
Qxe7
Nd5
20 . Rxe7
2 1 . Bxh7 + K h8
22. Rx7 NcJ
Nxa2
2 3 . Re i
24. Rf4
Ra6
Resigns
2 5 . BdJ
Anderssen's wry comment after his
match defeat was, 'It is impossible to
keep one's excellence in a little glass
casket, like a jewel, to take it out when
ever wanted. On the contrary, it can only
be conserved by continuous and good
practice . ' In his later matches against
Kolisch and Steinitz, Anderssen eschewed
both 1 . a3 and the Centre Counter and did
m u ch better.
As for Morphy, his last act before
quitting tournament chess was to offer
pawn and move odds to anyone in the
worl d . There were no takers - an . incon
ceivable event if any similar offer was
made by an established grandmaster
today. The nearest modem parallel was
Fischer's offer to give knight odds to any
woman player in the world, a proposal
which he quickly abandoned when the
Soviet chess authorities showed eager
ness to match the women's world cham
pion, Nona Gaprindashvili, against him
for a substantial stake.

Wilhelnt Steinitz
1 8 36-1 900

fig . 1 06

15. . .
B g4 ?
This cannot be good since the bishop has
to return miserably to c8 twG> moves later.
1 5. .
h6 ! (stopping White's next) 1 6 .
Qb4 b6 and if 1 7. Rfe 1 Be 6 would have
.

The first recognized world champion,


Steinitz was a chess thinker and innovator
whose insights into strategic and defen
sive play and the accumulation of small
positional advantages were as great as
were Morphy's contributions in open
games. Whereas Morphy was an in
stinctive natural who taught by example
rather than writing, Steinitz evolved his
ideas gradually over a period of years,
after a false start in which he tried to
make his name by traditional gambits. By
world championship standards, his play
was not devoid of weaknesses and he lost
many games by his stubborn loyalty to
inferior lines despite previous defeats.
Steinitz was the youngest of a large
Jewish family (a fact he liked to reveal

whenever Malthusian population control


was discussed) and a cosmopolitan who
was born in Prague, studied in Vienna,
and settled in London. He had only fair
success until some enterprising backers
supported his 1 866 challenge to Anders
sen, who was again the recognized best
p l ayer in the world following Morphy's
retirement. Steinitz surprisingly won 8-6
and from then on was a consistent high
prizewinner in the big tournaments of the
1 870s and 1 880s.
Steinitz expounded his theories in his
chess column in The Field and his book
Modern Chess Instructor. His basic ap
proach was that the quick victories
against weak defence shown in many
games of Morphy and Anderssen were
not possible if the opponent resisted
simply, brought his . own pieces into
action quickly, and declined irrelevant
pawn offers. Steinitz showed that against
sound play it was incorrect to aim for
rapid attacks and that instead you should
build up your game quietly, looking for
small advantages such as bishop against
knight, play against doubled or isolated
pawns, outpost squares, open files, a
queen's side pawn majority, as well as
seeking greater command of space.
His theory of defence was obstinate :
he thought that if the defender could
avoid structural weaknesses then his
game would remain sound. Thus in a
number of well-known Steinitz games he
retreated forces to the back ranks solely
to avoid pawn weaknesse.s . Another of his
controversial ideas was that 'the kiug is a
fighting piece' even in the middle game.
From this he developed the Steinitz
Gambit 1 . e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. f4 exf4
4. d4 ? ! Qh4 + 5. Ke2, the idea being that
in trying to mate the centralized white
king Black will over-commit his own
forces which can then be driven back
with losi of time, e.g. the white knight at
g1 comes to f3 with gain of tempo on the
black queen.
Later generations have accorded these
more controversial Steinitzian ideas a
mixed reception. His favourite defence
to the Evans Gambit brought him several
heavy defeats against one of his con
temporary rivals Tchigorin ; but his idea
for White against the Two Knights'
Defence 1. e4 eS 2. NfJ Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6
4. Ng5 dS 5. exdS NaS 6. BbS+ c6 7. dxc6
bxc6 8. Be2 h6 9. Nh3 (instead of 9. Nf3
allowing the time-gaining 9. . . . e4) was
successfully taken up by Bobby Fischer
and is now preferred to 9. N f3 by several
grandmasters.
Steinitz realized the importance of ad
vanced knight outposts : he wrote that if
he could establish a knight on d6 or e6, he
could go to sleep and let the game win
itself. He also showed later generations
how to use a constriction motif when the
opponent was hand_icapped by a 'bad'
bishop locked in by its own pawns ; the
53

following game is a good example of this :


Wh ite: W. Ste i n itz . Black: A.G .
Sell m a n
Fre nch Defe nce ( match, 1 885)
l. e4
e6
d5
2. d4
3. Nc3
Nf6
Nfd7
4. e 5
5. f4
cS
BxcS
6. dxcS
7. NfJ
a6
Th is and h is tenth move already carry
some strategical risk since they place
pawns on light squares, ha nd ic app ing
t he queen's bi shop which is al read y
hemmed in by the central pawn chain.
Modem masters prefer 7 . . . . Nc6 with
the possi bility of a more fluid game by a
later . . . Qa S, . . . Qb6 or . . . f6 .
8. B d 3
Nc6
N b4
9. Qe2
10. Bd 2
bS
Nxd3+
11. N d 1
12 . cx d 3
Qb6?

17.

Nd4
18. o-o

Nf8

h5 ?
Black fears the a tta c king g4, but this
move places yet another pawn on a
white square and means that gS will be
available as a white knight outpost if and
when Black's dark-squared bish op is
exc hange d .
1 9 . Nc3 !

h ea ding for aS, where the knight will


st rengt h e n White's overall bind and
prepare for a piece invasion along the c
file, the o nl y open line.
19.
20 . Nb1
2 1 . Nd2

K7
g6
Nd7

2 1 . . . . aS looks more logical, to try to gain


some freedom before the knight settles on
a S, but Steinitz was then ready to open
up the game in his own favour by 22.
NxbS a x b4 23 . axb4 Bxb4 24. Nd6 +
Bxd6 25 . exd6 Qxd6 26. Bd4 Rg8 27 . N O
with great adv antage due to control of
the central a nd K-side dark squares.
2 2 . N2b3
R eS
Ba8
23 . Na5
Qxc8
24. Rxc8
Qb8
25. Rcl
B d8
26 . Qc 2
27 . N 5c6

reasonable move left. If R b8 36. Rxd7,


or if Nb6 36. Re7 + Kf8 37. Nh7 + wins.
Finally if d4 then 36. Nxe6 Rb8 37. Ng7 +
Kd8 38. e6 and Black's game collapses.
Lasker, who succeeded Steinitz as
world champion, said after beating him
that 'the thinker was defeated by the
player' and this has led to the belief that
Steinitz succeeded only because of his
advanced theories and had little under
standing of psychological chess. Results,
however, do not completely bear this out.
Except when Steinitz was involved in
defending his pet variations, he could be
a shrewd observer of his opponent's
state of mind and could tailor his play
accordingly. Thus before starting his
play-off against Blackburne at Vienna
in 1 873 he saw that the English grand
master, who had gone in for a wild
coffee-house style in his final round
defeat from Rosenthal, was in a low state
of morale for the tie-match. Steinitz
therefore went in for trappy cut-and
thrust play and was rewar ded when
Blackburne replied poorly in both games.
In the first official world championship
match, Steinitz-Zukertort, 1 886, Steinitz
began badly and was soon 1 -4 down. But
he kept his head as well as his title chances
with a mixture of defensive and strategic
chess which provoked Zukertort's. ner
vous temperament into a succession of
unsound an:d positionally weakening
attacks. Steinitz finally ran out the
champion by a score of 12!-7!. The
psychologically de.cisive game was the
seventh which showed Zukertort as out
.
of his depth in a subtle positionalfight.
White: J H Zukertort. Blac k : W.
Steinitz
Queen's Gambit Declined (7t h match
game 1886)
d5
1. d4
e6
2. c4
Nf6
3. Nc3
c5
4. e3
Nc6
5 . NO
dxc4
6. a3
cxd4
7 Bxc4
Be7
8. exd4
0.:.0
9. o..;o
.

This is a serious positional mistake since


White's next move imme diately estab
lishes control of the dark square and
further restricts the bad bishop. Instead
Black should pl ay 1 2 . . . . b4 intend ing aS
and Ba6 .
Be7
13. b4 !
If 13 . . . . Bd4 ? 1 4. R b 1 threatening Nxd4
and Be3 winning the queen.
1 4 . a3

f57

This blocks the position, but further


h an diCaps the bad bishop. A modern
master would recognize the QB as Black' s
problem piece and try t o look for ch ances
to play . . . f6 and regroup the bishop via
d7 and e8 to h S .
The move f5 also leaves the e paw n
backward a n d vulnerable at a later stage
to attacks from the white knights at d4
a ri d gS which will tie a black piece down
to protection of the pawn.
Bb7
1 5 . Rc l
16. Be3

White's bishop has ample scope on t h e


g l-a7 diagonal even though five of
White's seven pawns are on dark squares.
1 6. . . .
Qd8
54

27. . . .
Qb7
On purely strategic grounds, Black would
like nothing better than to. exchange his
dud bishop, but 27 . . . Bxc6 28. Qxc 6
Nf8 29. Nxe6! Nxe6 30. Qd7+ Be7 31.
Rc6 is hopeless. But as played Steinitz
exchanges off Black's 'good' bishop and
makes a decisive invasion on the dark
squares.
.

28.

Nxd8+ Rxd8
Qb8

29. Qc7
30. Bf2

This threatens Bh4,


change of queens.

30.
31. NO
32. Rxc7
33. Ng5

so

forcing the ex
Qb6
Qxc7
Ke8
N f8
Nd7

BcS
35. Bd6 !
Resigns
Black is in virtual zugzwang, with no
34.

The plan of i solating W h i te's central d


pawn and then b lockading and attacking
it was ha rdly known in 1 886 so it is small
wonder that in the ensuing p lay Zuker
tort "'ai ls to find the optimum squares for
his pieces. Best is 10. Re 1. W h i te has to
combine the possi bi l i ti es of l i n i ng up
queen and bi shop against h7 with open
ing up the centre by dS. E i t her way the
likely hest squares for the queen 's b i shop
and queen's rook are gS and d L so that
two of Zukertort's next three moves are
inaccurate. However unlike a modern
master, who would a l r eady be very
familiar with fig. 109, Zukertort had
little or no p re c edent to draw upon as the
basis for his planning.

10 .
11.
12 .
13 .
14 .
15.
16 .
17 .
18 .
19 .

B e3' ?
Q d3
Ra c 1 7
Ba2
Rfe 1
B b1
Qe2
Rfd l
Ba2
Qd2 ?

The only point of this

32 . . . .
Be5 + !
An attractive finish. If 33. QxeS Qh l +
34. Kg3 Qg2 + 3 5 . Kh4 ( 3 5 . Kf4 QO mate)
Qxf2+ 36. Qg3 gS + wins the queen.
3 3 . f4
Bxf4 +
Qhl +
34. Qxf4
3 5 . Kg3
Qg l +
36. Resigns
And now if 36. Kh4 Qe l + 37. Qg3 gS +
w i ns the queen .

Bd 7
Rc8
Qa5
Rfd8
Be8
g6
Bf8
Bg7
Ne7

seems to be

the

tactical idea 20. NdS Qxd2 21. Nxe7+

23. B b4 + K d7 24. NeS


mate - hut this is easily prevented and
White is left with his queen in an awkward
position vi s-a- vis the d8 rook. Superior is
19. BgS, intending to meet Nf5 by 20. dS,
after which Wh ite's piece formation
would be simi lar to that favoured b y
modern masters on the white side of an
.isolated d pa wn .
19.
Qa6
NfS
20. B g 5
2 1 . g4 ?
This is an unsound move which weakens
the wh ite ki ng's defences (see the later
stages of the gam e ) and preci pitates a
combination which Black in tends any
way. 21. Qe L sti l l hop i ng for d 5 , was now
best.
21.
Nxd4
2 2 . Nx d4 e 5
23. NdS
Rxc1
24 . Qx c1
exd4
25. Rxd4 Nx d 5
26 . Rxd 5
If 26. Bxd8 Bxd4 27. BxdS Qe2! wins
quickly.
Rxd S
26.
2 7 . Bxd S
Q e2
28. h3
h6
29 . Bc4 ?
This loses b y force. W h ite could not
play 29. Bxh6? Bxh6 30. Qxh6 because
of Qd1 +, but 29. Be3 would fight on .
29.
QO
30 . Q e3
Qd l +
31. K h 2
Bc6
32. Be7
Kf8 22. Bxd2 K x e7

Einanuel Lasker
1 868-1 941

Lasker l ived in Berlin for most of his life


but in old age emigrated first to Moscow
then to New York. He was world
champ ion for 27 years ( 1 894- 1 9 2 1 ) and
his chess longevity was exceptional : his
fi rst brilliancy was a double bishop
sacrifice in 1 889 and his last great
ach ievement was third prize at Moscow
1 9 36 when approaching 70.
Despite his many successes in tourna
ments and matches, his style has remained
controversial and something of a mystery.
One v iew of Lasker is that he was a fine
strategist who added an extra tactical
dimension to his play, combining this

with superlative endgame ability. The


alternative picture is of Lasker the fighter,
playing the man as much as the board,
deliberately accepting inferior but com
plex positions in order to build up the
tension. However, he avoided strong
opponents in matches and enjoyed pheno
menal luck in critical games. There was
even a suggestion that Lasker's partiality
for strong cigars was a ploy to wear down
the physical resistance of his opponents.
Tht truth is that no player could
possi bly remain world c hampion for so
long or achieve such repeated tournament
successes without an enormous measure
of all-round skill. In most of his games,
opponents were outplayed by Lasker's
understanding of positional and strategic
c hess, which in many respects was well
ahead of his time. His mastery of weak
squares, outpost play, and switching the
attack between two fronts was achieved
long before Nimzovitch formulated these
concepts in his classic primer My System.
Lasker applied Steinitz's principles and
refined them for the practical warfare of
tournament and match chess.
Lasker possessed exceptional stamina
and display ed a cool and pragmatic
approach to his most critical games. His
'black magic' reputation arose because he
proved himself a stronger and tougher
personality than his opponent in some of
the most critical games of his career - for
example in his victory over Schlechter ih
the final game of their 1910 match which
Lasker had to win to keep the world title;
in his defeat of Capablanca at St Peters
burg 1914 which gained first prize ahead
of his main rival, and in the second game
of his 1908 match with Tarrasch. In all
of these wins Lasker demonstrated his
skill in producing tension in opponents
who were not playing their best.
His stamina is also evident from his
good record in last round games and. the
frequency with which he overhauled
rivals in the second half of a tournament

'I have only two words, "check" and "mate",' said Tarrasch, left, but his enemy Lasker won.

for example at Hastings 189 5 and the


three St Petersburg tourname n ts of 1896,
1909 and 1914.
Lasker' s stamina provides an important
lesson for the ordinary club or social
chessplayer or the ambitious yo u n gs te r.
I n theory a ll chess games carry equal
weight and a win in the first round has
the same value as a victory at the end but this is not so in pr act i ce . For instance,
in S w i ss System tournaments, players
meet opponents with similar scores, and a
poor start or a loss in the mid d le rounds
can be compensated by wins over weaker
opponents late in the tournament . Wins
in the final rounds of a Swiss and e s pec ial ly
in the last round in effect carry extra
weight because they decide the pr iz e s .
Lasker' s career shows that h e realized
the importance of games towards the end
in all-play-all tournaments. In the open
ing rounds of an event every player is
fi ghting for a good result, but towards the
end some w i ll lose interest or confidence
w h i le others in contention for one of the
top places may suffer from und ue tension.
In such a s i tuation the strong and
experienced player, accustomed to
success, can use his superior technical
skill or h i s tactical powers to pressure the
opposition into mistakes. Thus one of
Lasker's most important qualiti es, th oug h
one v irt ua lly unmentioned in all the
many commentaries on his st yle and
results, was his a b il i ty to pace himself
dur i ng a long tournament or match.
The game shown here is from the final
round of St Petersburg 1 90 9, and while
ot one of La sker's best known games, it
exempl ifies his cool competence.
White: Em. Lasker. Blac k : R. Teich
mann
Ruy Lopez (St Pete rsburg 1909)
eS
l. e4
2. N O
Nc6
3. Bb S
a6
Nf6
4. Ba4
Be7
5 . 0-0
6 . Qe2
This is the Worrall Attack, later a
fa vourite of Keres but at the time an
unknown system. It illustrates Lasker's
unpretentious approach to the openings
he disli ked sharp and double-edged lines
and preferred to aim for a fluid position
with possi bly a small advantage in space
or mobile pieces, so giving him a base for
the middle game and ending where he
excelled. His opponent Teichmann wa s
an expert on the favourite lines of the
time with 6. Re 1 or 6. dJ and his over
eager counter-attack on move 14 suggests
that he was trying to 'punish' Lasker
for his novel but still perfectly sound
move.
6.
b5
7. BbJ
d6
8. cJ
0-0
9. d4
exd4
10. cxd4
Bg4
56

1 1 . Rd 1
d5
N e4
12. e 5
NxcJ
1 3 . NcJ
1 4. bxcJ
f6 ?
This is a serious mistake which enables
Lasker to gain a great advantage in space
and hams t r ing the bishop. Correct is 1 4 . . . .
Na5 first.
1 5 . h3
Bh5
15 . . . . BxfJ 1 6. Qxf3 loses a pawn, while
15 . . . . Be6 fails to 1 6 . exf6 Rxf6 1 7 . Bg5
Rg6 1 8 . Bc 2 .
1 6 . g4
Bf7
16 . . . . Bg6 1 7 . Nh4 is also good for White.
17 . e6
Bg6
18. Nh4
N a5
1 9. Nxg6 hxg6
f5
20 . Bc2

21. Khl l
Lasker seize s o n the winning idea of
exchanging pawns on f5 and then attack
ing along the open g file.
21.
22. g x f5
2 3 . Qf3

24. Rg1

Bd6

Qh4
gxf5

threatening both BxfS and :Bg5 .


f4
24.
25. Rg 4
Qh6

Bxe7
26. e7!
27. Bxf4
Qe6
and Bla ck resigned without waiting for
the finish 28. Rxg7 + ! Kxg7 29. R g 1 +

and mates.
Lasker had an unequalled record in
set matches, winning 1 9, drawing 2 and
losing only to his successor as world
champion Capablanca. This was partly
due to his skill in choosing opponents,
notorious} y so in the period 1 900- 1 9 14
when three times he took on the weaker
Janowski who had a rich patron, while
ducking the dangerous challengers
Maroczy, Rubinstein and Capablanca.
But the matches he did play showed his
extraordinary skill in man-to-man com
bat, notably his wins over Marshall
and Janowski and his 6-0 victory over
Blackburne.
Lasker was the first chess master to
try seriously to establish the game as a

profession ; but ironically for a man who


was a tough bargainer for high appearance
fees, he was twice financially ruined, first
by th e inflation of the 1 920s and then by
the rise of the Nazis. Without these
personal setbacks it is doubtful if he
would have kept his career going for so
long. In the late 1 920s he began to take
his mathematics studies seriously, re
ceived a doctorate for his work on abstract
algebra, and was praised by Einstein ; he
dabbled in philosophy which he preferred
to discuss rather than analyse chess.
In his simple approach to the openings
Lasker established a model followed by
some of his world title successors such as
Capablanca, Petrosian and Karpov who
also preferred a baseline approach in the
early stages. We have already looked at
his handling of the Ruy Lopez, and his
treatment of the French Defence with
White showed a preference for ideas like
1 . e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. NcJ Bb4 4. Ne2 or 1 . e4
e6 2. d4 dS 3. NcJ Nf6 4. BgS B b4 5. exdS
Qxd S 6. Bxf6 gxf6. One problem of such a
non-bookish approach with the white
pieces is how to meet the Sicilian Defence
l. e4 c5, the most double-edged and well
analysed of all openings, but Lasker
coped with that too in his later years.
Playing the black pieces, he favoured
simple rapid development with a mini
mum of pawn moves, as in the Lasker
Defence to the Queen's Gambit 1. d4 d5
2 . c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5.. e3 0-<?
6. Nf3 h6 7. Bh4 Ne4, or as in t:his 'ql
fashioned' defence to the Ruy Lopez
which o ften served him well.
.

White: M. Porges. Black : Em. Las)te,r


Ruy Lopez (Nuremberg 1896)
e5
l . e4
2. NO
N c6
Nf6
3. Bb5
Nxe4
4. 0-0
Be7
5 . d4

Modern theory prefers 5 . . . Nd6 6.


Bxc6. dxc6 7. dxe5 N'5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8
9. Nc3 h6 10. 0-0-0+ Ke8 when Black
has good drawing chances de spite his
uncastled king.
.

6. Qe2

Nd6

8. dxe5

Nb7

7. Bxc6

bxc6

Temporarily the knight is misplaced, but


it can soon regroup via c5 to a good square
at e6; while Black also intends to under
mine the white centre by ... f6, opening
up for . his pair of bishops. , . Therefore
White should now utilize his temporary
development advantage by 9. Nc3 0
10. Nd4 Bc5 1 1 . Rd l . The less forcing line
in the game quickly concedes the initia:..
tive to Lasker.
9. b3
10. Bb2
11. exd6

e.p.

12. Nbd2

1 3.

Rfe1

14. Ne47

0-0
d5
cxd6

ReS
Bd 7

Wh ite should play 1 4. Qfl . By wasting


time he allows Lasker an unchallenged
pawn centre and the rest of the game is a
model of how to use this type of ad van
ta ge to create opportunities on both sides
of the boa rd .
14. . . .
d5
1 5 . N (4 )d 2
Both 15. Ng3 Bb4 a n d 1 5 . N c 3 B a 3 win
materia l for Black.
Ba3
1 5.
f6
1 6. Be S
fxe 5
1 7 . Qa6
1 8 . QxaJ
18. Qxb7 allows e4 followed by Bb 2
18. . .
e4
1 9 . N d4
Q f6 !
This is t he key to the attack. White's
queen is t e m po ra r i ly stranded far from
the threatened K-side, so Black can now
build up his attack rapidly. Note how the
strong pawn at e4 deprives White of the
normal defensive m o ve N f3 .
Rf8
20. c3
2 1 . f)

Harry Nelson
Pillsbury 1872-1906

27 . . . .
Nxg2 !
A neat combination crowns Lasker's fine
play and forces a mating finish .
28. K xg2
exO +
29 . RxO
Bh3 +
30 . Kxh3
or 30. Kf2 Bg4 3 1 . Rxf8 + Rxf8 + 3 2. Ke3
h4 33. Nfl Qe4 + 34. Kd2 R f2 wins.
30 .
Qg4 +
3 1 . Kg2
QxO +
32. K g l
h4
33. N h l
Qe3 +
34 . Resigns
for if 34 Kg2 h3 mate .
Was Lasker the greatest chessplayer of
them all as some commentators claim ?
Certainly - as is supported by Elo's
historical ratings - he ranks in the top
half-dozen world champions alongside
Capablanca, Alekhine, Botvinnik, Fischer
and probably Karpov. It is reasonable to
suppose that the top grandmasters of
today would be able to exploit Lasker's
predictable opening repertoire more than
did his contemporaries. Some of his wins
from dubious positions would have been
unlikely against players familiar with
'playing the man' and psychological
chess. But his judgment of position and
his analytical skill more than held their
own against contemporary players in the
1 9 30s; whether or not Lasker was the
' greatest' he ranks as the first of the
moderns and as a supreme ex ponent of
practical chess.
.

g.

112

A further weakness, but if 2 1 . Rfl QgS


22. Qc 1 Bh 3 wins rook for bishop .
21. . . .
Qg5 !
Lasker handles this and the later attack
mos t precisely. Now the d2 knight cannot
move because of c5 followed by exf3,
while if 2 2 . Rad 1 c5 23. Ne2 exf3 24 .
Nxf3 R xf3 .
22. Qcl
N c5
2 3 . Nfl
Q g6
Nd3
24. Re3
This recalls Steinitz's motto that i f you
esta bl ish a knight at d3 or e3 the game
w ins itself - although it is not quite that
s i m pl e . For the rest of the play Lasker's
attack runs very smoothly.
25. Qd l
Nf4
26. N g 3
hS
27 . N 4e 2

Pills bury is one of the enigmas and might


have-beens of chess history. He wen only
oae major first prize outright in his'short
career, but that was at Hastings 1895, th'e
stronge-st event held up to hi.s time; His
feats of blindfold chess and memory are
in a class of their own, and his best games
including his last victory over lla.sker
have the stamp of a g.reat artist.
.
PiHsbury learnt chess at B'0se>Pl, Jla::S
sachusetts late, at sixteen, which m. oar
day would be consider.e<d a mear-fatal
obstacle't<!l anyone's chamees e>fbeaom.il'lg
a strong grandmaster. But he developed
rapidly and was only 22 when. he scored
his upset victory at Hastings ahead of
Lasker, Steinitz, Tarrasch and Tchigorin.
In the following years Pillsbu:ry w a-s a
consistently high international prize
winner without quite establishing himse.lf
as Lasker's natural challenger. He gained
worldwide acclaim with his exhibitions of
blindfold chess which included a then
world record of 22 games at once. He gave
blindfold performances of chess and
draughts (checkers) while simultaneously
taking part in a hand of whist.
Perhaps his most remarkable mental
feat occurred when two professors gave
him this list of words to memorize :
Antiphlogistine, periosteum, takadia
stase, plasmon, ambrosia, Threlkeld ,
streptococcus, staphylococcus, micrococ
cus, plasmodium, Mississippi, Freiheit,
Philadelphia, Cincinnati, athletics, no
war, Etchenberg, American, Russian,
philosophy, Piet Potgelter's Rost, Sala
magundi, Oomisellecootsi, Bangmanv:ate,
Schlechter's Nek, Manzinyama, theo
sophy, catechism, and Madjesoomalops.
Pillsbury looked at the list for a few
minutes, repeated the words in the order
given, and then in reverse order. He was
able to recall the list the following day.
One of the chess curiosities of the late
nineteenth century was the so-called
..

57

' au tomaton' A JEEB, a figure colourfully


robed as a Moorish potentate which
worked by levers and had in its interior a
variety of gadgets and machinery which
were supposed to enable it to play at
master level . In fact a human expert was
concealed in the interior and operated the
levers. The trouble was that AJEEB's
first owner and operator was a diminutive
man who designed the machine to fit his
own measurements. But he found it
physica l ly too tough a job - the air inside
AJEEB's interior rapidly became stale and
he became exha usted on hot summer days.
Hence chess masters were engaged to sit
inside A JEEB but they too found the
physical conditions intolerable and there
was a rap id turnover of staff.
Pil lsbury took over the AJEEB assign
ment in 1890 and operated the machine,
with b reaks for international tourna
ments, till 1 900, an incredi ble feat of
endurance surpassing even his blindfold
feats. But he was six foot tall and his
muscles suffered badly in the machine's
interior. It is said that Pillsbury drank up
to a quart of whisky a day and that the
alcohol relieved the physical pain. The
challengers to AJEEB, and they were
numerous, included the writer 0. Henry,
the actress Sarah Bernhardt and the base
ball pi tcher Christie Mathewson .
Ma ny commentators and friends of
Pillsbury beli eved that his blindfold and
mnemonic feats took too much out of him
and depri ved him of his chances for the
world ti tle .
Pillsbury d ied a t onl y 3 3, after a long
i l l ness. Ma y be his drinking habits con
tri buted , but the English grandmaster
B l ac k bu rne ( 1 84 1 - 1 924), who was also a
heavy whisky drinker, li ved in good
heal th to a ripe old age. It is al so said that
Pillsbu ry contracted a form of syphilis
during the St Petersburg quadrangular of
1 895-6 where at the half-way mark he led
the four players with 6! out of 9, in
clud i ng two wins over world champion
Lasker, but collapsed in the second half
where he scored only 1! from 9 games.
If Pil l sbury's first-half results at St
Petersburg are added to his score at
Ha stings, it i s evident that he was of
world championship stature at his peak.
Like the other great American geniuses
Morphy and Fischer, Pillsbury marred
hi s own talent by not looking after
hi m sel f.
Pil lsbury was a deep and original
player and his special system with the
white pieces in the Queen's Gambit
Declined can be effecti vely used by the
cl ub player of today . The basic concept is
si m ple: Whi te esta blishes his 0 knight
at eS, sup ports it with f4, lines up his
b i shop on the b 1 -h7 diagonal, and then
brings over queen and fl rook to attack
the black king. Until Pillsbury's time
many grandmasters believed that a rou
tine Queen's Gambit favoured Black

58

because of his majority of pawns on the


queen's side. Dr Tarrasch, the leading
theoretician of the time, held this view
and when the new system defeated him at
Hastings 1 895 the effect of the Pillsbury
Attack in chess was as revolutionary as
the Fosbury Flop in the high jump. In
this later game Pillsbury used his attack
to win brilliantly.
White: H.N. Pillsbury. Black: S.R.
Wolf
Queen's Gambit (Mo n te Carlo 1903)
d5
1. d4
2. c4
e6
Nf6
3. Nc3
Be7
4. Bg5
0-0
5. e3
Nbd7
6. NO
7. Rei
b6

As a result of Pillsbury, this move has


been largely abandoned in favour of 7 . . . .
c6.
8 . cxd5
e x d5
8 . . . . NxdS loses a pawn to 9 Nxd S .
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.

NeS
f4
Bd3
0-0

Bf5

Bb7
a6
c5
c4
b5

RO!

26. Bxg61

The brilliant climax to Pillsbury's attack.


Neither pawn can capture because of
mate in one, while if 26 . . . . Nx g6 27.
Rxg6 + hxg6 2 8. Rh4 forces mate.
Rb6
26.
27. Qxb61 Nxg6
28. Qf6
ReS
If 28. . .. Nxf4 29. exf4 followed by f5,
QgS + a nd f6 with a mating attack.
Be6
29. Rfl
Kh8
30. Qg5
Nf8
31. QhS
Rxe6
32. Nxe6
Resigns
33. Rxe6
for if 3 3 .. . . Nxe6 34. Rx7 .

Pillsbury's premature death makes it


hard to assess his real standing in chess
history. Elo gives him a rating for his best
period of 2630, the equivalent of a world
title candidate in present-day terms. M.ore
significantly, he had the best personal
record against Lasker (S-5 with 4 draws)
of any of the latter's rivals in the pre- 1 9 1 4
period, and his final victory, at Cambridge
Springs 1 904 when he was already a sick
man, was one of his best, although the
story often told about it and quoted below
is patently untrue.

fig. 1 14

This is the key to the attack. White heads


his pieces straight for the king's side to
force weaknesses in the black defensive
pawn front. For a modem refinement of
this attack, see page 1 2 1 .
14.

16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.

Bb1
fxeS
Bxe7
QO
Rfl
Qf6

Re8
g6
NxeS
Nd7
Rxe7
Nf8
Qd7
b4 7

22.
23.
24.
25.

Na4!
NcS
Rh6
Rf4

Qc7
Bc 8
aS
Rb8

1 5 . Rh3

White has a strong game, but Black could


still defend with 21 . . . . Re6. The weak
pawn ad vance allows the knight to join
the attack, for if 22 . . . . Qxa4 23. Qxe7 .

White: H.N. Pillsbury. Black: Em.


Lasker
Queen's Gambit Declined (Cambridge Springs 1904)
dS
1. d4
e6
2. c4
3. Nc3
Nf6
cS
4. NO
cxd4
5. BgS
Nc6
6. Qxd4
7. Bxf61

an earlier game Pillsbury-Lasker, St


Petersburg 1895-6, Pillsbury played 7.
Qh4 ?, castled long, and was crushed by a
brilliant sacrificial attack. The story was
that Pills bury found 7 .Bxf6 immediately
after the St Petersburg game and patiently
hoarded it for eight years until he got
another chance to play it against Lasker.
Unfortunately for this nice tale, there
were three intervening games between
the opponents where Pillsbury had White
and didn't try to play his 'eight year
In

move'. But certainly the knight capture


is a big improvement: Black cannot
all ow 7. . . Nxd4 8. Bxd8 Nc2 + 9. Kd 1
Nxa1 1 0 . Bh4 when the a 1 knight is
trapped, and so has to allow the K-side to
be perma nently weakened.
7. . . .
gxf6
8 . Qh4
dxc4
8. . . d4 would be met by 9. 0-0-0.
Bd7
9. Rd 1
N e5 ?
10. e)
A fur th er wea kening of the pawn front,
and perhaps one of Lasker's psycholo
gically second-best moves which didn't
come off. Better is 10 . . . f5 1 1 . Qxc4 Bg7
aiming to open lines for the pieces in
compensat ion for the weakened pawn
fron t.
fxe 5
1 1 . Nxe5
1 2 . Qxc4
Qb6
1 3 . Be2 !
sacri fic ing an unimportant pawn to bring
all Whi t e' s pieces into action against the
black king.
Qxb2
13.
Rc8
1 4 . 0-0
Rc7
1 5. Qd3
Be7
1 6 . Ne4
1 7 . N d 6 + Kf8
The king becomes a ta rget on this square,
as shown by W hite's moves 1 9-20; and
yet there was n o thi n g better. If 17 . . . .
Bxd6 1 8. Qxd6 Qb6 1 9. QxeS 0-0 20 .
Q gS+.
QbS
1 8 . N c4
.

al ways a useful pair in attack - to corn bine


for the final mate.
26.
QxB
Qxfl +
27. Rfl
B d7
28. Kxfl
29. Qh5 + Kg8
30. N e 5
Resigns

Jose Raoul
CapablancaJsss-1942
Capablanca was the finest natural chess
p layer in the game's history. His genius
in position play and subtle endgame skill
inspired a legion of contemporaries and
successors from Flohr and Smyslov to
Fischer and Karpov. Uncharacteristically
for chess, where compliments to rivals
are often few and grudging, he gained full
recognition from the other world cham
pions who p layed and knew him. Euwe
called him ' without peer in the endgame
and in pure position p lay ; as a tactician
unsurpassa ble' ; Botvinnik wrote that
'Capa blanca was the greatest talent, he
made the best impression on me of all the
c ha mp i ons I have met' ; Alekhine, though
not on speaking terms with Capa for
fifteen years, praised him as 'the greatest
gen i us of chess. There will never be any
one to equal him'; while Lasker said 'I
have known many chessplayers, but only
one genius, Capablanca . '
Capa blanca came first o r second in 30
out of the 35 tournaments in which he
played, and lost only 35 tournaments and
match games out of a total 567 in his
whole life. This included a period of eight

years ( 1 91 6-24) without a single defeat,

while his overall loss ratio - around st


per cent - was about half that of Lasker
and Alekhine, and was matched in later
times only by the peak periods of Fischer
and Karpov.
Capa, as the chess world called him,
was blessed by nature not only with
extraordinary talent but with personal
magnetism and charm. This made him a
natural ambassador for Cuba, his native
land, which appointed him a roving
plenipotentiary to spread goodwill for
his country through his chess exploits.
Capa was brilliantly equipped for this
function. He had an air of effortless
superiority and confidence in his own
genius, as well as being both elegant and
handsome - an intellectual Valentino.
Until Fischer came along half a century
later Capa was the only chess grand
master in the West whose name the public
knew and would come to watch in large
numbers. For decades he gave regular
worldwide simultaneous tours, playing
very fast and scoring high percentages
even when the opposition was strong.
By chess standards, Capab lanca was
born with the proverbial silver spoon. He
learnt the moves, self-taught, at four, and
at twelve won a match with the champion
of Havana. At eighteen, before playing a
serious international event, he defeated
the then US champion Marshall 8-1 in a
match. On the strength of this result he
was invited to the great international
tournament at San Sebastian 1 91 1 . Dr
Capablanca 'the chess machine' at the zenith
his career, 1919. Unbeaten for several years,
many rate him the greatest chess genius.

of

1 9 . f4 !
e x f4
20 . Qd4
t em p o to decis i ve l y strengthen

gaining a
the f- file attack.

20.
21.
22 .
2 3.
24 .
25.

f6
Qc5
Be8
f5
Kf7
Rc6
Not 25
. Qxc4? 26. NeS +.
26. R x f5 + !
A clever sacrifice t o wind up Pi l l s b u r y s
convincing play. The point is not to win
the queen for two rooks b ut to set up the
position for W hite's queen and k n i ght.

Qxf4
NeS
Ng4
Qh6+
Bc4 !

'

5_9

Bernstein, one of the established com


petitors, protested at the inclusion of this
u nknown and in storybook fashion Capa
beat him brillia ntly in the opening round.
A i ming to establish himself as Lasker' s
challenger, Capa then went on a whirl
wind tour of Europe taking on leading
masters in two-game mini-matches. He
beat nearly all of them and the game
shown here i llustrates the Capa style of
playing for the endi ng whi le being alert to
every tactical chance.
White : J . R . C a p a bla nca . B la ck : F.
D us-C hoti m i rsky
Ruy Lopez (St Peters b u rg 1 91 3)
The opening w as 1 . e4 e5 2 . Nf3 Nc6
3 . BbS a 6 4 . Ba4 N f6 5 . 0-0 Be7 6. R e l b 5
7 . Bb3 d6 8. c3 N a S 9. Bc2 c5 1 0. d4 Qc7
1 1 . N b d2 Nc6 1 2 . Nfl
Modern theory prefers 1 2 . h3 or 12 . d S,
avoi d i ng the pin that follows.
cxd4
1 2.
1 3 . cxd4
Bg4
14. dS
N d4
0-0
1 5 . Bd3
15 . .. . N h S ! to p lay against the f4 square,
wou l d be good for Black. The openings
were never Capa ' s strong point ; he used
to boast that he never read a chess book
until he became a world title candidate .

16. Be3
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.

Bxd4
a4
a;xb 5

h3

Qxf3
Reel

23. b4

Average p layers should try to look out


for such snap attacks whenever the
opposing king position with unmoved
pawns lacks a knight guard.
g6
25. . . .

Rac8
exd4
Qb6
axb 5
BxO
Nd7
Nc5
Na4 7

26. e6

R8

27. Ng3

Qb7

29 . dxe6
30. Qc6 1

Qc7

34. Bxd7
35. e7
36. Re l

Rb8
K7

or 26 . . . . fxe6 27. Qg4 threatening both


Qxe6 + and Bxg6.
Again if fxe6 28. Qg4, while f5 is met by
28. Bxf5 ! gxf5 29. Nxf5 with a winning
attack.
28 . NfS I
Another fine move. If now gxf5 2 9. QxfS,
or if Kh8 29. Qe4.
fxe 6
28 .

Aiming for the c3 square, Black overlooks


Capa's tactical p lan. Better was Nxd3
followed by Bf6 .
Rxc8
2 4 . Rxc8
25. e5 !

The poin t, gaining time for a king's


side attack because if 25 . . . . dxeS 26. Qf5
attack i ng both the rook and the h7 pawn.

This is not j ust a flashy sacrifice (Qxc6?


3 1 . Nxe7 + and 32. Nxc6). Capablanca
is already planning ahead to the endgame
and taking control of his e pawn's queen
ing square.
Qd8
30.
3 1 . Nxe7 + Qxe7
N c3
32. Bxb5
33. Qd7 1
Qxd7

36. e8=Q+ Rxe8 37. Bxe8 + Kxe8 38.


Kfl should also win, but the text is

Capablanca, left, and Lasker, Moscow 1 925.


Acclaimed as a hero in Russia Capa starred in
the film Chess Fever and may have played in
'he Kremlin.

. '" I I

I . ... " ...

.. 11 1 11 t 1
'

\'HJ,

ll& lit

I ' . ... ' '

simpler. Black could resign now. The


remaining moves were 36 . . . . ReS 37.
Bxe8+ Kxe 8 38. Re6 dS 39. Kfl NbS
40 . Ke2 Nc7 41. ReS Na6 42. bS N b4
43. b6 d3 + 44. Kd2 Kd7 45. e 8 = Q+
Kd6 4&. Qe7 + Kc6 47. Qxb4 Resigns.
Lasker, sensing the risk to his title
from this dangerous young rival, managed
to avoid a match despite inc reasing public
clamour for one until World War I
temporarily ended chess activity. But
when international play resumed the
Havana Chess Club made a $20,000 offer
which Lasker, impoverished by the war,
accepted. He played the whole match
listlessly and Capa became world cham
pion by a margin of 4---0 with 1 0 d raws in
a series originally scheduled for 24 games.
Capa blanca's easy success was followed
by convincing victories at the big tourna
ments in London 1 922 and New York
1927, while his challenger Alekhine was
a distant runner-up in both events. Their
title match at Buenos Aires lasted 34
games, the longest series in any world
championship. At the end of it A lekhine
was the surprise winner by 6-3 with 2 5
draws, Ca pa 's legend o f invincibility was
tarnished, and the two men rapidly ceased
to be on speaking terms. The conventional
explanation for the result is that Capa,
whose previous lifetime score against
Alekhine was 8 --D with 7 draws, took his
opponent too lightl y. while A lekhine
prepared with manic intensity. But in
fact the match proved to be a mixture of
dull, mostly short dra ws and decisive
games marred by inaccuracies.

1 920s. What he continued to show was his


mastery and elegance of planning and his
know-how in exchanging pieces. The
most important lesson from Capablanca's
games is the value of small advantages
such as an active king, file control and
superior pawn formation. The following
game illustrates how to meet an opponent
who tries to swap off all the pieces for an
early dra w.
White : E . D . Bogolyubov. Black:
J . R. Capablanca

17. Ke2

fig. ll8

In the very first game Capa fell for a


variation of the back row mate. Instead
of 16. Nd3 Nxd3 17. Qxd3 when the
endgame might be tena ble despite doubled
pawns, he played 1 6. Rac l ? overlooking
Nxc2 17. Rxc2 Qxf4 ! winning a pawn
because of 1 8. Bxf4 Rxe 1 mate. Capa was
never con vinced by his defeat, and spent
the rest of h is l i fe speaking of 'my title'
and v a i nly arguing his right to a retu rn .
In 1936 he was first a t Moscow and tied
first at Nottingham, but could not re
establish his a b solute supremacy of the

Rhb8!

p reparing to meet 1 8. b4 by bS 1 9. cS aS
opening up the a file with a useful out
post on a4. White chooses a different
tack, but the result is only to switch
Capa's target square to c4.
bS
18. Ne4
19. cS
20. cxd6
e .p.+

2 1 . f4
22. f5

dS!
cxd6

ReS

sti ll trying to open lines for his own rooks,


but Rhc l was a better chance.
22.
NaS
N c4
2 3 . Kd 3

dS

26. fxe6
27. gS

fxe6

27.
28. RhS
29. Rh3
30. Na2
31. RO +
32. g4

hxgS
Kf6
Rac8
a5
Kg6

32. ...

Nd61

33. Nc3
34. axb4
35. Ndl

b4
axb4

35.

37. Ra1
38. Re2

Rc2
b3
Ne4
R8c61

39. Rbl

e51

More obvious is 25. NcS, but then eS !


undermines the knight.
Rc6
25.
Already a desperate measure: Black
threatens both to double rooks on the c
file and to attack the K-side pawns with
Kf6-g5 .

Queen's Indian Defence (Bad Kissin


gen 1928)
The opening moves were 1. d4 N f6
2. c4 e6 3.NO b6 4. Nc3 Bb7 5. BgS Be7
6. e3 Ne4 7. Bxe7 Qxe7 8. Nxe4 Bxe4
9. Nd2 Bb7 10. Be2 QgS ll. BO BxO
12. Qx0Nc613.Qg3 Qxg3 14.hxg3Ke7.

White's pacific intentions are c lear, but


he has fundamentally misunderstood the
position. White's pawn centre, potential
ly valuable in the middle game, is here a
target for a b lack pawn advance (a6 and
b 5) which will open lines of manoeuvre
for th,e,,rooks andjor establish a knight
outpost. Meanwhile White's own line
opning advance on the other wing by
g4-g5 is easily stopped. Modem masters
and strong players have learnt the tech
niques for such positions from Capa. Few
today would diagnose fig. 1 1 9 as an easy
draw.
h6
1 5 . g4
a6
16. a3

24. Rabl
25. Nc3

A surprise resolution to the problem of


finding a breakthrough meth od - for the
rest of the game Black aims for mate. The
i mmediate intention is Ne4, Rc2 and
Rd2 mate.

or 35. Na2 Ne4 36. Nxb4 Rc4 37. Na2 Rc2


and wins.
36.

Rf2

Putting White into near-zugzwang. If 39.


Re 1 R d2 mate, or 39. Rxc2 Rxc2 mate, or
39 . Nc3 Rxc3 +.
so

that if 40. dxe5 R6c4 and NcS mate.

R6c4
40. Ral
Nc5 + I
41. Ra5
42. Resigns
For if 42. dxc5 e4 mate - an attractively
economical finish with such a small

striking force.
Capablanca died in 1942 aged only 54
after a heart attack at the Manhattan
Chess Club in New York. He is commemo
rated in his native Cuba by the annual
Capablanca Memorial tournament, and
his games will always be models for young
players seeking to master the art of
positional chess.
61

5. Bg2

Alexander
Alekhine 1 892-1 946
Al ek h i ne was one of the most original
and tactically bri l l iant grandmasters of
all t ime a n d , w i th the po ssi ble exception
of Fisc her, the most dedicated to chess.
He had the hunger for achievement
possessed by a ll great players . He spent
five yea rs prepa ring for h is v i c tory over
Ca pa bl a n ca and his col lections of his best
games and book of the New York 1 924
tournament are models of strateg ic ap
pra isal and detailed, probing analysis. At
the peak of h is powers around 1 9 30-34 he
d omi na ted his ri vals and at San Remo
1930 and Bled 1 9 3 1 finished respecti vely
1 and 51 points ahead of world class
fiel d s . His later years were c l ouded by
excessive d ri n k ing and his warti me col
la bora t ion with the Nazi s, but h is legacy
of bea uti ful games and his many contribu
tions to ch ess theory make him one of the
most interest ing of the world champions.
Alek h i ne was born in Moscow of ric h,
ari stocra tic stock. His older b rother
Al exsei was a l so a chessplayer and , since
bovs were not a l lowed to attend c hess
d bs at tha t time, they developed thei r
ta lent v ia postal c hess. Alekhine was
not a prod igy by the standards of Morphy
or Ca pa blanca but his game progressed
ra pidly during adolescence and by 1 5 he
was winning matches with masters. By
1 9 1 4, he was already thi rd to Lasker and
Ca pa bl anca in the great tournament at St
Petersburg, but then came the war and
revol ution. He won the first Soviet
championsh i p in 1 920 th en left for the
West and became a French citizen.
Alekhine is said to have been looking
ahead to an eventual match with Ca.pa
blanca even as earl y as 1 9 1 4 and before
Capa pl ayed Lasker. He won a series of big
tournaments in the early and mid dle 1 920s
and gradually won attention, publ ic
acclaim and - most important- financial
backing for a challenge to Capablanca.
The charisma surround ing Alekhine came
from his daring yet logical tactical play
which was often based on exploiti ng his.
opponent's lagging development; his
I uci d and articulate annotations, and his
driving personality w ere the perfect
counterpoint to Capa's lazy elegance. He
was pa rticul arly severe on the conven
tional strategists l ike Rubinstein and
Tarrasch and this game is a typical win
from his peak period.
White : A .K. Rubinste i n . Black : Dr.
A. A. Alekhine
Queen's Indian Defence (Semme ri ng

1 926)

l . d4

2. c4
3. NO
4 . g3

62

Nf6
e6
b6
Bb7

Bb4 +

6. N bd2
Somew hat passive compared with 6. Bd2 .
0-0
6.
7 . 0-0
dS
Be7
8. a 3
9. b4
cS
Typical Alekhine ; when Black he liked a
war of movement, opening up diagonals
for bishops and creating chances against
the w h i te king. White's game is not yet
inferior, but in sharpening the position
Alek h i ne is also playing the man as well
as the board . In his later years Ru binstein
beca me l ia ble to tactical oversights, and
here more calculation is required than
with a blocked pawn centre.
10 . bxcS
11 . dxcS
12. Bb2

bxcS
BxcS

12 .
13 . Ne5
1 4. Bxe S
1 5 . Bc3

Nbd7
NxeS
Ng4
Rb8

The b i shop is exposed on this diagonal;


an alternati ve is 1 2. R b 1 fol lowed by Nb3,
a i ming to control d4 and c 5 .

QcS
26 . Qc2
aS
27. Kf2
gS
28 . Be2
f4 1
29 . Bd3
Here White overstepped the time limit,

but his position is resignable. A l ikely


fini sh is 30. Bxh7+ Kh8 3 1 . Qe4 Qxe3 +
32. Kg2 f3 + 33. Kh3 Qe2 34. Qg6 g4 +
3 5 . Kh4 Be7 + 36. Kh5 Qxh2 mate .
After Alekhine won the world title
from Capablanca his urge to dominate
other players increased . Alekhine's peak
was at San Remo 1 9 30 where he scored
1 4 out of 1 5 yet still sweated for several
hours in a heat-wave in the final round to
win a rook ending a pawn up. At Bled
1 9 3 1 his play was less convincing but he
triumphed by 5 points and won this
typical game against Flohr. The play
seems to follow a positional course, but
then comes a sud den tactical bolt from
the blue which immediately decides the
i ssue. Alekhine never specially sought
such combinative traps but they occurred
naturally as he i ncreased pressure till the
opposing defences broke .

White : D r . A.A. Alekhine. Black :


S. Flohr
Queen's Gambit Accepted (Bled
193 1)
The opening moves were 1. d4 dS
2. c4 dc4 3. NfJ Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 c5
6. 0 Nc6 7. Qe2 a6 8. Rd1 bS CJ. dxc5
Qc710. Bd3 BxcS H. a4 b4?

A positional error which gives Whit


cont rol of the useful ,b3 and c4 squares.
Nowadays masters capture by 11. bxa4
to keep the pawn formation f'ltiicl rath'er
than static;

12. Nbd2
13. Nb3
14. e4
Be3

15.
16.

Nxe5
17. Racl

..

Be7

Nd7
N7e5
NxeS

QbS

16. R b1 1
This routine move gives Alekhine the
chance to switch the game into his
beloved tactics. l6. cxdS! would still
keep White well in contention, since Q
or Bxd5 allows 17. e4 a ttacking the knight
while 16 . . . . exdS 17. NbJ again gives
black square counterplay.
.

16.

d4!

1 7 . Rxb7
18. Bxb7

Rxb 7

19. Kxf2
20. e3

dxc3+
cxd2
Qb8
Rd8
Qd6

Nx2!

This is the kind of ta,ciical coup which


gave Alekhine his reputation . The piece
sacrifice is temporary and ensures Black
the decisive adva.ntage of a pas sed pa wn
on the seventh.
21 .
22 .
23 .
2 4.

Ke2
BfJ
Qb 1
a4
2 5 . Rd1

f5

Bb4

18. Bc51

A standard manoeuvre to increase an


advantage in a blocked p osition. The
natural invasion points into the black
camp are c7, c5 and a S, all dark squares ;
so White exchanges the piece which best

gu a r ds these squares. There is also a good


possibility of a fu rther weakness : the
black bishop at c8 is tied to the a pawn
and to free that b i shop Black may well
have t, advance the pawn to aS w here it
becomes another dark square liabi li ty .
Bxc5
18.
19. Nxc5
Qb6
20 . Qh5
Nd7
21 . Be2
g6
22 . Qg5
Nxc5
a5
23. Rxc5
An u nwi l l i n g concess ion, but White
threatened to spl it the Q-si de pa wns by
aS.
24. h4
Another instructi ve feature of dark
square control ; White intends h5 -h6 to
force g6 and c o n s eq ue n t mate possi b i l i
ties at g7 .
24.
Ba6
2 5 . B f3
f6
26. Q e 3
Rad8
27. Rxd8
Rxd8

28 . e 5 !

for twenty minutes while the latter


fo u g h t inwardly to escape the psycholo
gi cal pressure. It was a vital game for both
players, the fi rst between the reigning
Soviet cha mpion and the White Russian
em igre .
In h i s last years Alekhine was a leading
participant in wartime Nazi tournaments
and a series of anti-Semitic articles was
publi shed un der his name. His play
deteri orated further after 1 94 3 . When, in
1 946, he accepted a title challenge from
Botv innik, few gave him any chance; but
while preparing for the match, Alekhine
died suddenly in Lisbon .
He played in 87 tournaments in his
l i fe, and won 62 of them - a record; after
1 9 1 2 he was only once - at Nottingham
1 9 36 - out of the top four in any event. If
you l i ke tactical chess and can a lso cope
w i t h stra tegy and positional play, Alek
h i ne is an excellent chess hero.

Mikhail
Botvinnik

1 91 1Botv i n n ik wa s the pioneer of the Russian


domi nation of world chess which, the
brief re ign of Bobby Fischer apart, has
lasted for most of the twentieth century .
But, more important for the ordinary
player, he was the first to treat chess as a
scien ce and a sport and to formulate a
method ical training programme for com
peting in a major tournament.
T h is serious attitude to chess contrasted

with Steinitz, who stuck to unsound


openings after defeats, with Lasker and
Capablanca, who rarely prepared for
tournaments, and even with Alekhine,
whose detailed planning for opponents
was not matched by care for his own
physical condition. The role of chess in
Soviet society made Botvinnik's approach
not only sensible for himself, a potential
world champion, but for others. Lenin
was a keen p layer, so was Krylenko, one
of his lieutenants. Under their influence
chess became an officially recognizecl
Russian sport and masters had the op
portunity to earn a state salary.
Botvinnik learned to play chess at
twelve - late for a world champion. But
at fourteen he beat Capablanca in a
simultaneous and in 1 927 he made his
first appearance in the USSR champion
ship. He graduated from Leningrad as an
electrical engineer and kept up his
scientific work even after winning the
world title.
His big breakthrough came in the
middle 1 9 30s when he won two strong
events at Moscow, then tied with Capa
blanca at Nottingham ahead of Alekhine,
Lasker and other strong contenders. One
of his first acts after this success was to
put his name to a cable ghostwritten by
Krylenko thanking Stalin and the Soviet
nation for their support. In the following
years it became a prime goal of the USSR
chess organization to secure for Botvinnik
a chance at the world championship.
When Alekhine died and left the title
vacant, the World Chess Federation staged

A p p a re n t l y j u st fu r t h e r s t r e n g t h e n i n g of
t he d a rk s q u a re c o n t r o l : if 28 .
. fxe5
29. Q x e 5 i so l a t i n g B l a c k ' s e p aw n . But
the move a l so sets a n A l e k h i n e t ra p .
f5 ? ?
28 . . .
29 . R c8 !
R esigns
Beca u se d 6 i s n o lo nger a va i la ble to the
black q u ee n , Bl a c k loses at least a roo k .
A l e k h i n e ' s la st great success i n h i s
peak period was a t Zurich 1 9 34, a fter
which h is resu l ts beca me more patc h y .
H i s d r i n k pro b l em b e c a m e more a cute,
and a ffect ed his p l a y and behav iour
d u r i ng h i s unex pected l oss of the world
title to Eu we in 19 3 5 . Shoc ked by d e feat,
he w e n t i n to s t r i c t a nd a bstemious trai n
i ng a n d rega i n ed t h e championsh i p two
y e a rs l a t e r .
H e w a s s t i l l a d i ffi c u l t opponent for
.

a n y o n e . Bo t v i n n i k h a s d e sc r i b ed h o w , a t
N t t i n g h a m i n 1 9 36 w h e n i n c o m p l ex
pos i t i o n s . A l e k h i n e w o u l d g et up a ft e r
m a k i ng h i s m o v e a nd s t a rt c i r c l i n g rou n d
a nd ro u n d t h e ta b l e l i ke a k i te. Playing
Bot v i n n i k . he k e p t up his k i te i m i tation

Mikhail Bot vi nnik, first Soviet chess star. He twice regained the world title.

a ma tch tournament from which Bot


vinnik emerged the clear victor over
Smyslov, Keres. Reshevsky and Euwe.
Botv i n n ik was at his peak in the period
before he won the world title, and during
the l imi ted chess activity of the war years
and after. Al though he kept the champion
ship. w i th i nterm i ss ions. from 1 948 to
1 96 3 . he lost ti tle matches to Smyslov and
Tal before w i n ni ng the return and only
drew h is 1 9 5 1 series with Bronstein. After
his 1 96 3 defeat by Petrosian, and with the
return ma tch cla use abolished, he aban
do ned ti tle competi tion and grad ually
transferred his chess interests to two
projects for the future : devi sing a success
ful chess computer program and dis
coveri ng and teach ing a future USSR
world c hampion. A t the time of writing,
the first project has made only limited
progress but the second has been bril
l iantly successful. Both Karpov, the
reign ing ch ampion and Kasparov, widely
re ckoned a future champion in the 1 980s,
are pu pils of Botvinnik .
Botv innik's grea t strength as a player
was h is command of strategy . but it was
not the clear-cut and endgame-orientated
s t rategy of Capa blanca . He li ked com
plex positi ons w i th c hances for both
sides, rel ying on h is a b i l i ty in manoeuvre
cou pled w i th a sense of wh-en to swi tch to
end games. Botv i n n ik was tl1e spec ialist in
the French Defence ( l . e4 e6) and later the
Caro-Kann ( l . e4 c6) as Black, and in
queen 's side openi ngs like the Ni mzo
lndian ( I . d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4) and
Slav Defence Exchange ( l . d4 dS 2. c4 c6
3. cxd 5) as White. Two ideas often seen
in his games are a sacrifice of rook for
bishop or knight so as to create a mobile
pawn centre and th e e ffec ti ve use of a
bishop at long distance in the late midd le
game after the exchange of several pieces.
This last idea can be pa rti c ul a rly useful
for the average player.

1 4 . bxc5
1 5 . Re i
16. Nh4

N d7
Qe7

threatening f4 to open up the centre and


also attacking the g6 square which was
weakened by 1 1 . . . h6 .
.

1 6.

Q f7

1 8 . gxf4
1 9 . Qe 1
20. Bh3 1

Rad8
B d5

1 7 . f4

1 5 . axb3

f6 1

16. exd6 7

Nxd6

Botvinnik intends to bring the knight to


d5 or fS to support the long d i agonal
bishop. White should try to prevent thi
by 1 6. Qe2, because as played his own
bishop is restricted by the f4 pawn.
1 7.

Rd3
18. Ra 4

exf4

Nf5

A voiding exchanges, and placing the


bi shop on a diagonal where its scope will
gain immensely after the eventual e4 .
20.
Ne7
2 1 . Qg3

g6

White : M.M . B o tvinn i k . Black : 0.

Be nk n e r
E n g li sh O pe n i ng (Moscow 1 956)
The opening moves were 1 . . c4 e5 2 g3
N f6 3. B g 2 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. N c 3 Nb6

6. NO Nc6 7. O;.Q Be7 8. a3 o <:n


Black's castling is pr em at ure ; he should
..

play 8 . . . aS to stop White's Q'-side pawn


advance.
9. b 4
a6
.

1 0 . d3
1 1 . N e4
1 2 . Bb2

Be6
h6 ?
f5 ?

Botvinnik writes that after B1ack's last


two moves he is already lost . because . of
the a c ti v ity of White's b2 bi shop on the
long dia gonal. Really Black m isunders tood
Botvinnik' s strategy and thought that the
e4 knight was h ea d i ng for gS rather than
c 5 . In the next few moves Botvinnik
makes sure of the pair of bishops and
then masses his pieces in the centre
rea dy for a dec i s i ve break with e4 .
B xc 5
1 3. Nc5
64

fig. 1 2 5

This i s White's best chance aiming to


put R or N on e4 but Botvinnik' s next
move continues his theme of white square
play and makes sure that his b i shop
-

reaches its

2 2 . e4 1
Botvinnik has p repared this advance
admirably and now opens the game with
decisive e ffec t
fxe4
22.
Bxe4
2 3 . dxe4
24. Reel
Qc4
U nfortunately for Bla ck the natura 24 . . . .
Bd5 fails to 2 5 . Rxe7 Qxe7 26. Qxg6 +
fol lowed by mate, but as played he loses
two pieces for a rook and the white rook
reaches the seventh rank with the d ea d l y
threat of R g7 +
2 5 . Rxe4
Qx e4
26. Rel
Qxf4
2 7 . Rxe 7
Resigns
W hite : 0. Neikirch. Black: M . M.
Botvinnik
Sicilian Defence (Leipzig 1960)
The opening moves were 1 . e4 c5 2.
NO Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3
d6 6. Bc4 e6 7. Bb3 Be7 8. ()..() 0-0 9. Kh l .
The stronger move is 1 0. Be3. Bot
vinnik now chooses an economical
me th od of starti ng counterplay, br;inging
his QN a nd QB into active posi tions with
a mini mum of pawn moves.
Na5
9.
1 0 . f4
b6
Ne8
11. e 5
.

It is dangerous to open up the position


yet : if dxe5 1 2. fxe5 N d 7 1 3 . Rxf7 !
Nxb3
12. RO
Qd 7
1 3 . Nc6
1 4 . Nxe7 + Qxe7

best diagonal

11. . . . .

Qel:r

Mysteriqus at fir>st sig ht, Qt.quite Iog!eal.


An i mmed iate Bb7 woul el allow 19. Rv
bs
19. Ne.4
20. Ra5 7
White still tries to attack, but here the
rook proves fatally exposed. 20. Rb4
fa ils to a5, but he should try 20. Ra l .
Bb7
2{). . . .

2 1 . Nd6
Or 21. Nc5 Bxg2 + 22. Kxg2 Qc6 + .
21. . . .
Nxd6
22. Rxd6
Rds r
t hreatening Qc6 and exposing Whiti(s
back 'f"ow.

so

hd6
23. Qd2
24. Qxd6
Qd8 !
that if 25. Qx'a8 Rxd 26. BeJ dl+

27 Bgl Rd2 wins .

2 5 . Qxe6 + Rf7
Re7 !
26. Qe l
27 . Resig ns

A pretty finish. Black's long-distance


attack leaves White helpless, for if 2 7 .
Qgl Qxa5, 27. Be3 Rxe3 or 27 . Qd2 Rd7.
The winner's powerful yet artistic play
in this game is typical of Botvinnik at his
best.

Salllu el
Reshevs ky 1 9 1 1 Reshevsky, the greatest American player
before the rise of Bobby Fischer, has
established a record for chess longevity
as a strong and active player which sur
passes even Lasker . Born in Poland, he
was touring Europe giving simul tan eou s
d isplays at the age of eight and by the
age of ten was already playing at the
level of at least a national expert. 50 years
later he is still a strong grand -master.
Reshevky \\ J '> t h e s t r o n g e s t \\' e '> t e rn
player between 1 945 a n d 1 9 5 5 and his
outstanding record in set matches would
have given him a real chance against
Botvinnik had he been able to challenge
for the title. He was six times US champion
and a regular high prize winner in the
internationals of 19 3 5- 1 960.
Reshevsky's special qua lities as a player
are his competitive resi lience, his tactical
skilL and his ability to survive time
pressure. The three qualities go together.
At the height of his career Reshevsky
would get into severe clock trouble game
after game and would then outplay his
opponent even from dubious positions.
Reshevsky also became the world
expert in utilizing the white side of
symmetrical openings such as the Engli sh
1 . c4 c5, as well as the sma ll advantages
from the Queen's Gam bit Exchange Varia
tion ( 1 . d4 dS 2. c4 e6 3 . Nc3 Nf6 4. BgS
Nbd7 5. cxd S) and the Nimzo-Indian
with 1 . d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 cS
5 Ne2. He has been called the greatest
player in boring positions and his tech
nique of gradually grind ing down an
opponent after hours of patient manoeuvre
has gained him disciples on the inter
national circuit, e . g. Andersson and Hort.
In playing over the two Reshevsky
games following, note how he is co ntent
to coast along with strategic p lay, aiming
for a small advantage like the p air of
bishops, and how quickly he switches to
tactics when the chance comes.
White : S . Reshevsk y . Black : J . H .
..

Donner
Nimzo-I nd ian Defence (Santa Mon
ica 1966)
The opening moves were 1. d4 Nf6
2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 c5 5. Bd3 d 5
6 . N O 0-0 7 . 0-0 dxc4 8. Bxc4 N bd7
9 . B d3 b6 10. a3 cxd4 1 1 . exd4 BxcJ 12.
bxc3 Bb7 1 3. Re 1 Qc7 1 4 . Bd2 Rfe8
15. Qe2 Rac8 1 6 . Racl Bd5 .

This is well-known opening strategy .


Black has conceded the pair of bishops,
and in return has play on the light squares
and against White's hanging pawns at d4
and c4 . Reshevsky probes his opponent's
position and tries to gradually open the
game for the bishops.
17. c4
18. a4

Bb7
Qc6

Bf4
Qxa4
Ra1
Qc6
Rxa7
Ra8
Rxa8
Rxa8
h3
Reshevsky likes such wai ti ng moves,
tucking away an escape square fo r the
king while Black decides how to commit
19.
20.
21.
22.
23 .

himself.

23 . . . .

RaJ ?

Nxd5 Bxd5 10. Bd3 Bb4 + 11. Ke2 Bd6


12. Bxd6 cxd6 13. Qc2 h6 .
The opening system with 4. Bf4 is a
favourite with Miles - he has twice
beaten Boris Spassky with it. Reshevsky
counters by simple means, conceding
White the edge in the centre but keeping
open the chance of counterplay against
the white king.
Bc6
14. Rhcl
If White could force an ending by Qc7,
his centralized king would be an asset.
15 . Qb3 7
This
underestimates
Reshevsky' s
counterplay. More natural is 1 5 . Be4, to
swap bishops andfor force d5 fixing the
central pawns and eliminating any danger
to White's king.
15.
. .
Bb7
1 6. Rc37
White could still recognize his error by
1 6 . Qc2 encouraging Black to repeat
.

moves .

fig. 126

Donner ruefully commented later 'I would


never have played this move if Reshevsky
had not been in time trouble . '

Nd7
16. . . .
e5 1
1 7 . Racl
Miles either underestimated this advance
or missed Reshevsky' s next move. Sud
denly White's king in mid-board is a
vulnerable target.
N c5 1
18. dxe5

2 4 . d5 !

Reshevsky's intuition in such positions


is excellent. He had to see that the pawn
sacrifice could be followed up by the
bishop offer three moves later.

exd5
24. . . .
Qxd5
2 5 . cxd5
or Nxd S 2 6 . BbS Qe6 27. Qb2 winning

material.

26. Bc4
Qc5 .
27 . Bx7 + I Kx7 7

Taken by surprise, Black misses the


better defence Kh8 !
28. Qe6 +

not Kf8? 29. Bd6 +

Kg6

29 . Bd6 1

Every move is accurate despite having to


be made w ithin seconds. An immediate
29. Ne S + ? NxeS 30. RxeS would fail to
Bc8 .

29. . . .
Q a5
30. Ne 5 + I
And here if 30. Nh4 + ? KhS 3 1 . NfS B lack
h as B xg 2
Nxe5
30.
Ra1 +
31. Rxe5
32. Kh2
Qa8
33. Qf5 +
K7
34. Re7 + Kg8
35 . Be5
Re1
36 . Rxg7 + ! Resigns
White :
A.J.
Miles .
Black :
s.
Reshevsky
Queen's Indian Defe nce (Lone Pine
1 979)
The opening moves were 1. d4 N f6 2.
N O b6 3. c4 e6 4. Bf4 Bb7 5 . e3 Be7
6. h3 0-0 7. Nc3 d5 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9.
.

dxe5
19. Qc2
20. Bb5
Within a few moves, White's position
has worsened from favourable to desper
ate. If 20. Nxe5 Qg5 followed by Qxg2
and White's king is wide open. If 20. e4
fS ! again exposes the king further, while
in any case Black threatens . . . e4.
20.
a6
axb5
21. b4
b4
22. bxc5
23. Rb3
If 2 3. Rc4 Ba6.
23. . . .
bxc5
24. Qxc5 7
blundering more material, but Reshevsky
is a pawn up in the better position.
24. . . .
Rc8
25 . Resigns
If 2 5 . Qxb4 Ba6 + Black wins a rook and
soon mates.
65

Paul Keres

1 9 1 6-75

Born in Estonia, and becoming a Soviet


citizen after that country was absorbed
into the USSR, Keres was one of the
unluckiest players i n chess history in h is
attempts to win the world championshi p.
From 1 9 37 to 1 96 5 he was a lw a y s among
the top three grand masters yet the right
to a t i tle match contin u a l l y na rro w l y
eluded h im. He won the Avro tourna
ment 1 9 38 ahead of Botvinnik, Alekhine
and Capa blanca, but the war put paid to
the chance of a match with Alekhine. In
the 1 940s Keres found Botvinnik too
good for h im and in the candidates
tournaments of the fifties and sixties he
was runner-up four times consecutively .
In 1 959 he made a h igh score only to see
Tal do still better and i n 1 962 a defeat right
at the end put h im beh ind P e tros ian .
Keres was a fine c hess s tyli st . A
bri lliant tactician i n his younger years, he
later developed an all-round game. His
most trusted opening w as 1. e4 a nd he
won many elegant games with the Ruy
Lopez as well as agai nst the S i c il ian and
French Defence. Another of his speciali
ties was in mid d le games with a central
pawn majority aga inst a queen's side
pawn majority for the opponent, where
Keres demonstrated the op p o rt u n i ti es
for a breakthrough on t he d file or for a
king's side attack.
White : P. K e res. B la ck : E. Geller
Que e n ' s G a m bit, S e m i-Ta rrasch
( ma tch 1 962)
The opening moves were l. d4 N f6 2 .
c 4 e 6 3. N O d S 4. N c 3 c S 5 . cxd5 Nxd5
6. e3 Nc6 7. B c4 Nxc3 8. b xc3 Be7 9 .
0-0 0-0 10. e 4 b 6 1 1 . B b2 B b7 1 2 . Q e 2
N a 5 1 3 . B d 3 Rc8 1 4. R a d 1 cxd4 (safer
is Qc7) 1 S. cxd4.

the white camp with a rook, but White


gets in first. The best move for Black is
Bf6, ai ming to entice e5 which would fix
White's pawns .
15.
1 6 . d5 !
1 7 . exd5

Bb4 7
exd5

17. . . .
18. Ne5

Qe7
f6

1 9 . Qh5
20 . Nxg6 !
2 1 . Bxg6

g6
hxg6
Qg7

Now the bishop pair are a direct menace


and White threatens to win a piece by
18. Qe4. If 17 . . . . Bxd5 (Qxd S ? 1 8 .
Bxh7 + ) 1 8 . Qe5 f6 1 9. QhS h 6 2 0 . Qg6.
If 17 . . . . Re8 1 8. NeS again threatening
Qh S, while if Geller continues his original
plan by 17 . . . . Bc3 then 1 8. Bxc3 Rxc3
1 9. Rfe1 and White controls both central
files.
1 8. . . . Bd6 would lose to a standard
sacrifice : 1 9. Qh5 g6 20. Ng4 ! gxhS 2 1 .
Nh6 mate.

Keres' knight sacrifice has left the black


king position in ruins with no time to
organize a defence before White brings
up decisive reinforcements. If 2 1. . . . Rc7
22. d6 Bxd6 23. Rd3 or 2 1 . . . . Ba6 2 2 . BfS .
Bd6
2 2 . Rd3
23. f4
Qh8
24. Q g4
Bc5 +
Rc7
2 5 . Kh1
2 6 . Bh7 + + !
so that if Kxh7 27. Rh3 mate.
26.

2 7 . Qe6 +

28. Rg3 +

out of 24 games. He and Schlechter (who


drew with Lasker) are the only players
to have challenged for the world title
and tied the series .
Bronstein has had many tournament
successes since 1 9 5 1 without getting
back to the very top. But his reputation
rests more on his many remarkable games,
which bear a special quality of genius.
One of his pet openings was the King's
Gambit l. e4 e5 2. f4 which he adopted
regularly despite criticism from Soviet
colleagues (before the USSR v. USA match
in 1 946 Botvinnik warned him at the team
meeting against playing this 'reckless'
opening). Bronstein continued to play it,
and his attractive collection of wins con
vinced others, notably Spassky, that the
gambit should be rescued from its nine
teenth-century museum.

White : D . Bronstein. Black : V .


Panov
King's Gambit Declined (Moscow
1 947)
The opening moves were 1 . e4 e5 2 .
f4 Bc5 3 . N O d 6 4. c 3 Bg4 7 (known to be

inferior to fS, Bb6 or Nf6, but Black


wanted to avoid pre-analysed lines) 5.
fxe5 dxe5 6. Qa4 + I (releasing the pin
without loss of time) Bd7 (not Qd7 7. BbS
c6 8. Nxe5) 7. Qc2 Nc6 8. b4 Bd6 9. Bc4
Nf6 10. d3 Qe7 1 1 . 0-0 .

K f7
Kg7
Resigns

White mates by 29. Qh3 .

The lines of battle are d rawn. W hi te's


bi shops aim towards the black k ing,
while Black hopes to gain play against
the d pa wn and a l ong the c file. Geller's
next move aims to e xc hange bi sho ps by
Be 3 and increase his chances to invade
66

David Bronstein
1 924Ukrainian-born Bronstein, one of the most
creative and imaginative grandmasters, is
a player whose style is difficult for
ex perts, let alone lesser lights to copy.
His games, like those of other great
tacticians, show that all kinds of strange
sacrifices and unusual positions are pas
si ble on the chessboard as long as a player
keeps the initiative and control of events .
Bronstein nearly became world cham
pion and would have done so with a
little more steadiness and a little better
e nd game technique. Already recognized
as one of the most promising younger
Russians, he won the interzonal and
candidates tournaments in 1 948-50 to
become Botvinnik's official challenger.
Their title match took place in 1 9 5 1 with
Botvinnik completely out of practice
after no tournaments since 1 948, while
his rival played incessantly not only in
regular events but in blitz games in the
Moscow clubs. After a fluctuating
struggle, Bronstein was one up with two
to play, but both his nerves and his end
game technique failed in the vital 23rd

fig. 1 29

The attention which strong players give


to opening analysis is often misunder
stood. Here, after only eleven moves,
Black is already in a dilemma because of
his choice of an inferior line. If 1 1 . . . . 0-0,
then the pin 1 2. Bg5 is strong and cannot
be relieved by 1 2 . . . . h6 1 3. Bh4 gs
because of the sacrifice (which is often
possi ble when the defender's dark-square
bishop is not at e7 or g7) 1 4 . N xgS hxgS
1 5 . BxgS. Castling long runs into a pawn
storm as in the game, while 1 1 . . . . h6 (to
prepare short castling) is powerfully met
by 1 2. Nh4.
11. . . .
1 2 . a4

0-0-0
a5

Already weakening the pawns in front


of the king, but otherwise White's attack
makes rapid progress by aS and b5.

13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.

b5
Nbd2
Nb3
Be 3
Rae 1
Bxe6
Kh1

N b8
Bg4
b6
Nbd7
Be6
Qxe6

Tigran Petrosian

to keep the bishop on its best diagonal


after Black plays Ng4 .

19.
20. Nbd2
21 . Bg l
2 2 . Nc4

Qe7
Ng4

h5
g5

Slightly better was h4-h3, to try and


create a potential mate at g2. Now
Bronstein breaks through by force .
23.
24.
25.
26.

Nxd6 + cxd6
Nd2
f6
Nc4
Kb7
Bx b6 !

This is the dec isive sacrifice, which


restores the mo bility of White's pawn
roller which Black temporarily stemmed
at move 1 2 .
Nxb6
26.
27 . Nxa 5 + Kc7
28 . Nc6
Qe8
Nd7
29 . a 5

Petrosian, left and Bronstein train with five


minute chess for the 1 970 USSR v World
Match. In blitz, the clocks are set five or ten
minutes to the hour and the flagfall decides.

30 . b6 + !

Kb7

3 1 . a6 + !

K x b6

A stri k ing illustration of the power of a


pawn roller against a bare king. If 30 . . . .
Kxc6 3 1 . Qa4 + K b7 32. a6 + Kb8 3 3 . Qc6
forces mate.
If Kxa6 32. Qa4 + Kb7 33. Qa7 + Kxc6
34. Qc7 + and mates. If Kxc6 32. Qa4 +
Kxb6 3 3 . Rb 1 + Ka7 34. Qc6 Nc5 3 5 .
R b 7 + Ka8 3 6 . R d 7 + K b 8 3 7 . Qc7 + Ka8
38. Qa7 mate .
32. R b 1 +

B la ck lost on time, but he could j ust as


well have resigned. If Kc7 3 3 . Rb7 + Kc8
34 . Na7 mate.

1 929Petrosian, an Armenian and world cham


pion from 1 963 to 1 969, has often had a
bad press from chess critics. He has been
denounced as lacking fighting spirit, of
making too many short draws, and of
preferring a negative, defensive style. But
no-one becomes world champion without
great talent and skill, and Petrosian' s
chess has some highly instructive ele
ments for average players.
Although a talented young player in
his teens, he was no prodigy and rose to
the top slowly and steadily. From the age
of 24 he was a regular competitor in the
world championship candidates but it
was not until 1962 that he nosed into
first place j ust in front of Keres and Geller.
He reached a world title match in 1 963
j ust as the years were catching up with
Botvinnik, then aged 5 1, and Petrosian' s
patient strategy and better stamina proved
decisive in the second half of the series .
Petrosian models his chess style on the
tradition of Capablanca and Nimzovitch.
The emphasis is on manoeuvre, on slow
build-ups to control key squares, and on
transition to marginally favourable end
games. He is accurate in calculation, and

li kes simple posi tions where there are


few or no accidental and random factors.
He prefers to sacrifice for a clear-cut win
rather than as a speculation like Tal or
Bronstein. Rather than commit himself
to a premature attack he will opt for a
quiet spatial advantage where he can
graduall y squeeze his opponent s position
until the decisive break can be made
without risk.
This is a pragmatic, profess ional style,
and it is nota ble that Petrosian was the
first Soviet grandmaster to criticize the
official ethic of the 'Soviet school' which
claimed to prefer fi ghting, daring chess.
He proved the value of his own approach
when he defeated Spassky in the title
match of 1 966 though losing to the same
opponent three years later. But the d raw
back of Petrosian's style is that it tends to
earn high places in tournaments rather
than outright first prizes. In the opening
and midd le game he sometimes seems
purely negative and spoiling, doing noth
ing and doing it well until his opponent
loses patience and weakens his position.
The most useful aspects of Petrosian' s
chess for the ordinary player to follow
are his constriction games, where the
opponent's piece acti v ity is gradually
wea kened and throttled, and his favourite
endgame where a rook and an active
knight tri umph over a rook and a bishop
made passive by its own pawns .
Fi rst, an exa mple of constriction tech
nique - a refined version of Ni mzovitch's
' prophylaxis ' . Petrosian's special treat
ment of blocked positions includes alter
nati ng and switching the attack between
the wings, together with delayed castling.
'Castle if you will and if you must, but
not j ust if you can' is good chess advice .
Petrosian's logic is that in blocked posi
tions the action and opening of l ines which spells danger for a king
takes
place on the flanks. Therefore the usual
proced ure, where the king seeks safety
away from the centre, is reversed . In this
game, Petros ian castles only after the
ki ng's side is also blocked - and by then
his forces are pouring into the enemy
position on the other side of the board .
Wh ite : T. Petrosia n . B lack : J .
Ba rendregt
Benoni D e fe nce (Beverwij k 1 960)
The opening moves were 1 . c4 g6 2 .
d4 B g7 3. N c 3 d6 4. e 4 c5 5 . d5 e 5 6 . Be2
Nh6 (Nf6 allows a favourite Petrosian
opening system 7. NO 0-0 8. BgS h6
9. Bh4 gS 1 0. Bg3 when Black's many
pawns on dark squares allow White's
knights excellent play on light squares
especially fS)
7. h4 !
This is not really an attacking mov e , but a
scheme to provoke weaknesses. If Black
castles, 8. h5 is unpleasant, so Black tries
for active play by pawn advances which
leave gaps for Petrosian's knights .
7. . .
f5
'

68

8. B g5
9 . Rbl

Qb 6
N7

10. Bd2

Retreating the bishop, . but setting up


another threat - a3 and b4. Black stops
this at the price of more holes in his pawn
front.
a5
10. . . .
1 1 . NO
h6
Now Black hopes for f4 and gS - Petrosian
counters by a stopper move.
Na6
1 2 . g3
Qd8
1 3 . a3
1 4 . Qc2
threatening 1 5 . hS undermining the K
side pawns, and so provoking yet another
weakness.
h5
14.
gxf5
1 5 . e x f5

22. Bxa5
23. Qdl l

0-0

f3
Loss of the h pawn would spell the rapid
collapse of Black's pawn. But n:ow the K
side is blocked and Petrosian can at last
plan to castle.
Nh6
24. b4

2 5 . Rb3
26. 0-0

N g4

Bf6

27. QxO I

Black was hoping to play Bxh4 and if


gxh4 Qxh4 with mate at h2. Petrosian's
neat counter-idea is 27 . . . Bxh4 28. Qh 1 !
Be7 29. Qxh5 Nf6 30. Qg6 + Kh8 3 1 . Kg2
and it is Black who gets mated by Rh l .
.

fig. 1 3 1
In a similar position, the British master
Hugh Alexander once captured with the
bishop and his opponent Botvinnik sank
in a knight at e4 and made use of it to
dominate the whole board. Bronstein
made a comment afterwards that has gone
down in chess lore : 'Every Russian
school boy knows you have to capture
with the pawn in such positions. ' But
here Black's game is so full of holes that
the Petrosian knights now have a field
day exploiting the weaknesses .

1 6 . Ng5 1
1 7. Na4 1
1 8 . Nb6
19. Bd3
20. Qxd3
2 1 . Ne4

Qf6
f4

Bf5
Bxd3
Rb8

Petrosian has achieved his main strate


gic obj ective. The exchange of white
squared bishops has given his knight
absolute control of the e4 square. White
is now about to win a pawn, but more
significant is the contrast between the
active positions of the white knights and
bishop and the hopeless lack of scope of
Black's g7 bishop confronted by a wall
of its own pawns on dark squares. This
' knight against bad bishop' theme is one
of the most reliable winning methods in
strategic chess.
21. . . .

Qd8

27.
28. Qf5
29 . Qxh5
30. 0

Qe7
Rf7
Rg7

3 1 . fxg4
32. Qf5

Rh7

trapping the knight . . .


30.
Bxh4
. . . and the bishop . . .
32. . . .

Resigns

This is a good example of how a correct


strategic approach can cause the quick
collapse of the opposing position once the
game is opened up.
Petrosian's skill in immobilizing his
opponent's bishops is reflected in his
choice of openings. The note to move 6 in
the last game mentioned the 'Petrosian
system' against the King's Indian, and he
also favours openin gs such as the Sicilian
Defence 1 . e4 cS and the English Opening
1 . c4 where knight v. bishop situations
often occur.
Petrosian's endgame target is often a
rook and an active knight against rook
and passive bishop. His techniques for
exploiting it are to drive enemy pawns on
one flank into a rigid, immobile formation
on the same colour as the bishop on that
side of the board. This usually means that
as White he tries to lure Black's K-side
pawns to dark squares and the Q-side
pawns to light squares. He avoids giving
the opponent any chance to exchange the
handicapped bishop, but swaps off other
pieces, especially the active bishop which

is not restricted by the pawn chain If all


this is successful, Petrosian' s king and
knight can infil trate the opposing posi
tion via squares of the opposite colour to
the hand i capped bi shop.
All this may sound complex, but
Petrosian's games often show the winning
process to be al most automatic. Here is a
class ic example :
White : T. Petrosia n . B la c k : S .
Schweber
K i n g ' s I ndian Defe nce (Stockholm
1 962)
The open i ng moves were I . d4 Nf6
2. c4 g 6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d 6 5 . Be2 0-0
6. BgS h6 7. Be3 e 5 8. d5 c6 9. h4 . cxd5
1 0. cxd5 N bd7 1 1 . h 5 .
Petrosia n ' s scheme i s to entice the oppo
nent to ad vance the K-side pawns and so
create holes and li mit the g7 bishop.
Thus 6 . BgS provokes h6 and gS and when
Black is rel u c ta nt to play the latter move
then h4-h5 is an ad d itional i nducement to
Black to advance his g pawn. Black's

game is already difficult but he should


now play Kh7 rather than weaken his
pawns further.
ll.
12. 0

1 3 . g4

g5 7
a6
b5

24 . . . .

fig. 1 34

admission of defeat. If 24. . . Bxc4


Rxc4 Bd6 White would break thrm,1gh
systematically but surely as follows : (a)
placing the knight on 5 and the king on
e2 (b) placing the rooks on c2 and c l , the
queen on d3 and the pawn on b3 and (c)
advancing into the black camp by Qa6 or
Qb S .

An
25.

Now the V-chain of white pawns deprives


Black of all serious counterplay, while
White can prepare at leisure both to
attack on the Q-side and to occupy the
strong outpost square 5 with a knight.
I happened to be present at the Stock
holm interzonal when this game was
played and recall Petrosian's world
weary expression which mixed apparent
contempt for his opponent's poor strategy
with a sense that the game was pure
routine. Petrosian often looks like that
when he's winning.

25 . 0-0

Again late castling, as in the previous


game.

undermining the Q-side pawns and aim


ing to create white square outposts at
c4 and b5. There is also a long-term
thought for the endgame : if the position
is simplified there may be queening
possibilities with the advanced a and h
pawns.
14.
15. Nb1
16. Nd2
1 7 . Bxc 5 1

b4
aS
Nc5

17.
1 8 . Bb5
1 9 . Ne 2
20. Bxe8 1

dxc5
Bb7
Ne8

White exchanges his 'good' bishop (the


one not restricted by his pawn chain)
because he gets an additional Q-side
weakness to attack and a potentially
valua ble passed d pawn.

Now the position is very blocked, and


White has two bishops against two
knights, the Petrosian endgame in its
most favourable form. If White did not
exchange, the black knight would reach
the good blockading square d6.
20.
Rxe8
21.
22.
23.
24.

Nc4
Qb3
Rc l
Ng3

Ba6
Qf6
B8

25.
26. Kg2
27. Rf2
28. R2c2

Rd8
Ra7
Kh7
Qa6

29 . Nxe5
30. Nc4
3 1 . QdJ
32. Rd2
33 . es 1

Rc7
Bg7
Kg8
Re7

Black is hamstrung and gives up the e


pawn in a vain attempt to give his g7
b ishop some freedom.

14. a4

Petrosian st udies game a nalysi s at home. When he


became champion, Armenian fans invaded the
Moscow stage and showered him with bouq uets.

Bc8

returning the pawn


endgame.
33.

to

reach a winning

Bxe5
34. Nxe5
Rxe5
35. Qxa6
Bxa6
Bc8
36. Rxc5
If Bb7 37. N5 Kh7 38. RxaS RdxdS 39.
RSxdS Rxd S 40. RxdS BxdS 4 1 . aS and the

passed a pawn will win Black's bishop.


This is a good example of Petroshm' s long
term thinking (see the note to move 1 4).
Petrosian thinks in constellations and
long-term planning rather than individual
moves ; I have seen him during a post
mortem analyse an ending by moving his
king straight from g1 to b8 - the inter
vening technical process of getting it
there he considered pure routine.
37. Rxa5
5
38. gx5
Bx5

If

39 . Nx5
40. Rb5
4L d6

Rxf5
Rd8
Rxb5

42. axb5
43. d7

Kf7

RxO 42. d7 wins a rook.

Resigns

for if Rd8 44. b6 Ke7 45. b7 b3 46. Kg3 is


zugzwang.
69

Viktor l(orchnoi
1 931-

V i ktor Korch noi captured the i magina


t i on of c hess fans everywhere, and of
many non-players besides, when, fol low
i ng h is defec tion from the Soviet U nion i n
1 976 a nd h is publ ication o f h i s i nsider's
autob iography Chess is My Life (Bats
ford), he succeeded aga i n st all the odds
at the age of 46 in becom i ng the world
t i t le challenger a nd in recoveri ng aga i n st
Karpov from 2-5 down to wi th i n one
game of the championsh i p .
Korchnoi i s a man o f great physi cal
strength a nd nervous energy - you have
to be to reach your p ea k at an age when
most chess masters are settl ing for a
lessened activity prior to retirement. But

Korchnoi 's talent, though marked even in


his teens, took many years to reach full
maturity .
It was 1 9 54, at 2 3 ; before he won his
first m ajor tournament at Bucharest ; and
1 962, at 3 1 , before he first reached the
world t i t le candidates. His b r e akth r ou gh
to the very top came in 1 97 3-7 5 when he
reached the candidates final against Kar
pov. Soviet officials clearly favoured the
younger man and Korchnoi, an indiv i
dualist i n c r easingly frustrated by the
mores of Soviet society, took the drastic
step of leaving for the West.
The change in his lifestyle restored his
e n ergi e s , which he channelled into a
b u rni ng desire to prove himself against
his enemies in the USSR by taking the
title. In the candidates matches of 1 977 he
defeated Petrosian, Polugaevsky and
Sp a s s ky in impressive style and was

within one game of beating Karpov for


the world championship.
Korchnoi's acknowledged chess hero
is Einanuel Lasker which makes his play
full of dynamic movement and resource
fulness in difficult positions. This is not a
style with which the ordinary player can
cope easily and indeed many fellow
grandmasters admit they find Korchnoi 's
thought processes . difficult to fathom.
But one theme which is typically Korch
noi and which can be learnt from study of
his games is his ability to combine the
queen with minor pieces in an all-court
attack. A good example of this Korchnoi
approach is an unusual gambit opening
which puts the opponent under sustained
pressure and eventually cracks the
defences.

White : V. Korchnoi . Black : M .


Udovcic
French Defence (Leningrad 1 967)
The opening moves were 1 . d4 e6 2. e4
d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5 . c3 c5 6.
Ngf3 ( n o r m al is 6. B d 3 : the text already
has the pawn sacrifice in mind) N c6 7.
Bd3 Qb6 8 . 0-0 cxd4 9 . cxd4 Nxd4 10.
Nxd4 Qxd4 1 1 . NO Qb6 1 2 . Qa4 Qb4 1 3.
Qc2 h6 ?

'

Best are QcS when White would con


tinue in gambit style with 1 4 . Qe2, or NcS
(see page 94).
1 4 . Bd2
Q b6
1 5 . Ra c 1
Be7
1 6. Q a4 !
Now White is well on top, with the
immediate threat of 1 7. Ba S Qxb2 1 8 .
Bb5.

16. . . .
Qd8
K fB
1 7 . R c2
A major concession ; Black a bandons
castling. If i n s t e a d 0-0 18. Qg4 fS 1 9 . Qg6
with a powerful attack.
N b6
1 8 . R fc l
1 9 . Qg4
Bd7
R c8
20. Ba 5
2 1 . Rxc8
Bxc8
22. Bb4

In any gambit opening where the


return is not immediate, the gambiteer
has to keep up the pressure lest his
opponent gradually consolidate the extra
pawn. Here Korchnoi plans to cramp his
opponent further by a4.,;a5 and also has
some tactical ideas to keep the black king
in t he centre. He could also attack by
h4-h 5, and either way it is difficult for
Black to counter the simultaneous pressure
from both flanks .
22 . . . .
2 3 . Qh4 !

g6

23. . . .

g5

This takes advantage of the pin on the


bishop. Black's last chance now to avoid
losing by direct attack is Kg8 2 5 . Bxe7
Qxe7 26. Nf3 although White then has
a clearly superior ending - his bishop is
more active than Black's and his rook
threatens to reach the seventh rank.
24 . . . .

Ke8

forcing a no t her weakness ; if Black could


post his K at g7 and bring his h8 rook into
play, he would be out of danger. But
now the threat is 24. Bxg6 .
Desperate measures, but the natural
Bd7 is met by 24. Qf6 Rg8 2 5 . Rc7 Qxc7
26. Qxe7 + Kg7 27. Qf6 + Kh7 28. Qxf7 +
and wins.
24. NxgS

fig. 1 3 5

2 5 . Bb5 +
Starting a brilliant tactical fini sh - but
the point for the average player to note is

how all the white pieces combine with the


queen in the attack and especially h0w
the black king is caught in the crossfire
from the bishops.
25 . . . .
26. Nxe6 1

Bd7
fxe6

27. Qh5 +
28 . Rc3 1

KfB

28.
29. Qg6
30. Qxh6

Rh7
Rg7
Bxb 5

26 . . . . Bxh4 fails to 27. Ng7 mate, and


Bxb5 to 27. Ng7 + KfB 28. Nf5 .
Bringing the rook into action via the
third rank is often a good device for
finally breaking the defences of an exposed
king. Black's best practical chance now is
28 . . . . Be8 but then 29. Bxe8 Qxe8 30.
Qh4 (intending Qf6 + , Rf3 + or Rc7) is a
sure win.

Little better is Kg8 3 1 . Rh3 K7 32.


QhS + .

31.

RgJ !

Resi g ns

Korchnoi, left, and Karpov, final candidates


match, Moscow 1 9 74, watched by thousands
of spectators. Korchnoi lost 3-2 with 19 draws;
he later claimed Soviet officials arranged
conditions to favour younger Karpov. When
they met for world title in 1 9 78, Karpov won
6-5 with 21 draws. A Soviet parapsychologist
staring at Korchnoi caused new controversy.

71

Bent Larsen 1 935-

Larsen, of D e n m a r k, has been one of


E u r o pe ' s l ea d i ng p l a y e rs for many years,
and a re g u l a r though u n lu cky con tender
for the world c h a m p ionsh i p . He has a n
u nj u s t i fi ed repu ta t ion as a poor m a tch
p l a y e r. c a u sed m a i nly by wel l - k nown
d e fea ts by Spas s k y , who beat him h ea v i l y ,
a nd F i scher. who w i ped h im out 6 - 0 .
La rsen fre qu ently uses unconventional
ope n i ngs, not j u st for their surprise
val ue, but beca u se he believes they are
b a s i c a l ly sound and underestimated by
other gra n d ma sters. Thus he has revived
or pop u l a r i zed the B i rd Opening l . f4 , the
B i s hop ' s O pe n i ng 1 . e4 e S 2. Bc4 and also
w h a t is now w i d e l y termed the La rsen
O pe n i ng I . h 3 .
Larsen 's grea test strength is in the
m i d d l e game and in h is i n v e nti ve a p
p r o a c h vv h i ch ena b l es h i m to p la y aggres
s i v e ! \' for t he w i n . He h a s s a i d that h e
d i s l i k es t h e s ta n da rd p rofe s s i on a l ta c t i c
of p l a y i n g for a w i n w i th W h i t e , a d raw
vv i th B l a c k ; he doe s n ' t m i nd the oc ca
s i o n a l l o ss i f h is d raw percen tage is lower
t h a n o t h e r con t e n d e r s . T h e re a re more
fl a n k a t t a c k s i n h i s ga m es than in those of
m o st g r a n d ma sters, and th i s is d e l i berate :
t he fl a n k a t ta ck is l e ss l i k el y to lead to
s i m p l i fi c a t i o n a nd a draw ; if it fails,
th ere i s t i me t o regroup. But ' flank
a t ta c k s' i n Larsen games refer not to a
cr ude p a wn ru s h , but normally to com
b i ned operat ions with the heavy p ieces.
O ne o f h i s fa vou r i te p i ece combinations is
q u e e n , k n i ght and h p a w n a t ta c k i ng a
c a s t l ed k i ng ; a nother is queen, rook, and
a long- d i stance b i sh op .

Wh ite : S . G l i goric. Black : B. Larsen


N i mzo-In d ian Defe nce ( Havana 1 967)
The ope n i ng moves were 1 . d4 N f6 2 .
c 4 e6 3. N c 3 Bb4 4. e3 b 6 5 . Bd3 Bb7 6 .
N D N e 4 7 . 0-0 5 8 . Bxe4 ? T h i s o b v ious

move i s the ca u se of W h i t e ' s l a ter


trou b l e s . B l a c k ' s e4 pawn w i l l not be s o
w e a k as it loo k s . Better is 8 . Q c 2 .

fxe4
Bxc3
0-0
R f5 !
The p o i n t . w h i c h L a rs en had prepared
before the game. N ow i f 1 2. Nxe4 h S, s o
W h i te has to open up the cen tre to the
benefit o f La r s e n ' s long d i a g o n a l b is h o p .
12. d5
Rg5
1 3 . Q f4
exd5
Bxd 5
14. cxd 5
l 5 . c4
B c6
T h i s is better t h an B b 7 beca use i t
a l lows the b i shop and d pawn to p rote c t
e a c h other w h i le t h e knight comes into
a c t ion at a 6 . Mutua l l y p rot ec t i ng u n i ts on
8.
9. Nd2
10. bxc3
1 1 . Qg4

t h e c h e s s bo a rd s pe l l good c o- o r d i na t i o n .
1 6 . N x e4
Rg6
Na 6
1 7 . B b2
N ow W h i t e ' s Q - s i d e p a w n s a re s p l i t,
w h i l e B l a c k has c h a n ces of K - s i d e a tt a c k .
72

not yet a winning position - White


should defend by 1 8. Ng3.
Nb4 !
1 8 . f3 ?
Ey e i ng the f pawn as much as the d 3
square - for instance if 1 9. Rfd l o r Nf2
then Qe7 is strong.
Nd3
1 9 . Bc3
It's

Mikhail Tal i 9J6-

World champion 1 960-6 1 , the La tvian


Mikhail Tal is regarded by many connois
seurs of chess as one of the most brilliant
tactical geniuses in the game's history,
Tal has remarkable powers of calculation,
memory, and visualizing unusual posi
tions. When he was a child of seven, he
went to a lecture given by his father, a
medical school professor, and repeated
the lesson almost word-for-word when
he got home that evening. Tal reached the
world championship with a dazzling
record of success : taking the USSR title
in 1 957 and 1 95 8, he went on immediately
to win the interzonal tournament, the
Candidates, and the world title from
Botvinnik. It was not only his results but
his dashing style which captured public
imagination, and his d efeat by Botvinnik
in their return match in 1 96 1 caused a
sense of shock. Only later was it revealed
that Tal had played the match only a few
weeks after coming out of hospital - a
20. Q 5
chronic kidney ailment has troubled him
Qh4 !
all through his playing career and pre
Befo re playing the queen here rather than
the sa fe square e7 Larsen already foresaw
vented a longer reign at the very top .
the rook sacrifice at move 25 which
Tal's appetite for chess exceeds that of
d e c i d es t he game. Without that resource,
any other grandmaster. He participates
White's followi ng play would weaken
in post-mortems, reports for newspapers,
the black pawns and move his own king
annotates his games, and in between
in to safety.
rounds and tournaments plays blitz chess
2 1 . N f6 +
at five minutes per game. He has been
called the Paganini of chess, and his
2 1 . Rad 1 Nc S ! 22. NxcS Rf8 ! also gives
Black a decisive attack. Note how well
reputation for winning from even poor
Black's queen, rooks, and bishop com
positions, plus his hypnotic stare at
opponents, caused the American grand
bine against the white king - a trademark
master Benko to don dark glasses before
of Larsen' s style at its best.
21. . . .
meeting Tal in a candidates tournament.
gxf6
Tal's brilliant flair for combination can
2 2 . Qxd3
Rh6
hardly be learnt by a strong master, let
to stop White consolidating with Be 1 -g3.
alone an average player. But there are
K7
23. h3
some important lessons from his play :
ma k i n g room for the other rook. White's
first, plunging . the game into obscure
best chance now is the endgame 24. Qd4
complications will unsettle most oppo
Qxd4 2 5. exd4 but after Rh 5 ! followed by
B b 7 -a6 his Q-side pawn on white squares
nents and a sacrificial attack in such
conditions may work even if not objec
are weak and Black has chances of making
tively sound ; second, as with Alekhine,
u se of his own 4-3 pawn majority on that
a competitive will to win is of great
s i d e . White of course has a 3-2 majority
importance ; and third, practice and
on the K-side, but it is the majority distant
testing of variations in quick chess,
from the kings which carries most weight.
frowned on by some experts, is a practical
24. Rf2 ?
Rg8
and rewarding method of training for
2 5 . Kfl
bigger events.
tryi ng to run to the Q-side.
The Tal game here ends with fireworks
Rxg2 !
25. . . .
and sacrifices but is not one of his best
the point, which White saw too late.
known. I choose it because the type of
26. Rxg2
Qxh3
attack - a breakthrough on the king's
Now White cannot stop all the three
side against a half-open defence ( 1 . . . .
threats of Qxf3 + , BxD and Rg6. Origin
c6 or l. . . . e6) is relatively easy to play
ally White had planned to defend by 27.
and a case where the student can model
Kg1 but missed that after 27 . . . . BxO the
his game on an attacking genius.
white Q defends the d7 pawn. It is worth
White : M. Tal. B lack : B . Gurgenidze
noting for avoiding or inducing blunders
C a r o-Ka nn Defe nce (USSR chamthat long d iagonal moves backwards a re
p ionship 1 968-69)
among the hardest to visualize .
c6
l. e4
Rg6
27. e4
d5
2. d4
28. Resigns
bS
3. Nc3
If 28. Qe2 Qh 1 + wins.

1 6.

11

..

1 7 . g3

Bxh4

Be7

18. Kg2

A l r e a d y threaten i ng 1 9 . B x h 7 + ' K x h 7
20. Q h 5 + K g8 2 1 . Rh 1 .
18. . . .
g6
19. Rh l
Now the threat is 20. R x h 7 ! K x h 7 2 1 .
Qh '3 + Kg8 2 2 . B xg 6 .
B f8
19 .
20. B g S

Q c7

2 1 . Rxh7 !
sa c r i fi c e has b>een l oom i mg for
several moves a nd i t was proba bly almost
a re l i e f to B lack to see it a c t u a ll y p layed .
The rook still c a n n o t be taken : 2 1 . .
K x h 7 2 2 . R h 1 + Kg8 2 3 . B f'6 N x f6 2 4 .
e x f6 Qe '3 2 5 . B xg6 Qxf6 2 6 . B h 7 + an d
mate.
21.
Qx e 5
22 . R x f7 !
K x f7
2 3 . Bxg6 +
The t h i rd sa c r i fi ce can not be a c c e p ted
be c a u se of 2 4 . B f4 + w i n n i ng the queen
23. . . .
Kg8
24 . Bxe8
Bg7
The b i s h o p i s s t i ll i mm u ne beca u se
of t h e d i s c o v ered c he c k .

T hi s

l't'l rO.' l 'i ll ll 'cl l d ; t ' \

r,i /

,u

A /, k h PJ C :\1 c rn on u l . M n sco u. / 9 7 /

U n u '-> u ,J I c n J 1 n l c r i u r . l " he t c m p o r .J ry
t h r c ,a t ! 1 > d 1 :-. l u J g c t he vv h 1 Lt k n i gh t i
l'.! S i h <., l u p p n.l .m u t h e s t r .J t c g 1 c r e s u l t
I '- t oo m ,J n \ b L1 d: p <n , n s on l i g h t <> q u a re s
4 . cl l
J x c4
') . '\i x e 4
B f')
Lt > l ' ,1 ! . ! 1 1 v ;-; L h a n gc t h e p t > t c n t i ,l l ' h < d
h i " 'l l l fl
fh:\

g .J 111 h l l 1 > \ ! C I 1 t ll ( ll i "S 1r1


lfh
l) x d 4 7 . :'\: 1 3 ,J n d
.
l ) L 2 I \ : : h I H lll p i ,! \ . ! t l r t he p .l \\' n .
l ' '- \ , i J , > J , ' C: il d l i \ .
B l a d i. ..,
L h o i LT o l
a
, ,J u t : , , t : > ,k ! t ' l l c" l ' l 1 k L 1
l.h m e .ms h e
1 \ u n l : k l ! \ 1 1 1 .l L l l' fl l t h e J m h i t <- n y w J \' .
,J n d t h e i l l' t r c > u l t I '> \X h i t c o h t ,u n s cl
.\ Jll t i i l l h l : d L' \ l' l P p m c n t 1 d h 1 " p i e c e s t h a n
! \

f ll' t l

\ l lll i l < : l ) ' l " l ! l t > ll '->

, , : t h , l d l ) \.; l i l 1 l' '->


lhc4
h.
:---; r h
7 . H x e4
H. BJ 3
c6
\ \ . h I l l' ' t d I ( ) ! I c r .., t h l' p d \\' n a nd H I a c k
: l , l i l"., 1 1 l t : t t l ! '-> J i r c ,hl.' d i ! Ti t" LJ i t Co r
: : : . 1 , k l < , : . r : ; , , 1 l l ll 1 L' lT' I .l \ . t lw l l t l l m ,J I

i ll ll l ! l l " l '

i d ea i n s u c h posi t i o n s . .
c '5 h e r e fa ils tlo
.
H x h ') + , and by the ti me Black hroM>
p r e pa r ed t h i s ;;ld v a n e Tal is poi se@ for a
k i ng ' s s i de a ttac k .
:5-@ "7
'J . N'f3
1 0 . Qrdl
'(\"lb<f'Y
@.:.())
1 l . 0-'0
1 2 . l:t1
Re:$
I 3 . N 'J
,\ rw t h er J r a w b-ca c k bo 3 . . . . b'3 ; the c6
" q u < r e is weak . H o w e v e r, !Ma ck ' s ex
l hJ n gc of k n i g h t s on the n e xt mo v e
Llc i l i t <J l es t he a t tack a n d h e sh o u ld t r y
I 3.
IZ c K
1 3.
Nxe5 ?
1 4 . dxe5
Nd5
aS
1 5 . Qg4
1 6 . h4 !
i\ l r c ,J d y i n a h i gh er e n se t h e w i n n i n g
mo v e E i t h e r t he pawn a d v ances to h 6 ,
\'-' i th s e r i o u s weaken ing of t he b l a c k
k i n g ' s d e fe n ce s , or i t i s t a k en a nd Wh i t e
g e t <, h i s ro o k to t h e h fi l e w i th ga i n o f

2 5 . Bd7
Nc7
26. Bxc6
U n u suall y for Ta L his c omb i r.1ative
s eq u en ce ends not w i th a mate but w i th a
s im p l e g a i n of two pawns. The rest is easy .
R f8
26.

2 7 . Rc;i l

28. BD
2 9 . Rd7

Rd8 +
3 1 . Bf6
3 2 . Be4
33. Bg5
34 . Rd7

30.

QcS
Qxc2
R f7

R fB

Qh7
Qh6
Q h8

Resigns

Cor i f 3 4 .
R f7 3 5. R x c 7 ! R x c 7 3 6 .
Q x e 6 + K f8 ( R f7 3 7 . Bg6) 3 7 . Qd6 + . Th is
game s h o w s t h a t , c o n t r a ry to po p ul ar
be l i e f. m o s t of Tal ' s sa cr i fi c ial a ttacks are
ba sed on lo g i ca l posi tional ideas. The
k i ng's s i d e brilliancy was th e natl:lral
w ay to p l a y the p o s i t i o n o n ce W h i te had
li x ed B l a c k ' s ga me i n a p e r m a n e n t sta te of
c ra m p w i th the pa wn on e S .

73

Boris Spassky
1 9 3 7-

Spassky wears uorld c h a mpio n 's la u rel wreath


and medal after beating Pet rosian , 1 96 9 .

Spa ssky, from Len ingrad, became chess's


most famous and popular loser following
h i s dignified man ner of defeat in the world
t i t le match with Bobby Fischer at
Reykjavik in 1 97 2 . He was noted as a boy
prod igy in his early teens and the USSR
chess fed era tion awarded him the rare
honour of sel ection for an i nternational
to urnament ab road before he had played
in the national c hampionship fi nal. This
\vas at Bucha rest in 1 9 5 3, and Spassky
made a story book debut by defeating
S myslov, at that time the lead ing player
i n the world al ong w i th Botvinnik. The
game is interesti ng not only for its cir
cumstances but because it illustrated a
plan which average players can also
fo llow. W h ite uses his two advanced
pawns in the centre to b isect the black
defenders, then uses hi s extra pi eces
a v a ilable for k i ng's side attack to score a
dec isive w i n .
Wh ite : B. Spassky . Black : V .
Smyslov
Ni m zo-I ndian Defe n ce (Bucha rest
195 3)
The opening moves were 1 . d4 N f6
2. c4 e6 3. N c3 Bb4 4. Bg5 (the Leni ngrad
system, much analysed in Spassky's home
c i ty and here mak i ng its international
debut) h6 5. Bh4 c5 6. d5 d6 (nowadays
this move is thought slightly pass ive,
and Black prefers to react w i th the ener
getic 6 . . . . bS ! ) 7 . eJ exd5 8. cxdS Nbd7 .
9 . Bb5
An unu sual but deeply j udged move. It
prevents Qa5 because of 1 0. Bxf6 and
Black ei ther loses pa wns or has his pawn
stru c t u re w rec ked ; and it prepa res to
meet a6 by Bxd 7 + followed by Ne2 and a
g r a d u a l b u i l d - u p of W h i t e ' s forces in the
74

not Qxe5 3 1 . Ng4.


3 1 . Nf5
threatening Ne7 + followed by Rh4 +
and so forcing the reply.
Rfe8
31 .
32. Re3
Rad8
33. Nxg7 !
A brilliant and decisive coup. If Kxg7
34. Rg3 + KfB 3 5 . Rxf7 + ! Kxf7 (Qxf7 36.
Qh6 +) 36. Qf4 + and mate next move.
33. . . .
Rxd6
34. Nxe6 Resigns
for if Rxd2 35. Rg3 + and mate next move.
Around the mid- 1 9 50s many expected
Spassky soon to become world champion.
But his nerves let him down in decisive
games during the USSR championships of
1 958 and 1 9 6 1 which were also world
title zonals. In a taped interview some
years later, Boris described to me his
feelings during his critical game w ith Tal
in 1 9 58 where both the USSR title and an
interzonal place were at stake : 'The
game was adjourned, and I had a good
position ; but I was very tired from
anal yzing and went to resume next
morning unshaven. Normally before I
played important games I tried to bathe,
to put on a very good shirt and suit, and
in general to look comme il faut. But this
time I had analyzed incessantly and
arrived at the board looking very
dishevelled and fatigued. Then I was like
a stubborn mule. I remember that Tal
offered me a draw, but I refused. Then I
felt my strength ebb away, and I lost the
thread of the game. I in turn proposed a
draw, but now Tal refused. When I
' resigned, there was a thunder of applause,
but I was in a daze and hardly understood
what was happening. I was certain the
world went down ; I felt there was some
thing terribly wrong. After this game I
went on the street and cried like a child . '
The personal crisis which enveloped
Spassky around 1 960 - he broke with his
longtime trainer, was banned for a year
from travel abroad for alleged mis
behaviour at the student chess olympics,
and divorced his first wife saying 'we
were . like bishops of opposite colours' was resolved for a time when he took on a
new coach, the calm and unem()tional
Bondarevsky. Spassky succeeded in win
ning through the world title eliminators
for a match with Petrosian in 1 966, but
unexpectedly lost ; he was still not quite
mature enough to be world champion.
fig. 1 38
But in 1 969 he defeated Petrosian. deci
25. . . .
dxe 5 ?
ively in the final games of the match,
the key victory coming with an example
A poor move which gives White a passed
of the Spassky attacking style - control
d pawn and opens the f file for White's
the centre, then launch the pieces on
a ttack. Best is 25 . . . . Rad8. After this
open lines - which we already saw in the
mistake Spassky brings off a fine tactical
previous game.
finish.
White : B . Spassky. Black : T.
Bg6
26. fxe 5
Petrosian
h3
27. Re i
Sici lian Defe nce ( 1 9th m atch game
Be4
28. d6
1 969)
Qe6
29 . N e 3
The opening moves were 1 . e4 c5 2.
Bxg2
30. Rf4

centre. However the s impler 9. Bd3 is


now more popular.
9. . . .
0-0
Possi bly Bxc3 + and then a6 is best.
Ne5
1 0 . Ne2
1 1 . 0-0
Ng6
1 2 . Bg3
Nh5
1 3 . Bd3
Admitting that his bishop was mis
placed ; now White's new plan is to
start a mobile K-side pawn roller without
allowing too many exchanges.
Nxg3
13.
14. Nxg3 Ne5
Bxc3
15. Be2
Q h4
16. bxc3
N g4
1 7 . f4
1 8 . Bxg4
B xg4
1 9 . Qa4
threatening 20. fS, so Black safeguards
his b i shop's retreat.
19.
Bc8
20 . e4
Qg4
2 1 . Qc2
h5 7
A weak move. Smyslov understandably
feels obliged to attack his young opponent,
but this advance lacks piece support and
leaves Black's K-side full of holes. After
the simple 2 1 . . . . Bd7 and mobilizing the
3-2 Q-side pawn majority Black would be
well in the game .
2 2 . Rf2
b5
23. e 5 !
While Smyslov tris to operate on both
wings, Spassky makes the classical ans
wer to a premature flank attack - a break
in the centre.
h4
23.
24 . Nfl
Bf5
2 5 . Qd2

N O d6 3 . d4 cxd4 4. N x d4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a 6


6 . B g S Nbd7 ( u sual a n d a l i ttle better i s
e6) 7. Bc4 Q a S 8 . Q d2 h6 9. B x f6 Nxf6
1 0 . 0-0-0 e 6 .

1 1 . Rhe l

Be7 ?

A fu n d a m e n ta l

m i s ta ke ; P e t ro s i a n i s
d eceived b y W h i te ' s b u i l d - u p a l ong the
centra l fi l es i n to bel i e v i ng that S pa ssky
d oes not plan a K-side a t t a c k . Better i s Bd 7
and 0-0-0 .
0-0
1 2 . f4
Rc8
1 3 . Bb3

14. K b 1

A n o r m a l m o \' c a fter c a s t l i ng q u een ' s


side i n a po s i t i o n \\ here B l a c k t h re a tens
a cou n te r- a tt a c k w i t h p i e ce s . Black h a s
t o watch for t h e s u r p r i se N d '5 ! ta k i ng
a d v a n tage of h i s l oo se LJ U ee n .

14. . . .
1 5 . g4 !

B f8

S w i t c h i ng t he a t ta c k Ta k i ng the pawn
opens t h e g fi l e for W h i t e ' s p i e ces, b u t
Pet ros i a n h a s I i t t l e c h o i c e : i f I '5 . . .
b5
W h i te c o n t i n u es s t rongly 1 6 . g 5 h x g 5
1 7 . fx gS N h '5 1 8 . g 6 .

If e5 1 7 .

15.
16.
Nf)
17.
1 8.

. . .
Qg2
d r i ve s

Rg 1
f) !

Nxg4
Nf6
Black into defence.
Bd7

W i th con trol of the

ce n t r e a nd po i sed

to attack the b l a c k K, S p a s s k y opens a l l


the l i n e s . N ow t h e t h reat i s 1 9 . fx e6 fx e6
20. N f5 .

1 8.

1 9 . Rdfl

Kh8
Qd 8

. e 5 w o u ld o n l y p ro v o k e 2 0 .
1 9. .
Ne6 ! fxe6 2 1 . fx e6 i n ten d i ng R x f6 .

20 . fxe 6

fxe 6

fi g .

1 39

2 1 . eS !
Blac k ' s k n i g h t is pa rtia l l y t i ed to p re
ven t i ng R x f8 + and Qx g7 mate, a n d a l l
W h i t e ' s p i ec e s a r e now ready fo r the
fi nal assa u l t . S p a ssky now breaks through
w i th a fo rced w i n .

21. . . .
22. Ne4

dxeS
NhS
2 3 . Rx f8 + .

N o t 2 2 . . . . N x e4 ?
Eq ua l l y
2 2. . . . e x d 4 2 3 . N x f6 R e 7 2 4 . Qg6 l ea d s to
ma t e , a nd so d oes 22 . . . . e x d4 2 3 . N x f6 g '5
24 . Q h 3 R e 7 2 '5 . R x g 5 B g 7 2 6 . R x g7 .

Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky at the


' Ma t ch of the Century', USSR v World,
Belgrade 1 9 70.

2 3 . Qg6 !
exd4
I f 23 . . . . N f4 24. Rxf4 exf4 25. Nf3 Q b6
26. N e 5 wins.
24 . Ng5 !
Resigns
I f 24 . . . . hxg5 2 5 . Qxh 5 + Kg 8 26. Qf7 +

Kh7 2 7 . Rf3 ! wins quickly. One of the


most attractive finishes in a world title
match.
W h en Spassky duly clinched the title,
chess fans expected a brave new era to
sweep away the arid style of Petrosian.
But they were generally disappointed :
Spassky found the title a burden and the
only memorable victory of his reign was
his win over }3obby Fischer of the US at
the chess olympics of 1 970. When Fischer
finally qualified for the championship
match of 1 972 and, after early threats to
w i thdraw, settled down to play, Spassky
o ft en seemed gripped by a fatalistic
re s ign at i o n to defeat. He lost the cham
p i o n ship a nd also his favoured place in
Soviet society ; eliminated from the next
t wo title series by Karpov and Korchnoi,
he settled with his French wife - his
t h i rd - near Paris, although he remained a
Sov i et citizen and continues to represent
the USSR in tournaments .
It sounds paradoxical to speak of a
world champion as a wasted talent, but
Spassky's natural gifts for chess were
such that he should have won the title
earlier in his life and kept it for a longer
period. There is a touch of laziness and a
touch of indecision in his intellectual
make-up ; with the dedication to chess of
A l e k h i ne or Tal, for example, Spassky
c o u l d h a v e been one of the greatest
ch a m p i o n s.

Bobby Fischer

1 943TA.e most eontroversial ancl q.u ite possibly


the g-rea:test player of all ti'me, Robert J .
('Bobby') Fischer dominated his CGI'I.
ternporaries and establisned .Aimself as ' a
l iving legend before abaf!O-r:tin touf-
ment and macl1 flay af-ter wi'lll'Pl4im bme
world title from Spassky. Before th,illt ,he
established. the highest ev_er . _ EiDDEHjl o
rating of 2780 based on evc:!-rall re.s\!1<11$ ;
he won successive candidates matches
against Taimanov and Larsen, both world
class grandmasters, by 64) and 6---0 , and,
by a crude blunder and a default, he
effectively gave Spassky two games start
in the world championship before defeat
ing him with some ease.
Fischer learnt the moves at six, but h:is
biggest break as a young chessplayer
came when his mother decided to seft1e
in B rooklyn. Chess life in New York, with
the thriving Manhattan and Marshall
clubs and many chess cafes, has pre>vea a
stimulating environment for a number of
potential US grandmasters and Fischer
honed his game with incessant blitz games
combined with a study of Soviet chess
literature. The result of this hothouse
training, coupled with total neglect of
school work in favour of chess, was a
unique tournament result : Fischer was
men's champion of the United States at 1 4 .
Probably a t that time Fischer did not
realize how steep were the remaining
steps to the championship, at that time
held by the ageing Botvinnik, when he
qualified for the title candidates tourna
ment at the first attempt and became the
youngest-ever grandmaster at 1 5 . The
solid phalanx of So v iets easily outpaced
their less inexperienced rival in 1 9 59 and

75

1 9 6 2. a n d F i sc her t h en s u c c e s s fu l l y d e
m a n d ed that the s y s tem be cha nged from
a to u r na m ent to a se r i e s of e l i m i n a t i ng
k nock-out ma t c hes between t he fi n a l
eight c h a l l e ngers . I t w a s u n d e r t h i s sy stem
that he rou ted h is r i v a l s i n 1 97 1 a n d
defea ted S p a s s ky t he fol l o w i ng yea r .
The gene ral p u b l i c w i ll remem ber
B o b b y even m o re for his ec cen t r i c i t i es
a nd d i s p u tes than for his g reat p l a y .
H i s m a t c h w i th Reshev sky i n 1 9 6 1 ended
in a s c a n d a l a n d a l a w su i t, and he q u i t the
1 96 7 i n te rzonal when i n the l ead after a
d i s p u te a bout the p l a y i ng sched u l e . He
was o n l y persuaded to fly to Iceland to
meet Sp assky wh en the B r i t i sh fi n a n c i e r
J im S l a ter doub led t h e 5 0 , 000 p u rse ; he
w as only persuaded not to walk out of
t h e Spassky match by the personal i n te r
vent i on of US Fore i gn Sec reta ry Henry
K i s s i nger. And fi n a l ! y Fisc her gave up
h i s world c h a m p i o n s h i p w i th o u t a fi ght
w h en FIDE tu rned down h i s stip u l a ti on
t h at h i s m a t ch w i th Ka rpov shou l d be for
t he fi r s t to w i n ten games, the c h a m p i o n
r e t a i n i n g h i s t i tle a t 9- 9 .
F i sc h e r ' s fi n a n c i a l d e m a n d s were i n
c red i b l e . Both the proj e c ted m a tch w i th
Ka rpov and a comeba ck m a tch w i th
G l igo r i c in 1 9 7 9 , w h i c h a l so c a m e to
n o t h i ng, w e re for a m i l l i on d o l l ars or
m o r e . Desp i te c l a i ms that Fisc her' s figures
benefi ted ord i n a ry c h ess m a s ters, there
was an e n o r m o us contrast be t w een these
s u ms a n d those at s ta ke i n normal i n te r
national . t o u r n a m e n t s . T h en there were
h i s i n c rea s i ngly fi n i c ky d e m a n d s re l a t i ng
to l i ght. spec t a tor n o i se, a nd a s socia ted
p l a y i ng d e ta i l s . It i s ev i dent that F i s c h er
fi n a l l y rea c h ed a s ta te w h e re fear of d e fea t
a nd fear of p l a y i ng in p u b l i c d o m i n a ted
his th i n k i n g. I n d eed, it i s d i ffi c u l t to s ee
how anyth i ng other t h an a v i c t o r i ous
match w i th Ka rpov could e n h a n ce h i s
legen d a ry re p u ta t i o n . Perh a p s stra i te n ed
fi n a n c i a l c i rc u m s ta n ces w i ll o ne d ay fo rce
F i scher to play aga i n , but m o re l i kely he
w i ll r e m a i n a l o ng w i th Morphy as the
only other great m a ster to have given u p
chess c o m p l e tely at t h e height o f h i s fam e .
W hat c a n t h e ordi n a ry p la y er lea rn
from B o b by Fische r ? First, will to w i n .
Fi s c h e r ' s k i l ler i n stinct m e a n t that h e
c o n t i n u ed t o look for w i n n i ng o pportun i
t i es in posi tions which most m a s te rs
would long a go have g i ven up as d ra w n .
H i s reply t o a q u i ck d ra w offer w a s ' Of
c o u r se not ' . It was p h y s i ca l l y d i ffi c u l t to
play a g a i nst h i m ; h i s deep-set and h y p
n o t i c eyes a nd h a w k - l i ke fa ce s ta red
pa s s i o nately a t the board from w h i c h he
ra rely rose to l oo k a t other games. F i scher
has long a r ms a nd fi ngers w h i ch he u s ed
to c l u t ch o p po s ing p i eces w h en c a p t u r i n g,
in the man ner of a b i rd of prey . The w i l l to
win e n a b led h im to fi n i sh a h ead of
o p p o n e n t s by record m a rg i ns a n d a 1 00
per cent s c o re was a l w a y s on t he c a r d s .
O n l y A l e k h i n e h a d a s i m i l a r fa na t i c i s m ,
b u t u n l i ke A l e k h i n e F i sc her kept h i s
76

hea l th in good s h a pe as long a s he w a s a n


a c t i ve p l a y e r .
Tec h n i c al l y , Fischer had a d e ep know
l e d ge of the s h a rp opening li nes which h e
a n a l y zed in depth before h i s tournaments ;
in si m p le p o s i tions h i s stra tegy was as
p u re a nd c l ear i n rea c h i ng the o bj ective
a s was Capa blanca ' s . He used his opening
knowledge especially well w ith the w hite
p i ec es w h ere h e would typically gain
the i n i t i a ti ve and space control then u se it
e nergetically to d r i ve his opponent i nto
ever-deeper defence until resi stance
c ra c ked . B e t w een 1 968 and 1 970 h e was
i n v i rtual retirement but w hen he emerged
a t the ' Ma tch of the Century ' , w h ere the
U S SR narrowly d e fea ted a Rest of the
World tea m, he a t o n ce p l ay ed a game
c h a r a c te r i s t ic of his style at its best.
W h i te :
R.J.
Fischer. Black : T .
P e t r os i a n

Ca r o-Kann Defe nce


1 .. e4
2 . d4
3. exd5
4 . Bd3

1 5 . NeS !
Once Fischer's k n ight is en sonced on
t h i s strong outpost square the game i s
strategically decided : B l a c k ' s forces are
effectively cut in two. Petrosian, of
course, k new this b u t he had planned to
p lay 1 5 . NxeS 1 6 . dxeS B c 5 overlook i ng
u ntil too late that 1 7 . a S Qc7 1 8 . g4 wins
the k n ight for insuffic ient compensa tion .

15.
16. h3
1 7 . 0-0

Nf6
Bd6
Kf8

Already Petrosian is reduced to a


desperate Steini tzian schem e of back
rank defence. The normal 1 7 . . . . 0-0
would be easily met by 1 8 . f4 followed by
g4 a nd a pawn storm a ga in st the b lack
k i ng fa c i l i t a ted by the weakening 1 4 . . . .
h6 .

1 8 . f4
19. Bf2
2 0 . Bh4

(Be lgrade 1 970)


c6
d5
cxd5

Be8
Qc7

Ng8

In his y ou nger years Fischer h a d d i ffi


c u l ty meeting the Caro-Kann and un
s u c c e s s fully used 2 . N c 3 before switching
to the atta c king l i ne 4. c4. Around 1 9 70
he successfully i roned out o ne of the few
w ea k nesses in his game by adopting a
more v aried a nd less stereotyped opening
repertoire. He had played 4. Bd3 only
o n ce before and it o b v iously came a s a
s u rp rise to P etrosian. The move is j ust
s i mple piece d evelopment but p rovokes
B l a ck to a prema ture bi d for the initiative.

4.
5. c3
6. Bf4
7 . Qb3

Nc6
Nf6
Bg4
Na5 ?

A s a result of the p resent game this


fe int at the queen has been abandoned in
ma ster chess in favour of the solid Q c 8 .
8 . Qa4 +
Bd7

9 . Qc2

e6

B l a c k ' s plan of Q b6 and Bb5 to exchange


the white-squared bishops is refuted by
Fischer's reply, so he should prefer a 6
again intending B b S .

1 0 . NO
Qb6
ReS
1 1 . a4 !
Now Black finds that if he goes hunting
the advanced pawn by Qb3 then White
has 1 2 . Qe2 Bxa4 ? 1 3. Rxa4 Qxa4 1 4 .
Bb5 + .

1 2 . Nbd2 Nc6
Nh5
1 3 . Qb1
B l a c k intends another ' wing plan'
w h i ch also fails. Fischer recommends g6.
h6
14. Be3
Petrosia n 's intention was f5 to block
the position, but then comes 1 5. g4 !
fxg4 1 6 . NgS Bd6 1 7 . Bxh7 w i th a strong
i n i t i a t i ve. However Petrosian should h a v e
t r i ed 1 4 . . . . B d 6 ! w hen 1 5 . Bxh7 g 6
1 6 . B xg6 fxg6 1 7 . Qxg6 + Kd8 l e a d s t o an
u n c l ea r position w h e re Black would h a ve
c o u n ter-chances.

fig. 1 40

2 1 . fS !
classical break-through, using the
combined force of white pieces to open
up the black king. Note how even the
distant queen at b 1 plays an im p o rta nt
role in the attack, eyeing the g6 square
soon to become a target. Petrosian now
chooses the best chance in such situations,
exchanging off as many attacking men as
possible.
Nxe5
21.
Bxe5
22. dxe5
23. fxe6
Bf6
Bx7
24. ex7
B xh4
25. NO
25 . . . . gS wouldn't help because the
white B comes back into action by f2-d4
and Black has only weakened his position
further.
26. Nxh4 Nf6
27 . Ng6 +
27. Bg6 to bring the queen rapidly into
the attack might be more precise, but

Fischer was al ways a strong believer in


the v a l ue of b i shop against k n ight on an
open board .
27. . . .
Bxg6
2 8 . Bxg6
Ke7 !
A desperately ingenious i dea u nder

pressure - Black's king tries to escape

the Q - s i d e safety across the fire of


Fischer's p ie ces .
Kd8
29 . Q fS

30. Rae l
31. Khl

QcS +
Rf8 7

T h is loses in t he m i d d l e game, w herea s


31.
Rc6 3 2 . QeS Qd6 Petro s i a n
cou ld have l a s ted i n to F i sc her's fa v o u r i te
en dgame ( 3 3 . Q xd 6 + R x d 6) w h ere..rook(s)
and a c t i ve b i s h o p on an op en board are
stronger t h an rook(s) a n d k n i g h t : White
cou ld con t i n ue t hen 34. R f4 w i th fu r t h er
pressure on the w e a k pa wns, but Black
could sti ll fight o n . Note that 3 1 . . . . Kc7
is met by 32. QeS + Qd6 3 3. Qe7 +
w i nn i n g at least a p a w n .
32. Qe5
Preparing t o o pen t h e central fi l es a n d
cutting o u t the escape square c7. Black
can ' t offer a qu een s wa p by Qc7 because
of 3 3. QxP e h 1 or 3 3 . R x f6 ! w i nn i ng .
32. . . .
Rc7
by

Qc6
3 3 . b4 !
34 . c 4 !
The dec i sive l i n e-ope n i n g. The black
k i ng is now ex posed to an overwhelming
attack from t he com bined w h i te pieces .
34 .
d xc4
3 5 . B fS
R ff7
3 6 . Rd l + R fd 7
I f N d 7 n . R fe l i s w i n n i n g .
3 7 . Bxd7
Rxd7
38 . Q b8 + K e 7
or 38.
Qc8 39. R x d 7 + N x d 7 40. Q d 6 .
3 9 . R de l + Resigns
for i f Kf7 40. Qe8 mate. As Petrosian
resigned, two thousand c hess fans in the
hall erupted with applause.
Part of the rea son for the im mense
pu b l ic i n terest in Fischer was his ability
to prod uce his best and most crowd
pl ea s i n g games on the most important
occasions. This happened when he again
met Petrosian the fol lowing year in
Buenos A i re s for the final eliminator i n
the world t i tle s e r i es to challenge Boris
Spassk y . As Fi s c h er w e nt ahead in t h e
m a t c h , g l o b a l p u b l i c i ty i n c re a s e d , a nd
c r o w d s e s t i m a t e d at u p to 10, 000 d a i ly
h e s i e g ed t h e p l a y i ng h a l l for a g l i m p se of

the grandmasters. Fischer responded with


one of the best games of his life, the final
stages of which illustrate the strength of
F i s c h e r ' s favourite end-game : rook(s) and
b is h o p on an open board outgunning
rook(s) and knight.
W h ite : R . J . Fischer . B la ck : T.
Pet rosia n
S i ci l i a n Defe nce (7th match game
1 97 1 )
The opening moves were l . e4 cS
2. NO e6 3 . d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5 . BdJ
N c6 6. N xc6 bxc6 (better d xc6) 7 . 0-0 dS
8 . c4 !
I l lustrating another of Fischer's
strengths. Studying chess constantly day
and night, he had - a magnificent armoury
of innovations in a variety of openings.
An earlier Spassky v. Petrosian game
continued 8. Nd2 which is less effective.
8.
N f6
8 . . . . dxc4 9. B xc4 Qxd 1 1 0 . Rxd 1 is
unappealing because of the weakness of
Black's Q-side pawns, but Black could
c on t i n ue Nf6 1 1 . Nc3 Bc5 1 2. Bg5 e5 with
a better ending than he gets in the game .
cxdS
9 . cxdS
10. exdS
exdS
Both Nxd5 1 1 . Be4 and QxdS 1 1 . N c 3
are good for White since Black has n o
compensation for h i s pawn weaknesses.
Be7
1 1 . NcJ
1 2 . Qa4 + ! Qd77
Petrosian is dissatisfied with 12 . . . . Bd7
l 3 . Qd4 or 1 3. Qc2 and so plans to offer a
positional sacrifice : 1 3. BbS axb5 1 4 .
Qxa8 0-D 1 5 . Q a S d4 1 6 . Nxd4 B b7 with
attacking chances. But Fischer finds a
clear line which gives him a lasting bind
on the dark squares with his 2-1 queen's
side pawn majority still in reserve.
1 3 . Re 1 !
Qxa4
Black is forced to exchange, thus
bringing the white knight to an ideal
square where it eyes the weak b6 and c 5 .
Castling would lose a piece to 1 4. Qxd7 .
1 4 . Nxa4 Be6
15. Be3
0-0
.

for White.

1 6. BcS !
An important move for the keen chess
student. Elimination by . exchange of the
most active enemy minor piece is one of
the keys to successful posi tional play.
Here White exchanges off Black's dark
squared bishop, leaving him with the
light-squared bishop restricted by the
pawns on d5 and a6.
Rfe8
16.
1 7 . Bxe7
Rxe7
18. b4 !
Prevents . . . aS and so fixes the weak a
pawn firmly where it can be attacked by
White's knight and bishop.
K8
18.
1 9. NcS
Bc8
20. 0 !
Another strong multi-purpose move
which deprives the black knight of a
possible e4 outpost, opens a route for the
white king to advance smoothly to the d4
central square, and keeps Black firmly on
the defensive. The best chance now is
20 . . . . Nd7 so as at least to exchange or
drive back the strong knight, but Petro
sian instead tries to bring his bishop to b5
to neutralize the good-bad bishop
situation.
R7a7
20.
2 1 . ReS
Bd7
22. Nxd7 + !
This move took all the watching grand
masters by surprise, but it is perfectly
logical. White does not want to allow
. . . b5 strengthening Black's defences,
while 22. a4 would permit the defensive
plan Bc6 and N d 7. So Fisc her goes for the
'Fischer endgame' where his bishop is
vastly more powerful than the black
knight and where his rooks are active,
Black's passive. The remaining play is
also analyzed in the FischerjKarpov end
game, page 44.
Rxd7
22. . . .
23. Rc l
Threatens 24. Rc6 increasing the pressure on the a pawn.
23.
Rd6
24. Rc7
Nd7
25 . Re2

fig. 1 42

Slightly better would be Nd7 to con


test the dark squares, but 1 6. f4 g6 1 7 .
Bd4 0-0 1 8 . Rac 1 i s sti l l a permanent bind

fig. 1 4 3

77

..\ ( l a s s i c a l p o s i t i o n for th e 'Fi scher end


'.!,,l m c W h i l e B l a c k ' s r oo k s a re t i ed to
; ) r c J t e l t i n g h i s vv e a k pa w n s, W h i t e ' s

o pen fi l es and o n e is o n the

l n n t ru l t h e

<> n e n th ra n k .

B l a c k ' s k n ight c a n not move

Ree7 w h i le he cannot offer


t h e e x c h a n ge of J pa i r of ro o k s by Re8
h ec a u se o f R x eR + a nd Ra7 w i n n i ng the a
p a \\ n . T h u s P c t rosian can only w a tch a n d
\\ d i t \\ h i l e F i s c h e r centra l i zes h i s k i n g .
h e c a u se o f

g6
h5
h4 ?
D e m o ra l i ze d , P e t ro s i a n c rea tes a nother
\\Ta k n e s s A better defen ce i s N b6 28.
25.

26. K f2
27. f4

K 2 e 7 1-\ (6

28. K D
pick u p

t h r e a t e n i n g to
JnJ

t he

pa v'.:n by Kg4

so fo rc i n g the re p l y .

28 .
f5
d4 +
29. K e 3
N b6
30 . K d 2
Nd5
3 1 . R2e7
3 2 . R f7 +
K e8
N x b4
3 3 . Rcb7
3 4 . B c4 !
Resi gns
T h e r e i s a d o u ble th reat : to take the
k n i g h t or to w i n by 3 5 . Rh7 Rf6 36. Rh8 +
1-\ fR 37 B fl + Kd8 38 R x f8 ma te.

Anatoly l(ar p ov
1 951-

Ka rpo v. the re ign i ng world champion, i s

a player whose c hess career h a s advanced


fro m learn i ng the moves to w i n n i ng the

\\'Orld title w i th scarcely a d iscern i ble


set ba c k . K arpov lea rnt chess at four, and
though l i v i ng far fron1 _ the main Sov iet
c e n t r s . in the sma l l town of Zlatoust i n
t h e U ra l s, h e m a d e r a p i d p rogress. At
e l e v e n he w a s a cand i d a te master, and
\\' as g i ven spec i a l tuition by Botv i n n i k .
H is fi rst senior i n ternational v i ctory, at
1 'i, came a bout by a c c i dent ; the Russians
t hought the i n v i tation to Czechoslovakia
w a s for a j u n ior event. Thereafter Karpov
\\'ent on to w i n the under-20 world
championship, the grand master title, and
a place in the 1 9 7 2-7 5 ser i es to decide
Fischer ' s c h a l l e n ger. He succeeded at his
fi rst a ttem pt. beati ng Spassky and
Korchnoi and taking the title by default
when F i sc her refused to play.
Ka rpo v ' s sustai ned record of first
prizes in tourna ments as world champion
e c l i pses h i s predecessors. H is style i s
rem i n i scent o f Capa blanca, b u t in a more
s u b t l e way than Fisc her. Unlike the
Ameri c a n, he d oes not go all out in every
game a nd w i th the black pieces he some
t i mes ta kes early d r a w s . But w i th the
e x c e p t ion of the fi nal stages of his 1 9 7 8
t i tle defe n ce aga i n st Korc hnoi, when
fa t i g u e got o n top of his p l a y, K arpov has
h e e n o n e o f t he most d i ffi c u l t grand
masters ever to defeat. It i s rare for h i m
t o lose more t h a n o n e game i n a ny event.
78

Ka rpov 's great r ival V iktor Korchnoi


has descri bed the world c h am p i on as a
computer- l i ke cold fi sh, and to strangers
he often g i v es an i m p ression of detached
a l oofness. S l ightly built, he looks too
fra i l for the pressures of tournament
ches s, but h i s results show the opposite.
As c h a m pion he has taken on the best
players all over the world and c learly
ra tes on a par w i th the greatest masters
of the game - Lasker, Capablanca, Alek
h i ne, Botv i n n ik and Fischer.
In his personal l i fe, Karpov is a private
man. He collects stamps, and wrote a
thes i s 'on problems of leisure activities'
for Len i ngrad U n i v ersity. He was married
i n summer 1 979 to an attractive secretary
(desp i te chess's reputation as an essential
ly sol i tary acti v i ty, all the world cham
pions bar Fischer have been or have
become ma rried men). In the USSR
Ka rpov is a national hero and in 1 978 he
topped the poll for Sovi et S portsman of
the Year fol l o w i ng h is v ictory over
Korc h n o i . He was personally decorated
by P res ident B rezhnev .
What can the ordinary player learn
from the c hess of Karpov ? First, his skill
w i th the Ruy Lopez. Like Capablanca and
F i s c her, for whom this opening was also a
front l i ne choice, Krpov is sensitive to its
fineses and relies on it heavily to score a
h igh percentage of points with the white
p ieces . It is useful in chess to have a
reperto i re of opening v a r iations you know
rea l ly well and which have a good chance
of com i ng up i n play. Karpov's approach
to the Ruy Lopez i nvolves what has been
called his ' spider' technique. He aims at
space control on the queen's side and
p i ece play on the king's side, aiming to
g radua l ly deprive his opponent of useful
squares, box the enemy p ieces into a
c ra m ped position, and then break through
on either flank. Often the result is that
Karpov's pawn web controls the enti re
board. This game from the 1 974 chess
olympics illustrates Karpov's Ruy Lopez
approach.
White :
A . Karpov. Black : H.
Weste rinen
O peni n g : Ruy Lopez (Nice 1 974)
The openi ng moves were 1 . e4 eS 2.
N O N c6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 d 6 .

Black chooses a strongpoint defence,


aim i ng to keep his centre intact. Another
game Karpov-Unzicker, Milan 1 97 5,
shows how Karpov counters one of the
main l i nes of the opening : 4 . . . . Nf6 5. 0-0
Be7 6. R e 1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 0-0 9. h3 Na5
1 0. Bc2 c5 1 1 . d4 Qc7 12. N bd2 Bd7 1 3.
N fl Rfe8 1 4 . d5 Nb7 ? (better N c4
fol l owed by Nb6-d7 to control the e5
squa re) 1 5 . N 3h2 g6 16. Ng3 c4 1 7. f4 !
exf4 1 8 . Bxf4 Bf8 ? (he should try Bc8 and
N d 7, still trying to hold e5) 19. Bg5 ! Be7
(or Bg7 2 0 . R f l ) 20. Qd2 Bc8 2 1 . Rfl Nd7
2 2 . Ng4, Resigns. The threat of Nh6 +
w i ns at l east a pawn with a continuing
attack, so Black p refers to recognize that

Anatoly Karpov, reigning world champion .


Continual brilliant tournament victories
confirm him as the No 1 .

his position has gone.

5 . 0-0 Bd7 6. d4 N 6 7 . c3 Be7 8. N bcl2


9 . Re 1 Re8 1 0 . Nfl h6 1 1 . N g 3 B f8
1 2 . Bd2 b 5 .

0-0

Black's strongpoint defence aims to


keep his centre solid and intact. But this
plan works better with b5 instead of
Bd 7, keeping the option of putting the
QB at b7 and the KN at d 7. Once com
mitted to Bd7, the move b5 is illogical
and Black should switch to a different
strategy, opening the centre and freeing
his game with piece exchanges after 9 . . . .
exd4 1 0. cxd4 Nb4.
1 3 . Bc2 !

Karpov has a good eye for little finesses.


He saves a move on the routine 1 3. Bb3
Na5 because B lack needs to regroup his
knight in any case to mobilize his queen's
side pieces.
1 3.
14.
15.
16.
17.

b3
dS
h3
N5

Na5
cS
Nh7
Be7
Nb7

fig. 1 44

The white QN a t f) is on i ts best Ruy


Lopez S CJ U a re for hel p i ng a k i ng's side
attack, b u t Black is sol i d in defence and
ex peri e n c e shows that W h i te can rarely
brea t h r o u g h o n a s i ng l e n a nk i n t h i s
b l oc k ed o p en i n g s y s te m . Instead, K a rpov
takes a dvan ta g e of the badly posted b7
kn ig h t a n d t h e a b s e n ce of the bl ack h7
kn igh t rrom t h e q u ee n ' s side to s w i tch
the a c t i o n t h e re .
1 8. a4 !
bxa4
1 9 . b4 !
A n o t her d e l i c a t e c h e s s d ropshot . The
o b v i o u s h x a 4 w o u l d a l l ow N a 5 - c 4 w i th
c o u n t e r p l a y , w h e r ea s in the game the b7
kn ight rem a i n s a p a s s e n g e r t i l l the end .
19.
aS
a x b4
2 0 . Bxa4
2 1 . cxb4
B f8
If 2 1 . . . B x a4 2 2 . Rxa4 Rxa4 2 3 . Qxa4
Qa8 2 4 . Ra I and W h i te's queen or rook
penetrates to the seventh row w ith a
wi n n ing advantage .
22. B c6 !

rook and bishop against rook and k night.


But he is no dogmatist and can switch
w i th equal fa cility to knight against
b i shop w hen that becomes a ppropriate.
At Montreal in 1 979, Ka rpov tied for first
w i th Tal in one of the strongest tourna
men ts ever held, with a p r i ze fund of
50, 000 and 1 2 , 5 00 for the w inner.
During this event Ka rpov played a game
where he demonstrated first the sup
eriority of bishop against knight, and then
the a d vantage of knight against bishop.
W h i te : B . Spassky. B la ck : A. K a rpov
O p e n i n g : Q u e e n ' s I n d i a n Defe nce
( Montrea l World Cup 1 979)
The opening moves w ere 1 . d4 N f6 2.
c4 e 6 3 . N O b6 4. Bf4 B b7 5 . e3 Be7 6.
N c3 ? (Spassky had earlier twice lost to
Tony Miles against this 4. Bf4 system, so
decides to try it out for himself. Unfortu
nately he doesn't know it well enough 6 . h 3 is necessary to preserve the bishop)
N h 5 ! 7 . Bg3 d6 8. Bd3 Nd7 9 . 0-0 g6 !
Karpov 's long-term strategy is based
on his active e7 bishop. This piece will be
transferred to the long black diagonal
where it will have more future than any
of White's minor pieces.
Nxg3
10. h3
0-0
1 1 . fx g 3
1 2 . Rc l
Bf6
1 3 . Rc2
Bg7
Qe7
1 4 . R c f2
1 5 . Kh2
a6
1 6 . Qe2
Rae8
17. B b 1
c6
f5
18. a3
1 9 . e4

fi g . 1 4 5

Typical o f the posi tions Ka rpov l i kes to


aim for. The strong b4 and d 5 p a w ns,
supported by mi nor p ieces here and on
moves 2 5 - 2 6 , stop any counterplay and
prepare the fi nal attack on the a file. The
rest of the game, to a K a rpov, is a routine
m o ppin g - u p .
The rema i n i ng moves were 22 . . . . Qc7
2 3 . b5 N f6 24 . Qc2 R e b8 25. N e ) Bc8
26. Nc4 Be7 2 7 . b6 Q d 8 28. Ra7 N d7
29. Qa4 Rxa7 30. bxa7 Ra8 3 1 . Q a 6 Q c 7
32. Bxd7 Qxd7 3 3 . N b6 N d8 34. Q a 1
Qxa7 White w i ns a
Resigns. If 34.
piece by 3 5 . Qxa7 and 3 6 . Nxc8, wh ile i f
34. Q b 7 3 5 . Nxa8 Q x a 8 3 6 . R b 1 a n d
Black is hamstrung .
The second strength of Ka rpov w h ich
ca n be fol l o w ed is his rel iance on the
endgame. In an i nterview in London in
1 97 2, he was a sked by a group of club
players 'Can you advise us w hat we must
do if we wa nt to improve ? We study
open i n gs a lot we p l ay a lot . ' ' But e n d
g a m es not very much ? ' h e r e p l i ed . ' Do
t he o p p o s i t e - study endgames I '
L i ke h i s p r e d e c e ss o r F i s c h e r . K a r pov
i s a n e x p e r t in h a n d l i n g t h e e n d gam e of

fig. 1 46

19. . . .
c5 !
This is the key move of Karpov's deep
strategy, played just as White was hoping
to gai n space in the centre and keep the
bishop pair under restraint. Now White
is forced to exchange into Karpov's
favourite endgame phase and the black
bishops gain considerably more scope.
20 . exfS
exfS
Rxe7
2 1 . Qxe7
bxc5
2 2 . dxc5
23. R d 1
Bxc 3 !
Another su b tle move. The bishop pair

is abandoned, but the white Q-side paw ns


on the c and a files become wek and are
targets for Black' s rooks and minor
pieces.
24. bxc3
Rf6
Re3
2 5 . Rfd2
26. N g 1
K f8 !
This also had to be seen and assessed
well in advance. I nstead of defending the
w eak d pawn, Karpov gives it up and
in return gets very active play for all his
rem a ining pieces - including the centra
lized king.
2 7 . Rxd6 Rxd6
28. Rxd6 Ke7
Re 1
29. Rd3
30. Ba2
Rc 1
31 . NO

fig. 1 47

Bxf3 !
31. . . .
Karpov is still a pawn down but can make
this exchange in the confidence that the
R + B v. R + N ending is a clear win. The
white bishop has no scope, his king is
still out of play, and his rook is tied to
passive defence of the Q-side pawns ; on
the other hand Black's rook, knight and
king are all either poised to invade the
white camp or are already doing so.
Ne5
32 . RxO
Kf6
3 3 . Re3
a5
34 . B b 3
3 5 . Ba4
Capitulation - White returns the pawn
with lOO per cent interest in a vain
attempt to get some play. Attempting to
hold the material by 3 5. Ba2 or 3 5 . a4
would fail to Rb l and Rb2.
35.
Nxc4
Rxc3
36. ReS
Ne3
37. Rc8
c4
38. B b 5
39. K g l
Rc2
c3
40 . Bc6
g5
41 . Bf3
f4
42 . g4
43. Resigns
The passed c pawn will soon force the
win of at least the bishop since the white
king is unable to help the defence.
A third, and particularly important,
lesson to be learnt from Anatoly Karpov's
79

c l-.ess ca reer

is the great value of a serious


a n d d i s c i p l i n ed approach to chess stu d y .
T h e c h am p i o n w o r k s a t the game for a t
l ea st a c o u ple of hours a d a y even when
h e is not compet i ng in a tournament,
a n a l y s i n g the games of potential rivals,
l oo k i n g for open ing improvements, a n d
k e e p i n g i n touch w ith new ideas .

S t i l l a y oung man and al ways on peak


fo rm, K arpov could be set for a long r eign

as world champ ion. I shall be surprised if


h e is toppled before the late 1 980s .

Tony Miles 1 9 5 5 Brita i n ' s fi rst gra n d ma ste r,


fi rst British p layer t h i s
c e n t u ry to have a rea l i s t i c chance o f
c o n t en-d i n g for t h e ind i v id ua l w o r l d
c h a m p i o n s h i p He i s a tough and success
f u l y o u ng pr o fe s s i o n a l who plays al most
c o nt i n u o u s l y in tournaments a l l over the
world, a nd he has an excellent track
record aga i n st most of the lead ing Rus
s i a n s except for Karpov.
M i l es lea rnt c hess at fi ve but developed
rather s l o w l y : even w hen he won the
British under- 1 4 c hampionship in 1 968
h e d id n ot gai n instant recogni tion as a
s pe c i a l ta lent. But when he became the
l e ad i n g pla yer in the M i d l ands w h i le s t i l l
i n h i s m id d le teens and won a junior
i n ternational in Fra nce, the decision was
ta ken that E n g l and should bid to stage
the 1 97 1 j u n ior world cha m pion s hip so
t h a t M i l es and a nother strong young
p layer , M i c hael Stean, should have the
optimum opportunity .
M i l es won on l y t h e s i l v er medal in that
event beh i nd the Russian Belyavsk y ; this
followed a European j unior c hampionsh ip
where he was also second to the Russian,
m a k i ng Mi les determined to win the gold
medal the fol low ing year. In the j un ior
world championship in Manila he was
clearly the best player, decisively beating
h is Sov i et opponent in a brilliant game,
and w i n n i ng both the c hampionship and
an au tomatic international master title.
It took Miles less than two years after
the j u nior world championship to become
a grand m aste r . The year 1 977 was his
a n nus m z rabilis when he successively won
fi rst prize at Lanzarote, Amsterdam and
Biel, came second to world champion
Karpov in the powerful Til burg inter
national in Holland, and then repeated the
achievement in BBC 2 ' s televised Master
Game tourna m ent .
On becom i ng a grandmaster Miles
decla red that ' the only thing left is to
have a go at Karpov ', and in late 1 977 he
seemed on the brink of becoming esta b
l i shed. as the leading Western c hallenger.
But 1 978 and 1 979 brought him uneven
r esult s , and the question now is w hether
he can break through the form i dab le
pha l a nx o f Ea s t European grandma sters
in the i nterzonal and candi d ates tourna-

T o n y M i l e s,
is a l so the

80

men ts to qualify for a title match .


What can the average player learn from
Tony M i les? Above alL a practical
a pp roach to winning. In his early career
Miles l iked to open l . e4 and, as Black,
used to play the sharp Dragon variation
of the Sicilian defence with cS and g6.
But some heavy defeats against well
primed opponents convinced him that
he should have a more positional reper
toire whereby he could play for a win
against sli ghtly weaker opponents with
out too much risk. Standby openings for
p l ayers who choose such a style are often
the English l . c4 and the n on-committal
l . Nf3. M iles has been making i ncreasing
use of these moves and at the same time
has been developing his own special ideas
in the openings - for instance a queen' s
pa wn system with Bf4 which twice
hel ped h im to beat Spassky.
In the 1 977 IBM tournament Miles was
fi ghti ng for the first prize in a tight
finish w ith two other grandmasters. The
fol lowing game is from the penultimate
round and illustrates Miles's cool pro
fessional efficiency.
W hite : A . J. Miles. Blac k : S. Tatai
O pe n in g : Catalan (IBM Amsterdam
1 977)
The opening moves were l. N f3 N f6
2 . c4 cS 3. g3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5 . B g 2
N c6 ? 6. d4 e6 7. 0-0 Be7 8. dxc5 Bxc5
9. a 3 .
Black's early d 5 and recapture o n that
square with his knight was a reasonable
idea, but led to difficulties because of h is
routine move 5 . . . . Nc6. He should have
played 5 . . . . Nc7 to meet 6. d4 by cxd4
7 . Nxd4 eS. In the actual game however,
the bishop on c5 is now a target for attack
which Miles uses to bring his heavy pieces
quickly to the centre files.
9.
aS
Be7
1 0 . Qc2
1 1 . e4
Nf6
Nd7
12. Rd1
0-0
1 3 . Nc3
Qc7 7
1 4 . Be3

fi g . 1 48

Now White can increase his- advantage


by an instructive little combination which

often occurs in similar positions. Black


should have tried Bf6 .
1 5 . NdS !
If Black doesn't take this knight, then
Miles continues Nxe7 + w hen h is pair of
bishops are a distinct advantage once the
position opens up. The problem for Black
in such positions is not immediate loss of
material but chronic weakness in his pawn
structure. The weak c pawn becomes an
easy target on the open file for Miles' s
pieces.
15.
exdS
N 7b8
1 6. exdS
1 7 . N d4 1
Much better than taking the knight at
once, w hen Black would recapture with
the b8 knight and avoid any pawn weaknesses.
17.
Bd7
1 8 . Rac l
QeS
1 9 . dxc6
Nxc6
20. Nxc6
Bxc6
2 1 . .Bxc6
bxc6
22 . B d4
QbS

2 3 . Re 1 !
Another example of a move which spells
the difference between a grandmaster
and a strong club player. It was possible to
play an immediate 23. Qxc6, but the
pawn will not run away and meanwhile
the pin on the e file will ensure further
exchanges to help Miles win the ending.
23.
Rfe8
24. Qxc6
Qxc6
a4
2 5 . Rxc6
26. Rc4
K8
Bf6
27. Bc3
W hite threatened to simplify into a
pawn ending by R4e4, Rxe7 and Bb4.
28 . Rxe8 + Kxe8
29. Bxf6
gxf6
30. Rh4 1
Without this final touch Black would
still have drawing chances as his a pawn
holds White's two on the Q-side.
30. . . .
Rb8
3 1 . Rxh7 Rxb2
K8
32. Rh4
Ra2
33. Rxa4
34. Kg2
Resigns

Another M il es technique is h i s abil ity


refute i n ferior opening play. Inter
national chess can mean up to ten hours
t i r i ng work a day. and most experts find
it essent i a l to have a num ber of shorter
ga mes w i th l ess mental effort. The sim
p lest way to achieve this i s by quick
d ra ws which often occur on the world
c i rc u i t . B u t this means only h a l f a point
for each side. and the player a im i ng at a
high place has to be a ble to defeat weaker
opponents without excessive labour.
In the fol lowing game M i l es' opponent
makes a passive fifth move, conce d i ng the
cen tre to the white pawns and pieces.
Many would be content to exploit this
by a slow b u i l d -up. but Miles instead
goes for a s h a rp gambit approach, sac ri
fi c i ng fi rst a pawn and then a bi shop. In
re t u rn he gets a fine a ttack, the oppo
n e n t ' s defences collapse qu i c kly, and the
gra n d m a ster departs the board w ith h i s
ene rgy still fresh for t h e next round .
White :
A . J . M i l e s . Black : E.
to

P r e i ss m a n n
Opening :
S lav
O l y m p i a d 1 976)
l . d4

D e fe nce

(Hai fa

d5
c6
N f6
d x c4
5 . a4
e67
A poor move which hems in h is queen' s
bi shop just when this piece should be
developed by BfS or Bg4 .
Bb4
6. eJ
N bd7
7. Bxc4
8. 0-0
0-0
9. QbJ !
Forcefully attacking Black ' s weak e6
pawn as well as the bishop. Already there
is a ta ctical trap. for 9 . . . . Bd6 should be
met by 1 0. Bxe6 fxe6 1 1 . Qxe6 + and
1 2. Qxd6.
Qe7
9. . . .
BxcJ
1 0 . e4 !
Accepting the pawn sacrifice is risky.
but otherwi se W h i te has a strong centre .
Nxe4
1 1 . bxcJ
c5
1 2 . BaJ
N ef6
1 3 . R fe 1

2 . c4
3. N O
4 Nc 3
.

If 1 3 . . . . Ndf6 1 4. Bd3 undermines the


black knights and regains the c5 pawn
with great advantage.
14. aS !
A subtle move whose significance Black
fails to appreciate. Miles would like to
sacrifice on e6, aiming to create a winning
d iscovered check. But the immediate 1 4 .
Bxe6 ? fxe6 1 5 . Rxe6 is m e t b y Qf7
1 6. Ng5 c4 ! 1 7 . Qxc4 N b6 ! and the
counter-attack on the white queen re
futes the combination. Black does not see
t h is at a ll and ju dg i ng b y his reply he
thinks that 1 4. aS is j ust a positional move
a iming to gain queen's side space.

9. eS
NdS
Be7
1 0. N e4
1 1 . 0-0
Nc6
12. B d2
Qc7
bxcJ e . p .
1 3 . c4
1 4 . NxcJ
NxcJ
1 5 . BxcJ
N b4
1 6 . Bxb4
By the simplest means, Black gains the
advantage of the b ishop pair, but other
wise his knight has a fine outpost at d 5 .
16.
Bxb4
1 7 . Racl
Qb6

Correct is h6, denying the w hite knight


the gS square.
1 5 . Bxe 6 ! fxe 6
1 6 . Rxe6
Q f7
17. Ng5
c4
1 8 . Qxc4
Nb6
1 9 . Qe2 !
Qg6
Now 1 9 . . . . Bxe6, aiming to get
material compensation for the queen, is
refuted by 20. Nxf7 Bxf7 2 1 . axb6.
20. Bxf8
QxgS
Or 20 . . . . Bxe6 2 1 . Qxe6 + Kxf8 2 2 .
Qd6 + and 2 3. Qx b8 wins .

Fresh loss of time. White should prefer


20. Bxb7.
20. . . .
Kh 8
Be7
2 1 . Bb1
N ot hxg5 ? ? 2 2 . Qh5 + mates.
Rac8
22 . N e4

14. . . .

2 1 . Bd6

Rb8 7

bS

More for c i ng is 3. a4, but Karpov and


some other great masters make a principle
of ta king no risks in the first round of an
event.
3.
4. Bd3
5. Qe2
6 . a4
7. dxcS

fi g . l 5 0

1 9 . NgS

20. Bh7 + 7

0-0

h6

2 3 . Qd3 7

Resigns

For if 2 1 . . . . Nbd7 22. Bxb8 Nxb8 2 3 .


R e 8 + mates or wins material. This game
was typical of Tony Miles, showing
good strategic assessment backed by
precise calculation of tricky variations.
The year 1 980 brought a milestone in
Miles' s career : for the first time he beat
world champion Karpov, and that in an
opening so bizarre it was nameless. For
some weeks the Russian chess magazines
could not bring themselves to publish
Black's first move.
White : A . Karpov . Black : A .J . M i le s
O p e n i n g : B i r m i n g ha m Defe nc e
(Skara 1 980)
a6
l . e4
The round 1 pairings were announced
before the tournament, and Miles, at
home in Birmingham, decided on this
rare defence to combat Karpov's com
mand of orthodox theory. Its strategy of
early queen's side play is an extension of
l . . . . b6 which Miles chose in an earlier
encounter with the champion .
2. d4
3. Nf3

1 8 . Be4

Bb7
N f6
e6
cS

Again Karpov avoids an ac ti ve line


(7. c3) and Black's opening choice is
vindicated.
7.
BxcS
8 . N 1 d2 b4

fig. 1 5 1

Hoping to attack h7, but this never


materializes. Black now wins a pawn and
already White gets a lost ending.
23.
24 .
25.
26.
27.
28.

Rxc l
Re 1
Qxd7
Re3
QxdS

Rxc l
Qxb2
QxeS
Bb4
QdS
BxdS

From now on the game is won. Miles


plays the final stage accurately as his
king, bishop pair and active rook force
the world champion back. The remaining
moves were 29. Nc3 Rc8 30 . Ne2 gS 3 1 .

h 4 Kg7 32. hxgS hxgS 3 3 . Bd3 aS 34.


Rg3 Kf6 3 5 . Rg4 Bd6 36. Kfl Be5 37. Ke 1
Rh8 38 . f4 gxf4 39 . Nxf4 Bc6 40. Ne2
Rhl + 4 1 . Kd2 Rh2 42 . g3 Bf3 43 . Rg8
Rg2 44. Ke l Bxe2 45 . Bxe2 Rxg3 46 .
Ra8 Bc7 and White resigned as Black's

two pawns will push through. This was


only the second win this century by a
British player against a reigning world
champion.

81

Y asser Seirawan

J CJ o OY a s se r S e i ra w an is the !!"lost s u c c e ssful o f


a n ew ge n e ra t i on o f young American
p l a y e rs w ho h a ve made t h e i r m a r k on
the i n ter n a t i o n a l scene. B o rn in B e i r u t,
Y a s s e r ' s fa m i l y e m i gra ted to Cal i fornia
w h en h e was a sma l l boy and, inspired
l i k e many by the pu b l i c i ty for the F i scher
S p a s sky m a t c h , he s ta rted to t a ke c hess
s e r i o u s ly w h en i n h i s early tee n s .
S u c cesses c a m e q u i c k l y . A t t h e a g e o f
1 4, he b e a t grand ma ster B i sgu i er i n a
t o u r n a m e n t g a me and at 1 6 he won t h e
US N a t i o n a l O p en t i t l e . H i s p l a y c o n -

tinued to develop and two results in 1 979


showed he was a likely future grand
master. In April of that year, he achieved
a grandmaster result in the famous Lone
Pine tournament in California, losing only
one game despite contending every day
w i th world class opponents ; and in August
he won the junior championship of the
worl d at Skien, Norway, half a point in
fro n t of a Russian rival.
In complete contrast to Fischer, Yasser
is one of nature's gentlemen and is a fine
am bassador for the US at every tourna
ment he attends. A few years ago he
p l a y ed a t Hastings, England, and fol low
i ng t h at gave an exhibition against 2 5
y o u n g ju niors a t the London Eveni ng

Standard c hampionships. He made sure


to shake hands with each one before the
game and h ad a pleasant word of commis
eration or congratulation for all his
opponents as they finished . One young
ster had been eating a jam doughnut but
nevertheless held out his hand at the end ;
Yasser looked at it, smiled, shut his eyes
and shook the hand, spending the next
round of play wiping his fingers clean.
W hat can be learnt from Yasser Seira
wan's games is forceful position c hess
typical of the American style at its best.
In the tradition of Pillsbury and Reshev
sky, he plays mainly strategic openings.
But w hereas Pillsbury aimed for his own
pre-analysed formations with NeS and
f4 and Reshevsky liked the Queen's
Gambit Declined Exchange variation
w here the w hite c4 pawn is swapped for
the black d5 pawn, Seirawan's strategy is
more complex.
His favourite is the English l . c4 w hich
is increasingly popular in master c hess
because of its flexible, non-committal
qualities. Seirawan likes to use t he English
to gain space on t he queen's side then
outflank t he defenders via the back rank
or switchi ng to the king's side. This is
grand strategy if the concept works, and
how well Seirawan handles it is demon
strated by this game w hich helped him
win the world junior title.

White : Y. Seirawan. Black : G.


Barbero
O pening : English (Junior World
C hampionship 1 979)
e5
l . c4
Nf6
2 . Nc3
Nc6
3. NO
Bb4
4. e3
Bxc3
5. Qc2

Unnecessarily premature, losing time.


This exchange can wait till White forces
it with a 3 .
6. Qxc3
7. a3
8 . b4 1

Qe7
aS

A mark of Yasser Seirawan's chess


style. He advances on t he Q-side as fast
as possible, aided by a tactical nuance.
8.
9. axb4
1 0 . Qxa 1

axb4
Rxa 1
e4

Yasser Seirawan at Hastings, 1 980. Victory a


few weeks later at Wijk aan Zee established
him as the brightest US prospect since Bobby
Fischer retired.

82

Bd6
1 6 . Qe4
1 7 . h4 1
With ideas of g4 -g5, NgS, or hS and
Rh4.
17.
QfS
Qa 5
I S . Qe2
Ne7
1 9 . Bb3
20 . h5
b6
Ba6
2 1 . Qe4
22. d5 !
Offering two pawns to open up all the
lines against the black king.
22.
exd5
f6
23. Qh7
Bxc4
24. K g 1
Bxb3
2 5 . Rh4 1
Kf7
26. axb3
27. Rg4
R g8

fi g. 1 5 2

Both 1 0 . . . . Qxb4 1 1 . N xe 5 and 1 0 . . . .


Nxb4 1 1 . QxeS a re exchanges which clea r
the boa rd o f pawns and s o i ncrease the
potenti al scope of the pa ir of bi shops
which Black casua l l y conced ed on move 5 .
W ith h i s actual move, Black a i ms to
create weaknesses in the w h i te k i ng's
side which his pieces can i n filtrate, but
another result of this approach is further
opening of l i nes favouring White.
1 1 . b5 !
Crea ting more potential scope for the
bishops, and completing the ultra-rapid
demolition of Black's queen's side. In
another half-dozen moves, the w h i te
queen is i n fi l trati ng the rear of Black's
position.
11.
e x f3
1 2 . b x c6
bx c6
1 3 . gxf3
0-0
1 4 . Bb2
N e8
The threa tened Rg l fol l o wed by Bxf6
forces the kn ight to move, but N h 5 is
more ac t i v e .
1 5 . Bd3
Q h4
T h i s w a s Black's plan : g i ven ti me, he
will ad va nce f5-f4 to open up the w h i te
k i n g But Sei rawan's bi shops a re a l rea dy
d i rected for attack and in the next few
moves Black's K-side comes under heavy
pressure.
1 6. Ke2
cS
1 7 . Qa8 !
En route to the ki ng's side. Backward
diagonal retreats or captures by a queen
or bishop a re often hard to v i sualize in
advance as many players h a ve a mental
block a bout such moves.
17. . . .
Nd6
Stoppi ng Qe4, but W h i te fi nds another
way to transfer the queen to the other
fla nk with ga in of time .
18. Rg1 !
f6
1 9 . Q d S + Kh8
20. Q x c 5
Qxh2
2 1 . Rg3 !
S h u t t i n g out the queen from protection
o r t h e th rea tened c7 pawn, a n d i n d u c i n g
t he fo l l o vv i n g fa t a l w e a k n e s s .
21. . . .
hS ?

22. Rxg7 1
There are o ther ways to win - White
could simply take the c pawn - but the
move played is the most elegant and
forc i ng. The average player is unlikely
to be able to calculate such positions in
advance but should not be d eterred.
Tactical vision is a matter of experience
and training so the sensible policy if you
don't see a clear win is to continue to
increase the pressure or capture material here by 22. Qxc7 .
22 .
Kxg7
23. Qg5 + Kf7
24 . Qxf6 + Ke8
25. Bg6 + Nf7
26. Be 5 !
A fine, original conclusion. If the
queen moves, 2 7 . Bxc7 with unavoidable
mate on d 8 .
26. . . .
Resigns
The important Wijk aan Zee inter
national of 1 980 showed that Seirawan
could become America's greatest player
since Fischer. He tied for first prize with
three-time US champion Browne, reached
the grandmaster score w ith three games
to spare, a nd outplayed Korchnoi.
W h ite : Y. Seirawa n . B la c k : V .
K o rchn o i
Opening : Engl ish (Wij k a a n Zee
1 980) .
The opening moves were 1 . c4 Nf6
2 . N c 3 e6 3 . e4 d5 4. e5 d4 5 . exf6 dxc3
6 . bxc3 Qxf6 7. d4 c 5 .
Book theory i s one o f Korchnoi's
weaker points : 7 . . . . b6 is superior.
h6
8. Nf3
9. Bd3 !
Intending the gambit 9 . . . . Nc6 1 0. 0-0
with active piece p lay for the pawn.
9.
cxd4
Bb4 +
1 0 . cxd4
1 1 . Kfl !
The king is safe here since it is White
who has the initiative and attack.
Nc6
11.
Bc5
1 2 . Bb2
0-0
1 3 . Bc2
1 4 . Qd3
Rd8
K 8
1 5 . Rd 1
.

28. Re l l
The winning move. It cuts off the
black king's escape, and threatens 29.
Bxf6 Kxf6 30. Rg6 + or if 28 . . . . Rad8
2 9. Ra 1 followed by Rxa 7 .
28.
d4
29. Rxd4
Be5
30. Rd7
Qxe 1 +
Korchnoi hopes to fight on with rook,
bishop and pawn against queen, but the
a ttack is too strong. The game ended
3 1 . Nxe 1 Bxb2 32. Nd3 Ba3 3 3 . Nf4
Rgd8 34. Qg6 + Kg8 3 5 . Qd3 Rxd7 36.
Qxd7 ReS 37 . Kh2 Kf7 38 . Ng6 Ra8
39 . Nxe7 Resigns. If Bxe7 40. QdS +
wins the rook.

83

Gary Kasp arov


1 963-

Kasparov is the new young hope of


Sov iet chess, a teenager whom experts
the world over are already forecasting as
the uccessor to Karpov and whose
achievements at the age of 1 5- 1 6 outstrip
everyone bar Bobby Fischer and the
Brazi li an Mecking.
Ka sparo v ' s family name was Weinstein
but they changed it, for it was rumoured
that the Soviet authorities did not want
their new star to sound Jewish. His early
games at ages 1 0-1 1 already showed
unusual gifts, so much so that I wrote an
article in the 'Guardian' newspaper at
that time predicting that Kasparov would
be world champion in 1 990.
Kasparov studied c hess at the famous
' Botvinnik school' where Karpov also
learnt from the ex-world champion. At 1 1 ,
he scored well against the top Soviet
grandmasters in a clock simultaneous
match, and gave Karpov and Korchnoi a
hard game: Then came a relative setback :
he competed twice, at age 1 3 and 1 4, in
the under- 1 7 world championship but
fa i l ed to win it. There was no news of him
for some months, and it seemed possi ble
that he was not fulfilling his promi se .
But his achievements i n 1 9 78 provided
the answer. Fi rst Kasparov won a strong
the
tournament,
Soviet
invitation
Sokol sky Memorial ; then he won a 64man S wiss tournament again.st masters
and grandmasters whi ch qualified him
directly for the fi nal of the Soviet
Championship. His de but caused an
international stir : he scored 50 per cent
and defeated Polugaevsky, a world title
candidate, by an imaginative bishop
sa cri fice. As a result of this success, the
U SSR Chess Federation sent him to a
strong grandmaster tournament at Banja
Luka, Yugoslavia, in the summer of 1 979,
where, a part from the local champion, he
was the only non-grandma ster .
Kasparov ' s score a t Banja Luka out
paced even the early achievements of
Spassky and Fischer. He led from the
start, rea c hing the international master
nonn with five rounds to spare, won the
tournament with three rounds in hand
and achieved the grandmaster norm,
which the World Chess Federation had
rai sed , two roun ds before the finish. His
tournament performance was such that if
repeated consistently it would already
bracket him with Korchnoi as the leading
contender for Karpov's throne.
Leading scores in this historic event
were Kasparov (USSR) 1 1 ! out of 1 5,
Smejkal (Czech) and Andersson (Sweden)
9!, Petrosian (USSR) 9. In summer 1 9SO
Kasparov won at Baku to become the
worl d ' s youngest grandmaster.
When Kaspa rov was still an unknown,

84

his mentor Botvinnik said that 'the future


of chess lies in the hands of this boy ' .
Botvinnik' s forecast and m y o wn that
Kasparov would be the 1 990 champion
were laughed at by the experts when they
were made, but not so after Banja Luka.
Kasparov, meanwhile, kept his feet on the
ground. He admitted that he dreamt of
the world title, but in the tradition of self
criticism favoured by Botvinnik said
that he considered his weak points to be
his defence and his play of simple
positions. Botvinnik commented that even
when only 10 he had been impressed by
Kasparov 's ability to quickly assess a
number of complex variations, as well as
by his desire to achieve perfection.
What are the technical secrets the
ordinary player can learn from Kasparov' s
phenomenal success ? Variety of approach
is one of his characteristics : in the USSR
championship and at Banja Luka he
opened successfully with 1 . P-QB4, 1 .
P-Q4 and 1 . P-K4. A few years ago Bot
v innik criticised players all over the
world, and particularly young ones, for
being interested only in practical games
and not in work on new ideas at home or
writing commentaries for chess maga
zines. After each of Kasparov' s successes
the j ournal ' 64' printed a game with in
depth, self-critical notes by the young
master .
It is clear that Kasparov is not afraid to
a dopt crucial lines in highly-analyzed
openings. When he does, he often demon
strates evidence of his own homework. If
the game becomes a tactical melee, he is
able to thread his way through the
complications and find a line providing
maximum difficulties for his opponent.
Below is a good example from Banja
Luka. Incidentally I published this game
in my Guardian column without notes
and asked for young English players to
send in their annotations. Many of the
comments which follow are based on the
winning entry, sent in by Stuart Con
quest of Hastings who was already men ' s
champion o f this famous chess town at
the age of 1 2. My opinion is that young
Conquest will become a master or grand
master within ten years .
White : G. Kasparov. Black : S .
Marj anovic
Opening : Queen's Indian Defence
(Banja Luka 1979)
I . d4 N f6 2. c4 e6 3. NO b6 4. a3. The
variation 4. Nc3 Bb7 5. Bg5 B b4 is not
bad for Black, so Kasparov prefers this
temporizing move which has been in
creasingly popular in recent years and
is now the basis of some deeply analyzed
theory.
4. . . .
Bb7
Another natural idea is 4. . . . c5. If
then 5. d5 Ba6 1 is immediately favourable
for Black : an example is Huss-Korchnoi,
Biel 1 979 which went 6 ._ b3
d6 S. Nc3 g6 9.

Re8 1 2. Rb1 Bxfl 1 3. Kxfl Na6 14. Qd3


Nc7 1 5 . e4 b5 1 6. b4 cxb4 17 . .axb4 aS
1 S. Ba3 axb4 1 9 . Bxb4 Na6 20. Qxb5 QcS
2 1 . Qc6 Nxb4 2 2. Rxb4 Qg4 23. Qb7 Qf4
24. Ne2 Ra 1 + 2 5 . Rb1 Qxe4 26. Rxa 1
Qxe2 + 2 7 . Kg 1 N e4 i S . Rfl Bd4 and
White resigned (29. Nxd4 Qxfl + I mates).
But there is a mystery attached to this
game. Book theory considers that 4 . . . . cS
is in fact inferior because of 5. e 3 ! A
drastic example is the game Gheorghiu
Skrobek, Warsaw 1 97 9 , which continued
5 . . . . Bb7 6. Nc3 dS 7. cxd5 Nxd5 S. Bb5 +
Bc6 9. Bd3 cxd4 1 0. exd4 Be7 ? (better
Nbd7 to keep the white knight out of e5)
1 1 . Ne5 0-0 1 2. 0 Bb7 1 3. Qc2 Nf6 1 4.
R d 1 Nc6 1 5 . Qa4 ! ReS ? (Nxe5 1 6. dxe5
N d5 would avoid material loss, though
Black's game remains difficult) 1 6. Ba6 !
Qc7 1 7 . Nb5 QbS 1 S. Nxc6 Bxc6 1 9. Bxc8
RxcS 20. Qxa7 Bxb5 2 1 . Qxe7 and wins .
How would Korchnoi have met 5. e3 ?
Chess theory is full of such intriguing
posers. Perhaps Korchnoi had some smash
ing innovation ready, maybe he was
bluffing, maybe he simply forgot why
4 . . . . c5 was supposed to be inferior. The
answer may only be known when some
one else plucks up courage to follow the
same system as White against Korchnoi or
another such grandmaster.
5 . Nc3
d5
Other alternatives are Be7 and Ne4 .
Nxd5
6. cxd5
A maj or decision, since from now on
Black suffers the consequences of White's
mobile central pawn majority. In another
Korchnoi game at Biel 1 979, played in an
earlier round to the Huss game quoted
above, Wirtensohn-Korchnoi continued
6 . . . . exdS 7. Bg5 Be7 S. e3 Nbd7 9. Bb5
c6 1 0. Ba4 0 1 1 . 0 ReS 1 2 . Rc l Rc8 1 3.
Bc2 c5 1 4. Bf5 RaS 1 5. Qc2 g6 1 6. Bh3 Ne4
1 7 . Bxe7 Qxe7 1S . . Bxd7 Qxd7 1 9 . dxc5
Nxc5 20. b4 Ne6 2 1 . Rfd 1 RacS 22. Qa4
Qxa4 23. Nxa4 d4 1 and Black later
regained the temporarily sacrificed pawn
and went on to win the endgame. I find
this not altogether convincing, and it is
likely White's play can be improved.
Be7
7. e3
8. Bb5+
To force S . .
c6 blocking out Black's
queen bishop. Now both S . . . . Nc6 9.
Ne5 Qd6 1 0. Ne4 or S . . . . Nbd7 9. Nxd5
Bxd5 1 0. Ne5 are bad for Black, while 8.
. . . Bc6 9. Bd3 leaves the bishop on c6
badly placed .
8.
c6
0-0
9 . Bd3
10. e4
The game Petrosian-Rechevsky, Santa
Monica 1 966, went 1 0. Bd2 Nbd7 1 1 .
.

Nxd5 cxd5 1 2 . 0-0 Bd6 1 3 . Qa4 with


advantage for Whi te, but a do-nothing
move like Bd2, though quite in Petrosian 's
style, should not really be dangerous.
Black should reply 1 0 . . . . c 5 .
10.
Nxc3
1 1 . bxc3
cS
1 2 . 0-0

fi g . 1 5 5

12. . . .
h6 7
This is one of the critical positions of the
opening and arises naturally from White's
4. a3. More natural for Black than the
obviously weakening h6 is to put pressure

on White's centre by 1 2 . . . cxd4 1 3.


cxd4 Nc6. An early game Ghitescu-Hort,
1 970, continued 1 4 . B b2 Rc8 1 5 . Qe2 Bf6
1 6. Rad 1 Na5 1 7 . Rfe 1 Rc7 with a com
fortable game for Black, but a better
plan for White is to direct his forces
against the underguarded black K-side.
Thus a later game Furman-Panno, Madrid
1 97 3, went 1 4. Be3 Bf6 1 5 . Bb 1 Rc8 1 6.
Qd3 g6 1 7. Ba2 and White has the
advantage because of the chance of
breaking through in the centre by d 5 .
Black i n t u rn may b e able to improve on
this by 1 4 . . . . Rc8 (instead of Bf6) 1 5 . B b 1
Ba6, while from White's side an alterna
tive is Bc2 instead of B b 1 with ideas in
some l ines of regrouping the bishop at
b 3 or a4 .
In any event, the play with 1 2 . . . . cxd4
l ooks a more stringent test of the 4. a3
sy stem than the suspect 1 2 . . . . h6. The
analysis of 4. a3 is given here in extended
form because the play and ideas are easy
to understand. An inexperienced player
could well consider adopting 4. a3 as one
of his openings standbys rather than get
involved in the more complex and highly
analysed lines which result from 4. g3 or
4. Nc3.
1 3 . B f4 !
.

Not j ust a simple developing move,


Kasparov is already planning the further
advance of his d pawn which the bishop
will aid by tactical means.
13. . . .
cxd4
Nc6
1 4 . cxd4
Virtually forcing d5 which White plans
anyway. Black could restrain this advance
by Nd7 or even by Bd6 to entice 1 5 . e5
Be7 when White's pawns are more
static .
Na5
1 5 . d5 !
Not exd5. 1 6 . exd5 Na5 (Qxd 5 ? ? 1 7 .
Bh7 + wins the . queen) 1 7 . d6 ! with the
point that Bxd6 ? fails to Bxd6 and Bh 7 + .
fxe6
1 6 . dxe6
ReS
17. Bg3
Hoping to play Nc4 and force ex
changes .
1 8 . Ne5 1
Black has paid an expensive price for
his weakening 1 2 . . . . h6. The light squares
around his king are now natural targets
for the white pieces.
18. . . .
Bf6
Gary Kasparov with one of his coaches,
Sakharov. He was also taught by ex-world
champion Botvinnik who said 'the fu ture of
chess is in the hands of this boy ' .

1 9 . Qg4
I n c r ea s i n g his ad v a nta ge w i th the
t a c t i ca l p o i nt 1 9 .
B x e5 20. B x e 5
Q x d 3 1 1 2 1 . Q xg7 m a te, or i f 20 . . . . Qe7
2 1 f4 i n t e n d i n g f S .
19. . . .
Qe8

Black prepares a cumbersome plan to


Or Kc7 3 2 . e 6 + Bd6 3 3. Bxd6 + .
drive off the annoying horse, but mean
3 2 . RxdS + BxdS
Rc l +
33. Qd3
w hile Kasparov has time to build up a
34. K f2
Resigns
king's side attack.
1 5 . Nxc6 ? or 1 5 . Nxe6 ? would be basic
For after 34 . . . . Bc5 + 3 5 . Ke2 Black's
strategical mistakes. White is ahead on
queen's bishop is pinned and he cannot
space because of the c4 and e4 pawns
play B c 4 .
which control the centre and the general
The a bove game shows t h e strength of
rule is to aim for exchanges when you are
Kasparov 's style and how similar it is to
cramped but avoid them if the opponent
that of h is teacher Botvinnik. For Bot
lacks room. Of course Black could have
vinnik also used to maintain strategic
himself exchanged pieces by 1 3 . . . . N xd4
control of his games and to use sufficient
on the previous move but that would
tactics to keep on top at the decisive
incur another drawback. The black
moments, as happens in the Kasparov
squared bishops would almost certai nly
game at moves 1 3, 1 8 and 2 3 .
be exchanged after 1 4. Bxd4 Bxd4 1 5 .
Another Kasparov game at Banja Luka
Qxd4 and then White has good attacking
showed this same theme of mature
chances based on N d S and f4-5-6, aiming
strategy backed by the ability to sense
eventually to create mating threats with
the moment for a tactical decision.
the queen against g7.
White : G . Kasparov. Black : M.
Re8
15. . . .
V u k ic
1 6 . Qc1
Opening : King's.: lfttlan Defence
Threatening to weaken the d pawn
(Banja Luka 1 979)
.
further by 1 7 . cS, and so forcing the
The opening moves were 1 . c4 N f6
black queen to move away. Note that
2 . N cJ g6 3 . d4 Bg7 4 . e4 d6 5. N f3 0-0
controlling a file with your rook opposite
6. Be2 Bg4 7. Be3 N fd7.
the enemy queen is generally a good
The opening is t he Simagin variation,
technique even if several other men are
named after a late Russian grandmaster,
between the rook and queen.
which plans to attack the dark squares in
16.
the centre by BxD and c5 or Nc6.
Qb8
8. Ng1
1 7 . Bh6
Bh8
N b4
Crossing Black's idea. The knight move
18. Nd5
19. a3
Na6
is not new, but indicates Kasparov's
preference for imposing h is own strategy
At last Black is ready to kick away the
on the game rather than simply neutraliz
a nnoy i ng knight by c6, but h is queen,
QR and a6 knight are far from the king's
ing his opponent's manoeuvres.
side battlefield while Kasparov, with his
8. . . .
Bxe2
superior space control, can easily switch
9. N gxe2 eS
his pieces between flanks. So White now
This does not turn out well, and 9 . . .
aims to break through on the f l in e, which
c 5 looks a better way of attacking the
is the most p romising to open up because
centre.
his rook occupies it and his bishop
1 0. 0-0
aS
controls f8 .
N c6
1 1 . Qd2
20 . f4 !
c6
1 2 . f3
exd4
1 3 . N xd4 N c S
1 4 . Rad 1
Ne6

'

fi g . 1 5 6

20 . N g 6

I n t rod u c i ng t a c t i ca l c om p l i c a t ions i n
v\' h i ch K a s p a rov sees fu rther than h i s
,

oppo n e n t . S i m ply moving t h e rook o n a 1


may be b e t t e r, eg. 20. R a d l w i th the idea
of B b l -a2 a nd R d 7 , al though Black can
t h en ga i n some s p a ce by 20.
. h5.
20 . . . .
Bxa1
B b2 ?
2 1 . N x f8
B l a c k does n ot h a ve t i me to c h a se the a
p a w n , as becomes clear on move 2 3 .
Better is Be 3 so that the w h i te queen
cann ot retreat w i th gain of ti me, or Kxf8
w h en B l a c k s posi tion is inferior because
of W h i te ' s strong bishops, but at least he
i '> not a pa wn down.
hS
22. Nxe6
2 3 . Qe2 !
K a s pa rov a v oids the trap 2 3 . Qf5 ? g6 !
2 4 . Q h 3 R c 3 threatening both Bc8 a n d
B a 6 , a nd h i mself sets a d ou ble tra p. If
now 2 1 . . . . B xa 3 ? 2 4 . Q a 2 ! B e 7 2 5 . Ng5 +
a nd B l a c k l oses after both Kf8 ? 2 6 . Nh7
m a te or K h 8 2 6 . N f7 + K h 7 2 7 . e 5 + g6
Q x e6 2 4 . Q x b2
2 R Q e 6 . A nd i f 2 3 .
H :--.: c4 , 25 R e i w i n s .
23.
B f6
24 . Nc7
Q f7
25 . e 5 !
Qxc7
'

Or 25.
Rxc7 2 6 . e6 Qe7 27. Qh5
2 R . B x c 7 wins.

Q :--.: e6

2 6 . Qxh S !

M u ch better t han simply 2 6 . exf6 .


26. . . .
Qc6
In a l o st posi tion, i t makes sense to
p l ay f'or traps. Admi ttedly there is not
m u ch c h a n ce of the worl d 's best young
p l a yer overlook i ng mate in one, but in
a ny c a se B l a c k h a d noth i n g else - W h i te
t h rea t e n s Q h 7 + fol l owed by exf6 .
Be7
2 7 . f3

Bh7 +
29 . QfS +
0 . Bg6 +
1 . Rd l +

28.

Kh

K f8
K e8
Kd8
QdS

fig. 1 5 7

1 5 . NdbS !
A manoeuvre to note in similar positions
the knight outpost is strong because
Black cannot easily dislodge it without
losi ng h is d pawn. In the next few moves

2 1 . f5 !
So that if NecS 22. fxg6 hxg6 2 3 . Qf4 with
a winning attack, or if Nd8 22. fxg6 hxg6
2 3 . N f6 + Bxf6 24. Rxf6 cxbS 2 5 . Qc3.
cxdS
21.
Rxe6
22. fxe6
Re7
2 3 . exd5

Nigel Short

24.

B f4 !

Now Wh i t e ' s ad van tage becomes dec i s i ve,

for if

BxeS d xeS 26. d6 or here


R x e S 26. Rf6 .
24. . . .
Rd7
25. Nxd6 !
W i nn i n g a key p a w n , for i f Rxd6 2 6 .

25.

cS

BeS 2 5 .

wins.

25.
26.
27 .
28

29 .

30 .

31.
32 .

Nb5
Qe3
b4
a xb 4
Bg5
d6
Be7

Q d8
N c5
b6
a x b4
Na6
Q b8
N x b4
Q b7

fi g . 1 60

The d6 pawn cuts the black defenders


in two. Now comes the final attack.
3 3 . Rxf7 !
34 . Rfl +

Kxf7
Bf6
If 34 . . . Kg7 3 5 . Qe5 + forces mate.
3 5 . B x f6
Resigns
If 3 5 . . . Kg8 36 . Qe6 + Rf7 37. Be7
Raf8 38. Rxf7 R x f7 39. d7 wins.
Going into the 1 980s, Kasparov already
looks on his way to the world title.
International ch ess j ournal ists voted him
into fifth place for the 1 979 Chess Oscar,
ahead of many lead ing grandmasters : and
at the 1 980 European team finals he made
the best score of St out of 6, then went
on to win first pri ze a t Ba k u .
.

1 965-

In his middle teens, Nigel Short is already


talked about as a young chessplayer
with a real chance of stopping the
Russian master plan of the 1 980s and the
domination of world chess by Anatoly
Karpov and Gary Kasparov. His achieve
ments at the age of 14 are ahead of
Kasparov's and comparable only with
Fischer and Mecking, who were both
na tional champions and qualifiers for the
world title interzonal at that age. N igel
Short tied for the British men's champion
ship at 1 4, though beaten on tie-break,
and he obtained his first international
master resul t a few months younger than
d id his great rivals.
One aspect of N i gel Short's chess
wh i ch most surprises non-players is that
he is a normal, friendly outgoing young
ster w i th none of the temperamental
qui rks which, due mainly to Fischer,
people ascribe to all chess prodigies.
Another surprise is that he is British prodigies in music as well as chess tend
to be Slavs, Jews or Latins.
N igel has an instinctive natural grasp
of chess principles which w ould have
ensured his rapid development under
any circumstances, but he was also lucky
to be born into a family which did its
utmost to help him in such vital practical
matters as regular transport to matches
and tournaments, and fortunate also to
emerge coincidentally with a successful
English programme to spot young talent.
At the age of nine, he was recommended
for a place in a national junior squad
coaching tournament, and as a result was
able to play in a whole succession of
events against older boys. Before the
talent-spotting programme began, it was
rare for British nine-year-olds to p lay
outside their own age group, but now we
emphasize the value of hard competition
against older j uniors as well as adults. By
spring 1 965, less than a year after joining
the national squad, he competed success
fully in the annual Jersey Open.
One of N igel' s early characteristics
which set him apart from other talented
juniors was his belief in his own ideas.
At Jersey he lost a narrow rook ending
and the referee, Peter Clarke, a master
player, suggested a different line. N igel
did not take this advice as gospel and
demonstrated his own analysis. This
would be a normal reaction from an adult
expert but showed unusual self-confi
dence from a ten-year-old. Then for quite
a long time he countered the Sicilian
Defence by the gambit l . e4 c5 2. d4 cxd4
3. c 3 . Theory says this is harmless but
N igel used it successfully, analyzed it
in detail, and even p layed it against
Karpov in the L loyds Bank match where
the world champion met juniors. He was

also an avaricious reader of chess l itera


ture : for his tenth birthday he got a copy
of David Hooper's book The Unknown
Capablanca which told how the young
Cuban took E uropean chess masters by
storm. Within a week, Nigel had played
through Capa's entire European tour
games.
When N igel was nine, partly as a joke, I
sent him a copy of a 'progress report'
which showed how earlier prodigies had
become strong players or masters by
eleven or twelve. By the time he was
eleven, he had equalled or surpassed
most of the other prodigies by qualifying
for the British men's championship final,
the youngest to perform such a feat. In
the final he went further, and defeated Dr
Jonathan Penrose who had won the title
a record ten times.
It is typical of chess prodigies that they
concentrate on the strategical aspect of
chess, can do the simple things well, and
are strong in the endgame. How success
fully N igel mastered this approach is
shown by the game which ensured his
British Championship place. When Lud
gate, the 1 976 Irish champion, adopts a
cramped formation, Nigel counters by the
classical recipe of softening up the black
defences by probing attacks (see the
advance of White's KRP on moves 8 - 1 2)
before going for a decisive break in the
centre to open up the black king.
White : N igel Short . Black : A . T .

Ludgate
Opening : Modern Defe nce (British
championship semi-finals, North- West
England zone 1 977)
l . e4
g6
2. d4
Bg7
3. Nc3
c6

Black hopes to switch to a Caro-Kann


Defence (normally starting l . e4 c6) if
White now plays 4. Nf3, but Nigel likes
to play positions with a space advantage
and now plays to control the centre.
4 . Bc4

d6

More active is bS followed by b4.


5. Qf3 !

Played by many 1 1-year-olds, this


move would simply denote a wish to give
Scholar's Mate by Qxf7 ; but here it is
part of White's plan to keep the black
game under restraint.
5. . . .
6 . N ge2

e6
Ne7

Black is still playing passively; better


dS.
7 . Bg5 !

To force weaknesses in the black pawn


front.
0-0
7. . . .
8. h4 !

Aiming at restraint rather than mate.


Quieter and more routine play would
enable Black to counter by Kh8 followed
by f5 .
8.
f6
d5
9 . Be3
87

N d7
1 0 . Bb3
1 1 . h5
g5
1 2 . h6
Bh8
1 3 . Qg3
N igel S h ort ' s only i m p rec ision in th is
game. B lack's knight now reaches f5 with
ga in of t i me so more accurate is 1 3. 0-0-0
a t once .
l 3.
Nb6
dxe4
1 4 . 0-0-0
Nf5
1 5 . Nxe4
Nxe3
1 6 . QO
Nd5 ?
1 7 . fxe 3

fi g . 1 6 1

Here f5 1 8. Nc5 Qe7 intending . . . g4


gi ves B lack some play and could cause
Wh ite to regret his 1 3th .
18. Rh5 !
This unu sual move puts everything back
in order for White. Black's counterplay
i s stopped, and Wh ite prepares to d i s
lodge the d5 knight.
18.
Bd7
19. Nc5
b6
20. Nxd7 Q x d 7
2 1 . e4
N c7
22. d 5 !
cxd 5
Rad8
23. exd5
If 23 . . . . exd 5 24. Rxd5 !
24. N c 3
Qe7
2 5 . dxe6
Rx d 1 +
2 6 . Qxd l
ReS
27. Nd5
Nxd5
28 . Qxd5
Kf8

2 9 . Rh 1 !
In conjunction with the previous dia
gram, this move reveals a refreshing
freedom from dogma. Now it is right to
bring back the rook and regroup for the
fi nal attack.
Rd8
29 .
30. Qc4
f5
f4
3 1 . Rfl
Bd4
32. g3
33. gxf4
Be3 +
34. K b 1
Bxf4
Kg8
3 5 . Qc3
36. Qg7 + ! Qxg7
3 7 . e7 +
Resigns
A poor game by Black, but Nigel's
direct logical play is reminiscent of the
young Capablanca whose games influ
enced his style.
Since his promising debut in the British
Cham pionship, Nigel Short's progress has
continued with few breaks. At the age of
1 2, in his first international event, the
1 978 Aaronson Masters, he totalled S-!
out of lO and only the top players could
beat him. On his second appearance in
the British Championship he finished in
the top half and then he won in successive
years the bronze and silver medals at the
world under- 1 7 championship where he
was one of the youngest competitors.
True he didn't win the gold medal, but
neither did Kasparov .
For a while in late 1 978 and early 1 979
Nigel's progress slowed ; then he suddenly
progressed within a few months from
national expert to international master
strength. The organisers of the Geneva
open invited him to Switzerland for the
publicity. When, on his fourteenth birth
day, he lost to grandmaster Nunn, few
could have guessed what would follow,
for he beat his next five Swiss opponents,
and in the final round defeated France's
No. 1 in the 1 976 world team champion
ship. Victory brought him a share of the
first prize of 3, 500 Swiss francs (about
1 ,000) with Nunn, and the decisive
game once more had the hallmarks of the
style of early Capa blanca - clarity, rapid
development, and a small combination to
clinch the strategic advantage.
White : N igel Short. Black : E.

Preissmann
Opening : Ruy Lopez (Geneva 1 979)
l . e4 eS 2. NO Nc6 3. BbS f5 4. d3
fxe4 5 . dxe4 N f6 6. Qe2 1

Black has chosen an unusual defence to


Nigel's favourite Ruy Lopez (3. BbS f5
where 3 . . . . a6 is normal) in the hope
of catching him by surprise. Instead, he is
himself surprised - the usual sixth move
is Nc3 when Black has good play by Bb4.
After the text Black has no good waiting
move and has to lock in his f8 b ishop.
6. . . .
7. Nc3

fig . 1 62

88

d6

Bg4
Trying to make White lose time by
capturing on D with the queen which has
already moved, but the weakening of the

light squares is serious. Better is Be6.


8 . h3
Bx1
Be7
9. Qx1
a6
1 0 . Qe 2
If 1 0. . . . 0-0 1 1 . Bxc6 and 1 2. Qc4 +
wins a pawn, while if 10 . . . . Qd7 1 1 . Nd5
is unpleasant to meet.
1 1 . Bxc6 + bxc6
12. 0 0
c5
1 3 f4 !
-

This forcing move puts Black in a


dilemma. 1 3 . . . . exf4 14. Bxf4 0-0 1 5 . e5
is good for White, but in trying to keep
his pawn front intact Black risks rapid
defeat.
13.
1 4 . QhS +
1 5 . Qg4
1 6 . Bxf4

Nd7 ?
g6
exf4
0-0

1 7 . Qe6 + 7
1 7 . Bh6 ! wins quickly, for if Rxfl + 1 8 .
Rxfl White either invades by Qe6 + and
Rf7, or if 1 8 . . . . Nf8 1 9 . Nd5 and Black is
move bound.
Kg7
17.
Bh4
18. Nd5

1 9 . Nxc7 !

Nigel demonstrates that White is still


winning despite his slip a few moves
earlier. This 'small combination' in Capa
blanca style leads to a forced sequence
and to a decisive advantage for White.
19.
Qxc7
20 .
21 .
22 .
23.
24 .

Bxd6
Bxf8 +
Q7 +
Rad 1
QdS

Qd8
Nxf8
Kh8

Qe7

Ra7

Nigel Short became the world's youngest


international master at 1 4, Hastings 1 980. He
beat Viktor Korchnoi in a Slater Foundation
simul at 10 years old. Short has been bracketed
with Capablanca and Fischer as one of the
great chess prodigies - can he and Tony Miles
take Britain to the world title in the 1 980s ?

f'i g 1 64

!::Sl ack is j ust hol d i ng h is


but .
2 5 . Qd8 !

A p p a re n t l y
ga me toget h e r,

D c ( i s i \ 'l' , for i f
R x fR -t- a nd 2 8 .

Qxd8 2 6 . R x d 8 B x d8 2 7 .
Rxd8.

25.
Kg7
Q x e4
2 6 . R x f8
Or Q x f8 2 7 . Q x h4 vv i n s .

27. RgB + Kh6


2 8 . Q fB +
Resigns
A fter Kh 5 comes 29. g 4 + fol lowed by
Q x c 5 + a nd Qxa7 .
In the 1 979 Briti sh Cha mpionsh i p,
N igel made an other big advance : he
defeated Mi les, the national No. l , and
S peel man, the defending champion, and
sha red first prize though missing the title
on t i e-break rules. His result qual i fied as
one of the two or three norms needed to
become an i nternational master, a nd a
few weeks la ter he only narrowly missed
a n other norm at the Bened ictine Inter
nati onal i n Manchester.
W i th i ts emphasis on space control and
classical strategic play, N igel's chess is i n
t h e trad ition o f Morph y, Capa blanca,
F i sc h e r a nd Karpov ra ther than the more
t a c t i c a L complex, psy chologically-orien
ta ted and counterpunc h i ng style charac
t e r i s t i c of Lasker, Tal and Korchnoi. L i ke
m o st of t he other class i c i sts he favours
1 . e4 a nd the Ruy Lopez as his stand by
ope n i ng with White, although when
play i ng Black his speciality is the French
Defence 1 . e4 e6 which n ever found much
fa vour with the other classicists. Capa
blanca and Karpov were sometimes rather
negative w i th the black pieces, content to
d raw and reserve their major efforts for
the games with White, w hile Short fol lows
Korchnoi in using the Wina wer variation
of the French ( l. e4 e6 2. d4 dS 3. Nc3 B b4)
as a counter-attack weapon. As another
example of his flair with the Ruy Lopez,
here is one of the games wh ich won the
world under- 1 7 championship silver
medal .
W h i te : N ig e l S h o rt . B l a ck : T. Utasi
( H u n g a ry)
O p e n i n g : Ruy L o pez ( B e l fo rt 1 979)
The o pe n i ng moves w e re 1 . e4 e5 2 . NO
90

N c6 3 . B b 5 a 6 4. Ba4 d6 5. Bxc6 + bxc6


6. d4 f6 7. Nc3 N e 7 .
Short came unstuck against 7 . . . . g6 i n
h i s game w i th the Finnish grandmaster
Westerinen at the 1 978 Lloyds Bank
Masters, and if B lack knew of that game
he was proba bly right to presume that
N i gel would be able to improve on h i s
ea r l i er play.
8 . Be 3
Ng6
fxe S
9 . dxe5
9 . . . . dxe5 1 0. QxdB + fol lowed soon
by N a4 and Bc5 l eaves B lack with weak
Q-side for the endgame.
10. Qd3
The best square for the queen, threat
en i ng in some lines to go to c4.
10. . . .
aS
To d rive away the queen b y . . . Ba6,
but experience shows that this b i shop is
better developed by Bd7 or Be6 .
hS
1 1 . h4
Be7
12. NgS
Ba6
1 3 . g3
BxgS
14. Q d 2
1 5 . hxgS
Qb8
1 6 . f4 !

Gai ning ground on the king's side


w ithout delay. The b pawn is immune
because of Q x b2 1 7 . R b 1 Qa3 1 8. R b 3
trapping the queen.
16.
Q b4
Nf8
1 7 . fS
1 8 . Rh4 !
An echo of the Ludgate game quoted
earlier : 1 8 . g4 would be met by 18 . . . . h4,
b ut now White threatens g6 followed by
g4 winning a pawn and collapsing Black's
K-side. Black manages to stop the threat,
but at the cost of a fresh weakness.
18. . . .
g6
19. b3
The b pawn i s still safe, b u t Nigel wants
to castle long without allowing Black the
counter-chance of . . . a4-a 3 .
Rg 8
19.
20. a 3
Qb7
2 1 . 0-0-0
a4
B lack still hopes to create counterplay
against the white king, and indeed he has
no other constructive plan available.
BbS
2 2 . N xa4
2 3 . Q b4 1
cS

24. BxcS !
Judging the right moment to switch from
strategy to tactics. With Black's king
opened up in the centre and the black
pieces scattered and passive, the sacrifi ce
- and it is scarcely that when White gets
three pawns for the piece - must be
promising.
24.
bxcS
Qc6
25. NxcS
K7
26. RdS
Hoping to get some play by 27. Rxe5
Qd6, but White has better in mind .
Nxe6
2 7 . Ne6 !
Black returns the sacrificed piece in
desperation. If 27 . . . . Ba6 both 28. ReS
and 28. N dB + are strong.
28 . fxe6 + Kxe6
Ra7
29. Rxb S
30. a4
Rd8
3 1 . RxeS + !
A final elegant touch.
31.
Kxe S
3 2 . Qe7 +
Qe6
3 3 . QcS + Resigns

fig. 1 66

For if 3 3 . . . . RdS 34. exdS and Black's


position falls apart.
At the ICL Hastings international of
1 979 - 80, Nigel made a decisive break
through to prove his remarkable talent.
He defeated four grandmasters including
the tournament eo-winner Andersson of
Sweden and fin ished a prize-w inner with

8 o u t of 1 5 . It was not only h i s result, but


t h e style of h i s wins which impressed all
the ex perts. Here is his vi ctory over a
lead i ng A m e r i c a n G M .

Wh ite : N i ge l S h o rt . B l a c k : P .
Biyiasas ( US )
O pe n i n g : R uy L o p e z ( I CL Hasti ngs,
1 979 - 80)
T h e o p e n i ng m o v e s were 1 . e4 e 5
2 . N O N c6 3 . BbS a 6 4 . Ba4 d 6 5 . d4 b S
6 . B b 3 N x d4 7 . N xd4 e x d4 8 . c 3 .

16.
17.
18.
19.
20.

Bc2
dS
Qg3
a3
f4

Nd7
g6
Qc7
B g7
N c5

T h i s p ro m i si ng g a m b i t i n c i d e n t a l l y
a v o ids a t r i ck worth k n o w i n g in cl u b
c h e s s a nd so a n c i e n t a s t u he n a m ed t h e
' N oa h ' s A rk T ra p ' . I f 8 . Q x d 4 c S 9. Qd S
Be6 1 0 . Qc6 + B d 7 1 1 . Qd S c4 t r a ps t h e
b i shop a nd w i n s .
8. . . .
Bb7

9.

9. cxd4

N f6

B xe4 ? 1 0 . 0-0 fo l l o w ed by R e 1
puts the bi shop in a near-fa tal pin.

1 0.

f3

Be7

1 1.
12.
1 3.
14.

0-0
Bc3
N c3
Qel

0-0
cS
Re8

An i m m ed i a te 10 . .
c S stops W h i te
conso l i d a t i ng h i s c e n t r e .

S h o r t ' s p a w n c e n tre sh i e l d s h is a t ta c k
ing p i e c e h u i l d - u p a ga i n st t h e king.

14.

1 5 . Rd 1

Bf8
c4

undermine the centre and win the d pawn.


He succeeds, but White's attack is too
fast. Bc8 bringing an extra piece to
defence is a better chance.
Rd6
27. h 5
28. fxg6
fxg6
29 . h6
Bf6
Bxg5
30. BgS
3 1 . Qxg5
W hite i s angling for one of two basic
mates : back row (page 34) or pawn on h6
with queen on g7, a variant of the f6
pawn attack on page 3 1 .
b4
31 .
Rxd 5
32 . Nd 1
3 3 . Ne3
QcS
34 . Rdf2
W i th terrible threats : Rf7, Qf6, Ng4f6 + and NxdS are all in the air.
R5d8
34.
3 5 . N g4
Rf8
36. N f6 + Kh8
Qd4
37 . Ne4
38 . Qxe5 + ! Resigns.
The back row theme triumphs ; logical
finishes in c hess always please.
How near will Nigel Short approach
to the world champions h i p ? To be
recognized, at 1 4, as t he most promising
young talent other than Kasparov carries
both advantages and drawbacks. Advan
tages, in that he already has enough
reputation to be i ncluded in very strong
tournaments and thus an opportunity to
h one h is game at an early age as did the
last maj or Western contender, Bobby
Fischer. Drawbacks, in that he will
already be recognized as a danger man
by established masters. At the Philli ps
and Drew Kings in London, spring 1 980,
Tony Miles tied for first in an elite field
but N igel S hort was in last place .
For decades, however. Britain has been
considered a second or third rank power
in world chess, and the non-chessplaying
public here has not regarded chessplayers
h ighly. When Capablanca became Cuba's
first world champion, Euwe won the title
for Holland and Bobby Fischer defeated
Spassky, the entire status of the game in
their countries was raised. And in terms
of world public interest a Western
c hallenger means far more than an all
Soviet match between the similarly named
Karpov and Kasparov. It is likely that if
you are a Brit i sh reader buying this book
in the m iddle or late 1 980s, it will be
partly because your i nterest has been
aroused by Britain's world title conten
ders - Tony Miles and Nigel Short.

fig . 1 67

2 1 . e5 !
Strategically dec i sive. If 2 1 . . . . dxeS
22. fS ! opens up the black king's defences.
So the grandmaster tries to b lunt the
attack by exchanging one of the dangerous
b ishops.
Nd3
21.
cxd3
22 . Bxd3
dxe5
2 3 . Rxd3
24 . f5 !
Qc4
25 . Rd2
Rad8
26. h4
aS
Not 26 . . . . Bxd S ? 27. Rfd l w ins the
bi shop. W i th the tex t, Black hopes to

91

There is much to be said in fa vour of a


novice chessplayer keeping to a narrow
repertoi re of sol id openi ngs to red uce the
risk of quick d i sasters and ena ble him to
build L ' ? his ex perience of m i d d le ga mes
and endgames. But for the a m b i ti ous
player who wants to win money pri zes in
congresses, and who a i ms to get i n to h i s
club and county team and eventua l ly to
make his mark at national leveL it i s
desirable to b u i l d up k no w l edge o f a
range of aggress i ve and c u rrently popu
lar fo r m a t i o n s . These can g i ve a sub-

stantial a d v antage against a less w e l l


primed opponent even if he is a stronger
p layer. It is particularly necessary in
tou rna ments, where winning a prize re
quires a high percentage, to a im to do very
well with the w hite pieces .
It is important, too, to be realistic
a bout the open ings in your repe rtoire.
Check as far as possi b le in the literature
(games collections, tournament bulletins,
and your own observations from the
score sheets at congresses) whet her the
opening has a good practical record . By
this I mean it should score 6 5-70 per
cent or m ore in a variety of over-the
boa rd play, regar d less of whether the
system is assessed as strong and theoreti
cal ly watertight by books and articles.
You should be interested in winning, not
just theoretical advantage. If you a dopt a
sl ightly unusual l i ne regul a rl y, you w i l l
not al ways have t h e supposedly best
reply played against you. Opponents will
ei ther not know it a nd fear being 'out
booked ', or be so impressed by your

f:

The Tarrasch Gambit (page 101 ) . Black offers

h is d5 isola ted pawn, a n d hopes to develop fast


a t t acking play by forcing the exposed wh i t e
q ueen to ret reat wi t h loss of t i m e .

knowledge that they will duck into a less


critical side-variant.
You should be prepared to p lay a
chosen opening fairly regularly for at
least one chess season. It takes time to get
the feel of a new l i ne of play and to be
a ble to deal successfully using general
principles with d ivergences from the
analysis prepared at home. Recommended
techn ique i s that after each game with
your repertoi re opening you refresh your
memory with the book references and
try to find out where you and/or your
opponent went wrong. Another valuable
form of pra ctice is to find a friend of
similar chess strength and to p lay a
succession of quick games on the clock
( 5- 1 0 minutes per p layer per game) a imed
principally at deepening your knowledge
of your opening system .
Because W hite always starts the game,
it is easier for him to prepare attacking,
theoretical openings than for Black. Un
less you a re a l ready a strong and ex
perienced player, it is sensi b le to limit
your Black repertoire, a iming to reach a
solid a nd comfortable middle game. The
strong p layer who knows a variety of
openi ngs can a dopt a bolder, more
varied approach. He can take on some of
the sharp theoretical l i nes (for example
the currently fashiona b le l . e4 c 5 2 . Nf3
Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 N f6 5 . Nc3 e6
6. N d b5 d6 7. Bf4 e5 8. Bg5 a6 on which
there are a lready many articles and at
least one book) knowing a lot of the
theory and a l so being well prepared for

white a l ternatives between move 2 and


move 6. The inexperienced player, how
ever, should know at least a couple of
b lack openings where the worst that can
happen is a somewhat passive position .
Which of the openings do you choose ?
Paradoxically, it would be a disservice
to readers of this book to recommend one
in parti cular. Several books have gone
into detail on one or two l ines of play for
Bla c k, but their drawback is that White
can also consult such literature and take
appropriate counter-measures.
Thus in d iscussing a black repertoire
I shall in most cases not analyse the
openings in great deta i l . But it is possible
to describe the type of p l ay that results,
and this may help readers d ecide on
particular defences for their own reper
toi res .
93

T h e French D e fe n c e

T h e French Defence 1 . e 4 e6 has kept its


reputation as a sound if slightly passive
opening for a full centu ry . In p lay i ng it,
the best method is to avoid the main lines
such as the Wi nawer 2. d4 dS 3. Nc3 B b4
and to prefer an active plan which is less
heavily analyzed .
I recommend two ideas. The first is
1 . e4 e6 2. d4 cS - a slightly inferior but
still playa ble move. It has the advantage
that it can lead to simi lar formations to
the defence 1 . d4 cS which can also be
adopted by those requ iring a reasona ble
defence with a mini mum of book. After
3. d5 (if 3. Nf3 then cxd4 is objecti vely
best, transposi ng into one of the main
l ines of the Sicil ian Defence l . e4 c5, but
in games between inexperienced players
I recommend Black to continue 3 . . . . d 5
accepti ng a weak i solated queen 's pawn
by 4 . exdS exd5 5 . Nc3 fol lowed soon by
d xcS but gai ni ng in return acti ve piece
p lay) exd5 4. exd5 d6 5. Nc3 Nf6. 6. N f3
Be7 7 . Be2 0-0 8. 0-0 Na6, Black can fol low
up with the plan Nc7, Rb8, a6 and b5 to
gain space on the queen's side.
The second, more conventional ap
proach is 1 . e4 e6 2. d4 dS and now there
are a num ber of possi bil ities which at any
level B lack has to know in some depth.
Before looking at these, it is worth
noti ng the system l . e4 e6 2. Nf3 d5 3 .
N c 3 (delaying d4), which has become
popular in tournaments in recent years .
Black's best answer is to open up the
centre quickly by 3 . . . . Nf6 4. eS Nfd7 5 .
d 4 c5 6. dxc5 Nc6 7. Bf4 B x c 5 8. Bd3 f6 !
not 0-0 ? 9. Bxh 7 + ! with a winning
attack) 9. exf6 Nxf6 1 0. 0-0 0-0 e.g. 1 1 .
Ne5 Bd7 1 2 . Nxc6 Bxc6 1 3. Qe2 Ne4 !
1 4. g3 ( better Bxe4) Nxf2 ! 1 5 . Rx2 Bxf2 +
1 6 . Kxf2 ( 1 6 . Qxf2 e5) Q b6 + 1 7 . Kg2 e5
1 8 . Qh5 h6 1 9. Bxe5 Qe 3 ! 20. Qg6 Rf2 +
and W h i te resigns (V ogt-Fa rago, Kecs
kemet 1 97 9 ) .

modem attempts to infuse some life into


the system. However Black can avoid
symmetry by castling on the opposite
side to White and then has good chances
of achieving a lively game. Examples are :
(a) 4. Bd3 N c6 5. NO Bg4 followed by
Qd7 and 0-0-0.
' b) 4. B d3 N c6 5. N e2 Bd6 6. N bc3 (6.
c3 Qh4 ! with initiative) N b4 7 . BbS + c6
8. Ba4 Bg4 (prevents 9. Bf4 exchanging
White's inferior bishop) followed soon by
0-0-0.
(c) 4. N c3 B b4 5. QO Qe7 + ! 6. Ne2 Nc6
7. Be3 Nf6 8. h3 Bxc 3 + ! 9. bxc3 Ne4 and
White's queen's side is weak.
(d) 4. N c3 Bb4 5. B d3 Nc6 6. a3 Bxc3 +
7 . bxc3 Nf6 8. BgS Qe7 + 9 . N e2 Bd7 10.
0-0 h6 1 1 . Bf4 0-0-0 1 2. c4 Be6 1 3 . cS g5 !
and Black's attack proved stronger in
Miles-Short, British Championship 1 97 9 .
Another maj or plan i s 3 . N d 2 . I f then
3 . . . . c5 4. exd S Black is soon faced with
an isolated queen's pawn which Korchnoi
had difficulty in defending during his
1 974 match with Karpov. This system is
recommended for White and is analyzed
later in the chapter. From the Black side I
recommend two counters to 3. Nd2, one
hardly analyzed at all and the other
aiming to restrict White to a marginal
plus. The hardly-analyzed plan is 3. N d2
N e 7 4. NgO Ng6 (provoking White's
repl y : also possible is Nd7 fol lowed by
cS) 5. h4 c5 6. hS Ne7 7. c3 cxd4 8. cxd4
N bc6 9. BbS h6 10. 0-0 Bd7 1 1 . Re 1 Qb6
and, though cramped on the K-side,
Black has counterplay in the centre and
later castled queen's side (Plaskett-Taul
but, Lloyds Bank Masters 1 979). Of
course White has alternative plans to 5. h4
in straightforward development ; but if
the knight is not chased away Black can
strike at the centre by f6.
A more conventional reply to 3. N d2 is
3 . . . . Nf6.

fig. 1 69
fi g . 1 68

3. Nc3
The Exchange va riati on 3 . e x d 5 exd5
normally i n d icates that White i s playing
for a draw, though there have been some
94

4. e 5
I f 4 . Bd3 c S 5 . exdS NxdS gives Black few
problems.
N fd7
4. . . .
5. Bd3
5. f4 is a modem plan designed to build

a firm pawn base in the centre before a


later advance on the K-side. One reason
able counter is c5 6. c3 Nc6 7. Ndf3 Qa 5
8. Ne2 bS 9. Bd2 or 9. Be3 b4 opening
lines for Black's pieces : if cxb4 Black
retakes with the knight.
Also playable is the Korchnoi Gambit
5. NgO c5 6. c3 Nc6 7. Bd3 Qb6 8. 0-0
cxd4 9. cxd4 Nxd4 10. Nxd4 Qxd4 1 1 .
Nf3 Qb6 1 2. Qc2 (or 1 2. Qa4 Qb4 1 3. Qc2
Nc5) NcS 1 3. Be3 Bd7 1 4. Bxh7 Rc8
(Soltis-Root, Lone Pine 1 979) when White
has pressure but Black can hold the game
with careful defence. For another example
of the Korchnoi Gambit, see page 7 1 .
5.
c5
N c6
6 . c3
cxd4
7 . Ne2
f6
8. cxd4
The other main alternative is 8 . . . Qb6
9. NO f6 1 0. exf6 Nxf6 1 1 . 0-0 Bd6 1 2. Bf4
Bxf4 1 3. N xf4 Qxb2 1 4. Re 1 0-0 1 5 . Nxe6
with a slight edge for White .
9. exf6
Qxf6
Better than 9 . . . Nxf6 10. NO Bd6 1 1 .
Bf4 when the exchange of bishops leaves
Black with the inferior bishop and weak
dark squares in the centre .
1 0 . NO
An alternative is 10. 0-0 when accept
ing the pawn by Nxd4 1 1 . Nxd4 Qxd4
1 2 . NO Qf6 1 3. BgS allows White's pieces
too much activity, but Black can decline
the gam bit safely by 10 . . . . Bd6.
10. . . .
Bb4 +
Black exchanges off his 'good' bishop,
the one not restricted by his pawn front,
with a view to gaining time for his later
. . . eS which will give scope for the other
bishop.
1 1 . Bd2
Bxd2 +
1 2 . Qxd2 0-0
1 3 . 0-0
e5
N dxe5
14. dxe5
1 5 . Nxe5
Qxe 5
White has a marginal advantage be
cause of the isolated central pawn, but
Black has free play for his pieces and in
practice usually holds on comfortably.
The third important alternative to 3.
Nc3 which Black needs to know is the
direct advance 3 . e 5 setting up a pawn
centre which Black must try to undermine
or eliminate. Play generally continues :
3. . . .
c5
Also reasonable is 3 . . . . N e 7 (compare
the similar idea 3. Nd2 Ne7 quoted earlier)
4. NO (more flexible is 4. cJ to keep open
the option of developing the knight at h3
or e2. On the other hand 4. BdJ would
allow c5 5. c3 Nec6 6. Ne2 cxd4 7. cxd4
Nb4 ! eliminating White's active bishop)
b6 5. c3 Qd7 6. a4 aS 7. Na3 (more natural
is 7. Nd2) Ba6 8. Bxa6 Nxa6 9. 0-0 c6 10.
Ne1 NfS and Black soon plays hS and g6
with a solid light-square barricade (Kos
ten-Bednarski, Manchester Benedictine
1 979).
Nc6
4 . c3
5 . NO
.

fi g . 1 70

5. . .
Bd7
This innovation pioneered by Korchnoi
and others is at least as good as the older
moves Qb6 and N ge7 and carries less risk
to Black of becomi ng embroiled in ta ctical
gambits.
6 . Be2
Other poss i b i l ities are (a) 6. Bd3 cxd4
7. cxd4 Rc8 and if 8. 0-0 ? N b4 gains the
bi shop pa ir or ( b) 6. dxcS Bxc5 7. Bd3 f6
8. b4 Be7 9. b5 N x e 5 1 0. Nxe5 fxe5 1 1 .
Qh 5 + K f8 1 2 . Qxe5 Bf6 1 3. Qd6 + Ne7
(Svesh n i kov-Sa von, Lvov 1 978) when
Black has a strong cen tre to com pensa te
for mov i ng h i s k i n g .
Nge7
6. . . .
A more active and dou ble-edged p l a n is
6 . . . . f6 7 . 0-0 fxe 5 8 . dxe5 Qc7 9. Na3
(Hartston recommends 9. R e 1 fol lowed by
c4) a6 ( Nxe5 is risky) 1 0. Bf4 Nh6 ! 1 1 . Nc2
N t7 1 2 . c4 d4 1 3. Bd3 Be7 1 4. Qe2 g5 1 5 .
Bg3 0-0-0 1 6. b4 h5 w i th a strong attack
for Black (Kupreychik Gulko, USSR cham
pionship 1 976).
7. Na3
O r 7 . 0-0 Rc8 8 . Re 1 c xd4 9. cxd4 N f5.
cxd4
7.
NfS
8. cxd4
N b4
9 . N c2
Nxe3
1 0. N e 3
Be7
1 1 . fxe 3
Better might b e 1 1 . . . a S to stop the
followi ng advance.
Nc6
12. a3
1 3 . b4
W h i te has a sl ight advantage, but
Black eventu a l l y won the game (Spassky
Korchnoi, match 1 978).
The m a in l i ne of the French Defence
from which 3. exd5, 3. Nd2 and 3. e5 are
variants is ( 1 . e4 e6 2. d4 d S ) :
Nf6
3 . Nc3
More fashionable, but too complex and
h ighly analyzed from the ordinary play
er's viewpoint is 3 . . . . B b4, the Winawer
variation. The knight move can also start
a pro m i s i ng counter-attack while Black
can more easily lead the game into lines
he knows well .
4. BgS
Steinitz' s old move 4. eS i s sti l l played,
and after 4. N fd7 5. f4 cS W h i te has two
.

moves which require precise defence


from Black :
(a) 6. dxcS Nc6 7. ND (7. BeJ Ndxe5 ! )
BxcS 8. Bd3 f6 ! (challenging the centre) 9 .
exf6 Nxf6 1 0. Qe2 0-0 1 1 . a3 Nd4 1 2.
Nxd4 Bxd4 1 3. Bd2 Bd7 followed by b5
(b) 6. NO Nc6 7. Be3 Qb6 ! (exchanging
pieces and pawns on d4 would help
White to control that square firmly and
to use it as an outpost for a knight or
even, in the endgame, for the king) 8. Na4
Qa5 + 9. c3 cxd4 1 0. b4 (1 0. Nxd4 Nxd4
1 1 . Bxd4 b5) Nxb4 l l . cxb4 Bxb4 + 1 2.
Bd2 Bxd 2 + 1 3. Nxd2 b6 1 4. Rb l Ba6
(Bronstein-Portisch, Amsterdam 1 964)
when Black's three pawns and active
position compensate for White's extra
knight.
B b4
4. . . .

The McCutcheon variation (invented by


a US amateur who played it successfully
against Steinitz), launching a queen's side
counter-attack with the intention of
creating doubled pawns for White. Black
has to defend carefully on the K-side, but
the onus is on White to prove an advan
tage since exchanges usually give Black
the better ending.
5. e S
I f 5 . exdS Bxc3 + 6 . bxc3 exd5 with
simi lar play to line (c) of the Exchan ge
variation. If 5 . Bd3 h6 gai ns the pair of
bishops .
5. . . .
h6
6. Bd2
There are three important alternatives :
(a) 6. exf6 hxg5 7 . fxg7 Rg8 8. h4 gxh4
9. Qh5 Qf6 1 0 . Qxh4 Qxg7 and Black has
safeguarded his two bishops.
(b) 6. B h4 g5 7 . Bg3 Ne4 8 . Ne2 c5 9.
a3 Bxc3 + 1 0. Nxc3 Qa5 1 1 . Qd3 Nc6 and
Black's Q-side initiative leaves him a
comfortable game.
(c) 6. Be3 has become popular recently
and requires careful defence : 6 . . . . N e4
7. Qg4 Kf8 (moving the king is preferable
here to 7. . . . g6) 8 . a3 and now :
(c l ) 8 . . . BaS 9. Nge2 c5 10. dxcS Nc6
l l . 0-0-0 or l l . b4 Nxc3 1 2. Nxc3 Nxe5
with unclear complications.
(c2) 8 . . . . Bxc 3 + 9. bxc3 Nxc3 1 0.
.

Bd3 c5 1 1 . dxc5 N c6 1 2 . ND d4 ! 1 3. Bxd4


Na4 1 4. c3 QaS (analysis by Caff.erty) when
Black will soon regain his pawn and
complete his development.
Bxc3
6.
7 . bxc3
As great a player as Fischer got an
inferior position in a few moves as White
in this opening : 7. Bxc3 7 N e4 8. Ba5 0-0
9. Bd3 Nc6 1 0. Bc3 Nxc3 1 1 . bxc3 f6
(Fischer-Petrosian, Curaao 1 962) when
White is handicapped by weak pawns.
Ne4
7. . . .
g6
8 . Qg4
In contrast to the note after 6. Be3, this
now seems better than K8. Black has to
be careful about White's advance h4-h5
and also of a bishop sacrifice at g6, but
both can be parried and meanwhile
Black can counter against White's Q-side.

9. Bd3
White' s most promising move. If:
(a) 9 . Bel Nxc3 1 0. Bd3 c5 1 1 . dxc5 Qa5
1 2. Bd2 Qa4 ! (Black offers the queen
exchange to exploit White's weak pawns
in the ending) 1 3. h3 (so that if Qxg4 ?
1 4. hxg4 and Black's h pawn is weak) h5 !
1 4. Qxa4 Nxa4 1 5. BbS + Bd7 1 6. Bxa4
Bxa4 1 7. Rbl Nd7 1 8 . Rx b7 Nxc5 1 9 . Rc7
Na6 followed by 0-0 and Rfc8 and Black
has an endgame edge.
(b) 9 . h4 c5 1 0. Bd3 Nxd2 1 1 . Kxd2 Nc6
1 2 . Rh3 ( 1 2. Nf3 Qa5 1 3. dxc5 Bd7 and
White's tripled c pawns are weak) cxd4
1 3. cxd4 Qb6 1 4. ND (the sacrifice 1 4. Ne2
Qb4 + 1 5. Kd1 Nxe5 1 6. Qj4 Nd7 fol lowed
by Ke7 and Qd6 is unsound) Bd7 1 5 . Qf4
0-0-0 ! ( 1 6 . Qxj7 Nxd4) with the initiative
for Black .
9.
Nxd2
10. Kxd2 cS
1 1 . Rb 1
The best idea - White hopes that Black
w ill swap pawns in the centre after which
he can continue with the plan Nf3, Rhc l
and c4 opening up lines against the black
king. If instead : 1 1 . N O Nc6 1 2. Qf4
cxd4 (Black can also play for a blocked,
drawish position with 12 . . . . c4 as in the
column, but not 1 2 . . . . Qc7 ? 1 3. Qj6 when
White's Q invades on the dark squares)

95

1 3 . cxd4 Bd7
Ke2 h6 ) Rc8 1

1 4 . h4 ( 1 4. Rab1 Qa 5 + 1 5 .
5 . Q f6 Q a S + and Black has
enough central counterplay to meet
W h i te's K-side attack .
11. . . .
N c6
1 2 . N f3
c4
Black can al so go for the more active
but more risky 12 . . . . cxd4 1 3 . cxd4
Qa S + 1 4. K e2 b6 1 5 . Q f4 Ba6 1 6. Rhc 1
Rc8 1 7 . K fl Qa3 (Ma tulovic-Zwetkoff,
Va rna 1 96 5) w h en W h i te can gam bit a
pa wn at a2 or d 3 for atta cking chances.
1 3 . Be2
Qe7
b6
1 4 . h4
1 5 . Q f4
Bd7
1 6 . h5
g5
S i m i lar posi tions occu rred i n some of
Korch noi's early games. Black ' s game is
sol id and he can even castle QR since
the open b fi le is not enough on its own
for W h i te to mount a successful a ttack .
G a m b i t D e fence
\N h i le recommending the French Defence
as a sol id stand by aga i nst stronger
opponents, it is not s u ffi cient on i ts own
as an a n swer to l . e4 . Unless your know
l edge and feel for this openi ng is very
good, playing it every time runs you into
too many special coun ters prepared by
opponents at home .
Aga i nst weaker players it is a l so par
t i c ula rly i m portant to have some tactical,
gambit counter-atta cks which may be
unsound but w h i ch can score quickly
agai nst i mperfect defence. Ma ny people
rej ect inferior open in gs w ithout even
bothering to analyze them, so it is l i kely
t hat your opponent will be unfam i l iar
w i th the resulting positions and w i l l soon
be playing on his own instead of remem
bering grandmaster analys i s .
T h e sha rp g a m b i t nature o f such
c o u n ter-a tta cks means that hesitations or
passi ve moves can quickly enable the
' u nsound' system to blossom i nto a
\"-' inning assault on the k i ng . There is also
the psychologi cal angle to be consi dered :
most a mateurs beli eve that atta cking chess
w i n s . This may be so beca u se so many
publ i shed games a re won by d irect
attacks, perhaps because the ave rage
amateur is a poor d efender and gets
n ustered under pressure. Certa i n l y at the
lo wer levels of compe t i ti ve chess a ttack
i ng play makes an im pression, and can
easi ly ind uce a defeatist atti tude in the
opp o nent, thus lowering h i s resi stance
and m a k i ng errors more l i kel y .
T h e counter-attacks below a re a selec
t i on of possi ble ideas w h i ch can d i scon
cert a weaker opponent. Even m o re than
in the French Defence, deta i l ed knowledge
of t h em will pay off and you a re ad vi sed to
cons u l t other reference sources for any
cou nter-a ttacks you dec ide to take up
regu larl y .

96

S i c i l i a n defe nce with 2

N f6
Worth a place in your repertoire because
(a) after l . e4 c5 2. NO is normal for White
and you are less l ikely than in other
counter-attacks to have the frustration of
finding the opponent doing something
qui te different (b) the defence is reputedly
unsound but in practice is difficult to play
for White .
The main line goes ( l . e 4 c 5 2 . Nf3) Nf6
3 . e 5 N d5 4. Nc3 (from the White side
4 . d4 cxd4 5. Qxd4 e6 6 . Bc4 is more
promising) e6 .
.

fi g. 1 74

fi g . l 7 3

5 . Nxd5
If 5 . d4 or 5 . Bc4, Black plays 5 . . . . Nxc3
followed by . . . d 5 and develops easily
against the weakened Q-side pawns. If
5 . N e4 5 6 . exf6 (the retreat 6 . Nc3 is
best, followed by Nc6 7. Nxd5 exd5 8. d4
d6 equalizi ng. In practice a weaker player
is unlikely to think of moving his knight
to e4 a nd then back again) Nxf6 with an
open f file for counterplay, or here 6. Ng3
Nc6 7. b3 Qc7 8 . Bb2 Nf4 and White's e
pawn is weak.
5. . . .
exd5
Nc6 !
6 . d4
Gambitting the d pawn for a complex
attack.
BxcS
7 . dxc5
8 . QxdS d6 !
The older move is 8 . . Q b6 but then
W hite has a direct and strong line in 9.
Bc4 Bxf2 + 1 0. Ke2 0-0 1 1 . R fl Bc5 1 2 .
Ng5 Nd4 + 1 3. Kd 1 Ne6 1 4 . N e4 d6 1 5 .
exd6 Rd8 (Bxd6 ? 1 6. Nxd6 Rd8 1 7. Bf4 !
Nxf4 1 8. Qxj7 + Kh8 1 9. 8 + w ith
smothered m ate, Unzicker-Sarapu, Siegen
1 970) 1 6. Qh5 Bxd6 1 7. Bd3 5 1 8. Nxd6 !
Qxd6 1 9. Qx5 Qxh2 20. Qf7 + Kh8 2 1 .
Bg5 Rg8 2 2 . Be3 with a winning attack
(Pritchett-E. Gonzalez, Buenos Aires
1 978).
9 . exd6
Qb6
.

A prom1smg posltwn to have against a


weaker opponent : White is temporarily
two pa wns up but likely to get worried
by his exposed king and by the lack of a
clear line of play .
Possibilities now are :
(a) 1 0. Qd2 0-0 1 1 . Bd3 Re8 + 1 2. Kfl
Bg4 and the lead in development is worth
two pawns.
(b) 1 0 . Be3 Qxb2 1 1 . Qe4 + Be6 1 2 .
d7 + Kxd7 1 3. Rd 1 + Kc8 1 4 . Bxc5 Qc3 +
and Qxc 5 .
(c) 1 0 . Bd3 Bxf2 + 1 1 . Ke2 Be6.
(d) 1 0. Qe4 + Be6 1 1 . d7 + (or 1 1 . Qh4
Bxd6 1 2. c3 Be7 1 3. 3 0-0-0 with
attack) Kxd7 1 2. Be3 Bxe3 1 3. Rd 1 + Kc7
1 4. fxe3 Q x b2 with unclear complications.
(e) 1 0 . B c4 Bxf2 + l l . Ke2 ( 1 1 . Kf1 0-0
1 2. d 7 ? Bxd7 1 3. Qxd7 Rad8 1 4. 4
Rd1 + ) 0-0 1 2. R d 1 Be6 1 3. Qe4 Rae8 1 4.
Kfl Bd7 (Bd4 is also good) 1 5. Qd5 (not
1 5. Qj4 ? Re6 1 6. 5 Rf6 1 7. Qb5 Re8
with a winning attack, Parma-Pri byl
1 974) Be6 1 6. Qe4 with level chances
(analysis by Parma).
(f) 1 0. Bc4 Bxf2 + 1 1 . Ke2 0-0 1 2. Rd 1
Be6 1 3. Qb5 Nd4 + 1 4 . Nxd4 Bxd4 1 5 .
KO Bxc4 1 6. Qxc4 Bg 1 ! 1 7 . Kg3 Rac8
1 8. Qd3 R fd8 (Smith-Regan, USA 1 97 8)
with unclear complications - in theory
White is holding his own, in practice his
i nsecure K is a problem.
Even if improvements are found in
some of these lines, an inexperienced
White player over the board is likely
either to hang on to both pawns, allowing
Black a winning lead in development, or
to have the worrying position of his king
stuck in mid-board at e2 or fl . Either way
Black w i ll have good practical chances.
U ns o u n d ness p a ys

Another good example of a slightly un


sound opening ideal for weaker opponents
is the so-cal led Bulgarian variation of the
Schliemann Defence, reached by 1 . e4 e S
2 . Nf3 N c 6 3 . B b S f5. For practical pur
poses I recommend 4. d3 as the best reply
to the Schliemann (see the game Nigel
Short v . Preissmann p. 88) but most
players know the regular book move 4.

Nc3 and prefer it si nce it develops another


piece. Then the Bulga r i an variation is
introduced by 4 . . . . N f6 .

create counterplay by bringing h i s knight


to the strong square d 5 .
The best reply for \tVhite to the
Bulgarian variation is ( 1 . e4 eS 2 . NO Nc6
3 . BbS f5 4 . Nc3 N f6) 5 . exf5 ! But many
White players unfami liar with the
finesses of the opening remember that
exf5 is bad on move 4 (because of 4 . . . . e4
and White's attacked knight has no good
square) but fail to realise that after 5. exfS
the black queen' s diagonal is blocked and
White can meet 5 . . . . e4 strongly by 6.
Ng5 or 6 . Nh4.
Now after 5. exfS play continues 5 . . . .
Bc5 6 . 0-0 0-0.

T h e Me ste l P h ilidor

Philidor's Defence l . e4 e 5 2 . NO d6 stil l


h a s the image o f a defensive, second-rate
open ing. The immediate reaction of many
players is ' maybe I can repeat Morphy ' s
opera box game (see p . 5 2 ) . ' I n 1 975 the
Engl ish master Jonathan Mestel revived
an old counter-attacking variant of the
Philidor which looks another good try
aga inst weaker opponents : 3. d4 f5 ! ?

fi g . 1 7 5

interest i ng exper iment, the New


York ma ster and teacher Lar ry D. Evans
recommended his students to play the
Bulgarian variation e x c l usively aga i n st
the Ruy Lopez and repo rt resu lts. He
relates in Ch ess Life a nJ Review that the
unexpected move 4 .
N f6 p roved a
psy c h o logical blow and a few opponents
replied 5 . 0-0, soon losing a p iece to 5 . . . .
fxe4 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7 . N xeS Qd4 .
Most opponents put their trust in 5 . d3,
which is here not so strong as in the Short
Preissmann game beca use White has
already developed his QN and Black can
reply 5 . . . . fxe4 6. dxe4 Bb4. Soon many
of the students reached a position like
this diagram.

In an

fi g. 1 76

Here Black has a solid centre with both


white bishops away from the critical
action on the K-side. Black continues with
Qe8 and then eith er Qg6 and Bh3 or Qh5
and Bg4. The pressure is i ncreased further
by focusing the knights on the outpost
square f4 : one knight goes via h5 a nd the
other via d8-e6 or e7-g6. In due course
the rooks will double on the f file and
Black 's attack is l i kely to become d e c i s i v e .
Note that it w a s important for Black t o
p l a y B b 4 x c 3 s i n ce othe r w i se W h i te c o u l d

fi g . 1 7 8

fig. 1 7 7

Here there are several plausible continua


tions but only one of them is a good one :
(a) 7 . d3 d6 and BfS regaining the pawn
with active play based on the attacking
chances given by the open f flle.
(b) 7. Re1 d6 with similar play.
(c) 7 . Bxc6 dxc6 8 . Nxe5 Bx5 9. d3
Bd4 ! 10. Nc4 ( 1 0. NfJ ? Bg4 and White
can only escape the pin by allowing the
pawn which guards his defences to be
w recked) Ng4 (threat Nxf2 ! ) 1 1 . Ne3 Qh4.
(c l ) 12. Nxg4 7 Bxg4 1 3. Qd2 Rae8 1 4.
N e4 ( 1 4. Qg5 Qxf2 + !) ReS and RhS w ith
a winning attack.
(c2) 1 2 . h3 ! Nxe3 1 3. Bxe3 Bxe3 1 4 .
fxe3 Bxh3 1 5. gxh3 Qg6 + with perpetual
check .
(d) 7. Nxe 5 ! Nd4 (better than Nxe5
8. d4) 8. N O !
It took several years of trial for
masters to find this unexpectedly strong
retreat as the answer to the Bulgarian
variation, and an unprepared opponent
is unlikely to find it. The more obvious
8. Ba47 shuts White's B out from the K
side, and Black continues 8 . . . d 5 9. d 3
BxfS 1 0. Bg5 Qd6 with a powerful attack.
After 8. NO c6 9. Nxd4 Bxd4 1 0. Ba4 d5
l l . Ne2 B b6 1 2. d4 Bxf5 1 3 . Bf4 (Un
zicker-Nievergelt, Zurich 1 9 59) Black is
a pawn down and has to fight for a draw
with the aid of bishops of opposite
colours. B ut when Black plays 3 . . . f5
against an amateur opponent, the per
centage risk of ending up in this position
is small .
.

There are now four main possi bilities :


(a) 4. exf5 e4 5. Ng5 BxfS 6 . Nc3 Nf6
7. 0 d5 8. fxe4 dxe4 9. Bc4 Qe7 1 0. Nf7
Rg8 and White's early attack may re
bound .
(b) 4. Nc3, usually given as good for
White after Nf6 5. dxe5 or 4 . . . . exd4
5 . Qxd4 or 4 . . . . fxe4 5 . Nxe4 d5 6. Nxe5
dxe5 7. Qh5 + - but Black can instead
play to hold his centre by 4 . . . . Nc6 .
(c) 4. dxeS fxe4 5. Ng5 d5 6. c4 Bb4 +
7. Nc3 d4 8. a3 Bxc3 + 9. bxc3 e3 10. f4
c5 1 1 . Bd3 Ne7 1 2. 0-0 Nbc6 1 3. Ne4 0-0
1 4. Nxc5 NfS 1 5. Nb3 dxc3 1 6. Bxf5 Qxd 1
with the better ending (van der Sterren
MesteL j unior world championship 1 97 5).
(d) 4. Bc4
A frequent reaction in over-the-board
play .
exd4
4. . . .
5 . NgS
If 5 . ex5 d5 6. Bd3 Qe7 + 7. Be2 Bxf5
8. Nxd4 Bg4 9. 0 Bd7 1 0. 0-0 Nc6 1 1 . Re 1
0-0-0 ! 1 2. Nc3 Qh4 1 3. Nxc6 Bc5 + with
a strong attack (Keller-Mestel, Berne
1 97 5 ) .
5. . . .
Nh6
6. 0-0
Weak is 6. Nxh77 Ng4 ! (Mestel's
improvement over the old theory move
Nxh 7 ? 7. Qh5 + ) 7. Nxf8 Kxf8 8. exfS
Qe7 + 9. Kfl (9. Qe2 Qxe2 + gives Black
a good endgame) BxfS 1 0. Qxd4 Nxh2 +
1 1 . Rxh2 Rxh2 1 2. Be3 Qe4 1 3. Qxe4 Rh 1 +
1 4. Ke2 Bxe4 and White resigned in
Nurmi-Mestel, junior world champion
ship 1 97 5. He is the exchange down and
can't develop his Q-side. The column
move is a later improvement prepared by
the Hungarians.
97

6. . . .
N c6
Though 6 . .
fxe4 looks risky it may
be better : 7 . Qxd4 Nc6 8. Qxe4 + Qe7
followed by B f5 and 0-0-0.
BxfS
7 . e x f5
8 . Re 1 + Kd7
9 . c3
Q f6
Be7
10. Qb3
Adorj a n-MesteL European team c ham
pionship final 1 976. Black's posi tion is
i n ferior, but he still has counterplay : 1 1 .
Ne6 Rab8 1 2. cxd4 Qh4 1 3. Nxg7 Nxd4
and White won only a fter an endgame of
over 80 moves.
.

D e fe n d i n g 1 . d4
In choosing a main l i ne defence to l . d4
the amateur player should again try to
opt for a sol id and rel ia ble plan whose
variations w i ll not change much due to
new theoreti cal d iscoveries. And as with
defend i ng 1 . e4 it is importa nt to have
one or two sharp and ta cticall y-orienta ted
scond -l ine systems which can be used
agai nst weaker opponents. I recommend
as the ma in l i ne plan the 'Old Benoni' 1 . d 4
cS 2 . dS d 6, which d i ffers from the
' Modern Benon i ' where Black only ad
vances . . . c5 when White has pushed c4.
The Old Benoni has become unfashiona ble
in recent yea rs, but this seems to be
beca use t o of its main exponents,
grandmasters Schmid and Szabo, a re now
less active in internati onal chess.

fi g . 1 7 9

From the d iagram play varies a ccordi ng


to whether W h i te adva nces e4 and tries
to use the c4 square for a knight ( l ine A)
or transposes into more fashiona b le l ines
by the pawn move c4 ( l i ne B). In either
case Black's plan is a Q-side pawn advance.
Line A
3. Nc3
g6
4. e4
Other moves are harmless, eg. 4. g3 Bg7
5. Bg2 Na6 6. e4 Nc7 7. N f3 ? bS 8. 0-0 b4
w i th initiati ve (J imenez-Penrose, Varna
1 96 2 ) .

4. . . .
N f6
Possi bly more prec ise than 4 . . . Bg7
5. Bb5 + Nd7 (exchange of bi shops
favours W h i te) 6. a4 N f6 7. N f3 w hen the
.

98

f6 knight may be a l i ttle m isplaced. How


ever Tal-Benko, Bled 1 9 59, continued
7 . . . . 0-0 8. 0-0 a6 9. Be2 R b8 1 0. Re1 Ne8
1 1 . Bf4 Nc7 1 2. Bfl and now 1 2 . . . . b 5
should equalize, wh ile earlier Black could
accelerate h is Ne8-c7 regrouping and leave
the possi bility of counter-attack by . . . fS .
Bg7
5. NO
6. Be2
N o w 6 . B b S + c a n be met by N fd7 7 .
a 4 Na6 8. 0-0 N c 7 9. Be2 0-0 1 0. B f4 f5 1 1 .
exfS RxfS with active counterplay (Lar
sen - Browne, USA 1 97 2 ) .
Na6
6.
7 . 0-0
Nc7

fig . 1 80

An important positiOn because it, or


similar positions, c an occur not only after
1 . d4 but from two other openings ; from
the S i c i l ian Defence a fter 1 . e4 c5 2. NO g6
3. d4 Bg7 4. dS d6 5. Nc3 N f6 6 . Be2 Na6
7 . 0-0 Nc7, and from the P i rc Defence
a fter l . e4 d6 2. d4 N f6 3 . Nc3 g6 4. N f3
Bg7 5 . Be2 0-0 6. 0-0 cS 7. d5 Na6. This
last order of moves occurred in the famous
fi nal game of the Ka rpov-Korchnoi world
ti tle match of 1 978 and the d i fference
from the col umn is that Black has played
0-0 instead of Nc7. Korchnoi lost the game
and beca use of th is the Old Benoni is
li kely to have a poor reputation for a
long time to come. That's your chance !
Little-known openings w h i ch are better
than their reputation are ideal surprise
weapons.
8 . a4
This is one of two logical plans. Here
W h i te hopes to restra in the b lack pawn
advance long enough to i n filtrate with
his knight on the Q-side. The other plan
is to play for a central push w i th an
eventual e S . Si nce White in particular can
still v a ry the order of his moves a nd switch
from one line to another, the conti nua
tions ap pear as exampl es of play rather
than definitive lines :
(a) 8 . Bf4 0-0 9 . a4 b6 1 0. R e 1 Rb7 1 1 .
Bc4 N h S ? 1 2. Bg S N f6 1 3. Qd 3 and a fter
B l a c k ' s loss of t i me W h i te is well on top
(Karpov-Korchnoi, 3 2nd match game
1 978). Better was 1 1 . . . . Qd7 or a6.
( b) 8 . B f4 0-0 9 . a4 Bg4 1 0. Qd 2 a6 1 1 .

h3 Bxf3 1 2 . Bxf3 Nd7 1 3. Be2 Rb8 1 4 .


B h 6 b S 1 5 . a x b 5 axb5 1 6. Bxg'l Kxg7 1 7 .
b4 cxb4 (Speelman-Hartston, BBC Master
Game 1 97 6) 1 8. Qd4 + w i th a slight edge.
Black could proba bly improve by 1 2.
R b8 at once.
( c) 8. N d2 0-0 9. a4 e6 ! 1 0. Nc4 Nfe8
1 1 . Be3 b6 and Black easily holds the
central pressure.
(d) 8. h3 0-0 9. a4 a6 1 0. Bf4 b6 1 1 . Re 1
Bb7 1 2. Bc4 (Sosonko-Larsen, Menorca
1 974) Qd7 1 3. e5 Nh5 1 4. Bh2 fS ! gaining
k ing's side space.
(e) 8 . Re l 0-0 9. a4 a6 1 0. Bg5 ( 1 0. Bf4
RbB 1 1 . e5 NfeB 1 2. a5 b5 1 3. axb6 Rxb6
1 4. Ra2 R b4 w i th play on the b file and
the central dark squares, Kottnauer
Keene, Hastings 1 969) h6 (also Bg4 is
playable as in line b) 1 1 . Bf4 (Spassky
Schmid, Va rna 1 96 2) when the routine
1 1 . . . . Bd7 1 2. Qd2 b 5 allowed the break
through 1 3. eS ! but Black should play
1 1 . . . . g5 1 2. Bg3 Nh S .
8. . . .
a6
Bd7
9. N d 2
Black could also castle as i n ( c ) above,
but has this possi bly better option of a
fa st Q-side counter .
bS
1 0 . N c4
1 1 . eS
1 1 . N b6 7 is well met by 1 1 . . . . b4 ! 1 2.
N xa8 Qxa8 1 3. N b l Nxe4 when Black's
powerful pawn chain and centre out
weigh White's small material edge.
dxe5
11. . . .
Nxb5
1 2 . ax b S
Simpler than 12 . . . axb5 wh ich is also
playa ble.
1 3 . N x b 5 BxbS
14. NxeS Bxe2
1 5 . Qxe2
Qxd5
Rxa6
1 6 . Rxa 6
1 7 . Q xa 6 0-0
The delayed castling has gi ven Black
time for freeing exchanges, and now the
game is level (analysis to Botvinnik
Schmid, Lei pzig 1 960) .
As can be seen from these examples,
Black has several good plans available
a fter the early moves in the Old Benoni.
He can play for the adva nce . . bS,
neutralize White's centre thrust by . . .
Bg4xf3, or put his QB at b7 and wait for a
suitable moment for . . . f5. Generally
speaking the . . . bS Q-side pawn advance
is the simplest plan for an amateur to
adopt ; Black only has to watch that White
does not esta blish his knights on blockad
ing squares (eg. a4 and c4) or break into
the centre with eS when Black is not
ready to meet it.
Line B (after 1. d4 c5 2 . dS d6).
3 . c4
N f6
g6
4. Nc3
.

fi g . 1 8 1

Thus the openi ng has now tran sposed


into the K i ng's Ind i an Defence, w h ich is
normally reached by the d i fferent move
order l . d 4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7.
However, by reaching the d iagram via
the Old Benon i, Black rules out several
popular variations where White leaves
his pawn at d4 or only a d van ces to dS i n
reply to Black's . . . e S . In pa rti c u l a r, the
attacking l i nes with D , i ntend i ng a later
g4/h 4, are neu tra l i zed, si nce in the d i a
gram 5 . e4 Bg7 6. f3 0-0 7 . Be3 o r 7 . BgS
are met by 7. . . e6 w i th an easy game for
Black whose well-placed g7 b i shop guar
antees good coun terplay a fter the ope n i ng
of the e fi le.
Thus the signifi ca n t l i n es Black w i l l
meet in practice a re ( a ) systems where
White plays g3 (b) systems where W h i te
plays Nf3 and Be2 (c) sy stems where
White plays Be2 and BgS and (d) attacking
lines with f4. We w i l l look at each of these
in turn .
(a) g3 syste m s

fig. 1 8 2
Bg7
S . NO
0-0
6. g3
Na6
7. Bg2
8. 0-0
Nc7
Black 's plan is c lear : a6, R b8, Bd7 if
necessary, and the space-ga i n i ng . . . b S .
White cannot real ly prevent this and tries
t o counter by a central a d v a n ce a nd/or
probi ng for Q-si de k n i ght o utposts.

9 . a4
Probably best. s i n ce White norma l l y
plays t h i s i r respective o f where h e puts
h is pieces. Some other examples to show
how Black should develop counterplay :
(a) 9 . e4 ( th i s natura l advance w eakens
the d4 square w h i ch often becomes a
target for Black's knights or KB later on)
R b8 1 0. a4 a6 1 1 . Qe2 ( better 1 1 . a5 b5 1 2.
axb6 e.p. R xb6 though Bl a c k's roo k has a
good ou tpost at b4) b6 1 2 . e5 N e8 I 1 . Bf4
b5 1 4. a x b5 a x b 5 1 5 . cx b5 Bd7 1 6. R fe 1
NxbS 1 7. N x b5 Bxb5 (Fil i p-Rad ulescu,
Buc ha rest 1 9 5 3) and Black stands well. He
has pressu re on the b file, and his remain
i ng knight can eventu a l ly transfer to the
d4 square from which Whi te's 9. e4
kindly removed a potential defender.
(b) 9. h 3 a6 1 0. a4 R b8 l l . aS Nd7 (here
1 1 . . . . b5 is less good because of 1 2. axb6
e. p . Rxb6 1 3. Nd2 ! followed by Nb3-a 5)
1 2. Bd2 b 5 1 3. a x b6 e . p. Nxb6 14. b 3 e6
1 5 . dxe6 N xe6 1 6. Ne 1 (or 1 6 . Rc1 d5) aS
1 7 . RaJ Bd7 1 8. NdS N x d 5 1 9. Bxd5 Qf6
w i th a level game (Furman-Korchnoi,

Ulf A ndersson of Sweden on h i s way to joint


first prize with Nu nn, Hastings, 1 980.
A ndersson is a great endgame specialis t .

U SSR championship 1 9 S S).


(c) 9. N d2 Rb8 1 0. a4 b6 1 1 . NbS (if
1 1 . Qc2 a6 1 2. NbJ then not b5 ? 13 axb6
e. p . Rxb6 1 4. Na5 but 1 2 . . . . e6 ! switch
ing from Q-side to centre to exploit the
white kn ight's absence) Rb7 (not 1 1 . . . .
a6 1 2. Na 7 and 1 3. Nc6 ) 1 2. R b 1 a6 1 3 .
Nc3 bS 14. N b 3 bxc4 ! 1 S. Na S Rb4 1 6 .
Nc6 Qd7 1 7. N x b4 cxb4 1 8. N a 2 a S when
Black's strong pawns compensate for h is
exchange sacrifice.
Rb8
9. . . .
10. Bf4
Now White's intention is to use the
bishop to pressure Black' s d pawn and
thus restrai n an advance of the black e
pawn, w hile the QR guards the b pawn
against the attack down the b file .
a6
10.
bS
1 1 . aS
Rxb6
1 2 . axb6
e.p.
99

fi g . 1 8 3

Now the chances are bala nced : Black's


game is sufficiently dynamic to ensure
active counterplay. At the same time
Black is forced to con tinue aggressi vely
lest W h i te o bta in a restra i n i ng b i nd by
Ra2, Qd2 and Bh6 neutral izing the strong
bishop.
Play can continue :
(a) 1 3 . Ra2 Re8 1 4. bJ e5 1 5 . dxe6 e . p .
Nxe6 1 6. Na4 N x f4 1 7. N x b6 Q x b6 1 8.
gxf4 Ne4 1 9. QdJ ( Korchnoi-G ligoric,
Buenos A i res 1 960) BfS 20. Nh4 NcJ
regai n i ng the lost material w i th equality.
( b) 1 3. bJ BfS 1 4. Ne1 (weaker is the
decentral izi ng 1 4. Nh4 Bd7 1 5. RaJ QbB
when Black has strong pressure on the b
fi le. Donner-Toran, Barcelona 1 95 2) Qd7
1 5 . RaJ BhJ 1 6. NdJ Bxg2 1 7. K x g2 Nh5
1 8. Bd2 e6 1 9. e4 exd5 20. exd5 (Vukic
Tringov, Saraj evo 1 967).
( b) Syst e ms where W h ite
p lays NO a n d Be2
Bg7
5. N O
0-0
6 . e4
7 . Be2
e6

command of the e file g i v es h im a com


forta bly level game .
White has several possi bil ities :
(a) 9 . dxe6 Bxe6 1 0 . Bf4 N c6 ! 1 1 . Bxd6
Qa5 is a promis ing pa wn sacrifice, eg. 1 2.
Nd2 ( 1 2. aJ RedS 1 3 . b4 cxb4 1 4. axb4
Qxa 1 1 5 . Qxa1 Nxe4 is unclear) Red8 1 3.
N bJ ( 1 3 . e5 NeB) Qb6 1 4. Na4 Q b4 1 5 .
N bxc5 Bxc4 1 6 . B xc4 Qxc4 and Black
has the edge ( A l burt-Kasparov, USSR
1 978. In the game White first played Bg5
before Bf4 as in system (c) below so that
Black had the extra move . . . h6.)
( b) 9 . Q c2 (to retake on d5 with the c
pawn) Na6 1 0. Re 1 cxd5 1 1 . c x d 5 N b4 1 2 .
QbJ Bg4 1 3. a J B x fJ 1 4. gxfJ Na6 1 5 .
Qxb7 Nc7 and Black has good compensa
tion for a pawn in White's b roken king
side which he can exploit by N h 5-f4
(Kozma-Polugaevsky, K i slovbdsk 1 97 2) .
(c) 9 . N d 2 Na6 (White is waiting for . . .
exd5, but Black can also wait) 1 0. Kh 1 (or
1 0. Rb1 Nc7 1 1 . a4 b6 1 2. f4 and now
Black can safely exchange by 1 2 . . . . exd5
1 3 . cxd5 Ba6 w i th a level game, Spassky
Kavalek. IBM 1 9 7 3) Nc7 1 1 . a4 b6 1 2. f4
( 1 2. jJ Ba6 ) exd5 1 3. c x d 5 Ba6 (so that if
White swaps b ishops a black knight w ill
reach a good outpost square at b4) 1 4.
Re 1 Bxe2 1 5. Rxe2 Ng4 1 6 . hJ Qh4 1 7 .
Q fl lSavon-Belyav sky, USSR c hampion
ship 1 974) Bd4 (threatening N f2 + and
perpetual check) 1 8. Q O N f2 + 1 9 . Kh2 f5
w i th at least a d ra w .
Thus, against the Be2/N f3 system, the
plan of hol d ing up exd5 unti l Black can
mount active counterplay w i th his pieces
y ields good results.
( c) Systems where White
plays Be2 a nd Bg5
This, the A verbakh system named after
a Russian grand master, is a popular
approach in master chess. I t aims at a
small but permanent bind on the position
which aga inst inacc urate defence can
lead to a fa voura ble end ing. The A ver
bakh is reached by ( 1 . d4 c5 2. d 5 d6
3 . c4 N f6 4 . Nc3 g6) 5. e4 Bg7 6 . Be2 0-0
7 . Bg 5 .

fi g . 1 84

Th is is better than the prev ious 8 . . . .


exd5 9. cxd 5 transposing into a Modern
Benoni forma tion where White has good
poss i b i l i ties of strengthening his b i nd by
Nd2-c4. After Re8 Black has the posi
tional threat of exd 5 when White can not
retake with the c pawn and has to allow
a symmetrical position where Bla c k ' s
l OO

fi g . 1 8 5

An i l l ustration of Black's potential d i ffi


culties in this variation i s the plausi b le

l i ne 7 . . . . e6 8. Qd2 exd5 9. exd5 Re8 l 0.


N fJ Bg4 1 1 . 0-0 N bd 7 1 2 . h J BxfJ 1 3 . BxfJ
a6 1 4 . a4 Qe7 1 5 . Rae 1 Qf8 1 6 . Bd 1 Rxe l
1 7 . Rxe 1 Re8 1 8. Rxe8. So, best for Black
is : Qxe8 1 9. Bf4 and after an eventual
queen exchange White's bi shop pa i r are
strong in the endgame.
7. . . .
h6 !
Putting a question to the white bishop .
If:
(a) 8 . Bf4 e 5 ! 9. dxe6 Bxe6 1 0. Bxd6 Re8
1 1 . NO Nc6 transposing i nto the Nf3/Be2
system w i th the d i fference that Black has
played . . . h6 as a useful extra move.
( b) 8. Bh4 a6 9 . a4 (9. NfJ b5) Qa5 10.
Qd2 b 5 1 1 . cxb5 axb5 1 2. B x b S Ba6 and
Black has the i n i tiative in return for the
sacrificed paw n .
( c ) 8 . Be3 e 6 9. Q d 2 Kh7 1 0. dxe ( better
1 0. hJ exd5 1 1 . cxd5 Na6 1 2. NfJ Bf5 but
Black develops his pieces without pro b
lems) Bxe6 1 1 . 0-0-0 Nc6 1 2 . Qxd6 ? Qxd6
1 3 . Rxd6 Nd4 ! (Uhlmann-Byrne, Has
ti ngs 1 970- l ). Black's last surprise move
wi ns mate ria L for if 1 4 . Bxd4 cxd4 I S .
Rxd4 Ng4 when both Bxd4 and Nxf2 are
threatened .
( d ) Attack i n g lines where White
plays f4
This i s one of the most popular counters
to the King's Indian Defence in amateur
chess. Pla y goes ( l . d4 c5 2. d5 d6 3 . c4
Nf6 4. Nc3 g6) 5 . e4 Bg7 6 . f4 0-0 7 . NO
e6 8 . Be2 exd 5 .

A critical position. This va riation is full


of tactical ideas and, although consi dered
here from the defensive v iewpoint of
Black's l . . . . c5 system, it is possi ble
i f you know it well enough to play it for
either s ide with good effect.
9 . cxd5
Natural and most popular. The other
ideas are :
(a) 9 . exd5 b5 ! (Ta l ' s gam bit 1dea) 1 0.
N x b5 ( i f 1 0. cxb5 a6 when the two open
fi les, the pressure down the long dark
d iagonal and the loosened White cen tre
g i ve good compensation) Ne4 1 1 . 0-0 a6
1 2 . NcJ (after 1 2. Na J this knight is out
of play as sh own in Thorbergsson -Ta L
Reykja vik 1 964, which contin ued 1 2.

Ra7 1 3. Bd3 Re7 1 4 . Nc2 Rfe8 1 5. Re1 Nd7


1 6. NeJ Ndf6 1 7. Qc2 Nh5 1 8. g 3 Bd4 !
w i t h a strong attack) N x c 3 1 3 . bxc3 Bxc3
1 4 . R b 1 B fS 1 5 . B d 3 QcS 1 6 . Qc2 B x d 3 1 7 .

Q x d 1 B g 7 . W h i t e ' s K - s i d e a t t a c k sh o u l d
be c o n t a i ned a nd B l a ck h a s s o me p l a y
aga i n st the w e a k c e n t r al p a w n s . T h i s p l a n
m i gh t b e fu r t h er i m proved b y 1 1 . . . . R eS
at on ce, s i nce the w h i te knight h a s no
where to go but hom ewa r d s .
(b) 9. e S ! ? ( the G u n d e r a m G a m b i t
dangerous t o t h e i n e x pe r i e n ce d ) d x e S
1 0 . fx e 5 Ng4 1 1 B g 5 Q a 5 ( best : many
books g i ve 1 1 .
. f6 1 2. exj6 Bxf6 a s
equa l i z i ng but t h e n comes 1 3. Bxf6 N.\j6
1 4. cxd5 wi th a d v a n t a g e 1 4 . . . . Ne8 1 5 .

Qd2 Nd6 1 6 . h4 with a strong attack,


Sheffield 1 962 or 14 . . . .
Bg4 1 5 . 0-0 a6 1 6 . Ng 5 Bf5 1 7. Rxf5 gxf5
1 8. Ne6 rega i n i ng the exchange and leav
in g B l a ck a w e a k f pawn, Taylor-Skill iter,
London 1 96 6 . N a te t h a t 1 1 . . . . Qb6, the
book move in s i m i lar po s i t i on s in the 9 .
c x d 5 v a r i a t i o n i s ri sky d u e to 1 2. Nxd5
Qxb2 1 3 . 0-0) 1 2. Q x d 5 N xe 5 ( w i n n i n g
the e x c h a n ge b y 1 2.
. c4 ? turns out a
b l u n d e r a fter 1 3. 0-0 Qc 5 + 1 4. Kh1
Nf2 + i 5 . R xf2 Q.,f2 1 6. Ne4 Qb6 1 7.
Nf6 + Kh8 1 8. Qc 1 a n d w i n s) 1 3. 0-0
N x f3 + ( be t ter than 1 3 . . . . Nbd7 1 4. d6 '
or 1 3 . . . . ReS 1 4. Nxe5 Bxe5 1 5 . Bc4 Nd7
1 6 . d6) 1 4 . R x f3 N d 7 ' ( n ot Bg4 ? 1 5 . Rx(7 -'
Rxf7 1 6 . Bxg4 w i t h m o re t h a n e n o u g h
Ta y l o r-S m i t h ,

books. This i s best done gra d ually, by


checking your play agai nst master chess
ea ch time you come ac ross a new varia
t i on of the sys t e m in q u e st i o n .
T h e T a r ra s c h Ga m b it
T h i s a c t i ve gamb i t is one of
r e p l i es to 1 . d4 when meeting

the best
a weaker
player and particularly one who is
d e fe n s i vely mi nded . For the system is
only doubtful if White is pri med in
a d v a nce a n d rea c ts a gg r e s s i v e l y .
dS
l . d4

e6
2 . c4
c5
3 . Nc3
cxd4
4 . cxd5
More usual replies until here are 3 . . . .
N f6, the orthodox Queen's Gambit De
c l ined , and 4 . . . . exd5, the main l i ne
Tarra sch Defence.
5 . Qa4 +
5 . Q xd4 Nc6 6. Q d 1 e x d 5 7 . Q x d 5 B d 7
t ra n s po s es to t h e c o l u m n , w h i l e 5 . d xe6 ?
B x e6 ( b ut n o t dxcJ ? ? 6 . exf7 + Ke7 7.
fxg 8 N + ) 6. Ne4 Nf6 gi ves Black a good
development and a d4 wedge in return
for the pa wn .
Bd7
5.
6 . Q x d4 e x d 5
=

for the e x c h a n ge sa c r i fi c ed ) . Fo l l o w i n g
1 4 . . . N d 7 W h i t e s t i ll h a s some pla y , b u t
B l ack h a s a p a w n to console him a n d I
d o n ' t t h i n k White's compensation ( v ia d6
a nd B e 7 ) i s q u i te enough .
9. . . .
B g4 !

This should be the sa fest move. For


merly 9 . . . . bS and 9 . . . . Re8 were
u su al , but t h en 1 0. e 5 , effectively a
Gun deram Gambit w i th an extra weaken
i ng move for Black, has been shown to
give good p ra c t i ca l c h a n c e s .
1 0 . 0-0
1 0 . e5 d xe5 1 1 . fxe5 N fd 7 1 2 . e6 fxe6
1 3 . 0-0 Bxf3 1 4 . B x f3 N e 5 (Li ptay-Geller,
P rague 1 966) i s n ow u n s ou n d .
Nbd7
10.
1 1 . h3
B x f3
1 2 . BxD
c4 !
fo l l o wed by ReS, a6, N c 5 a nd N fd 7 , t h i s
gives B l a ck e n o u gh c h a n c e s w i th his Q
s i d e 3-2 p a w n m aj o r i ty to co u n ter W h i te ' s
atta c k i ng p ro s p e c t s ( g 4 , h 4 ) .

Ga m b i t D e fe n ce t o l . d4

As i n K - s i de o pe n i ngs w h e re the F re n c h
D e fe n ce is recommended as the mai n,
sol i d l i n e , backed up by little-known
ga m b i ts a n d other offbeat l i nes to use
a ga i n st weaker opponents, so playing
Black a g a i ns t l . d4 needs the same tw o
fo l d a p p roa c h . As w i th the recommended

lines in the S i c i l ian, Schliemann and


P h i l i d o r D e fe n c es to 1 . e4, you a re
reco m m e n d ed to b u i l d up a more d e ta i l ed
k n o w l e d ge

fro m

spec i a l i st

re fe re n c e

White can also try (from the d iagram)


7. NxdS N c6 8. Qd 1 but then 8 . . . . Be6
9. Nc3 Qxd l + 1 0. Kxd 1 ( 1 0. Nxd1 Nb4)
0-0-0 + 1 1 . Kc2 B c 5 1 2. Nf3 Nf6 r egaini ng
the pa wn with advantage ( 1 3 . eJ ? Nb4 +
1 4. Kb1 Bj5 + ) .
7. . . .
Nc6
8. N f3
Two weaker moves may be played :
(a ) 8 . BgS N f6 9. Qd2 Uf 9. Bxf6 ? Qx{6
1 0. e3 0-0-0 1 1 . 0-0-0 Bf5 1 2. Qf3 Qxc3 +
1 3. bxcJ Ba3 mate) Qa5 1 0. B x f6 g x f6 1 1 .
e3 0-0-0 1 2 . Nf3 BfS 1 3. N d 4 N x d 4 N x d 4
w i th a strong game.
( b) 8 . e4 ? (this makes f2 too weak) N f6
9. Qd 1 B c 5 1 0. N h 3 (or 1 0. Be2 Qb6 1 1 .
Nf3 Ng4 1 2. Nd5 Bb4 + 1 3. Nxb4 Qxf2 + )
Qe7 1 1 . B b S 0-0-0 1 2. Qa4 Bxh3 1 3. gxh 3
R d 4 1 4. Q b 3 Rxe4 + ! with a winning
attack (Wi nser-Sutton, Eastbourne 1 963).
8. . . .
N f6
9 . Qd 1
Best. 9 . Q b 3 Bc5 1 0. Bg 5 ( 1 0. Qxb 7 ? Nb4
or 1 0. e3 Qe7 1 1 . Be2 0-0-0 with an i m
proved version for Black of the column
s ince White no longer has the counter b4)
h6 l l . B h4 g 5 1 2. Bg3 QaS 1 3. e3 ( 1 3.
Qb5 Bb4 1 4. Qxa5 Bxa5 also leaves Black
an active position for his gambit pa wn)
0-0-0 1 4. Be2 ( 1 4. Qxj7 Ne4 i s strong) N e4
1 5 . 0-D Nxg3 1 6. hxg3 f6 . Black 's fi ne
d e v e l o p m e n t and his th re a t to c o n t i n u e
h 5 -h4 a re worth more than a pawn .
BcS
9.
1 0. e3
Qe7

7 . Qxd 5
C a u t i o u s so u l s m a y d ec l i n e the p a w n
w i t h 7 . e 3 . Black can then continue to
offer h i s gambit for a few more moves,
and even i f White continues to refuse the
g i ft B l a c k h a s free attacking play : 7 . . . .
Nc6 S. Q d 1 N f6 9. N f3 ( 9 . Nxd5 Qa5 +
a n d . . . 0-0-0 is strong) Bd6 1 0. Be2 ( 1 0.
Nxd5 ? Nxd5 1 1 . Qxd5 Qe7 and . . . 0-0-0)
B f5 ! 1 1 . 0-D Rc8 .
B l a c k ' s plan is simple : to line up his
q u ee n and bishop against h2 and then

combine his other pieces in a d irect attack.


The game G.N. Stokes-A. Hall, York 1 9 59
shows this succeed ing : 1 2. N b 5 Bb8 1 3 .
Nbd4 Be4 ! 1 4. N x c6 bxc6 1 5 . B d 2 Qd6
1 6 . g3 h 5 ! 1 7 . B c 3 Bxf3 1 8. B x f3 h4 1 9. Rc 1
h x g 3 20. hxg3 Ne4 2 1 . Bxe4 Qh6 ! 2 . Re 1
d xe4 2 3 . Kfl Qh 1 + 24. Ke2 Qf3 + 2 5 . Kd2
Rd8 + 2 6 . Bd4 Rxd4 + ! and White
re sig n ed beca u se of 2 7 . e x d 4 Q d 3 m a t e .

fi g . 1 8 8

1 1 . Be2
Natural and safest. Three other moves
have been tried here unsuccessfully :
(a) 1 1 . B c4 0-0-0 1 2. Qe2 g5 1 3 . a3 g4
1 4 . Nd2 Ne5 1 5. b4 Bb6 1 6. Bb2 Bc6 w i th
strong pressure. B . H. Wood-Sutton, Bri
tish Championship 1 960, concluded 1 7 .
R e 1 Kb8 1 8. Rg1 Rhg8 1 9. N b 5 ? Nxc4 20.
Qxc4 Bxe3 ! 2 1 . Bxf6 Bxd2 + 22. Kfl
Qxf6 and White resigned .
(b) 1 1 . a3 0-0-0 1 2. Qc2 Kb8 1 3 . Be2
(1 3. b4 Nd4 1 4. Nxd4 Bxd4 1 5. Be2 Ba4 !
1 6 . Qb2 Be5 1 7. f4 Ne4 ! with a winning
attack) g5 1 4. 0-0 g4 1 5 . Nd2 Rhe8 1 6 . N b 3
Bb6 1 7 . Bd2 Qe5 with strong t h rea ts
(Gurev ich-Safonov, Moscow 1 960).
101

(c) 1 1 . B d2 0-0-0 1 2 . Q b 3 BfS 1 3. Rc 1


K b8 1 4 . Na4 B b4 ! 1 5. a3 Bxd 2 + 1 6.
Nxd2 Nd4 w i th a winning attack : Chanov
Gusev, USSR 1 9 55 ended 1 7 . Qc3 Rc8 1 8.
Bc4 Rhd8 1 9 . N b3 Ne4 20. Qb4 Q x b4 +
and White resigned (2 1 . axb4 N xb 3) .
11. . . .
0-0-0
By castling QR Black opts for an all-or
nothing K-side attack. The attempted
transposi tion 1 1 . . . . gS is met by 1 2. N d4
(not 1 2. Nxg5 Rg8 1 3. Nh3 Bxh3 or 1 3.
NfJ Rxg2) g4 1 3. Nxc6 Bxc6 1 4. B b 5 , but
Black can i nstead build up his position
more slowly by 1 1 . . . 0-0 1 2. 0-0 Rfd8
1 3 . a 3 BfS 1 4 . Qa4 Ng4 1 5 . h3 N4e5
( V I a d i m i rov-Ravinsky, USSR 1 95 5) .
1 2 . 0-0
A c t i ve defence. In practice, many
wea ker players are overawed by the
aggro of this type of attack and allow
Black a fast K-side b u i l d-up. An example
i s 1 2 . B d 2 ? g5 1 3 . Qc 1 ? g4 1 4. Nd4 h5
1 5 . N x c6 Bxc6 1 6. 0-0 h4 1 7 . Qc2 g 3 !
1 8 . Rad 1 hJ ! 1 9 . fxg3 Rxd2 20. R x d 2
Q x e 3 + and White resigned ( D . Kerr-S .
Fancy, London 1 97 2 ) .
gS
1 2. . . .
.

fi g . 1 89

1 3 . N d4
Too slow is 1 3 . a 3 g4 1 4. Nd4 QeS ! 1 5 .
b4 N x d4 1 6. bxcS Nf3 + ! (Borisenko
Spassky. USSR 1 9 59) w ith a winning
atta c k .
The move 1 3. b4 B x b4 tran sposes into
the col umn after 1 4 . B b2 Rhg8 1 5 . Nd4,
while if instead 1 4 . Qb3 Rhg8 1 5 . R b 1 Bf5
1 6 . R b2 Be6 ! 1 7. Bc4 Bxc4 1 8 . Q xc4 Qc5
keeps the game level ( 1 9. Qxj7 R d7) .
'
R hg8 !
1 3. . . .
Most books give 1 3 . . . . g4 followed by
hS but this attack i s too slow, eg. 1 4 .
b 4 B x b4 1 5 . B b 2 hS 1 6. N c b 5 Kb8 1 7 . Q b 3
when Black's b 4 bishop is hanging and
White threatens 1 8. Nxc6 + Bxc6 1 9.
Bxf6 Q x f6 20. Qxb4 . One point of Rhg8
fol lowed by Rg6 is to avoid this variation
by ena bling Black to recapture with the
rook on move 1 9 .
1 4 . b4
If 1 4 . a 3 QeS i ntending Bd6 or Rg6-h6
with good play or 1 4 . B bS N x d4 1 5 .
exd4 Bxd4 1 6. Qxd4 Bxb S .
1 02

14.
Bxb4
1 5 . B b2
Rg6
16. R c 1
Kb8
1 7 . N x c6 +
If 1 7 . Qb3 Nxd4 followed by Bxc3 and
the e2 bishop is hanging. If 1 7. BO N xd4
1 8. exd4 g4 1 9. N d S Qd6 20. N x f6 gxO !
and wins. If 1 7 . N cbS then either 1 7 . . . .
a6 or 1 7 . . . . Ne5 intending a6 or g4 .
Bxc6
17. . .
g4
20 . Q b 3
Black threatens R h 6 fol lowed by Qe5
and then if g3 Rxh2 ! forci ng mate.
Undou btedly White's moves can still be
improved, but this gambit remai ns a
promising idea for the attacking player.
The success or failure of such a gambit
depends in great measure not on the book
analysis but on the tactical abil ity of those
invol ved - particularly Black.

quickly by . . . f5 if White allows. On the


other hand, if White makes . . . f5 un
attracti ve Black can still swi tch into a
normal King's Indian formation by
Ngf6 .

M est e l ' s D e fe n ce
Waiting tactics form an important aspect of
con temporary opening strategy. The
theme of defences l i ke l. . . . g6 or l . . . . b6
is that B lack only commits his central
pawns after seeing how White w i ll deve
lop. These are slow, closed openings
where a si ngle tempo is l ess important
than in the open game with an early clash
in the centre, and i deas are current now
which would have aroused horror among
the theorists of half a century ago .
One example is the move ( l . e4 g6 2. d4
Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 4. Be3) a6 ! ? at first sight a
beginner's push but in fact waiting to see
whether White's formation is based on
N f3 , f3, Qd2 or f4. If White's answer is an
aggressive plan based on Q-side castl ing,
then the a pawn is well posted to support
the counter-attack . . . b5, while if White
prefers a calmer plan Black can himself_
continue . . . b6 when the pawn has the
function of stopping White bishop checks
or pawn advances to b 5 .
One option which Black keeps in the
1 . . . . g6 Modem Defence is to reta in for as
long as possi ble the chance to bring his g8
knight into action at e7 or f6. This might
seem just a psychological move, but the
young Briti sh master Jonathan Mestel
uses the system to reach a standard
position in the better-known King's
Indian Defence with two full moves in
hand. Mestel's idea is not widely publi
ci zed and offers good prospects against
opponents who develop in a routine
way .
d6
1 . d4
g6
2. c4
3. e4
e5
4. d 5
Exchanging pawns and queens gives
White no advantage .
4. . . .
N d7
5 . Nc3
Bg7
Mestel's Defence aims to set up a dark
square blockade on the queen's side and
if possi ble to start K-side operations

6. B e 2
Van der Linde-Mestel, England v . Hol
land 1 97 3, went 6. NO Ne7 7. Be2 0-0
8. 0-D f5 and Mestel won by a similar but
more bri l liant attack to the col umn :
9. exf5 gxfS 1 0. Ng5 N f6 1 1 . f4 e4
1 2. Be3 c6 1 3. Qd2 h6 1 4. Nh3 Kh8
1 5. Rac 1 cS 1 6. a3 Ng4 ! (offering a pawn
to open up squares and d iagonals for the
other pieces hidden behind the pawn
chain) 1 7 . Bxg4 fxg4 1 8. Nf2 N fS 1 9 .
N xg4 Qh4 20. N f2 Nxe3 2 1 . Qxe3 Bd4
2 2 . Qxe4 Rxf4 2 3 . Qe8 + Kg7 24. Rc2
B h 3 ! 2 5 . g3 {25. Qxa8 Rg4 26 . Qxb7 +
Kg6 2 7. g3 Rxg 3 + wins) Rxe8 26. gxh4
Rg4 + 2 7 . Kh 1 Bg2 + 28. Kg 1 Bxd S mate.
6. . . .
a5
Black continues his Q-side play, waiting
for White to develop his second knight.
If at once 6 . . . . N e 7 White has attacking
chances with 7. h4 followed by hS.
7 . N f3
Here the attacking 7 . h4 is ineffective
because of 7 . . . . h5 8. NO Bh6 ! (Hay
garth - Mestel, British championship play
off 1 97 4 - 5) exchanging White's active
bishop and thus helping Black's dark
square play.
A superior plan is 7 . a 3 (planning a
Q-si de pawn advance and so depriving
Black of waiting moves on that flank)
Ngf6 (back into regular lines, but White is
committed to the Q-side at an earlier stage
than he would really like) 8 . Bg5 0-0
9. R b 1 (White delays castli ng, intending
to use the extra move for progress on
both wings) h6 1 0. Be3 Nc5 1 1 . Bf3 !
(1 1 . Bxc5 dxc5 followed by Ne8-d6 and
1 1 . f3 Nh5 followed by . . . f5 are both
good for Black) Bd7 1 2 . b4 axb4 1 3 . axb4
Na4 1 4. Nge2 Ne8 (Speelman-Mestel.
BBC Master Game 1 976) : White has more
space, but Black has counter-play on the
a and f files.
7.
Ne7
8 . 0-0
0-0

A well-known variation of the K i n g ' s


1dian Defence r u n s l . d4 N f6 2. c4 g6
. Nc3 Bg7 4. N f3 0-0 5. e4 d6 6. B e2 eS
. 0-0 Nc6 8 . d S Ne7 9. N e l N d 7 ; in
ompa r i son w i th t h is pos i tion, Meste l ' s
1efencc h a s ga i ned B l a c k two moves ; he
as played the u seful . . . a S w h ile W h i te
.as not yet prepared to meet t he com i ng
. . fS by Ne ! and f3 .
9. Q c2
f5
1 0 . e x fS
gxf5
1 1 . NgS
N f6
1 2 . f4
e4
1 3 . Be3
h6
1 4. Nh3
N g4
1 5 . Nd1
Nxe3
1 6. Nxe3
c6 !

'
I
la!'

Black's last move stops any possibl e


central b lockade w ith the knights. I f now
1 7 . dxc6 Qb6 1 8. Kf2 bxc6 with Bd4 and
d5 to follow. The game V i ckery-MesteL
Jersey 1 97 4 , now concl uded 1 7 . Kh 1 Q b6
1 8 . Qd2 Q x b2 1 9 . Qxb2 B x b2 20. Ra d 1
B a 3 2 1 . g4 B c S ! (preparing the decisive
a ttack by the bishop pa i r) 2 2 . N x f) N x fS
2 3 . g x rJ B x rJ 24. Nf2 e3 2 5 . N d3 Be4 +
26. Kh l Kh8 a nd White resi gned .
D e fe n d i n g flank o penin g s

In recent years the non-commi ttal first


moves l . c4, l . N O and even l . g3 or l . b 3
have been gai ni ng ground i n club and
tournament ches s . Similarl y in the
Queen's Gambit Dec l ined l . d4 dS 2. c4 e6
Black may not get the opportu nity to go
i n to the Tarrasch Gambit if Wh ite adopts
the solid Catalan Openi ng 3. g3. Another
gro w i ng fa s hion is for White to choose a
black opening to take advantage of h i s
extra move, and the most popular method
is the King's I n d i an Attack, analyzed on
p. 1 04 .
The s i mplest way for the ord i nary
player to meet these d i fficult and soph i s
t i cated ope n i ngs i s, a s aga i nst l . d4 and
I . e4, to have a solid l i ne w h ich w i ll give
a reasona ble game agai nst all of them
w h i le kno w i ng some sharper ta ctical
ideas for u se particularly aga i n st weaker
opponents .
The great German teacher Dr Ta rrasch
used to a d v i se playi ng l. . . . e6 and
2 . . . . dS aga i nst all these fla nk systems,
and thi s does have the advantage of i m
proving the chances of the game tran s
posing i n to the Tarrasch Gambit wh ich
we exami ned ea rlier in the book . Here are
some basic variations.
1 . c4
e6
2 . NO
If W h i te plays 2 . Nc3 or 2 d 4 then
2 . . . . d S w i th a l i kely transposition i nto
the Queen 's Gambit.
dS
2.
3. g3
Nf6
Be7
4 . Bg2
5. 0-0
0-0

.J n n u l h u n

Mes t l'i

vo u n,est B r i t z s h c h a m p i o n a t I 9, a n d a n i n no v a t o r i n open ins play

fi g 1 9 2
I03

:\ow t h ere a re th ree m a i n l i nes of play:


(a) 6 . d4 N bd 7 7. Nc3 (an unclear pawn
sa c r i fi ce) d xc4 8. e4 c6 9. a4 aS 10. Qe2
Nh6 1 1 . Rd 1 B b4 1 2 . NeS Qe7 1 3 . Be3 Bd7
1 4 . N xc4 N x c4 1 5 . Q x c4 (Botv i n n i k
La sker, Moscow 1 9 36) eS 16 . d x e S Ng4
when Black has freed h i s position w i th a
level ga m e .
(b) 6. b 3 b 6 7 . B b 2 B b7 8 . e 3 (if 8 . d4
Nbd7 fo l l owed by a cen tre strike with
cS) cS 9 . Qe2 Nc6 1 0. R d 1 (10 Nc3
dxc4 I/. hxc4 Na5-' a nd the c pawn is a
ta rget for Blac k ' s p i e ces) Qc7 1 1 . N c 3 Rad8
1 2 . cx d S (or 12. Racl Qb8 13. d J a6 w i th
d4) NxdS 1 3 . Nxd S
t he threat of
Rxd5 1 4 . d4 cxd4 1 5 . N x d4 Nxd4
1 6 . Bxd4 ( so far V a ha n i a n-Ka rpov, USSR
Cham pionsh i p 1 9 7 1 ) Rd7 ( in the game,
KMpm hlundcrcd by RJ6? /7. Rclli.'
when after Qb8 18. B e5 w i ns the exchange)
17. Rac 1 Qh8 w i th an even game.
( c ) 6 . d4 N bd 7 7. Qc2 c6 8. N bd2 .
T h is is the most popular l i ne of play,
w h e re W h i te gua rds h i s c pawn w i th a
p i ece and then tries to gain space in the
centre w i t h e4. If Black rea cts too
eau ti ousl y. W h i te carries out his plan
and t h en his g2 bi shop becomes e ffective
on the long vv h i te d i agonal w h i l e Bla c k ' s
c8 hishop is h a n d i ca pped by i ts o w n
lig ht squa red pawns.

bS!
8. . . .
T h e most energe t i c co n t i n u a t i o n . A
. . b6 9. e4 d x e4
sequence l i ke 8 .
1 0 . Nxe4 N xe4 1 1. Qxe4 Qc7 ? 1 2 . B f4 Bd6
1 3. Bxd6 Qxd6 14 . Rad 1 B b7 1 5 . NeS
Nxe5 1 6 . d x eS Qc7 1 7 . Rd6, on the other
h a nd . would g ive W h i te eve ryth ing he
wants - co mmand of central space, an
open fi le . good aga i nst bad b i sh o p, and
no count erplay for B l a c k .
9 . cS

9. c x bS c x bS lO. Q c6 looks menacing,


but a fter 10 . . . . R b8 the queen w i ll soon
be d r i ven back by R b6 or even by a6
followed by B b 7 . Equa l ly Wh i te can n ot
ta ke a d v a n ta ge of Bla c k ' s pawn for
mation by 9. c x b S c x b S 10. N b 3 because
of B b7 a nd the rook comes to c8 w i th
ga in of t i m e .
aS
9. . . .
Necessa ry, else Whi te m ight o b ta i n a
b i nd by b4 follo wed by N b 3-a 5 .
1 0. e4
eS!
Th i s ta c t ical stroke ta kes a d va ntage of
White's tempora r i l y overstretched pawn
fo rma tion to free Bla c k ' s ga m e com
pletel y . If 1 1 . d xe5 Nxe4 1 2 . Nxe4 d xe4
1 3 . Q x e4 NxcS and 1 4 . Qx c 6 ? ? would be
a losing blunder because of 1 4 . . . . Bb7
1 5. Qx bS Ba6 1 6 . Qc6 ReS tra pping the
queen.
The E n g l is h King's I ndian
Another good plan agai n st 1 . c4 w h i ch is
effective aga i nst a cautious op ponent is
to set up a Ki ng's Ind ian fo rma t i on with
the b i shop on g7 and then to atta c k the
w h i te k i ng w i th a pawn advance. The
great a d v a n tages of this system a re that it
i s simpler to play than most of the su btle
pos i t ional l i nes of the Engl i sh Open i ng
and that it takes a good d efen s i ve player
to meet it successfu l l y.
As an exam ple of Bla c k ' s stra tegy we
ana l yze the game Isa k sen-J . Kri stian sen,
No rth Sea Cup, Denm ark 1 9 77: l . c4 g6
2. Nc3 Bg7 3 . g 3 d6 4. Bg2 eS 5 . d3 f5
6 . N f1 N f6 7 . 0-0 0-0 8 . R b l a 5 9 . a 3
N hS.

1 04

fig. 1 94

Blac k's ba sic plan here is to a d v a n ce h i s


pa wn t o f4 , l i ne u p the Q B and q ueen on
the d ia gonal to h 3 (eg. B at e6, f5 or g4 and
Q at c8 or d7), play Bh3 to exch ange the
b i sh op w h i ch d e fends White's k i ng, an d
then to work w i th such poss i b i l i ties as a
kn i ght sac r i fi ce on g3, f1 and Q h 3, and i f
necessary d o u bling rooks o n the f l i n e .
W h i te's best chance t o c ross t h i s plan i s
J 0. Bg 5 a n d i f B f6 ll. B h 6 or i f Qd7
l l . B d 2 and i n either c a se Black's plans
a re slo wed d o wn w h i le Wh i te a d va nces

on the other side with b4- b 5. In practice,


Whi te o ften d e fends badly.
10. Qc2? f4 1 1. b4 ( if 1 1. e3 the pin
Bg4 i s unplea sa nt) a x b4 1 2. a x b4 Bg4
(note that Black postpones the decisi on
whether to develop his QN at c6 or d 7 )
13. bS ( i f 1 3 . N d 2 Nc6 ! threatens Nd4)
N d7 ( now the k n i ght has the c S square)
1 4. B b2 Nc5 15 . Ra 1 Rxa 1 16. Rxa l Qd7
( all i n a ccordance w i th the ma ster plan
a bove. So Whi te d ecides to cen tral ize h is
kn ight at e4 and p rotect the g3 pawn)
1 7 . N gS Bh6 1 8. N ge4 N xe4 19 . Nx e4
Qf7! (threate n i ng fxg3 fol lowed by Nxg3
and h o p i ng to provoke f3 w h i ch c reates
fu rther hol es) 20. Be l N f6 2 1 . N c3 Bc8!
(otherw i se Wh i te gets play on the w h i te
d i agona l) 22. Ra8 gS 23. N d 5 N g 4! 24.
N x f4 (or 24 . Rxc8 R x c8 2 5 . Nb6 c x b6
26. B d S Qx d S ! ) g x f4 25 . Rxc8 fxg3!
26 . R x f8 + QxfB 27. BdS + (27. f3 Be3 +
w i th a w i n n i n g a ttack) K h8 28 . 0 N e 3 !
29. Qc3 ( 2 9 . Qa4 N x d S 30. Bxh6 Qxh6
t h reatens mate on h2) gxh2 + 3 0 . K h 1
Q g7 3 1. Bxe3 B x e 3 32. K x h2 Bf4 +
3 3 . K h 3 Qg3 mate .
T h e King ' s Indian Attack
In the King's I n d i an Atta ck, Wh i te
develops his KB at g2 then builds up h is
forces for a d i rect attack on the k ing .
The i m porta nce of the openi ng is that it
can be rea ched in several ways. It is
a c h i eved via the S i c i l i an Defence after
the moves l. e4 cS 2. Nf3 d6 (or Nc6 or
e6) 3. d3 foll owed by N bd2, g3, Bg2 and
0-0. It can also be rea c h ed from the
French Defence v ia l. e4 e6 2. d 3, or
d i rectly v i a 1 . N f3 N f6 2. g3 or even by
l . g3.
Having esta bli shed th i s ba s i c fo r
mation, W h i te ' s i n tention is to develop
his pi eces, th en ad vance his e pa wn to eS
to d rive a wedge in the black pos i tion.
The QN i s m anoeuvred to the king's side
from d 2 v ia f l a nd e 3 or h 2 , while the e5
pawn i s supported by Re L B f4 , Qe2
andjor c3 and d 4 .
W h i te c a n t h e n proceed t o d i rect
atta ck if B l ack has ca stled k i n g's s i de in
the n ormal way. He ad vances h is h pawn
towa rds h6, perha ps regroups h i s knight
from e 3 or h2 to g4, and often exchanges
the d a rk-squared b i shops at gS. If a l l
t h i s is successful, there a re chances o f
l a u n c h i ng a d i rect checkmate attack on
the bla ck k i ng by d i recti ng White's
q ueen and kn ights against f6 and g7.
In pra ctice there a re many variations
on th is basic stra tegy, but many games
have fo ll owed the a bove ma ster pla n .
Here a re two of them, showing Wh i te's
attack succeed i ng w i th Blac k 's defensive
bi shop first on e7 and then on g7 .
W hite: Hulak. Black: N o n n e n
m acher
Yugoslavia v. West Germany, 1975
1. e4 cS 2.NO e6 3. d3 dS 4. N bd2 Nf6
5. g3 Be7 6. Bg2 0-0 7 . 0-0 Nc6 8. R ei .

Eve ning Stan dard junior cha m pion


ships, London 1 9 7 S
l. e 4 c S 2 . N O e 6 3 . d3 N c6 4 . N bd2
d5 5 . g3 g6 6 . Bg2 Bg7 7 . 0-0 N f6
8.c3 0-0 9. e5 N d 7 1 0.d 4 .

White: Ajanski. Black: Dontschev


Golden Sands, Bulgaria, 1 978
1.e4 e6 2. d 3 dS 3 . Nd2 N f6 4. N gf3 b6
S . g3 Bb7 6. eS N fd7 7 . Bg2 cS 8 . 0-0 Nc6
9.Re 1 Qc7 1 0 . Qe2 Be7 1 1 . c3 ? ( better I I.
N fl , though Black could still play gS as a
pawn sac r i fi ce) gS !

fig. 195

8 . . ..
R b8 ?
Black should adva n ce 8 . ... bS w i thout
delay, though even here there are prob
lems.
Bobby
Fischer - M i agmasuren,
Sousse 1 967, c o n t i n u ed 9 . e5 Nd7 1 0 . h4
aS 1 1 . Nfl b4 1 2 . Bf4 a4 1 3. a3 ( stopp i ng
Black's cou nterplay by . . . a 3) bxa3
1 4 . bxa3 NaS 1 5 . Ne3 Ba6 1 6 . B h 3 d4
1 7 . N fl N b6 1 8 . N gS NdS 1 9 . Bd2 B xg5
20. BxgS Qd7 2 1 . Q h5 R fc8 2 2 . Nd2 N c 3
2 3 . Bf6' Qe8 2 4 . N e4 g6 2 5 . Q g 5 N x e4
26. Rxe4 c4 2 7 . h S cxd 3 2 8 . Rh4! Ra7
29. Bg2 d x c2 30. Qh6 Q f8 3 1 . Qxh7 + !
Resigns because of K x h7 3 2 . hxg6 +
Kxg6 3 3 . Be4 mate - one of the great
Fischer w i n s .
9. eS
Ne8
bS
1 0. N fl
1 1 . h4
aS
b4
1 2. c3
1 3 .Nlh2 B d 7
1 4.c4 !
Because Black retrea ted h i s k n i ght to e8
ra ther than the u sual d7, h is o ne c hance
of counte rplay is N c 7-b5 fol lowed by
Nd4 or a3 and Nc 3. W h i te noti ces the
d i fference and n i ps the plan in the bud .
14. . . .
a4
1 S .B f4
Ra8
A d m i tt i ng h i s eighth move was a m i s
take, but now W h i te is two m oves a h ead
of the usual KI Attack positi ons.
N c7
1 6. NgS
1 7 . QhS
and utilizes it for a d i rect p i ece
attack rather than the slower h 5 - h 6 .
h6
1 7....
1 8.N g4
Threaten ing to sacri fi ce at h6, so B l a c k
must take t h e other k n i g h t .
hxg S
1 8.
1 9. hxgS
Rc8
20.N f6 + ! g x f6
Resigns
2 1 . Be4 !
A pyrotechnic fi n i sh, but easi l y fore
seen hv anvone fam i liar with KT Attack
strat egy. I f 2 1 . . . . d x e4 2 2 . K g2 a nd R h 1
wi ns, or if 2 1 .
fS 2 2 . g6 fxg6 2 3 .
Qxg6 + Kh8 24. Kg2 B h4 2 5. R h 1 fxe4
26. Bg5 w i n s .
Wh i t e : J. Anderson . Bla ck: S . Spi
vac k

fig 196

1 0 ... . Qb6 ? ( the source of B l a c k ' s


e a r l y defeat: correct i s 1 0 . . . . cxd4
1 1 . cxd4 f6 when W h i te has j u st a s light
edge) 1 1 . N b3 (sta b i l i z i ng the centre
befo re proceed i ng w i th the atta ck) cxd4
1 2. cxd4 h6 ? (a nother weakness) 1 3 . h4
Qd8 1 4.B f4 aS 1 5. Rei a4 1 6. N cS N xcS
1 7 . Rx cS Bd7 1 8 . Q d2 Kh7 1 9 . Nh2 N a 5
20. N g 4 N c 4 2 1 . Rxc4 ! (as in t h e two
p revi ous games freei ng the e4 squ a re for
t he b i shop p roves d e c i sive) dxc4 2 2 .
B xh6 Rh8 2 3 . Bg5 Q c 7 2 4 . N f6 + B x f6
25. B x f6 Rhc8 26. QgS R g8 and Bla c k
resigned beca u se of 27. Be4 and 2 8.
Qh 5 + mat i ng.
Several rea sona b le coun ters have been
worked out to the KI Atta c k . Pro m i nent
a mong these is for Black to s i m p l i fy by
exc hanging h i s d 5 pawn for W h i te's at
e4 and then d evelop his b i shop at c5. A
typical move order is 1 . e4 e6 2. d 3 d 5
3 . N d 2 N f6 4 . NgfJ N f6 5 . g3 d x e4
6. d x e4 B c 5 when W h i te can make l i ttle
of his control of d 5 and f5 .
The d r a w back is that Black a l so has
few prospec ts of w i n n i ng play. Dela ney
N i gel Sho rt, Manc hester Bened ictine
1 9 79, con t i n u ed 7 . Bg2 e 5 8 . 0-0 0-0
9 . c3 aS 1 0. Qc2 Qe7 1 1 . N h4 R fd8
1 2 . N c4 Be6 1 3 . N e 3 B x e 3 1 4 . Bxe3 Ng4
1 5. N fS BxfS 1 6 . exfS N x e 3 17. fxe 3 Rd6
a nd the game was soon d ra wn by rook
e x c ha nges on the d fi le. T he o utcome was
n ot what N igel Short was seeki ng - at the
e nd of the tou rnament he m i ssed a ma ster
result by h a l f a p o i n t .
A l i t t l e-known and more interesting
answer to the KI A tta c k , s u i ta b le for
atta c k i ng players, is where B lack avo i d s
castl i ng and wai ts for W h i te t o commit his
forces, par t i c u l a rly the q ueen and roo k,
to p rotection of the e5 pawn. Then B lack
counte r-attac ks aga i n st the wh ite k i ng
by advan c i ng h is h and g pawns to open
l i nes of atta c k .

fig 197

T h is s u rprise a nd original man oeuvre


b rought a bout the sudden colla pse of
W h i te's game: 1 2 . h3 h5 1 3 . Nb3? (he
should at l east s a fegu a rd e5 by 1 3 . g4) g4
1 4 . hxg4 hxg4 1 5 . Nh2 Qxe5 1 6 . N x g 4
QhS 1 7 . B f4 d4! (opening up for the final
attack and setting a trap into which
w h i c h Wh i te falls) 1 8 . cxd4 ? Nxd4
19. N xd4 Qh 1 + ! and White resig ned.
If 20. B xh1 R x h1 mate.
A s i m i lar strategy won an i mporta nt
game at Hastings. The opening here
deviates from a pure KI Attack when
W h i te advan ces c4 and N e), but a l tho ugh
W h i te c rea tes more activity for his pieces
than in the previous example the move
g5 still p roves the key .
White: Botterill. Bla ck: S peelman
Hastings 1978-9
1 . e4 cS 2. NO e6 3. d3 d5 4. Qe2 Be7
S.g3 Nf6 6 . Bg2 Nc6 7 . 0-0 b6 8. eS Nd7
9. c4 N8 1 0 . h4 (posi tionally threaten i ng
1 1 . BgS, but wea ke n i ng his own K) h6
1 1 .Nc3 Bb7 1 2 . Re 1 (bett er 12 . Rd i
forcing Black to cl ose the centre w i th
d4) Qd7 1 3.Bf4 ? (the B beco mes a
ta rget here) d4 1 4 . N b S a6 1 5 . N a 3 g 5 !
( if Whi te's B was on d 2 he could now
keep the game closed by h5) 1 6 . hxgS
N g6 1 7. Bd2 hxg5 1 8. B x gS 0-0-0 !
( t h reat Bxg5 fol lowed by N xe 5 ) 19. Bf6
Rh6 20. N d2 ? ( 2 0 . N b 1 to b r i ng this
kn ig ht to e4 i s the only c han ce) Rg8 !
(th reate n i ng N f4) 2 1 . Q g4 N cxe5 ! 22.
BxeS Bxg2 (the poi nt: i f 23. Kxg2 N h4 +)
2 3.0 fS (tra p p i ng the Q) 24.Resig ns.
Thus the KI Atta c k i s a usefu l add i tion
to the repertoi re o f a player p repa red to
take on the same l i ne w i t h bo th W h i te and
B lac k . On the one han d, the attacking
i d eas a re c l ear-cut and easy to und er
sta nd: w h i le the l i ttle-known gS counter
will prove a stro ng psychological blow
to u n p repared oppone nts .
1 05

White 's extra move enhances the oppor


tu nities for directing openings in to p re
fe rred c h a nnels, and for intro d u cing
sharp and u n fa miliar complications. On
the other hand, W hite ' s sheer m ulti
p l i city of choice c reates i ts own p rob
lems. There are tales of grandmasters
like Bron stein and Sa misch agonizing for
an hour on their first move, u na ble to
come to a deci sion as to w h i ch of the i r
m a ny home- b rewed variations t o employ .
Certa i nly in modern tou rnament play
l. d4, 1 . e4 a nd l. c4 all h ave their firm
ad herents .
The generally recommended pa ttern
of openings with W hite should be sim i l a r
t o Black' s. Above a l l , i t i s importan t to
restrict you rself to l i n e s which h ave a
proven rea son a b le chance of occurr i ng in
practice. It can be in furia ti ng to spend a
couple of h o u rs before the game looking

at an interesti ng novelty on move ten,


o nly to fi nd your oppone nt u ptage you
w ith his o wn a nalysis at move s i x .
Within this p ra gmatic framework, the .
overall plan with White should be to
strike a balance between solid and relia ble
systems where surprises a re u n likely,
a nd complex tactical i d eas which a re
especially su i table when going for a quick
kill aga i nst a weaker opponent. But be
cause winn i ng c hess tournaments nor
mally require a h igh perce n tage score
with W h i te, it i s more i mportant than with
B l a ck to h ave a n um ber of systems in your
a rm o u ry w hich a re p roven point scorers.
They should be successful in the hands of
experts and also give you good results.
It is u sual practice i n chess instr u ction
books to recom mend variations which do
well in gra n d ma ster c hess, but here the
emphasis is d i fferent. Several of this
cha p ter's systems a re favourites of ex
perts i n the hurl y-burly of weekend
tou r n am ents over a sprint d istance,
whe re h u n d reds of pounds or d o l la rs are
won by tho se who have mastered the
necessa ry skills.
Vienna Gambit - a tricky tactical opening
where White invites a queen check and aims
for a fast king's side attack.

1 07

The Quiet I ta l i an
An ope ning which u sed to be thought
only good eno ugh for routine equa l i ty is
t he calmest form of the G i u oco Piano or
Italian Game. Th is ope ning i s a sequence
\\"hich many novi ces practice i n their
e a rly games only to give it up for a less
routine approa c h . Though it w i l l s urpr i se
many to see it recommended as a winning
wea po n, its increasing popu l a rity results
fr om new ideas des igned to give W h i te
u\crall s pace control .
The opening starts 1 . e4 e S 2 . Nf3 N c6
3. Bc4 .

fig. 198

two lines: ( A ) 3 .
Nf6 follo wed b y (C) Be7 .

There now are

tBI 3

Line A

BcS

BcS
3.
4 . d3
N f6
5. c3
In no\ice ga mes, White automati c a l l y
plays t he symm etrical 5 . N c 3 and the
game proceeds somet h i ng l i ke 5 . . . . d6
h BgS Be6 7. B x e6 fxe6 w h en victory
goes to whoever m a k es the la st- b ut-o ne
h i under. Here W h i te's plan is m ore
definite: he i n tends a space-ga i n i ng Q
sJdc adva nce with b4 and a4, and a l so pre
pare'> ll) hring his QN over via Q2 to the
nthcr fla nk to join in a K-side atta c k .
Bla(k h as pro b l e ms i n crea t i ng room for
his pieces to manoeuvre, so that W h i te
(an gra dua l l y b u i ld up pressure without
muc h risk .
5. . . .
d6
T h e freeing 5 . . . . d S i s m e t by 6 . exdS
NxdS 7 . b4 Be7 8 . 0-0 0-0 9. Bb2 Bf6
10. Nhd2 g6 1 1. N e4 w i th a space advan
ta ge
6 . b4
Ano ther good sche me is 6. N bd 2 , aim
ing to b ri ng this k n i g h t to c4 w here it eyes
t he cen tre and menaces the bla ck K B,
Bron stein-Ivkov, A m sterdam 1 96 9, con
tinued 6 . . . . B b 6 7 . Bb3 Be6 ? (a6 is better
to provide a b ishop retreat) 8. N c4 h6
q a4 0-0 1 0 . 0-0 Re8 1 1 . Bc2 Nd7 (if Bxc4
! 2. J\c4 and W h i te plays on the w h i te
syuares by eventually b ringing h i s k night
t11 Js or fS) 1 2 . a S B x c4 1 3 . a x b6 ! Bc6
1()

1 4 . b x c7 Q x c7 1 5 . d4 ! a nd the d elayed
central advance, a theme of this ope ning,
gives W hite the a dvantage. The ga me
went on 1 5 . . . . Bg4 1 6 . dS B x f3 1 7 . Q x f3
Nd4 1 8 . cxd4 Q x c 2 1 9 . B x h 6 ! and W hite
is well on to p, for if gxh6 20. Qg4 + and
2 1 . Qxd 7 .
B b6
6. . . .
7. a4
The l ogi cal fol l o w-up to the l a st move .
N ow B l a c k 's bishop is threa tened w i th
8 . a 5, a nd he has to make an esc a pe
squa re .

7 . ...
a6
M ore ne xible than 7 .... a S 8 . b S when
(a) 8 . . . . N b8 9. 0-0 0-0 1 0. BgS h6
1 1 . B h4 gS (risky) 1 2 . Bg3 ( a l so the sacri
fice 12 . Nxs,5 h xg5 13 . Bxg5 N bd7
14 . Khl followed by f4 gives a strong
atta c k ) Be6 13. N bd 2 N bd 7 1 4 . Ba2 Kg7
1 5 . d4 ! ( Luti kov-van Schelti nga, A mster
d am 1 969) and W h i te has a fi ne game : he
has carried o ut a delayed centra l push ,
a nd still has t h e c4 square for his k night
and p l ay on the K-side. The rest of the
moves show the type of mid d l e-ga me
attack which can resu l t from this open
i n g: 1 5 . . . . Bg4 1 6 . Qc2 N h 5 1 7 . h3 B x f3
1 8 . N x f3 N x g 3 1 9 . fxg 3 Qe8 20. Kh2 Rc8
2 1 . Rad 1 c6 2 2. bxc6 R xc6 2 3. Qb2 Bd8
24. N d 2 ! ( the k n i ght m a k es no more
moves but i ts th rea t to march via c4 or
fl to e 3 a nd dS ind uces Black to com
prom i se his posi tion in a b id for cou nter
play) N b6 2 5 . Bg3 f6 26. Rf3 g4 2 7 . hxg4
Qg6 28 . Be6 ! hS 29. g x h S Qxh S +
30. Bh3 N x a4 3 1 . Q x b 7 + Rc7 3 2 . Q b 3
N x c 3 3 3 . g4 ! a 4 34 . Q x c 3 Resigns.
( b) 8 . . . . Ne7 9 . 0-0 0-0 1 0 . N bd 2 Ng6
1 1 . B b 3 c6 1 2 . N c4 Bc7 ( C a fferty-Bryans,
M a n c hester 1 9 7 9) 1 3 . Qc2 Nh5 1 4 . d4 !
( the d e la yed central push) w i th advantage
for White .
0-0
8 . 0-0
9. Nbd2
Other good moves a re 9. Na3 and
9 . B g S.
9. . . .
Qe7
. h 6 1 0 . Ba2 Ba7 1 1 . b S N a 5
Or 9.
1 2 . Ba 3 R e S 1 3 . Qc2 B e 6 1 4 . B x e 6 R x e6
1 5 . R fb 1 d S ( better Bb6 though W h i te is

still better a fter 16. Bb4) 1 6 . B b4 ! cS


1 7 . B x a S Qxa S 1 8. b6 ! wins material
since if B x b6 1 9. Nb3 (Miles-Sanz, Man
t i l la 1 97 8 ) . In Lj u boj evic-Furman, Por
toroz 1 97 5 , 9. . . . Ne7 1 0. B b 3 Ng6
1 1 . N c4 Ba7 1 2. Ra2 ( better 1 2 . Qc2) h6
1 3. Re 1 Re8 proved l evel, but White
should have improvements.
Ba7
1 0. Bb3
N d8
l l . N c4
Kh8
1 2 . Ra2
1 3. R ei
Lutikov-Ma lisov, 1 96 9 . White's space
advantage e n a b l es him to regroup his
rooks w h i le B l a ck rem a i ns cramped . If
now 1 3 . . . . Ng8 1 4 . d4 ! ( the del aye.d
central push) w h i le the game went
1 3 . . . . bS 1 4.a x b S a x b S 1 5 . N e 3 c6
1 6. NfS BxfS 1 7 . exfS a nd White' s l ight
square control pl us his atta c k i ng chances
on both wings put him on top.
Line B ( l . e4 eS 2. Nf3 N c6 3 . Bc4)
3. . . .
N f6
3 . . . . Be7 will normally transpose into
the col u m n .
Be7
4. d 3
4 . . . . BcS transposes to Line A. A tricky
but not q uite sound pawn sacrifice is
4 . . . . d S 5. exd S N x d S 6. 0-0 Bg4
7 . Re 1 Be7 8. h 3 B h S (if Bxf3 9. Qxf3 Nd4
10 . Qg4 ! Larsen-Berger. A msterdam 1 964.
favo u rs W hite, since if Nxc 2 11 . Rxe5
Nxa1 1 2. R xd5 Qc8 13 . Qxg7) 9. g4 Bg6
1 0. N x eS N x e S 1 1 . R x e S N b6 1 2 . Bb3 0-0
1 3 . N c 3 Kh8 1 4 . Bd2 Bd6 1 5 . Re2 and
White can hold the attack (analysis by
Marshal!) .
5. N bd2 0-0
6. 0-0
d6
7. a4

fig. 200

Black threatened
b i shop by NaS .
7. . . .

to

exchange the

Be6

Oth er i d eas a re:


(a) 7 . . . . a S 8. cJ Nd7 9. Re 1 Nb6
10. Bb3 Bf6 11. Nfl Be6 1 2 . NgJ Qd7'
(better g6) 1 3 . B c2 Qd8 14 . d4! (the
delayed a d v a nce) exd4 15. Nxd4 w i th
central control and a prom i s i ng K-side
attack (Ca fferty-Pe l i tov, AI bena 197 1 ).
(b) 7 . . . . a6 8 . cJ NaS 9 . Ba2 cS 1 0. d4
( now the play i s s i milar to the Ruy Lopez,
and Bla c k ' s best reply is 10 . . . . cxd4 )
Nc6? 11. dS Nb8 1 2 . b4 N 8d7 1 3 . Qc2 b S
14. B b 1 B b7 1 5 . NbJ w i th a usefu l Q-side
space a d v a n ta ge (Harding-Ki slov, postal
game 1 974-6 ) .
(c) 7 . . . . B g 4 ? (the pin merely h e l ps a
White K-side atta c k ) 8. hJ B h S 9. g4
followed by Nfl-gJ-fS .
X. Rei

fig. 20 1

Th is pos i ti on is s i milar to the c losed Ruy


Lopez w h e re W hite a l so tries to gain
spa ce on the Q-side before s w i t c h ing to
the oth er fla n k . W h i te ' s b i shops are more
mob i le and he has a stra ightforward
atta cking plan a v a i l a ble in N fl-g 3-fS
along with g4, K h 2, Rg 1 a nd attack down
the g fi l e . B l ack's centr al c o u n terplay is
hard to get go i ng beca u se h i s e pawn can
easi l y become wea k . Exa m pl e s of play
from the d i agram a re:
(a ) 8 . . . . N d 7 9. cJ Bf6 10 . b4 (10. a5
is more prec i se) a S 1 1. bS N c b8 ? ( since
Blac k 's bishop is n ot on the Q-si d e he can
better reg roup w i th Na7-c8- b6) 12. d4
(again this d e layed a d va nce) Re8 13. Bxe6
Rxe6 14. Nc4 Re8 1S . Ra 2 ! Q c8 16 . Ba 3
Re6 1 7 . R d 2 b6 (Botte r i l l -Tata i. M i d dl e s
brough 1978) and now a ccord i ng to
Botterill W h i te should c onsol i da te his
edge by 18. g3 h6 19. Rd 3 inten d i ng ex
changes at e5 fol l owed by f4 .
(b) 8 . . . . Qd7 9. a S a6 10 . h 3 h6
1 1 . Qe2 R fe8 12 . B x e6 Q x e6 1 3 . N c4 and
again W h ite's su perior m i nor p i eces and
space control give h im the a d v antage
(Cafferty-Pritchard , British c h a m pion
ship 1971) .
In summary, the Q u i et Ita l i an system
g i ves White good c h ances i f he can
su ccessful ly blend the three underlying
themes of Q-si de b i n d , Ruy Lo pez sty l e
K-side atta ck, and d e l ayed cen tra l d 4
push.

T h e Karpov Lopez
The Q u iet Italian opening system dis
cussed a bove has a dou b le val u e : n ot o n l y
i s it strong i n itse l f. w i th good pra ctical
res u l t s , but its tec h n iques and strategy
a rc simil a r to, a nd thus a u sefu l i n tro
d u c tory course, before, the more com
plex i d eas of the Ruy Lopez.
The d ra w back for the a ma teur p l a yer
in ta k i ng up the Lopez is the wide range
of defe n ces at B l a c k ' s d isposaL ra ngi ng
from ta ctical coun ters like the Bulga r i a n
variation d i scussed in t h e p r e v i o u s c h a p
ter to the Ma rshal! l i ne w i th a d S pawn
sacrifice. Then there a re the sy stems
from Nxe4 w h i c h Korc h n oi popu l a r i zed
in h i s world title match w ith K a rpov as
well as the c l o sed va riati ons which have
been fa vourites of Ca p a b l a n ca , Ka rpov
and Fischer as W h ite and a re i l l u strated
in the K a r pov b i ogra phy ( p . 7 8 ) .
It is n ot possi ble or even d es i ra b le to
deal w i t h a l l t h ese l i n es here. Rather the
pla yer who i n c l u d es the Ruy Lopez in his
repertoire with VVh i te should try to he
come fam i l i a r w i th them gra d ua l ly, by
c h e c k i n g o ut each one in a theory book
a fter com i ng a c ross it in actual play .
The Cl osed Defence is the most l i kely
fo rm o f the Ruy Lopez to occ u r i n prac
ti ce, a nd the best way to a b sorb i ts i d eas
i s to p l ay over compl ete games by ma s
te rs o r strong a m a teurs in w h i c h W h i te
carries out the Karpov stra tegy shown in
the two biography games.
W h ite's basic i d ea in the Karpov Lopez
is to plug the m i d fi e ld by the a d vance d 5,
then a d va nce h is Q-side pawns to o pen
l i n es for the rooks (as in Karpov-Wester
inen, p. 78), gain space, a nd perhaps
soften up the b l a ck game ready for a l a ter
switch to the K-side (as in Karpov
U n z i cker, p . 78). Black can prevent or
d e lay the quee n ' s w i ng raid by h i m self
cou nte ring in the centre, but this in turn
opens up the board and crea tes chances
for W h i te ' s piec es with their greater
room for m a n oeu vre. It i s general ly im
porta nt for W h i te to preserve h is Ruy
Lopez b i shop - the w h i te-squared one s ince this can become very effec tive in an
end ing or i f the board is opened up in the
l a te m i d d le game. H ere i s an example.
W h i te : Unzic k e r . B la c k : Wester
inen
Ruy L o p e z (Haifa 1 976)
1 . e4 e S 2. NO N c6 3. BbS a6 4 . Ba4 d6
S . 0-0 Bd7 6. c3 N f6 7 . d4 Be7 8 . N b d2
0-0 9. Re 1 Re8 1 0. N fl h6 1 1 . Ng3 B8
1 2. h3 g6 ( if N a 5 1 3 . Bc2 keeps the key
bi shop) 1 3 . Bc2 Bg7 1 4 . Be3 aS ( h o l d i ng
up the Ka rpov-style p a wn advance b 4 )
1 S . Q d2 K h7 1 6 . d S Ne7 1 7 . c4 Rf8
1 8 . Rab 1 ( now aJ, b4 and c 5 cannot be

d irectly stopped, so Black counters on the


other flank) N 6g8 1 9 . N h 2 f5 20. f4
(Wh i te l oo k s for ta cti cal chances based
on the Lo pez b i shop's si tuation on the
same d i agonal as the black k i ng) fx e4

2 1 . fxe5 B xe5 2 2 . Nxe4 N5 23. B2 Nf6


24. NO N x e4 25. Rxe4 B f6 26. Ra e l Rf7.

fig 202

2 7 . Q d 3! ( even w i th th ree men i n the

way, it is good technique to l i ne up


p i eces on the sa me d iagonal or fi le as the
e n e my k i ng if there is reasona b le prospect
o f ope n i ng the l i n e. Black's posi tion here
is still defe n s i ble, though uncomfortable,
but by gra d u a l l y increas i n g the pressure
W h i te i m p roves the cha n ce of an un
fo rced erro r) R g 7 28. Rf4 B g 5 29. Nxg5 +
Q x g 5 30. Q f3 R f8 3 1 . Rfl ReS?
( . . . wh i ch now occurs. After 31 . . . . h S ,
keeping the d iagonal closed , there is
noth ing c l ear for Wh ite) 32. h4 Q f6
3 3 . h S ! (now the Lopez bish op comes
i n to its own and Black's ga me collapses)
Re S 3 4 . hxg6 + Qxg6 35. Bd4 Rf7
3 6 . Bxe5 dxeS 3 7 . RxfS Resigns.

Q u i te often in the K arpov Lopez Black


defends i naccura tely agai nst the Q-si de
atta ck and W h i te can esta b l i sh a bind
there w h i l e conta ining Black on the
o pposite wing. Here is a good example
where W h i te uses h is d5 m i d fi eld plug to
create a n outpost square at c6. There his
knight dom i nates the defences and
shie l d s the w h i te rooks as they penetrate
to the seventh .
Wh ite : R. B e l l i n . B lack : A. P h i l l i ps
Ruy Lopez (Eve n i ng Standard con
g ress, London 1 97 3 )
1 . e4 e S 2 . N O N c6 3 . Bb5 a6 4 . Ba4 Nf6
S . 0-0 bS 6. B b 3 B e 7 7. Re 1 0-0 8. c3 d6
9. h3 Nd7 1 0 . d4 Bf6 1 1 . a4 bxa4 ?

( i nconsistent with the strong-point defen


s i ve system of Black's moves 9-10 : better
is Bb7) 1 2 . Bxa4 Bb7 1 3. d S ! (the mid
field plug is parti cularly good here since
it shuts out the black QB) Ne7 1 4 . b4
N b6 1 5 . Bb3 c6 (necessary to prevent
W h i te's c4-c 5, but now the i solated a
p a wn becomes e xposed and weak) 1 6 . c4
cxdS 1 7. cxdS g6 (the position is l i ke
some regular l i nes in the K i ng's Ind ian
Defence but more favoura ble to White.
He has made fast progress on the Q-side,
w hile B l a c k ' s K -s i d e counter has sca rcely
begun) 1 8. Be3 Bg7 1 9. N fd2! (to pre
pare the K-side p a wn p rotection and
s w i tch the k n ight to the other w i ng) f)
109

20. 0 KhB 2 1 . N a 3 N gB 22. N dc4 N xc4


2 3 . N x c4 B h6 24. Qd2 Kg7 .

25. Na5! (strategically dec i s i v e ; the


white pieces take complete co ntrol of the
Q-side) B cB 2 6 . N c6 Q h4 2 7 . b5 fx e4
2B. B x h 6 + N x h 6 29. R x e4 Qg3 30. Qf2
Q g 5 3 1 . h 4! (compl eting the K-side
guard) Qf6 3 2 . b 6! ( 3 2 . B c4 w i ns the a
pawn but the wh ite pa ssed pawn could
be bloc kaded. N ow the k n i ght contro ls
the queen i ng square bB) Rf7 ( if N g4
33. Qel) 3 3 . R cl B b7 34. N a5 Q d B
3 5 . R b4! NfS 3 6 . R c7 R bB 3 7 . N c6 B x c6
3B. Rxf7 + R es i gns. If K x f7 39. dxc6 +
V\' i n s .

Vi e n n a Gamb it
ln co ntra st to the Quiet Ita l ian a nd the
closed Ruy Lopez, the V ienna is an
attacking open i ng w h i ch gets particul
arly good results agai n st weaker o p
ponen ts. I have used it for m a ny years i n
sim ulta neous displays at chess c l u bs a n d
fi nd that m a ny a verage players g o wrong
in the early stages.
The o p e n i ng s tarts 1 . e4 e S 2 . N c3 N f6
3. f4 d 5 ( for 3 . . . . e x f4 ? s ee Nov i ce Pit
fall N o . 7. A l so i n ferior is 3. . . . d 6
4. N f3 Nc6 5 . Bc4 when B l a c k 's KB has
l i ttle scope with in its o wn pa wn chain)
4 . f x e 5 N x e4 5. d 3 ( 5 . NO is a l so play
a ble but less forcing).

fig 204

1 10

5. . . .

N x c3

5 . . . . Qh4 + is analysed as O p e n i ng
Trap No. 5 earl i er in the book. Another
l i ne, com p l ex though h ardly ever e n
cou ntered in a mateur chess, is 5 . . . . B b4
6. dxe4 Qh4 + 7 . Ke2 Bg4+ B. N f3 B x c 3
9 . b x c 3 dxe4 1 0 . Qd4 ! B h 5 ! ( exfJ + ?
1 1 . g xf3 w i ns the b i shop) ll. Ke 3 ! B x f3
1 2 . B b 5 + ( 1 2. g xf3 Qe1 + 13 . Kf4 Qh5+
is a draw by perpetual check) c6 1 3 . gxf3
Qh6 + (if cxb5 14 . Qxe4 Qxe4+ 15 . Kxe4
Nd 7 w ith fa ir dra w i ng chances for Black,
tho ugh Wh ite's centra l ized K is strong)
1 4 . Kxe4 Qg6 + 1 S. K e 3 ex bS 1 6 . Qe4
(better than 16 . Ba3 Nc6 1 7. Qc4 Qh6 +
1 8 . f4 Na5!) Qh6 + 1 7 . Kf2 Qa6 1 B. Rg1
w i th chan ces for both sides.
If you ta ke up the V ie n na a n d, rarely.
your opponent c hooses th i s l i ne, look
confi dent as you play the moves. In such
a rem arkable variation w h ere the white
k i ng moves quickly to a nd fro over the
ce ntra l squares, a player's u nderlying
confi dence tends to become fragile a nd
your oppon ent w i ll be easily co n v i nced
you know it better than he does.
6 . bxc3
d4
The a lternati ve here is 6 . . . . Be7 ( 6 . . . .
cS pro bably tra n sposes) 7. N f3 (a lso
7. d4 0-0 8. Bd J f6? 9. Qh5 g6 10 . Bxg6
h xs6 1 1 . Qxg6+ Kh 8 1 2. N{ J! Qe8 13 .
Qh6 + Ks 8 14 . 0-0 f xe5 15 . Bg5 with a
strong attack . a n a l y sis by Ea les. but
Black can stop the sacrifice by 8 . . . . f5)
0--0 ( B lack can also try 7 . . . . c5 fo llowed
by c4 a nd castli ng l ong) B. d4 c5 9 . Be2
Nc6 1 0. 0-0 BfS 1 1 . Be3 Qa5 with comp lex
play (Horsema n-Gl igoric. Hasti ngs 1 9 5 67).
7. NO

T he most popular posi tion for both sides


in the V i e n na Gam b i t, although it may
prove to be better for Whi te than the
black a l ternatives analyzed earl ier .
B l a c k c an n ow choose among: Line A
7 .. . . c5 and Line B 7 . . . . N c 6 .
Line A 7 . . . . c 5
7 . . . . d x c3 B . B e 2 N c 6 9. 0-0 followed
by Qe1 -g 3 gi ves a s i m i lar attack .
Be7
B. B e 2

0-0
9 . 0-0
f6
10. Qe 1
N ot 1 0 . . . . N c6 1 1 . Qg3 Kh. 8 1 2 . Ng5 !
w i th a strong attack. Sax-Ci ocaltea, Vrn
j a c ka Banja 1 974, concl uded 1 2 .
Bxg5 1 3. B xg5 Qe8 1 4. Bh5 dxc 3 1 5 . Rae 1
N d4 1 6 . B f6 RgB ? ( Ne6!) 1 7 . e6! Bxe6
(R xf6 1 8 . exf 7) 1 B. Bxd4 cxd4 1 9 . Bxf7
Qxf7 20. Rxf7 B x f7 21 . Qf4 B x a2 2 2 . Qxd4
and a di scouraged Black res igned.
1 1 . Qg3
Better than 1 1 . e x f6 B x f6 1 2 . Qg3 when
Black can reply 1 1 . . . : N c6 1 2 . Bg5 Ne7

Figure 21 3 has occ urred i n several games


and White ' s threat of Bh6 followed bv
e x f6 and Ng5 has proved hard to parr y .
Some exa mples :
(a) ll. . . . fxe 5 1 2 . Bh6 Bf6 1 3 . N xe5 !
Bxe5 (or d xcJ 14. d4! Qxd4+ 15 . Kh 1 Bxe5
16 . Bc4+ w i th a w i n ning atta ck) 1 4 .
Qxe5 Rf6 (g xh6 15 . Rxj8+ Qxj8 16 . R(J
Qd 8 1 7. B{J) 1 5 . B xg7! a nd wins (Mil ner
Barry- H a n ninen, Moscow 1 9 56).
( b) ll. . . . N c6 1 2 . Bh6 Rf7 1 3 . exf6
B x f6 1 4. Ng5 RfB 1 5 . Ne4 Be5 1 6 . Bf4
(Noskov-Stolyar, Leningrad 1 966) and
Whi te should w i n .
( c) 1 1 . . . . K hB is best but Wh ite keeps
the adva n tage with 1 2 . e x f6 B x f6 1 3 . Bg5 .
Line B
Nc6
7. . . .

fig 207

Now there are two promising a pp roaches


for White : ( B 1) the forcing 8. Be2 a nd
(B2) the sim pl i fying 8. cxd4 .
Line B1
8 . Be2
Bc5
d xcJ +
9 . 0-0 !
0-0
1 0. Kh 1
1 1. Q e 1
Now W h i te has the standard attacking
position we already saw in line A .
Black's game m ay still b e defensi ble, but
he has to be careful. The game N u n n
Hebden, London L ar a 1 97 9, continued
1 1 . . .. N d4 1 2. Bdl N x f3 + 1 3 . B x f3
Be6 14. Q gJ ( 14.B x b7 may be playa ble,
but Wh ite logically co ntinues to go for
attack) Kh8 1 5 . Be4 B d 5? ( Be7! is neces
sary) 16. Bg5 (gaining a v i tal te m po, for i f
now f6? 17. exf6 g x f6 18. B x d 5 and Black
cannot answer fxg5 because of 19. QeS + )
Qd7 1 7 . B x h 7 ! Kx h 7 1 8 . B f6! g 5 (if g xf6
19. Rf41 Bc3 20. Rh4-+- Bh6 21. Ql4
Bxg2 + 22. Kg I 1 forces m at e) 19 . Q x g 5
Bx g 2 + 20. Q x g2 ( n o t 2 0 . Kxg 2? Rg8)
Rg8 21. Qc4 .+- Resig ns. If Rg6 2 2 . Rf'S
with a winn ing a t ta c k for White.
Lmc 12
3
N x d4
8. cx d4
Also playable is 8 . . . . Bb4 + 9 . Bd2
B xd2 + 1 0. Qxd2 Nxd4 11. c3 N x f3 +
12. gxf3 Qh4 + ( i f 12 . .. . Qd5 13 . QeJ
followed by Be2 and 0-0 a nd White keeps
a space and development adva ntage)
1 3 . Qf2 Qf4 14. QgJ Q h6 1 5 . Be2 ( QeJ
16. t4) but White ' s com m a nd of central
squares alo ng with the open g a nd b fi les
give him t h e edge .
9 . cJ
N xfJ +
Be7
10. Qxf3
c6
1 1. d 4
A bett er practical try i s 11
. Be6 but
then 12. Qxb7 BdS 13. QbS+ c6 14.Qd 3
Bh4+ I') Ke2 lea ves Black not quite
e nou g h for a pa wn .
12. B d 3
0-0
Be6
1 3 . 0-0
14. Qe4
g6
Re8
1 5 . Bh6
16. Q e J
.

f'ig 20R
White

n ow

has g ood

attack i ng

c h an c e s

against the weakened K-side, w hile it is


d i fficult for Bl ack to orga nize central
cou n t e rpla y si nce h is pieces, particula rly
the b i s hops, a re needed fo r de fence. Two
illu strati ve games :
Ba rden-A ndric, Chelte nham 19 5 3 : 1 6 .
Qd7 1 7 . R f4 c5 1 8 . Rafl cxd4 1 9 .
cxd4 Rac8 20. Qf2 Bd8 2 1 . Kh 1 ? ( m i ssing
the com bination 2 1 . Qb2! a6 22. d5 Qxd5
23. Rxf7 Bxf7 24 . e6 and wins) Rc3 2 2 .
Qe2 a6 2 3 . h 4 B d 5 2 4 . K h 2 Qc6 2 5 . R 1 f2
f5? 26. B x f 5 ! gxfS 2 7 . Qg4 + ! Qg6 (f xg4
28. R/8 + m a t es) 28. R x fS ! Be7 2 9 . Qf4
Rec8 30. hS Q x fS 3 1 . QxfS Bf8 32. QgS +
K h 8 3 3. Rxf8 + Resigns.
J. Allain-R . Drricott, postal game
1 9 7 2-3 : 16 . . . . Bf8 (the best cha nce i s
c 5 at once) 17. BgS Q a 5 1 8. Bc2 cS 19.
Bb 3 c4' 20.Bc2 Rac8 21 .h4 hS 22. R f6
Bg7 2 3. R l f'l Rc6 24. R6f2 (2 4 . Bxg6 i s
t e m pti ng but not quite sound) BdS 2':i.
Qf4 lh7 26 816 Bf'R 2 7. QgS Qb':i 28. g4
Qd7 (ln:..; 4 29. 175) 2 9 . gxhS Qh3 30 Rh2
Qxc3 31. hxg6 Qxd4 -r .3 2. R 2f' 2 Bg7
3 3. e6! R e s igns. Black's defences a re
wr eck ed.
.

Meeti n g the Fre n ch


The most p ro mising line for the practical
player a gainst the Fre nch Defence 1 . e4 e6
2. d4 d5 i s to fo llow the wo rld champion
A natoly Ka rpov w ho aims for a small b ut
pers i stent advanta ge by the solid 3. N d 2 .
T h i s m o v e a v oids t h e pin on the white Q N
w hich occurs i n the pop u l a r variation
3. Nc3 Bb4 or in the system 3. N cJ N f6
4. Bg':i reco mmended in this book as a
b lack f o r m at i o n .
There are two main lines of play after
3. N d 2 . One i s 3. Nd2 N f6 which was
analyzed in the previous cha pter a nd
where with the w hite pi eces I recom
mend t ry i n g the Korchnoi Ga m bit (p. 94)
which gi ve s a naggi ng pressure di fficult
to cou nter. However the more popular
variation i n present-day chess is t h e
svstem 3. Nd2 cS w h ich o c c urred in
several games in t he t w o Karpov- Korch
noi m a t ch es of 1 974 a nd 19 7 8 . Although
Korch noi ma naged to hold his own with
Black, he was o ften under pressu re a nd
u n like most players he is a superb
defender. Few of your opponents are
likely to have an equally resilient tem
pera ment and a m uch m o re likely course
of the ga me a t cl u b and tou rnament level
is that Black's game will beco me in
inc reas i n gly uncomfo rta ble a nd passive
as he d efends the isolated quee n ' s pawn
w h i ch is the normal ha llm a rk of th i s
va ria t ion .
l. e4
e6
d5
2. d4
3. Nd2
c5
Two ot her lines a pa rt from N f6 and Ne7,
b o t h c1 na lysed m the prev ious chapter.
'

should be men tioned.

(a)

usual

. . N c6 4. c3 (simpler than the


4 . NgjJ because Black has less

3.

choice of reply) e5 5. exd5 Qxd5 6. Ngf3


exd4 (if Bg4 7. Bc4 Bxf3 8. Qb 3 ! Qd7
9. NxfJ - Keres-Botvin nik , Moscow
1955 _:_ a nd White keeps the pair of
bish ops beca u se if 9. . . . Na5? 10 .
Bxf 7 +! If 6. . . . e4 7. Bc4 followed by
8. Qe2 a nd the e pawn is weak) 7. B c4
Qf5 ( after Qh5 8. 0-0 is a promising gam
bit).

Now White ca n keep an edge by both :


(a 1 ) 8 . cxd4 B e6 9. 0-0 0-0-0 1 0. Bxe6 +
Qxe6 1 1. Re 1 Qd5 1 2 . Qa4 f6 (or Bd6 1 3.
Nc4 ) 1 3 . Nb3 gS 1 4. Be3 K b8 1 5 . Rac1
Bd6 16 . Nc5 foll owed by b4-b 5 with
attacking cha nces (Geller-Lein, Tiflis
1 967) and
( a 2) 8 . Nxd4 N x d4 9 . cxd4 Be6
( better Bd6 followed by N e7 and 0-0.
though W hite keeps the initiati ve) l 0.
Qa4 + ! and Black 's k i ng pos i t i on is un
sa fe (Korch noi-Hug, Palma 1972).
(b) 3 .
. . dxe4 4. N xe4 Nd7 is the
R u b i n stein vari ation, unpopula r in pre
sent-day chess beca u se Black concedes
too mt,{c h free s pace to his opponent:
5. Nf3 N gf6 6 . N x f6 + N x f6 7. BdJ Be7
8. Qe2 0-0 9. 0-0 (9. Bd2 followed bv
0-0-0, i n tending a K-side attack, is also
good) b6 10. c4 B b7 11. Rd 1 a nd Black
rema i ns cra mped.
4 . exd5
I f you want to get out of the books
quickly, an i n teresting idea is Cafferty 's
recommendation 4 . dxc5 B xcS 5. BdJ Nc6
6. N gfJ N f6 7. 0-0 0-0 8. c3 Bb6 9. Qe2,
when White has a favourable form of
what usually occurs from the Colle
System in the queen 's pawn opening
( 1 . d4 d5 2. N fJ N f6 3. eJ e6 4. N bd2
fol l owed soon by d xcS and e4) .
4. . .
exd5
4. . . Qxd5 allows the black queen to
be cha sed a round too m uch a fter 5. N gf3
cxd4 6. Bc4 Qd6 (or Qc5 7. 0-0 Nc6 8.
Qe 2) 7 . 0-0 Nc6 8 . NbJ N f6 (if Black tries
to keep the pa wn by 8.. . . e5 then 9. Rcl
is strong) 9. N b xd4 N x d4 10. Nxd4 a 6
( t oo pass i ve i s 10 . . . . Be7 11 . b3 0-0 12
Bb2 c5 I 3. Nb 5 Qx d1 14. R(\J I 8(5
1 5. Rac 1 and White 's rooks control the
o pen files, Tal-Uhlmann, Moscow 1967)
.

Ill

11. B b3 Qc7 1 2 . Qf3 Bd6 1 3. h3 0-0 14 .


Bg'S and W h i te has the pressure (anal ysis
h y Ke res) .
5. N g f3

Th1s be came the fashionable move


after the 1 9 74 Karpo v-Korchnoi match
where the fo rmer played it seve ral tim es .
But in the 1 978 wo rld t i tle se rie s Karpov,
t o general surprise , pl ayed 5 . B bS + Bd7
6. Qc2+.

as in Ho rt-Ivkov, W ij k aan Zee 19 70) N e7


1 3 . N f4 (also good is 13 . Be3, Botv i nnik
Euwe, world c ham pions h i p 1 948) 0--D
1 4 . 0-D Rfd8 l 5 . Nd 3 ( Karpo v-Korchnoi,
1 6 th game 1 9 7 8 ) . Black is uncomfort
able he cause of the iso lated QP: Korch
n oi managed to d raw but W hite has w hat
chan ces there are .
(b) 6 . . . . B c 7 7 . d x c'S N fn 8. N b3 0-0
9. Bd Rc8 10. Nf3 B x c 5 (al so good for
W h i te is /0 . . . . a6 1 1. Bd3 Ba4 12 . N(J4
NbJ 7 13. 0-0-0 Nxc 5 14. Nf 5. TaiPort isch, Mont real 197 9 ) .

1 97 1 . The pressure in such positi ons is on


Black s ince if the queens are ec hanged
h is isolated pawn and dark squares are
v e ry weak ) Qa5 + 1 2 . Qd2 Q x bS I 3.
0-0-0 b6 ( the natural move is 1 3. . . Bs4
but then 14 . Bd4 Ne4 1 5 . Qj4 BxjJ - or
Nxc5 16 . Qxg4 w i th ad vantage
16
gx{J Nxc5 1 7. Bxg 7! g i v es W h i te a mat
i ng attack) 14. N x d 7 N b x d 7 l 5 Kb 1 Nc4
(a s i gn of Ko rc hn o i 's d issa tisfact i on \Vi th
his game; he seeks the queen swap he
avo i d ed on move si x ) 16 . Qd3 Q x d3 17.
R x d3 with the better end i n g for W h i te
The bishop is superior to the knight, an d
W hite can increase the pressure on the
iso lated d pawn by dou b l i ng rooks on the
d file and then ad vancing the K-side
pawn s to und ermine the defen ding
knigh t . In the sequel, Karpov got a win
ning position .
-

fig. 210

The diagram occurred in two games of


the match; in the first Korchnoi d rew
after being und er p ressure, in the second
he escaped from the jaws of d efeat after
amazi ng lapses by Karpov . Continu
ations were :
(a) 6
. Q e7 7. B x d 7 + N x d 7 8 .
d x c5 N x c 5 9 . N b3 Q x e 2 + I 0. N x e 2
N x b 3 1 1 . ax b 3 B c 5 1 2. B d 2 (may be better
sti l l is 1 2 . Ne] w h i c h is favourable for
W h i te after either 1 2 . . . . Nf6 13 . Na4
fo l lowed by Be] or 1 2 . . . . 0-0-0 13 . Ra5
.

fig. 211

1 1 . N x c 5 (une x pected: Wh ite can al so


play 1 1 . Bxd 7 Nbxd 7 1 2. Nxe 5 r; xe 5
1 3 . Qb5 ReB 14 . 0-0 a 6 1 5. Qb4 Re4
16 . QJ 2 h 6 1 7. Rad 1 w i th a sl ight edge to
W h i te in the Larsen-U h l mann match,

5. . . .

Nc6

6.
7.
8.
9.

Bd6
Ne7
Bxc5
Bd6

Not so good i s 5 . . . . c4 6. b3 c x b3 (or b5


7. a 4 Qa5 8. Ne5 !) 7. B b 5 + Bd 7 8 . Qe2 +
when W h i te is ahead in development
and w i l l have the use of the a fi le after
reca ptu r i ng a x b 3 .
5 . . Nf6looks naturaL but the knight
is rea lly needed on e 7 : 6. BbS + Bd7 (or
Ne 6 7. 0-0 Be7 8. dxc5 Bxe5 9. Re 1 + Bt'7
10. Qe2 w i th advantage) 7 . Bxd7 +
Nbxd7 8. 0-D Be7 9 . d x c 5 N x c 5 1 0 . N b3
Nce4 1 1 . Nfd4 Qd7 1 2 . Q f3 0-0 13. NfS
Rfe8 1 4 . N x e 7 + Rxe7 1 5 . Be3 and White
is better with his strong bishop p\us the
u sual play aga i ns t the i solated pa\"-'n
(Keres-Iv kov, Bam berg 1 968) .
.

Bb5
0-0
dxc5
Nb3

fig. 21 2

1 0. Bg5

This posi tion produced a remarka ble


theoretical battle in the 1974 Karpov
Korchnoi match where the latter success
ful ly parri ed Karpov's attempts to reach
a posi tion where Black would be le ft
w i th e i ther or both of a weak i solated
pawn in a s i m pl i fied position or a ' bad'
w h i te-squared b i s hop handicapped by
the d and other pawns on l i ght squares.
Korchnoi managed to hold all these
112

games by a c tive de fe nce - b ut at m ore


modest lev els of c hess B l a c k ' s defe nce is
more likely to falter tha n W hite's c l ear
plan of strategy .
0-0
1 0. . . .
Now th ere are two good idea s :
(a) l l . B h4 a nd if Q c 7? 1 2 . Bg3 swa p
ping off the dark-squa red b i shops or
1 1 . . . . B g4 1 2 . Be2 BhS 1 3. R e 1 Qb6
1 4. N fd4 Bg6 1 S . c 3 R fe8 1 6 . Bfl Be4
1 7 . Bg 3 Bxg 3 1 8 . hxg3 a S 1 9 . a4 N x d4
20. N x d4 N c6 2 1 . B b S R fd8 2 2 . g4 ! N xd4
2 3. Qxd4 Qxd4 24. c xd4 R a c8 2 S . f3 Bg6
26. Re7 ( Karpov- U hlmann, Madrid 1 97 3)
and White utili zed the fa v o u ra ble factors
in the position (out-of-play bla ck B,
rook on the seventh , and weak bla ck b
and d pa\.\:n s) to w i n a fine en din g .
Best aga i nst 1 1 . Bh4 is t h e counter
attack 1 1
Q b 6 w hen W h i te can sti l l
try 1 2 . a 4 Bg4 1 3 . B e 2 (also interesting i s
13 . hJ Bh5 14 . a 5 Qc7 15 . Be2) N fS 1 4. a S
Q c 7 1 S . Bg3 N xg 3 1 6 . h x g 3 when B l a c k
has kept his m ore a ctive bishop b ut
White still has pressure agai nst the Q
side and the i solated paw n .
( b) 1 1 . R e 1 Q c 7 1 2 . c 3 Bg4 1 3 . h 3 B h S
1 4 . Be2 h 6 1 5 . Bxe7 N xe7 1 6 . Nfd4 Bxe2
1 7 . Qxe2 ( Karpov-Korch noi, 1 8th match
game 1 974 ) . A few moves later, Karpov
excha nged a pair of k n i ghts to rea ch a
knight t'. b i shop situ ation- but this time
Korchnoi's bishop was the ' good', dark
squared one, wh ile the queens also re
mained on the board In the sequel,
W hite 's pre ssure aga i n st the d pawn
proved insuffic ient for a win, but it took
i ngenious defence by K orchnoi to hold
the game a nd in pra ctical play the posi
tion gives good chances with White .
.

Sici l i a n D efe n ce - t h e 2,000


Cutty Sark Attack
One of the popular a n n ua l c h ess events in
Britain is the Cutty Sark Whi sky G ra nd
Prix which is decided on overall results o f
tourna ments duri ng t h e year. F irst prize
is 2,000 a nd there is extra weighting for
good re sults in the most i mportant event.
Many qua l i fy i ng tournaments on the
Cutty Sark c i rcuit are weekend con
gresses where a la rge e n try fi ghts it out
over fi ve or six rou nds o f play. U nder
these condit i ons a high percen ta ge is
required to win and posi tive play is
encoura ged.
A freq uent p ro b lem for the competitor
in such tournaments is how to counter
the Sic i l i an Defence 1 . e4 c 5, the most
frequently met reply to I . e4 . Da v id
Rumens, who twice won the Grand P rix,
relied on a little-known system a i m ing at
sharp play a nd an early k i ng's side at
tac k . Tony Miles used the variation
several tim es on the way to becoming
Brita i n ' s first grandmaster a nd g a i n i ng
the 5000 S later award w h i ch went w ith
the title . Other young e x perts were
attracted by the success of Ru mens and

Miles a nd the system has at the time of


writing become one of the most popular
a nd successful ways to counter the
Sic i l ian on the B ritish weekend circ u i t .
T he overall i deas i s not n ew; a si m ila r
plan w i th the black pi eces was played by
Bob by Fischer in 1 969 a nd some of the
variations also spring from the Dutch
ma ster V i n ke n . But given the many
refinements a nd e x a mp les from English
congresses, the name 'Cutty S a rk Atta c k '
seems a n ap propriate title for t h e syste m .
c5
I. e4
2. f4
Grandmaster Bent Larsen once made the
provocative o bservation that 2. N f3 and
.3. d4 ( t he cla ssical procedure aga i n st the
S i cilian Defence) is ' so meth i ng like a
cheap tra p' beca use it e xchanges a central
pawn for one on the fla n k . O ne very
clear plus for 2 . f4 agai nst 2 . Nf3 is that
it dra stically cuts down the amount of
book theory you need to know in the
hig hly analyzed S i cilia n .
The white system can also b e i n tro
duced by 2. N c 3 w h i c h cuts out B la c k ' s
option of 2 . . . . d S and a fter 2 . . . . N c 6
3 . f4 d 6 l e a d s t o positions a n alyzed
below. However it has the d ra wback that
Black n eed n ot play d6 and can i nstead
adopt the formation ( 2 . N c 3) Nc6 3 . f4 g6
4. N f3 Bg7 5. Bc4 (if 5. B b S Nd4) e6 6. fS
N ge7 which im proves his c ha nces of
getting a good open i ng.

Be7 1 1 . Q b 5 + N bd7 1 2 . Qxb7 R b8 1 3 .


Qxa7 Qc8 1 4 . Qa4 0-0 1 5 . O-O'N b6 1 6 .
Q b S N c 4 ? 1 7 . N xd5 ! Resign s .
(c) 2 . . . Nf6 3. Nc3 dS 4 . e5 d4 (if
Nfd7 5 . Bb5) 5. e x f6 dxc 3 6. fxg7 c xd2 +
7. Qxd2 Qxd2 + 8. B x d 2 Bxg7 9 . 0-0-0 Bf5
1 0. N e 2 Nc6 1 1 . Be3 with adva ntage.
si nce Bla c k ' s Q-side is wea k . M iles
Plach etka, Du b na 1 976, fin i s h ed 1 1 . . .
R c 8 ? ( better b6 though this weakens the
a6 a nd bS squa res ; with his actual move
Black sets the trap 1 2. B xc 5 ? N b4 !)
1 2 . Ng3 Bg4 1 3 . R d 5 ! Rd4 1 4 . Bxd4 cxd4
1 S . B b 5 Bd7 1 6 . N e4 Rd8 1 7 . Bxc6 ! bxc6
1 8 . R xd4 B fS 1 9 . Ra4 Rd7 20. N g3 Be6
2 1 . Rd 1 Rc7 2 2 . f5 Bc8 2 3 . Rg4 e5? 24.
N e4 Ke7 25. f6 + Ke6 2 6 . h 3! Resigns
beca use of Rd6 + a nd Ng3 mate .
.

fig. 214

3. NO
This is again more fle x i ble than 3 . Ne 3
beca use it lea v es W h i te the opti on to
develop his b i shop at c4 or b 5 , wherea s
the kn ight in this system rarely emerges
at any squa re other than f3. This prin
c i ple of mai nta i n i ng your options is
fu nda mental in accu rate opening pla y .
3. . . .
d6
Both 3 . . . . g6 and 3
Nf6 wi l l nor
m a l ly transpose i nto l ines considered
later, b ut may develop differently. After
3. . . . g6 4. NcJ Bg7 5. Bc4 Black
can reply 5 . . . . e6! so as to advance
. . . 5 in one jump, but Whi te can a void
this by ( 3 . Nf3 g6) 4. Bb5! Bg7 5. Bxc6
b x c6 6. d3 and Bla c k 's pawn front lacks
fle x i bi l ity. An example is Hebden-Leow,
Lloyds Ban k 1 979, which continued
6 . . . . R b8 7. Nc3 d6 8. 0-0 Nh6 ? 9. Qe l
0-0 1 0. f5 e6 ? ? 1 1 . f6 ! a nd wi n s .
Another l i ne is 3
. Nf6 4 . N c 3 d5
5 . e5 d4 6. e x f6 d x c 3 7. fxg7 c xd2 +
8. Qxd2 Bxg7 9. Qxd8 + Nx d8 1 0 . B b S +
Bd7 1 1 . Bxd7 + Kxd7 1 2. c 3 fs 1 3. Be 3
Kc6 1 4 . 0-0-0 Nf7 1 5 . Rhe 1 Rad8 ? (Rh e8
avoids the follow i ng tactic and keeps
White's advantage m i n i ma l ) 1 6 . Rxd8
R x d 8 ? 1 7 . Bxc 5! K x c 5 1 8 . R xe7 RfB 1 9 .
R x b7 with a w i n n i ng endgame for Wh ite
( M i les-G l igoric, T i l burg 1 9 7 7 ) .
In this v a r iation ( 3 . . . . N f6 4 . N c 3 )
e 6? i s du b i ous a fter 5 . B b 5 Nd4 6. e51
.

fig. 213

. . .
N c6
Several other moves a re possi b l e:
(a) 2 . . . . dS 3. exdS Qxd5 4. N c 3 QdB
5. N f3 N f6 ( better 5 . . . . Nc6 6 . Bc4 Nf6
7. Ne5 Nxe5 8. fxe5 Qd4 9. Qe2- 9. B b 5 +
at once may i m p ro ve - Bg4 1 0. Bb5 + Nd7
1 1 . Qe4 0-0-0 with l e v el play, Hodgson
Fra nklin , Lloyds Bank 1 97 7) 6 . Ne5 ! e6
6. Qf3 Be7 7. b.3 a6 8. B b2 N bd7 9. 0-0-0
with good attacking chan ces ( Zinn
Min ev, Halle 1 96 7 ) .
( b) 2 . . . . e 6 3 . N f3 d 5 4 . B b 5 + Bd7
5 . Bxd7 + Qxd7 ( better Nxd7) 6 . N e S Qc7
7 . exd 5 e x d 5 8. N c 3 with a d evelopment
lead for White. Larsen-Br i n c k-Claussen,
Danish c ha m p ionship 1 964, concluded
8 . . . . N f6 9. Qf3 Qd8 ? ( b etter d4) I 0. Qe2
2.

113

N x b 5 7 . N x b 5 N d 5 8. c4 ! ( a n improve
ment on 8 . 0- 0? a 6 w hen Black sta n d s
wel l . Hod gson-Waters. L l o y d s Bank
1 97 7) N x f4 9 . d4 N g6 1 0. 0-0 cxd4 1 1.
N g 5 ! with a winning atta c k . T he ga me
Hod gson-van Baarl e. Lloyds Bank 1 978.
finished 1 1 . . . . f6 12. e x f6 gxf6 1 3 . N e4
Be7 1 4 . N b d 6 + B x d 6 1 5 . N x d 6 + Ke7
1 6 . Q x d4 Qa5 1 7 . c5 e5 1 8 . Qd 5 Qa4
1 9 . Q f7 + Kd8 20. Q x f6 + Kc7 2 1. N e8 + !
R xe8 2 2 . Qd6 + Kd8 2 3 . B g 5 + N e7
24. Bxe7 + Rxe7 2 5 . R f8 + Re8 2 6 . R x e8 +
Kxe8 2 7 . Qxe5 + K d 8 28. Q f6 + Kc7
29. Qd6 + Resigns .
Finally there i s t h e l ine ( 1 . e 4 c 5 2. f4
Nc6 3 . N f3) e6 4 . Ne) d 5 (if 4 . . . . a6
White can switch to a different atta ck
scheme by 5 . g 3 ! e.g. d6 6 . B g2 B e7 7 . 0-0
Nf6 8. d 3 0-0 9. h 3 Qc7 1 0 . g4, H e b d en
Quinn, Lloyds Bank 197 9). 5. B b 5.

concluded 1 1 . . . . N x g4 12. Rg1 N f6


1 3 . Be3 Rfe8 1 4 . Qh4 g6 1 5 . f5 ! e x f5 1 6 .
N g 5 N eS 1 7 . N d 5 Qc6 1 8 . N x f6 + B x f6
19 . B x f7 + KfB 20. Bd5 Qc8 2 1 . N x h 7 +
Ke7 2 2 . Q x f6 mate .
5. B c4
6 . 0-0

Bg7

8. . . .

a6

I n the game Rumens-Rooney. Thanet


Open 1 978, Black tried 8 . . . Nd4 ? and
the result was a nother cla ssic il lustration
of da rk-square assault on the black k i ng:
9. Nxd4 c x d4 10 . Ne2 0-0 1 1. f5 ! exf5
1 2 . d 3 ! Nc6 1 3 . Bg5 Qc7 1 4. N f4 Ne5
15 . N d 5 Qa 5 1 6 . b4 Qa3 1 7 . Bf6 Be6 1 8 .
Qh6 ! Resigns. I f Bxh6 1 9 . N7 mate .
.

The d i agra m is a fa m i l i a r pos1t10n to


spe c i a lists in the Cutty Sark Atta ck .
B l a c k ' s two lines a re ( A) 6 . . . . e6,
n ormally assoc iated with devel oping the
KN at e7 a nd (B) 6 . . . . Nf6.
Line A

This is o ne of B l a c k ' s better d e fe nsive


ideas. though W h ite retains good practi
cal chances: 5. . . . N g e 7 (oth erwise
Bxc6 weakens the Q-side pa w n s) 6. e x d S
exd S? ( b etter Nx d5, Smyslov-O l a fsson.
19 59) 7 . Qe2 (anticipating . . . a 6) Bg4
8. Bxc6 + bxc6 9 . 0-0 Qd6 1 0 . b 3 Qe6
(if 10 . . . . Qx{4
. 1 1 . R aJ, w hile if 10 . . . . c4
1 1 . bxc4 Qc 5 + 1 2. Kh 1 and B la c k ' s K
was ca ught in the centre of the board in
Zin n-Doda. Lugano 1968) 1 1 . Qf2 Bx f3
12 . Q x f3 N fS 1 3 . B a 3 with fine atta c king
chan ces. The fi nish of R u mens-J.
Benj a min. Charlton 1 97 6 . was 1 3 .
N d 4 1 4 . Q d 3 Q f5 1 5 . Rae 1 + Kd7 1 6 .
Qa6 Kc7 1 7 . Qa 5 + Kd7 1 8 . N a4 Qxc2
19 . N b6 + a x b6 20. Qxa8 N e6 2 1 . Q b 7 +
Nc7 2 2 . Re8! Kxe8 2 3 . Qc8 + Ke7 2 4 .
Q x c 7 + K e 6 2 5 . Re 1 + K fS 2 6 . Qe5 + Kg4
27. Qg5 mate .
4 . Nc3

Once Black h as c o mmitted h i msel f to


. . . d 6. W h i te can continue w i th N c 3 and
Bc4 co nfident that the cou nter
d5
will not slow d o wn his atta c k .
4. . .
g6
At this stage 4 . . . . e6 is ra rely played
a nd appea rs too slow : 5 . Bc4 N f6 6. 0-0
Be7 7. Q e l 0-0 8. d 3 a6 9. a4 B d 7 ' 1 0 . K h 1
Qc7 1 1. g4' with a powerful attack.
Rumen s-B. Valentine. Surrey O pen 1978.
.

114

6. . . .
7 . Qe 1

e6

O nce Black has a d va n c ed an early e6,


this seems more pre cise than 7 . fS ex)
8. d3 a nd now :
(a) 8 ... . N f6 ? 9 . Qel 0-0 1 0. Qh4 Nd4
(better Be6, but W h ite keeps the edge by
1 1 . exf5 Bxf5 1 2. Bg5 h6 13 . Bxh6 Bxh6
14 . Qxh 6 Ng4 15 . Qj4 according to the
Dutch ana lyst van Wijgerden) 1 1 . Bg5
Be6 ( Nxc 2? 1 2 . Nd5 Nxa 1 13 . Nxf6 +
Bxf6 14 . Bxj6 a nd 15 . Qh 6 forc i ng mate.
This da rk-square attack on the black
king fo rms the underlying stren gth of
the Cutty S a rk system) 1 2 . N x d 4 ! exd4
1 3. e x f5 ! d x c3 (Bxc4 14 . Ne4 or gxf5
14 . Nd5) 14 . fx e6 d 5 ? (cx b2 is a better
c ha nce) 1 S. e7 Qxe7 1 6 . B b 3 c x b 2 1 7 .
Rae 1 a n d White wins a pi ece and the
game (Timman-Balj o n. Dutch cham
pio nship 1 9 78).
( b) 8 . . . . Nge7! 9 . Qe 1 h6 ( a l so good is
Ne5, as i n van Wijgerden-Reshevsky.
IBM 1 9 7 7) 1 0. e x f5 B xf5 1 1 . g4 Bc8! and
White ' s atta ck is repu l sed, says van
Wijgerd e n .
N ge7
7. . . .
7 . . . . N f6 will proba bly tra ns pose to

the previ ous note .

8 . Qh4

9. d 3
10 . B b 3
1 1 . f)

b5
NaS?

11.
1 2.
13.
14.
15 .

gxfS
Qc7
Nxb3
b4

Decentralizing the k night. Rumens pre


fers Bd7 or h6.
O nce again the fa m i l iar gambit. It is
still strong here because. as the con
tinuation show s, the BK is no safer in the
centre than castled short .
. . .
Bg5
Rae 1
axb3
Nd5 !

Rumens- Whiteley, Nottingham 1 978.


The k night sa crifice shatters Black's
position, for if 1 S . . . . exd5 1 6 . exdS Be5
1 7 . N x eS d xeS 1 8 . Bf6 ! The game con
tinued 1 5 . . . . Nxd5 1 6. exd5 e5 1 7 . Bf6
Kf8 1 8 . Bxg7 + Kxg7 1 9 . QgS + K8 20.
Qh6+ Ke7 and now 2 1 . Qg7 Qd8 22 .
Nxe5 dxe5 2 3 . Rxe5 + wins by destroy

ing the BK's defensive cover .


Line B

6. . . .

Nf6

7. fS !

In this line the pawn is best adva nced at


once before Black has the chan ce to go
. . . e6 a nd recapture with the e pawn.
However 7. d3 0-0 8. f5 often transposes.
while 7 . d3 0-0 8 . Qe1 did well in
Rumens- M . L. Roberts, Tha mes Valley
1 977:8 . . . . a6 ? 9. Q h4 Nd4 1 0 . fS N xf3+
1 1. Rxf3 b 5 1 2 . B b 3 gx fS 1 3 . BgS fxe4
1 4 . N x e4 ! N xe4 1 5 . B xe7 Bd4 + 16 . Kh 1
B f6 ? 1 7 . R x f6! Qxe7 18 . Rg6 + hxg 19 .
Qxe7 and win s.
0-0
7. . . .
8 . d3
gxfS
If 8 . . . . N aS 9. fxg6 hxg6 1 0 . Qe 1 a6

1 1 . Qh4 threatening Bh6 fol l owed by


Ng5. or Ng5 at once. with a powerful
atta c k .
9 . Q e1

tern, I recommend the IQP system against


the Caro-Kann Defence 1 . e4 c 6 .
T h e normal sequence of moves i s
1 . e4 c6 2 . d 4 d S 3 . e x d 5 cxd5 4 . c4 N f6
5 . N c 3 e6 6. N O B e 7 7 . cxd5 N x d S
8 . B d 3 0-0 9 . 0-0 N c6 1 0 . R e 1 .
Some players prefer t o m eet the Caro
K ann by l . e4 c6 2. c4 when a fter 2 . . . . d 5
3 . c x d 5 e x d S 4 . exd 5 N f6 5 . N c 3 N x d 5
6 . d4 e6 7. N f3 Be7 the same position
occurs w i th l ess chance for Black to side
ste p .

fi g . 2 1 8

9. . . .
fx e4
Weak is 9 . . . . N a S 7 s i nce the knight is
vulnera ble a fter 1 0 . Bd 5 ! fxe4 (e6 1 1 . Bg5
exd5 1 2. Nxd5 threatening 13 . Nxf6 +
Bxf6 14 . Bxf6 Qxf6 15 . Qxa 5) 1 1 . Ng5 e6
1 2. R x f6 ! Q x f6 1 3 . Be4 h6 1 4 . N h7 Qd8
1 5 . Qg 3 and W h i te regai ns the sacrifi ced
material with a continuing attack (Bellon
Merino, Orense 1 974) .
1 0. dxe4
B g4
This plan was introduced by the Engl ish
grandmaster John N unn to b l unt the
impact of the Cutty S ark Attack by
piece exc hanges . But his scheme was
bril l iantly refuted in Hod gson-Nunn.
Aaronson Open 1 97 8 : 1 1 . Q h4 B x O
1 2 . R x D N e S 1 3 . R h3 N g6 ( N x c4 ?
1 4. Nd 5 ) 1 4 . Qg3 Qd7 1 5 . N d 5 N x d 5
16. B x d 5 e6 1 7 . B b 3 d 5 1 8 . Q O ! c4
19. Ba4 ! (sacri fi c ing the bi shop for a
winning atta ck) Q xa4 20. Q h 5 R fd8
2 1 . Qx h 7 + K f8 2 2 . Bh6 B x h 6 2 3 . R x h 6
R d 7 24. R fl K e8 2 5 . Qg8 + N f8 2 6 .
Rxe6 + ! K d8 (fx e6 2 7 . Qxf8 m a te or
Re7 2 7 . Q x f7 + ) 2 7 . Q x f8 + Kc7 2 8 .
Q c 5 + K d 8 2 9 . R h 6 R e s i gn s .
Sum ma ry : The Cutty Sark Attack
needs to be known by any bo d y w ho
plays for or a ga inst the S i c i lian Defence
in congress or match play. It scores
around 75 per cent for White on the
British c i rcuit and the basic p l an ( f4-f5,
Qe 1 -h4, B h6, NgS. N d S) is easy to under
stand a nd memorize. H owever there are
a va riety of p lans for White and i m p rove
ments are l i kely to be found in such a
sharp and tac ti ca l l ine. W hether you
take it on for W hite, B la c k , o r both si des,
detailed know l ed ge should prove very
rewarding.
Agai nst the Ca ro-Ka n n :
the I QP system
The ad vantages and d ra w backs of an
isolated d or queen's p a wn (IQP) have
been keenly d e bated for m any year s
among masters a n d tou rnament p layers,
but the pros and cons stil l remain to a
considera ble extent a m atter o f ta ste .
Fol low ing the p rinc i p le of m a x i m i zing
the chance of reaching the prepared sys-

fig. 2 1 9

This i s one o f the key positions w h i c h can


a l so occur by pla usi b le moves from a
Q-side opening. It is often reached via
the Tarrasch Defence : 1. d4 d 5 2 . c4 e6
3. Nc3 c 5 4. NO N f6 5. c x d 5 N x d 5 6. e3
Nc6 7. B d 3 cxd4 8. cxd4 Be7 9 . 0-0 0-0
1 0. Re 1 .
W h ite strategy
The strategy for both sides from IQP
positions i s s i mple. White's assets are
more s pace, chances for attack a gainst
the black king, the IQP' s support for a
knight outpost at e 5 , and the c hance of a
central break with d 5 .
The logic o f this inventory o f plus
factors is that White should prepare for a
mating a ttack against B lac k ' s K by d e
p loying his Q at d3 and his k ing's b i shop
at c 2 or b l, protected b y the pawn at a3
from harassment by . . . N b4 . White 's
king's rook belongs at e 1, where it in
creases the power of a d5 central b reak,
supports the knight outpost square e5,
and can perhaps j oin in the K-side atta ck
via e 3 or e4. The queen ' s bishop nor
m a l ly goes to g5 w i th ideas of B(g5)xN (f6)
and Qxh7 mate. W hite's knights find
support from the IQP at e5 or perhaps c 5 .
. B lack strategy
W h i le W hite thus goes for middle game
atta c k, Black a ims for the endgame. He
tries to b lockade the IQP with a kni g ht at
dS, which not only stops the pawn ' s
a dvance b u t may a l so force p iece ex
c hanges to simpl i fy the d e fender's tas k .

F o r e x a m p le, if t h e w hite queen's bi shop


goes prematurely to gS, Black may be
a ble to reply . . . N d 5 swapping not only
d a rk-squared b i shops but also a pair of
knights . B la c k c an atta c k the IQP d i rectly
w ith pieces on the d file, and he can often
start counterplay on the long b l ack
d iagonal by . . . B b 7 .
Final ly, i f B lack can rea ch the end
game, he can expose W h i te's major
l i a bi l i ty. When few pieces remain on the
board, W h i te has to protect his weak
IQP and stop the b l ack men, l ed by the
k ing, inva d i ng his position. Often he can
not manage both .
W h i te ' s edge
Most masters at p resent prefer to play
with, rather than against, the IQP in the
pa rticu l a r setti ng of the l ast d i agra m .
Many I Q P games a r e deci ded b y White
b rea k ing through in the centre before
B lack c an prepare and execu te h is block
ade.
T h e main l ine of t h e I Q P sy stem
inc l u d es a promising trap featu ring this
central b reak . B lack's moves are so
natural that the trap caught out one
interna tional master and three grand
ma sters - a mong them the grandest of alL
world champion Karpov - within the
space of four years.
10. . . .
N f6
Intend ing to protect the K-side and
home in on the IQP. There a re severa l
a l ternatives :
(a) 10 . . . . Bd7 1 1 . a3 fol lowed by Bc2
and Qd 3 as in the column.
( b) 1 0 . . . Bf6 1 1 . a3 (also 11. N e4 going
for the two bishops is worth trying) Nxc3
(Nxd4 1 2. Nxd4 Bxd4 1 3. Bxh7 + is a
favoura ble pawn s wap for White) 1 3.
bxc3 b6 1 4. Qc2 with simil ar play to
variation (c).
(c) 1 0 . . . N xc3 1 1 . bxc3 and now :
( c 1) 1 1 . . . b6 was refuted in PenroseN i l s son, Varna, 1 962 by 1 2 . Qc2 g6 1 3 .
Bh6 Re8 1 4 . h4 Bf8 (Bxh4 ? 1 5. Bb5 and
Qe4 wins a piece) 1 5. BgS Be7 1 6. Bb5 Bd7
1 7 . Qe4 NaS 1 8. Bxd7 Qxd7 1 9. Ne5
Qd8 ? (better Qd5 although 20. Qxd5
exd5 2 1 . Nd7 wins at least a pawn) 20.
N xf7 ! Resigns. If 20 . . . . Kx7 2 1 . Qxe6 +
Kf8 (Kg7 22. Bxe7) 22. B h6 mate .
(c2) 1 1. .
B f6 1 2. Qc2 g6 1 3. Bh6 Re8
1 4 . Rad 1 a l so proved very strong for
White in Hutchings-Solmundarsson,
H a i f 1 976 : 14 . . . . Qc7 1 5 . h4 Bg7 (if
15 . . . . e5 1 6 . d5 or 15 . . . b6 1 6. h5 Bb7
.

1 7. hxg6 hxg6 1 8. Bxg6 fxg6 1 9. Qxg6 +


Bg7 20. Ng5) 1 6. Bxg7 Kxg7 1 7 . d 5 ! Ne7

1 8. d6 Qxd6 1 9. BbS and Black resigned .


(d) 10 . . . . N c b4 1 1 . B b 1 b6 only helps
White' s attack a fter 1 2. a 3 Nxc3 1 3 . bxc3
Nd5 1 4. Qd3 N f6 1 5. N g 5 g 6 1 6. Qh3
(Sza b o-Pogats, Kecskemet 1 96 2 ) .
1 1 . a3
W h i te intends to esta b l i sh a battery o f B
at c2 and Q at d 3, so stops B l a c k ' s resource
1 15

of

e x c h a n g i n g by N b4 .
1 10

b6

The a l terna ti ves a6 and Bd7 a re m et i n


s 1 m i l a r sty l e
1 2 0 Bc2
1 3 0 Qd3

Bb7

fi g . 220
1 30

0 0 0

R e8 ?

T h i s n a t u ra l move i s a l ready a d e c i s i v e
g6
m i s t a k e . A bet ter p l a n i s 1 3 .
1 4 . B h6 R e8 1 5 . Rad I ReS a l though W h i te
s t i l l h o l d s t h e i n i t i a t i ve . Two e x a m p l es :
( a ) 1 6 . B b 3 N a S 1 7 . Ba2 N d S 1 8 . N e4
Rc7 1 9 . N e S B f8 20. Bg S Be7 2 1. B x e7
Rexe7 2 2 . B x d S e x d S 2 3 . Nf6 + Kg7
1 4 Qh 3 1 w i th a s t ro n g attack (Ch ristian
sen- G heorgh i u , Malaga 1 97 7 ) .
( b) 1 6 . h 4 N d S 1 7 . N x d S Q x d S 1 8 . Q d 2
Q d 6 1 9 . B e4 N a S 2 0 . B x b7 N x b7 2 1 . N g S
N a 5 2 2 . d 5 1 ( R i bl i -G heorgh i u . Wa rsaw
1 9 7 9) w he n W h i t e ' s a c t i ve roo ks m a d e
t he d e fe n ce d i ffi c u l t .
1 4 0 dS !
1 So

BgS

1 50
160

Nxe4

exdS

A n i m portant fi n esse in W h i te ' s ov era l l


p l a n h a s been t o keep fo r a s l o n g as pas
s i ble the o pt i on of d e v e lo p i n g t h i s b i s h o p
at f4. gS or g6. The po i n t o f the t e m pora ry
p a \v n sa c r i fi ce i s t h a t 1 5 .
g6 l oses t o
1 6 . R x c 7 Q x e7 1 7 . N x d S - hence B l a c k ' s
a n swer i s aga i n fo rced .
N e4

1 7 0 Qxe4

d x e4
g6

1 8. Qh4

U n til h ere. a l l the four master gam es


w e re ca r bon co p i es ex cept that in the
other t h ree Black had Rac8 thro wn in a s
a n e x tra m o v e because t h e d iag ram
occu r red from a diffe rent open i ng on
move 1 9 .
T h e game Porti sch-Karpov, M i lan
1 9 7 5 , t h e m o st important for t his open-

J o h n N u n n con cen t ra t es a t H a s t i n:;:s

hcl l e tcs

1 980 . H e

w a rc:-; u l a r rhyt h m . n u t m or e t h a n

f l t 'c m i n u i i!S a m o t 'l!, i o a vo i d poss i b l e b l u n J<TS

cfu c l o I i m c p ress u re Ka rp o u is a l s o a q u 1 ck
1 /l i l 'L'I , h u t Korc h n1J1 anJ o t h l! r wor/J s t li n
r l / I L'IJ h li t 't' o n ! \' scco nJs t o he a t t h e c l o c k a t t h e
1 1 m c co n t ro l

1 16

ing because it fea tured the world cham


pion and one of his l ea ding r i va l s, went
l . d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3 . N c 3 B b4 4. e3 cS
5. Bd3 dS 6. N f3 0-0 7. 0-0 d xc4 8. Bxc4
cxd4 9. exd4 b6 1 0. R e 1 Bb7 1 1 . a 3 Be7 1 2 .
Bd3 Nc6 1 3 . Bc2 Re8 1 4. Qd 3 R c8 1 5 . d S !
and so on. It m i ght be thought that the
developing Rc8 would be a useful little
extra for B l a c k, but in fa ct the roo k ' s
different post does nothing t o stop W h i te ' s
ensuing tactic s .

22. . . .

Rh8

Crea ting a fl ight square for the k i ng at e8.


The other games a lso rea c h ed this position
(w ith black rook at c8 instead of a8 and
move 23 i nstead of 2 2). Black made
different but equal l y hopeless a ttem pts
to rescue his trapped k i n g .
Petrosia n-Ba lashov, Moscow 1 974,
went 2 3 . . . . Qd6 24. Qc4 + K f6 25. Rad 1
Nd4 2 6 . Qxd4 + Qxd4 2 7 . Rxd4 ReS
28. h4 Resigns, whil e S. G a rcia-Pomar.
San Fel iu 1 97 5 , finished 2 3 . . . . Bd6 24.
NgS + K f6 2 5 . Nh7 + ! Resi gns because of
Qxh7 26. Qf3 + a nd m a te next move.
The ga me in the column is Wi rtensohn
-P ritc hett, Clevel a nd 1 97 9 . Pritchett,
Scotla n d s l ea d ing player, remem be red
n one of the th ree precede nts, and his
rook move a lso led to a d e b a c l e for B l a c k .
23.
ended
Wi rte n sohn-Pritchett
Qe6 + K e8 2 4 . Rad l N d8 2 5 . Qxg6 +
N f7 26. N g 5 Q c4 2 7 . N x f7 Q x f7 2 8 .
R x e 7 + ! K x e 7 29. Q d 6 + R e s i g n s be

c a u se of K e8 30. Re I + and mates .

18. . . .

Qc7

This w a s move 1 9 in a l l t h e other games.


To Karpo v ' s cred it, he now rea l ized the
desperate nature of Black's position a n d
played 1 9 . . . . h S 2 0 . R a d 1 Q c 7 to try a n d
confuse t h e issue. The reply 2 1 . B b 3
threateni ng 2 2 . Qe4 should win the
game (and in this case wou l d have put
Portisch in line for a $ 1 2 , 000 fi rst prize)
but W h i te misca l cula ted w i th the sac ri
fice 2 1 . Bxg6 ? a nd only d re w . An expen
sive rush of blood to the hea d !
19. Bb3

Threa tening 2 0 . B x f7 +
Qxh 7 + Kf8 2 2 . Bh6 m ate .
19. . . .
hS
2 0 . Qe4

Kg7

2 1 . B x f7!
2 2 . B h6

K x f7

To stop 2 1 . Qxg6 + .

Kxf7

I QP sy stem - o t h er variati ons


B l a c k ' s various m ethod s of sidetra c king
W h ite from the m ain l i ne of the IQP sys
tem a re d i scussed belo w . Chances for
B l a c k to diverge occur after the basic
moves l . e4 c6 2. d4 dS 3. e x d 5 c x d 5
4 . c 4 N f6 5. Nc 3 .

White, Fisc her-Euwe, Leipzig 1 9_6 0) 1 4 .


N x d S + QxdS 1 5 . Qxd 5 exdS 1 6 . Be3 with
endgame prospects d ue to the 2- 1 Q-side
pawn m aj ority .
(b) 5 . . . . e6 6. N f3 Nc6 (6 . . . . Bb4 is
a l so slightly fa voura ble for White a fter
7. c xd5 Nxd5 8. Bd2 0-0 9. BdJ b6 1 0.
Nxd5 Bxd2 + 1 1 . Nxd2 exd5 1 2. 0- 0 Ba 6
13 . Nf3 Bxd3 14 . Qxd3 Nc 6 1 5 . Rac 1)
7 . cS ! (W hite a i ms to combine a Q-side
maj ority with exchange of Black's QN
a nd a da rk-squa re bind) Ne4 (or 7. . . . Be7
8. Bb5 0-0 9. 0- 0 Bd7 10. a3 ) 8. Qc2 fS 9.
B b 5 Bd7 1 0 . 0-0 Be7 1 1 . Bxc6 bxc6 1 2 . Bf4
0-0 1 3 . b4 ( V asyuko v - Pad evsky. Varna
1 9 7 1 ). W h i te has achiev ed his stra tegic
o bj ective, with the Q-side pawns mobile
and B l a c k ' s whi te-squared bish op tra pped
behind the pawn chai n .
(c) 5 . . . d x c4 6. Bxc4 e6 7 . N f3 Be7
8. 0-0 N bd7 d i rects Black's Q-side pieces
on to the dS outpost but gives White too
much scope on the other win g: Barden
Brown, Oxford 1 9 5 3 went 9 . Bg5 N b6
1 0. Bd 3 0-0 1 1 . Rc 1 Bd7 1 2 . B b 1 Bc6
1 3 . Qd3 g6 1 4 . Ne5 Rc8 1 5 . Rad 1 Bd5
1 6 . Qh 3 ! N fd7 1 7 . Bh6 Re8 1 8 . f4 B f6
1 9 . Bg5 BxgS 20. N xf7! Kxf7 2 1 . Qxh7 +
Resigns .
.

6 . Qb3

Bg7

Black a l l ows his opponent an extra


d o u b l ed pawn, hoping to regain it l a ter.
Instead 6 . . . . d x c4 7 . Bxc4 e6 8. d 5 exdS
9 . NxdS NxdS 1 0 . Bxd5 Qe7 + 1 1 . Be3
Bg7 1 2 . Nf3 fol l owed by 0-0 and Rfe I i s
fa voura b l e for W h i te d u e t o his active
bi shops.
0-0
7 . cxd S
8. B e 2

21.

Th reatening 2 3. Qe6 mate.


5. . . .
g6
The most popular a l ternatives to 5 .
e 6 . Other ideas a re :
(a) 5 . . . . Nc6 6. N f3 Bg4 aims at ra pid
development to u n d e rmine W h ite ' s pawn
cen tre. but W hite can keep the edge by
fo rcing play : 7. cxd5 N x d 5 8. Q b 3 B x f3
9. gxf3 e6 ( 9 . . . . Nb6 10. BeJ ! e6 1 1 .
0- 0- 0 Bb4 1 2. d5 Nxd5 13 . Nxd5 exd5
14 . R xd5 Qc 7 1 5. Kb1 0- 0 1 6. Rg1 w i th a
strong a tta c k . Donal d son-Ma d d iga n,
U SA 1 97 8) 1 0. Qxb7 Nxd4 1 1 . Bb5 +
N x b 5 1 2 . Qc6 + Ke7 1 3. Q x b 5 Qd7 ( NxcJ
14 . bxc J Qd7 1 5. R b l ! is stil l better for

8. . . .
Nbd7
White's p l a n is to u s e t h e ti me Black
spends i n regaining the pawn by speedy
d evelopment and pressure down the e
fi l e . If Black plays 8 . . . . b6 9. Bf3 B b7
1 0. N ge 2 N a6 1 1 . 0-0 Qd7 1 2 . Bg5 Rfd 8
1 3 . R fe 1 N x d 5 1 4 . B x d 5 Bxd 5 1 5 . Q a 3
wins t h e e7 paw n .
9 . B f3

fi g. 222

Nb6

aS
1 0. BgS
Other lines which show how White
keeps up the pressure are 1 0 . . . . B fS 1 1 .
1 17

Rd 1 Qd7 1 2 . h 3 hS 1 3 . Nge2 Rad8 1 4 . d 6


e x d 6 1 S . 0-0 dS 1 6. N g 3 a n d I O . . . . B g4
1 I B x r6 B x f3 1 2 . N x f3 B x f6 1 3 . a4 Qc7
1 4. 0-0 R fd 8 1 5 . a S Qc4 1 6 . Ra 3
1 1 . a4
Qd6
I2 . N g e 2
Rd8
1 3 . B x f6
B x f6
I4 . N e4
Black can regain the pawn o n ly at the
price of wea k nesses elsewhere. D. K ing
H i l lyard, Lloyds Bank 1 979, continued
14 . . . . Q b4 1 S . Q x b4 a x b4 1 6 . N x f6 +
exf6 1 7 . 0-0 N x d S 1 8 . R fc 1 Be6 1 9 . R e S
N b6 2 0 . R b S a nd W h i te w o n t h e b pawn
and the game.

Q u e e n ' s Gamb it Acc epted


Pla yers fa m i l iar wi th the i d eas, p l a ns and
variations of the IQP system may have a
cha nce to go i n to it from one or more of
the sta n d a rd quee n ' s side openi ngs such
as the Tarrasch Defence or the N im zo1ndian ( l . d4 N f6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 B b4 ) .
Another s u c h ope n i ng worth spec i al note
is the Quee n ' s G a m b i t Accepted l . d4 d S
2 . c4 d x c4 - because i t occurs a s early as
move two a n d because those who adopt
this defe nce to 1 . d4 tend to remain fai th
ful to it over many games. Although I . e4
is recommended here as the main s ta n d by
for W h i te, there can be occa sions when
strong players espec i ally wa nt to vary for
a pa rticular opponent or s i m ply to w i d en
their all-rou nd e x pe rienc e .
T h e QGA begins I . d 4 d S 2 . c 4 d x c4
3. NO N f6 4. e3 e 6 (the main a l ternative
is 4 . . . . B g4 when S. B x c4 e6 ( but n ot
5 . . . . c S ? ? 6. B xf7 + ! K x f7 7 . N e S + )
6. 0-0 Nbd7 7 . N c 3 Bd6 8 . h 3 BhS 9. e4 e S
1 0 . B e 2 0-0 1 1 . d x e S N x e S I 2 . N d 4 fol
lo wed by Nd b S or Nb3 i s a system worked
out by Hungary 's lead i ng gra n dmaster
Porti sch g i v i ng W hi te a small a d v a n tage)
S. B xc4 c S 6 . 0-0 a6 7 . a 4 .

e . g . N b4 1 1 . BgS 0-0 1 2 . NeS Re8 1 3 .


R e 3 ! Bd7 ( i f Nd5 1 4 . Nxd5 Nxd5 15 . R h 3
Bxg5 1 6 . Qh S ) 1 4. Q b 3 a S 1 S . B x f6 B x f6
1 6 . N x d 7 Qxd7 1 7 . B b S Nc6 1 8 . d S !
open i ng up the ga me for h i s better
d e v e l o pe d pi eces (Mi les-Clarke, BBC
Ma ster Game 1 9 7 6 ) .
cxd4
8. Qe2
Be7
9. Rd l
Black c a n ' t keep the pawn b y 9 . . . . e S
because o f 1 0. exd4 n o r b y 9 . . . . B c S
because of 1 0. e x d 4 Nxd4 1 1 . Nxd4 B x d 4
1 2. Be3.
0-0
10. exd4
NdS
I l . Nc3
It i s wise to blockade t h e p a w n , for i f
l l . . . . N b4 1 2 . BgS Bd7 1 3 . d S ! (Botv i n
n i k-Petrosian, match 1 96 3)
I2. Bd3

fig. 2 26

Compa re this d iagram with the normal


IQP system ; what's the d i fference ?
White's d 1 rook is not quite so good as at
e 1 in the main l i ne, but on the credit side
his more a d van ced a pawn gi ves h im a
potential rook squa re at a3 plus poss i b il
iti es of cramping the black Q-side. Black
for his pa rt can try to use the b4 square
to c reate counterplay not availa ble when
the a pa w n is at a 3 .
N cb4
I2.
1 3. Bbl
b6
bxa S
I4. aS
Or I 4 . . . . B d7 1 S . NeS bxaS I 6. Ra 3
(threatening a snap mate attack by Nxd S
followed by Bxh7 + , Rh3 + a nd QhS) f5
1 7 . NxdS NxdS I8. Nxd7 Qxd7 1 9. RxaS
with two bishops on open d iagonals
(Gligoric-Portisch, I 97 I ).
Bb7
1 5 . Ne5
ReS
1 6 . N e4
I 7 . RaJ

fig . 2 2 5

7. . . .
N c6
Also possi ble is the immed iate 7 . . . . c x d4
8. exd4 Nc6 9. N c 3 Be7 when 1 0 . Qe2
leaves the d pa wn en p rise . Howev er, the
pawn exchan ge seems prematu re s i n ce
W h i te can con t i n ue strongl y . 1 0. R e 1
1 18

W h i te has good attacking chances for his


sacrificed pa wn ( Browne-Porti sch, Lone
P ine I 97 8 ) .
T h u s far w e have looked at I. e 4 eS,
1 . e4 e6, 1. e4 cS, and 1 . e4 c6. There are
th ree other principal defences to 1 . e4
li kely to be met in p ra ctical play 1 . . . . d6, 1 . . . . g6 and 1 . . . . N f6 .
I n cou ntering 1 . e 4 d 6 (Pirc Defence)
a nd 1 . e4 g6 (Mod ern Defence) I recom-

mend the 3. Nc3 and 4 . Bc4 system ana


lyzed in Trap Nine (Pieces beat the Queen),
page 28. One a d v antage of this method is
that, unlike some other variations, it can
be used equally well against both l . . . . d6
a nd 1 . . . . g6, substantia lly red u c i ng the
a mount of preparation requ i red to coun
ter this fa s h iona b le opening.
In a d d i tion to the sub-variati ons
a n al yzed on page 29, Black can try to
a void the main iine of the system by early
QN d evelopment at c6 : I . e4 d6 2 . d4 g6
3. N c3 Bg7 4. B c4 N c6 ( for 4 . . . . c6 see
page 29).

Play from the d iagram again favours


White :
(a) 5 . B e 3 7 N f6 6. 0 0-0 7. Nge2 e6
8 . Bb3 b6 9. Q d 2 Ba6 (Kri stiansson-Keene,
Reykjavik I 97 2) with probing attacks on
the white centre.
(b) 5. NO N f6 (not Bg4 ? 6. Bxf7 + Kxf7
7. Ng5 + ) 6. d5 NeS 7. Be2 or 6 . . . . Nb8
7 . 0-0 gives W hite a freer game .
(c) 5 . N O N f6 6. h3 0-0 7. Qe2 Nd7
8. Be3 N b6 9. B b3 NaS IO. 0-0 c6 1 1 . Rae 1
a6 1 2. Nd 1 Nxb3 1 3 . axb3 aS 1 4 . c4 Nd7
1 S . Nc3 bS 1 6 . d S gives Black a passive,
cramped game (Short-Ravikumar, Man
c hester Benedictine 1 979).
A l e k h i ne Defence
The d e fence 1 . e4 Nf6, named after the
great world champion Alekhine, a ims to
lure the white central pawns into a pre
mature a dvance which can be exploited
by counter-attack and rapid development
of Black's pieces. White can fall in with
Black's plan and hope to maintain his
centre, thus permanently cramping
Black's game, or he can try to exploit
Black's unorthodox play by opening
lines for his own pieces. It isn't clear
which is really the better approach, but
from the practical amateur's viewpoint
piece development is easier to handle and
also greatly reduces the number of varia
tions you need to k now .
N f6
1 . e4
NdS
2. eS
3. Nc3

3. . . .
Nxc3
If Black tries t o keep h i s k n ight in the
centre by 3 . . . . e6 then 4. d4 d6 S. N O
Nc6 (or dxe5 6. Nxe5 Bb4 7 . QjJ fol lowed
by Bd2 and 0-0-0 w i th a p ro m i s i ng
attack i ng set-up) 6. B b S ! N x c3 7 . b x c 3
dxeS 8. N x e S B d 7 9 . N x d 7 Q x d 7 1 0. Qf3
with pressure. If 3 . . . . c6 4. d 4, or i f
3 . . . . N b6 4 . a 4 a S S . f4 fol lowed by N O
and d4 .
4 . dxc3
The normal rule of thumb is t o make
pawn captures towards the centre rather
than away from i t, but h ere ta k ing w i th
the d pawn is better in the context of ra pid
development . 4 . bxc3 is playable but
Black then has a good l i ne i n 4 . . . . cS
5 . f4 d6 6 . N f3 g6 7. d4 Bg7 8 . Be2 0-0
9. 0-0 d x e 5 1 0 . fx eS N c6 1 1 . B f4 Bg4
when White ' s weak central pawns
pushed h i m on the d efensive in
Henni ngs-G i psl i s, Havana 1 9 7 1 .
4. . . .
d6
If 4 . . . . dS W h i te can d i slocate Black's
em bryo pa wn centre by 5 . c4 ! d4 6. f4 B fS
7. Ne2 Nc6 8. Ng3 e6 9 . N x fS e x f5
1 0. Bd3 g6 1 1 . a3 aS 1 2 . Q f3 (Ghizdavu
Torre, N i sh 1 97 2 ) .
5. NO

how B lack c a n d rift into a poor game i s


5 . . . . Bg4 6. B c4 e 6 7 . Bf4 N c6 8 . B b 5 Be7
9 . h3 BxO 1 0. Q x f3 dS 1 1 . Qg3 Kf8
1 2 . Rd 1 a6 1 3 . Be2 bS 1 4 . R d 3 w i th a
strong attack (Hutch in gs-Natt, Evening
S tandard 1 97 2 ) .
Other tries for B l a c k are :
(a) 5 . . . . dxeS 6. Q x d 8 + K x d8 7. N x e 5
Ke8 8 . Be3 f6 9. N d 3 e5 1 0 . 0-0-0 fol l owed
by f4 w i th some ini tiative.
( b) 5 . . . . g 6 6 . Bc4 N c6 7 . Bf4 and now :
(b 1 ) 7 . . . . B g7 8. exd6 cxd6 9 . Qd 2
fol l o wed by 0-0-0, Bh6 a nd h4 w i th
atta c k i ng c hances.
( b 2) 7 . . . . e 6 ? 8. exd6 cxd6 9. Qe2 Be7
10. 0-0-0 a6 1 1 . h4 a l so w i th attack
(Keres-Westeri nen, Tal li n n 1 97 1 ) .
6. B b S
E xchanging pawns a t d 6 would deprive
W h i te of all chan ces of advantage. How
ever W h i te can a l so support the e S pawn
d irectly by 6 . B f4, a move which in Roos
W. Sch m i d t, Bagneux 1 97 8, l ed to the
defeat of Black (a gra n d master !) w i th
remark a b le rap i d ity : 6 . . . . d x e 5 7 .
Q x d 8 + N x d 8 8. B x e 5 c6 9 . 0-0-0 f6 1 0.
Bg3 e 5 ? (Be6) 1 1 . B c4 Nf7 1 2 . Rhe 1 g6 ?
1 3 . B xe5 Resigns, for if 1 3 . . . . N x e S
1 4 . N x e S Bh6 + (fxe5 1 5 . R xe5 + Be7 1 6.
R de l ) 1 5 . K b 1 fxe S 1 6 . R x e S + K fB 1 7 .
R d 8 + Kg7 1 8 . Re7 + Kf6 1 9 . R f7 + Kg5
20. R x h 8 .
6. . . .
Bd7
NxeS
7. Q e 2
7 . . . . a 6 d oes n o t ful ly relieve the
p ressu re after 8 . Bc4 e6 9 . Bf4 d xe5
1 0 . NxeS Bd6 1 1 . Bg3 fol l owed by 0-0-0 .
8. NxeS
dxeS
9 . Qxe 5
f6
More a c c u rate than 9 . . . . c6 played in
Keres-Schmid,
Zurich
1 96 L
w hen
Black beca me very cramped : 1 0 . Bc4 Q b8
1 1 . Qe4 e6 1 2 . BgS h6 1 3 . Bh4 Bd6
1 4 . 0-0-0.
1 0 . QhS + g6
1 1 . Qe2
eS
Bd6
1 2. Be3
1 3 . 0-0-0
W h i te has the i n i tiative a nd a freer game
( M a rk l a nd-Ko rc hnoi, Bath 1 9 7 3). Korch
noi ma na ged to hol d on and turn the
ta bles, but at a less exalted l evel W h i te
has p ro m i s i ng cha nces of attack, e . g .
1 3 . . . . 0-0 1 4 . B c 4 + fol l o wed b y h4-h 5 .
M i n o r defe n ces

fi g . 229

,5 . . . .
N c6
Wh i t e 's set-up l ooks at fi rst s i ght rather
harml ess. but in p ractice B lack fin d s
d i ffi c u l ty i n equa l i z i ng. One example o f

Th ree o ffbeat defen ces to 1 . e4 a re


occasion a l ly tried in to urnament and
match play.
T he Centre C o unter 1 . e 4 d S 2 . exd5
QxdS (if 2 . . . . N f6 W h i te c an p lay for a
s l i g ht edge by 3 . d4 N x d 5 4. NO g6 5 . h 3
o r transpose i n to the IQP system by
3, c4 c6 4 . d4 - it is risky to accept the
pawn by 4 . d xc6 - cxd5 5. N c 3) 3. N c 3
Q a 5 4 . d 4 N f6 5 . N O B f5 (or Bg4 6 . h 3)
6 . B d 2 N b d7 7 . B c4 c6 8. Q e 2 e6 9 . d S !
c x d S 1 0. N x d S Q c S 1 1 . b4 Q c8 1 2 .
N x f6 + g x f6 1 3 . N d4 (Spassky-Larsen,
Montreal 1 97 9) gi ves W hi te control of the

centre w h i le Black's forces rema in un


coord inated . That's the trouble with the
Centre Coun ter - W h i te cannot directly
e x ploit the prematurely developed b lack
queen but can d ri ve it back w h i le gaining
time for his own attac k .
T h e N i mzovich Defence 1 . e 4 Nc6
should be favourable for White, but can
be tricky in the hands of a player who
k n ows it well even in the l i ne 2. d4 dS 3.
N c 3 d xe4 4. d5 N e5 5. Qd4.
I recom mend i nstead the quiet ( 1. e4
N c6) 2. NO when 2 . . . . e5 (pro bably
best ! ) transposes i n to a n ormal 1 . e4 e5
o p e n i ng and thus thwarts Black's aim to
escape from the books. Other possibilities
a re 2 . . . . d 5 ? 3. e x d 5 QxdS 4. Nc3 with a
favourable form of the Centre Counter
for W h i te, or 2 . . . . d6 3 . d4 Bg4 4 . d 5
N b8 (not 4 . . . . Ne5 ? 5 . Nxe5 ! Bxd l
6 . Bb5 + c6 7. dxc6 Qa5 + 8. NcJ and
White emerges with too m uch material
for the queen) 5. Be2 fol lowed by h 3 with
a small but c l ear advantage in space.
The En g lis h Defence 1 . e4 b6 2. d4
B b7 3. Bd3 e6 was a favourite with the
Engl i sh nineteenth-century p layer Owen,
and has more recently been revived by
the grand masters Keene a nd Mi les, also of
Engla n d . W h i te can develop norma lly by
4. N f3 cS 5. 0-0 but a more interesting and
c rucial l i ne is 4. c4 (threaten ing to shut
both Black 's bisho ps out of the game by
a3 fol l o wed by d 5) f5 5 . exf5 Bxg2 6 .
Q h S + g 6 7 . fx g6 Bg7 (not N f6 ? 8 . g 7 + )
8. g x h 7 + K f8 .

fi g . 2 30

N e 2 ! (stronger than the obv ious


h x g8 ( Q ) + Kxg8 when W h i te's attack
is not enough for the b1 rook) Bx h 1
1 0. B g 5 ! (the po i nt, forcing Black i n to an
unwelcome pin) N f6 1 1 . Q h4 N c6 1 2 .
N f4. I n this critical posi tion W h i te's main
threat is not so m uch the o bvious 1 3 .
Ng6 + as 1 3. Bg6 followed by Nh5 when
the p in ned k night fal l s and the b lack
game colla p ses. Black can now try :
(a) 1 2 . . . . N b4 1 3 . Bg6 Qe7 1 4 . N h 5
N c 2 + 1 5 . B xc2 Qb4 + 1 6 . N d 2 N x h 5
( if Qxb2 1 7. Nxg 7 ! Qxa l + 1 8. Ke2 wins)
1 7 . 0-0-0 ! a nd a helpl ess Black resigned
(Fori ntos-Fernand ez, Cienfuegos 1 979).

9.
9.

1 19

( b ) 1 2 . . . . K f7 1 3 . Bg6 + Ke7 1 4 . N h 5
Q f8 (again B lack is trapped i n a per
manent p i n ) 1 5 . N d 2 e5 1 6 . 0-0-0 ! N x d 4
1 7 . Rxh 1 N e 6 1 8 . f4 d 6 1 9. N e4 N x g 5
20. Q x g 5 Bh6 2 1 . Q h4 ( t h o u g h m a te r i a l
beh i n d , W h i te w i ns easily as he brings
rei n fo rcements to the p i n) Bg7 22. fx e 5
d x e 5 2 3 . R fl Kd7 24. N 4 x f6 + B x f6 2 5 .
N x f6 + Kc8 2 6 . Be4 c 6 2 7 . Q h 3 + Kb7
2 8 . Bxc6 + ! Resigns ( B row ne-M i les, T i l
burg 1 9 7 8 ) .
( c ) 1 2 . . . . N x d4 1 3 . N g6 + Ke8 1 4 .
Qxd4 Rxh7 1 5 . N e 5 R h 3 1 6 . Bg6 + K f8
1 7 . N c 3 d6 1 8 . 0-0-0 w i th a c lear ad van
tage .
(d) 1 2 . . . . e 5 1 3 . Ng6 + K f7 1 4 . d xe 5
R e S 1 5 . f4 ! d6 1 6. N c 3 d xe5 1 7 . 0-0-0 and
\'\T h i te is on top ( this and the last varia tion
are a na l y s i s by B rowne) .
T hese fa sci nating variations i l l u s tra te
hov..: tact i cs ca n i n fl uence stra tegy at the
chess boa rd . Beca u se they are so fa vour
a b le for W h i te, few w i ll ca re to risk them
again w i th Black and t h is means that
W h i te can counter the Engl ish Defence
with the centre-o c c u p y i ng c4, d4, e4
pawn fo rmat i on w i t hout fea r i n g that
Black w i l l undermi ne i t. And t h i s in turn
red uces Bla c k ' s w i l l ingness to venture
the ope n i ng at al l .
T h e 1 , 200 opening
S l i ghtly offbeat but nevertheless sound
and positi ve open i ng systems can some
t i mes have a rema rka b l e tem porary effect.
Al though in th i s c ha pter we a re largely
anal y s i ng I . e4 openi n gs, the sto ry is
wo rth rec ounting of how a qu iet but
special i zed var iati on hel ped to w in Bri
ta i n ' s r i c he st congress p rize.
It happe ned at the London Even ing
Sta n d a rd congress of 1 9 79, where a
young Y u goslav, K l a r i c, d e c i d ed to u se
the Quee n ' s B i shop A ttack l . N f3, 2 . d4
and 3 . BgS i n all his games w i th W h i te .
The i ntention i s t o fol low u p soon w ith
NeS and K-side atta c ki ng p iece p lay on
s i m i l a r l i nes to the P i l l sbury A ttac k
( page 5 8 ) . This system i s harmless enough
i f Black knows i t well and i s prepared i n
advance.
However, a l t hough Klaric p layed h i s
system i n the very fi rst round of the
to urnament, la ter r i v a ls n eglected to
check u p on his play and e me rged w i th
poor ga mes from the opening. K l aric u sed
his system to win th ree games w i th W h i te
and then had good fortune, w h i c h
to u rnament w i n ners n e e d , w hen he
sco red from a d u b i o u s posi tion agai n st
the grand m a ster fa vourite J ohn N u n n .
The net result - Klaric won the 1 , 200
p r i ze awa rded by the congress ' s major
sponsor, the National Bank of D u ba i .
N f6
l . NO
dS
2 . d4
The sy stem i s a l so playable against 2 . . . .
g6 3. BgS Bg7, al though that i s a s i m pler
equa l i z i ng method for Black.
1 20

3 . BgS
e6
K l a r i c -Shall c ross, Eveni ng Sta n d a rd
1 97 9, went 3 . . . . c6 4. e 3 Bf5 5 . B d 3 B x d 3
6 . c x d 3 N bd7 7 . 0-0 g 6 8 . N e 5 B g 7 9. N d 2
0-0 I0. Re 1 N e 8 1 1 . N x d 7 Qxd7 1 2 . f4
N d 6 1 3 . B h4 N f5 1 4 . B f2 e6 ( Black has
eme rged q u i te well but should prefer
1 4 . . . . f6 i nten d i ng eS or e l se . . . h5 safe
guard i ng the k n i gh t) 1 5 . N f3 Rfe8 1 6 . N e 5
Q e 7 1 7 . Q e l R a c 8 1 8 . K h 1 f6 1 9 . N f3 N h 6
( e 5 w a s sti l l best) 2 0 . e 4 Q c 7 2 1 . e5 fxe 5
2 2 . fxe 5 R f8 2 3 . B e 3 ! (hoping fo r a ta ctical
c ha n ce aga i n s t the underguarded kn ight
. . . ) Q b6 ? 2 4 . Rc2 Qa6 2 5 . R c 3 ! Qxa2 ? ?
2 6 . Qc I ! ( . . . w h i ch co mes w i th the
dou ble th reat of 2 7. Bxh6 and 2 7. Ra J)
R x f3 27 . gxG Resi g n s .
4 . N bd 2 B e 7
5. e 3

Black has tried to fight back from his poor


opening : pi ece exchanges d i mtni shed the
force of the P i l l sbury forma tion, and the
BQ has gone pawn h unti ng w h i le the N
barricades the other flank. B ut White's
next move defeats the entire plan and
fin ishes q u i c k l y .
2 7 . R x fS ! exfS 28. Qxf5 g6 29. Qf6 +
Kg8 30. e6 fxe6 3 1 . Qxe6 + Kg7 3 2 . Qe7 +
Kh6 3 3 . N e6 Rfl + 34. Kh2 ! Resi gns
because of the d o u b le threat Qh4 + and
Qg7 + .
( b) Klaric-Cro u c h, Even i ng Standard
1 97 9 : 5 . . . . h6 6. Bh4 0-0 7 . B d 3 N bd7
8 . c 3 Re8 9 . NeS N xeS 1 0. dxeS Nd7 1 1.
Bg3 cS 1 2 . 0-0 a6 1 3 . Qh S ! w i th a st rong
attack in P i l l s b u ry style. Black now tried
to c reate space for K-side defe nce but
the w h i te p i eces exploi ted the res u l t ing
holes : 1 3 . . . . Bf8 1 4 . N f3 g6 1 5 . Qh3
Bg7 1 6 . Bf4 gS 1 7 . Bg3 f5 1 8. exf6 Qxf6
1 9 . Q h S Rf8 20. h4 !

fi g . 231

Here W h i te is ready to set up the P i l l s


bury fo rmation w i th N e 5 , and Klari c ' s
l , 200 ga mes and others show how
q u i ckly his attack can d evelo p :
Klari c - Flear, Even i ng Standard 1 97 9 :
(a) 5 . . . . cS 6. c3 b6 ? 7. B b 5 + N fd7
( m o re natural is Bd7) 8 . Bf4 0-0 9 . NeS
Nxe5 I0. d x eS Ba6 1 1 . Bxa6 N xa6 1 2 .
Qg4 Kh8 1 3 . Rd 1 Qe8 1 4 . 0-0 Qa4 1 5 . e4
Nc7 1 6 . a3 Rad8 1 7 . b 3 Qa5 1 8 . Rae 1 d xe4
1 9 . Re3 R d 3 20. N xe4 Rxe3 2 1 . fxe 3 c4
22. BgS Qxa3 2 3 . b4 N d S 24. h3 a S 2 5 .
B xe7 N x e7 2 6 . N g S N fS .

fi g . 2 1 3

W h i te c racks the defences. If now 20.


. . . gxh4 2 1 . Bx h4 Qf7 2 2 . Bg6 wins the
queen. Instead Black su rrenders a pawn
but he cannot hold o ut long in such an
open position : 20 . . . . g4 2 1 . Qxg4 eS
2 2 . QhS bS 2 3. e4 c4 24. Bc2 d4 2 5 . cxd4
exd4 26. Qd S + Kh8 27. e 5 Qb6 28. Nxd4
Bb7 29. Q x d 7 Rad8 30. Qe6 Qxd4 3 1 .
Qg6 Kg8 3 2 . Qh7 + Kf7 3 3. Bg6 +
Resigns .
(c) Fuller-Dankert, Esbjerg 1 979 : 5 .
. . 0-0 6 . B d 3 b6 7 . NeS B b7 8 . Qf3 N bd7
(a better chance is Nfd7) 9. Qh3 g6 (if
Ne4 1 0. Nxe4 dxe4 1 1 . Ba6!) 10. Qh4
N b8 (or R e8 1 1 . Bb5) 1 1 . f4 c S 1 2 . c3 Nc6
1 3. N 2 f3 Rc8 1 4 . 0-0 .
.

fi g . 23 2

squas hes White) 3 1 . exd 5 f4 3 2 . Qe4 N f6


3 3. Qf5 + Kb8 34. f3 Bc8 3 5 . Q b l g 3
36. R e 1 h 3 3 7 . Bfl R h 8 38. g x h 3 B x h 3
3 9 . Kg 1 B x fl 4 0 . K x f l e 4 4 1 . Qd 1 Ng4 !
( the sea led move, a n d the p rettiest a nd
qui ckest way to w i n) 4 2 . fxg4 f3 4 3 . Rg2
fx g2 + 44 . Resigns. If 44 . Kxg2 Q f4 a nd
fi n i s h .

fi g . 2 34

classi cal a tta c k i ng posi tion fo r W h i te i n


the P i l l s bury syste m . T h e w h i te queen
and m i nor p i eces a re a l rea d y d i rec ted at
the k i n g, the rooks can come i n to action
v ia t he f fi le, w h i le black counte r p lay is
far d i s t a n t . N ot surprisi ngly, the game
end ed q u i c kly i n W h i te's fa vour : 14 . . . .
Rc7 1 5 . Bh6 N h 5 1 6 . N g S N x e 5 1 7 . fxe S
Bc8 1 8 . g4 N g 7 1 9 . R f6 ! N e 8 ( o r Bx.f6
20 e x f6 Qxf6 2 1 . Rf1 ) 20. B x f8 B x f6
2 1 . e x f6 Q x f6 ( Nxf6 22. Nxh 7 ! ) 2 2 . Rfl
Qh8 2 3 . Nxf7 Resigns.
(d) Spassky-Pet rosian, 7 th match game
1 966 : 5 . . . N b d7 6 . Bd3 c 5 7 . c 3 b6 8.
0-D Bb7 ( the right pla.1, demonstra ted by
Petrosian here, is to castle long a nd use
W h i t e's K-side F i ece b u i l d -up as a ta rget
to a id a black pa wn a d v a n ce) 9 . N e 5 N x e 5
1 0 . d xe S N d7 1 1 . Bf4 ( better 1 1 . Bxe 7
Qxe 7 1 2. f4 w i th
l evel game) Q c 7 1 2 .
N f3 h6 1 3 . b4 g S ! 1 4 . Bg3 h 5 1 5 . h4 gxh4
16. B f4 0-0-0 1 7 . a4 ( better 1 7. bxc5 bxc5
18. R b 1 ) .

'

fi g . 2 3 5

1 7 . . . . c4 ! (a bri l li a n t i d ea, conced i ng


the d4 squa re but c l o s ing-up the Q-si de)
1 8 . Be2 ( better 18 . Bf5 ! so that i f e x fS
1 9 . e6 w h i l e other w i se the b i sh op can
blockade the black pa wns at h 3) a 6 ! 1 9 .
Kh 1 Rdg8 20. Rg 1 Rg4 2 1 . Q d 2 R8g8 2 2 .
a S bS 2 3 . R a d 1 B f8 (threat f6 a n d i f exf6 e5)
24. N h 2 N x e S ! 2 5 . N xg4 hxg4 26. e4 Bd6
27 . Qe3 Nd7 28. B x d6 Qxd6 29 . Rd4 e5
3 0 . R d 2 f5 ' ( now the pawn p ha l a nx

Monke y b u s i n ess
T he p rev ious section on the P i l l s bury
formation a nd i ts contri bution to a 1 , 200
p r i ze i s one suggestion for the club
player who wants a n easy-to-understand
atta c k i ng method . H owever the P i l l sbury
system, l i ke some others, h a s the d raw
back that it can not be completely forced
on an opponent.
The only way to be q u i te sure that c hess
opening h om ework w i l l n ot be wasted is
to have a system w h i ch begins on move
one. A poss i_b le a p p roach w h i ch used to
be con s i d ered eccentric but is now trea ted
w i th more respect is cons i d e red below .
The move 1 . b4 was i n trodu c ed i n to
master play by Dr Tarta kover in h i s game
w i th Ma roczy at N ew York 1 9 24. A sked
by reporters why he had considered such
a stra nge move, the w i tty grand master
repl ied that he had v i s i ted the N ew York
zoo on the rest day a nd had ' fa l l en in
love w i th the ora ng-outang enough to
d ed ica te my next ga me to the a nimal . '
Tartakover had a reputation a s a ga m b
ler both on and off the boa rd. This,
coupled w i th h i s self-mo c k i n g comment
on the new move which became d u b bed
the Ora ng-Outang Opening, ensured that
none of the other masters took the move
1 . b4 seriously .
One p l ayer, h o wever, d i d pay atten
t i o n . The W h i te Russian master, Alexei
Sokol sky from M i nsk, one of a school of
origi nal theorists, started to i n vestigate
1 . b4 in d e p t h . He found that if Black
d e fe n d ed w i th a cautious positional move
l i ke N f6, d5 or e6 W h i te could develop
normally w i th his bishop well posted at
b2 w h i le in the m i d d le game the b4 pawn
cou ld have a c ra m p i ng effect on B l a c k ' s
queen 's s i d e .
Sokolsky m a d e a further i m porta n t
d i sco v e ry. H e fo und that i n many varia
tions after 1 . b4 e 5 the advanced pawn a t
b 4 could b e offe red as a g a m b i t t o lure
B l a c k ' s bi shop from d e fence of the king's
s i d e . Further, a fter 1. b4 e 5 there a re a l so
possi b i l i ties of p l a y i ng a kind of d elayed
K i ng's G a m bit with f4 when the b i shop
at b2 forms a n excellent back-u p .
Sokol sky wrote a complete book i n
Russian d escri b i ng h i s i deas a nd i n clud
i ng many of his successful games. H i s
pe rsonal resul ts with 1 . b 4 were i m p res
s i ve and i n c lu d ed w i n s or d raws w i th
grand ma sters l i ke Flohr and Geller.
Sokol sky 's key variation of the open
ing runs l . b4 eS 2 . B b2 f6 3. e4 Bxb4
4. B c4 .

fig . 2 36

Here both bishops a re on free d iagona ls


and bear down on the squares surround
i ng the bl ack king. There are poss i b i l i ties
to o pen the game up further by f4, or to
bri ng the w h i te queen i nto the attack by
Qh5 + .
T hree cont i n uations d emonstrate t he
h i d den strength of White's offbeat fo r
mation :
(a) 4 . . . . N e7 5. Q h 5+ N g6 6. f4 !
e x f4 7 . aJ d 5 8. B x d 5 c6 9. Bb3 Qa5
1 0. e 5 ! Be7 1 1 . Bf7 + ! Resigns (Kata
l i mov- I l v i tsky). If 1 1 . . . . Kxf7 1 2 . e6 + .
A still more con v i n c i ng l i ne after 6.
e x f4 is 7 . N fJ ! w h i ch Bobby Fischer
pla yed in the o nly recorded instance
where he chose the Orang-Outang (Fis
cher-Gloger, simultaneous, Cleveland
1 964) : 7 . . . . N c6 8. N e) (threat N d 5 x f4)
B x c 3 9. B x c 3 d6 1 0. N h4 Ne7 1 1 . N f5
K f8 1 2 . 0-0 Qe8 1 3. Bxf6 ! Bxf5 1 4 . gxfS
d 5 1 5 . fxg6 gxf6 (if d xcS 1 6 . B xe7 +
Qxe7 1 7 . R x f4 + with a w i n n i n g attack)
1 6 . Qh6 + Kg8 1 7 . g7 Resigns. After
1 7 . . . . d xc4 1 8 . gxh8 = Q + Kxh8 1 9 .
Q x f6 + W h i te is winning on both material
and position.
(b) 4 . . . . N c6 5. f4 exf4 6. Nh3 Ngr7
7. N x f4 N a 5 8. B x f6 ! w i th a winning
a d v a n tage (Sokolsky-Struga tsch). If 8 .
. . . gxf6 9 . Q h 5 + w h i le i f 8 .
Nxc4
9. Bxg7 fol lowed by 1 0 . Qh5 +
(c) 4 . . . . N c6 5. f4 d6 6. f5 Nge7 7 .
Q h S + g 6 8 . fxg6 N x g6 9. N f3 Na S 1 0 .
Nh4 (Sokol sky-Gurvitc h ) . If 1 0.
N x b 3 1 1 . N xg6 .
T he O ra ng-Outang or Sokol sky Open
i ng as many now call it, can thu be a
useful su rprise weapon. It is best tci play
such an opening rarely - but just enough
to let the possi b i l ity of m eeti ng it become
known a mo ng regul ar opponents. Few
rel i sh the prospect of taking on a chess
south p a w . Of course i f B lack plays sen
si bly there a re several m ethods to secure
a reasona b le game. One l ogical approach
is l . b4 aS 2 . b5 d6 fol lowed by N f6, g6
a nd a K i ng's Indian Defe nce formation,
followed l a ter by manoeuvri ng Black's
QN to a good squ a re at b6 or c5 a n d jor
usi ng the a d v a nced pawn as a ta rget to
o pen up the a file by . . . a 6 .
121

Pro Techniques
for
ateurs

T h i s chapter I S i n tended for p l a yers who


h a ve l ea rnt someth i ng a bout c h e ss from
t h is a nd other books, enj o y ed soc i a l
games w i t h fri e n d s , a nd w o u l d n o w l i ke
to t ry their sk i l l i n c o m p et i t i o n s . How
ever, w h i le you e x pect to b e r e a so n a b l y
successfu L you d o n ' t w a nt t o spend
m o n t hs in a d v ance p r e p a ra t i on b e fo re
you enter y o u r fi rst to u r n a m en t .
In t h i s c ha pter, t h e e m p ha s is i s on
pra c t i c a l suggestions. Some a re s i m p l e
common-sen se, others w i ll i n v o l ve work
and study - how much d e pe n d s on you
o t h e r'> a re b a s i c i n fo r m a t i on to ena b l e vou
to fi nd y o u r w ay roun d the c h e ss c l u b n d
t he congress scen e .
E l e m e n t a r y d o ' s and d o n ' ts

1 S u c c e s s fu l o pe n i ng p l a y means c e n t re
c o n t ro l . At t h e s t a r t , ad v a n c e e i t h e r or
both d or e pa w n . two squa res w i t h
w h i t e . o n e s q u a re vv i th b l a c k . I f you h a v e
a c h a n c e to get both cen tra l pa w n s in l i ne
a h rc a s t 1 n t he ce n t re o l t he boa r d . do i t
u n less y o u s p o t some o b v i o u s s n a g .
2 B r i n g your p i eces i n to a c t i o n a s fa st a s
pll'is i h l c T h i s m e a n s a m i n i m u m o f p a w n
moves
T h r e e pa vvn m o ves s h o u l d b e
y n ur n o r m a l ra t i on d u r i n g t he fi rst t e n
'
m O \" CS o f cl ga m e - t h e r e s t s h o u l d h e
d n e l o p i n g m cl \ e s w i t h p i ec e s .
) B r i n g k n i g h t s a n d b i shops i n to p l a y
h c ! o r e q u e en a n d roo k s . In m a n y open
i ngs t h e q u een b i shop is the l a s t m i n o r
p i ece t o d e v e l o p . E a r l y q u een e x c u r s i o n s
a re u s u a l ly ba d . B r i ng t h e k n i ghts a n d
b i s h o p s to pos i t i o n s w h e re t h ey c o n t r o l o r
lK c u py a c e n t ra l sq u a re. o r e l se rest r i ct a n
e n e m y p i ece \': h i c h a tta c k s t h e c e n t r e .
Ca s t l e e ar l v .
1 A \" l l l d b l u n d e rs ' T h i s go l d en r u le o f
n o \ i ce p la y sepa r a tes t h e beg i n ne r from
t h e fi rst step up t h e c hess l a d d e r to weak
c I u b l e v e l . To avoid b l u n d e r s a nd ta ke
a d \a n t a g e o f th ose o f your o pponen t .
t ra i n vou rse l f t o l oo k round t h e boa rd
hefort; m a k i ng any move. Look to s ee
( a ) i f y o u r o p po ne n t ' s last move c o n ta i n ed
or u n c o v e r ed a n y t h reats aga i nst w h i c h
y ou m u st guard ;
( b) if" your o p ponent has l e ft ungua r d ed
p i e c e s you can take or a ttack ;
(c) i f y o u r p l a n ned move w i l l leave a ny o f
vour p i eces s u bject t o capture .
S When there a re no o b v ious t hreats a n d
\ ' O U don 't know w h a t t o d o n e x t, d e c i d e
v h i ch of y o ur p ieces i s w o r st p l a c ed a n d

1 22

least i n vol ved in t he game. Then t r y to


move t h i s pi ece to a squa re w h e re it p l a y s
a more a c t i ve pa r t .
6 T ry t o ta ke the i n i t ia t i ve. a n d press u re
y o u r o p ponent. W a y s of d oi n g t h i s
i nclude :
( a ) i f there is an open fi le, oc c u py it w i th
o n e or both roo k s .
( h) d i rect y o u r b i shops on t o d i a gon a l s
l ea d i ng t o t he e n e m y k i n g .
( c ) p l a ce k n i g h ts o n central squa res w h e re
t h ey ea n ' t be atta c ked by p a w n s .
7 In t he ea rly stages, a v o id m ov i ng
p a w n s i n front of your castled k i ng
u n l ess d r i v i ng a wa y a n a tta c k i ng p i ece.
But when the ga me has gone 30-40 m o v es
a n d m a ny p ieces h a ve been s w a p ped o ff.

u s u ,1 l l y pa vs to m a ke a h o l e for yo u r
k i n g b y a d v a n c i n g o n e of t h e t h ree pa vv n s
w h ich p rotec t t h e c a s t l ed pos i t i o n .
8 Attack is ea s i er than d e fence, a nd
nov i ces usu a l l y d e fend pa rt i c u l a r l y
ba d l y . S o keep p u s h i n g y o u r fo rces to
w a r d s the enemy k i n g .
9 W h en m a n y p i e ce s, a n d p a rt i cu l a r l y
the q u eens, a re exc h a n ge d t h e k i ng i s i n
l i t t le d a n ge r a n d m u st b e used as a n a c t i v e

it

The S t ei n i t z k n iy,h t

Wh i t e 's Q6 knzy,h t

do m i n a tes t h e black game, sh ields a rook


build- up on the open l i ne and prepares for u
l a t e r a u a ck nn t h e k i ny,

figh ting p i ece. Other poi nts for the e n d


game : u se the rook as an attacker i n
enemy terri tory rather than in defend i ng
pa w n s ; a nd keep most of your pawns on
opposite colo u red squa res to your b i sho p .
Wh en down t o a pawn en d i n g, use t he
k i ng to shepherd pawns thro u gh to
qu een .
G e n e r a l a pp r o a c h
Y o u r a t t i tude t o chess c an h e l p sign i fi
cantly i n d ec i d ing whether your p l ay
im proves. That means trea t i ng a l l games,
even fr ien d ly ones at home or in a c l u b,
w i th rea sona ble seriousness. As a start,
never take ba ck moves - this habit en
cou rages slop py th i n k i n g and b l u n ders
and is n ot al lowed i n serious m a tches.
Buy a score book (ava i l a b l e from a ny
chess equi pment s u p p l ier) and take down
the moves of every ga me. A fter the game,
ch eck to see wh ere you went wrong (even
if you won it's h ighly l i kely you made
m i stakes ) . I f your opponent is a stronger
player, the s i m plest way is to a sk h im to
go over the game w i th you - most w i n ners
a re happy to o b l i ge a nd you get a free
l esso n .
Wh ether o r n o t y o u and your opponent
h a ve a post-mo rtem, there is one fu rther
i m portant tec h n i que you should pract ice
a fter every game. Look u p . the o pe n i ng in
an openi n gs book and the endgame (if
there was one) i n a n endgame book and
see how ex perts played s i m i lar positions
to yours. This ' comparative learni ng'
method is w i d ely used i n the USSR, the
wor l d ' s strongest chess country . Chess is
above all a game to p l a y, but i mm e d i a tely
be fore and a fter each match or tou rna
ment the moti vati on for further study i s
at i ts strongest. T h a t w a y y o u gra d ually
ac q u i re v i ta l techn ical d a ta even i f you
a re not normally a booki sh perso n .
W h ere t o p l a y
Most s m a l l t o w n s have a chess c l u b,
maj or c i t i es have several. Y o u r local
l i bra ry w i ll p ro ba bly have i n forma tion ;
if that fa i l s, w r i te to t he natio n al chess
federat i on and they will a d vise you of
local c l u bs (BCF, 4 The Clo se, Norwich,
Norfolk in England . and U SCF, 1 86 Route
9W, New W i ndsor, NY 1 2 5 5 0 i n the
U n i ted Sta tes). Mem bership fees v ary but
are su bsta n t i a l ly less than for m a ny o ut
door sports : ex pect up to 5 a yea r i n
England and u p t o $ 20 a year in the U S .
H owever, d o n ' t a s s u me that y o u r
part i c ular chess c l u b w i ll a ns wer a l l y o u r
need s. S o m e small cl ubs can h a v e m e m
bersh i ps who play o n l y a m ong them
selves and i gnore newcomers not strong
enough for the c l u b team ; others lack
good fac i l i ties for coffee, s a n d w i ches, or
extra events beyond the c l u b night. On
the o ther hand, many strong cl u bs run
several teams and make a spec i al e ffort to
make new m e m bers feel a t home. You
sho u ld be a ble to j u d ge whether the
1 24

atmosphere is fo rbidd ing or welcom i ng


before parting w i th your su bscri pti on
money .
Week e n d co n g r e sses
If you a re i n terested in chess competitions
but a re not i n terested in the i dea of
regu lar a ttendance a t the local c l u b, the
best method of fin d i ng op ponents of
s i m i lar sta nd a rd to your own i s in the
weekend congresses which a re held
regularly a ll over the US and Brita i n . I n
major cities s u c h as Lon don and N e w
York there may b e a d ozen o r more such
events each year. A l most a ll such con
gresses cater for players of all standards
and o ne of the features of the London
Evening S ta n d a rd event, the l a rgest of i ts
k i nd in E u rope, is a spec ial tournament
for novi ces and beginners. Several hun
d red people w i ll be tak i ng part so you
need n't fea r that the ex pe rts will s pend
their t i me sta n d i ng at your board sn igger
i ng at the blunders.
There is usua l l y a friend! y atmosphere
at congresses and if by then you haven ' t
fou nd a c l u b y o u w o u l d l i ke t o j o in there
w i l l q u i te li kely be somebody at the
event who can give you d i s i n terested
ad vice. A sk at the control d esk or the
boo k s ta l l . i f they don ' t know the msel ves
they can o ften put you on to the right
perso n .
C o n gress te c hn i q u e
M o s t c ongress tou rnaments a re o rganized
on the S w i ss system, an ingenious hybrid
of a l l - p lay-all and knock-out. Players
meet o p pone n ts w i th the same or s i m il a r
scores. s o t h a t winners keep o n meeting
ot her wi nners u ntil there are only one or
two perfect or near-perfect scores a fter
fi ve or six rou n d s . Genera l l y there a re
two or three ga m es on Saturdays, two on
S u n day, and perha ps one on Friday n ight
- fi ve or six games in a l l .
P r i zes in the lo west secttm may be
around 50 or $ 1 00, someti mes more or
less d e pend i ng on the n u m ber of entries
a nd the status o f the even t. There is no
d i fference in chess between profess ionals
and a mateurs as regards prizes : it i s nor
mal to a w a rd cash for at l ea st first place i n
jun ior tournaments. Chess professionals
a re those w ho make a ful l-time l i v ing from
the ga me, and this is rarely possi b le from
w eekend a n d other tournam en ts a l one.
It is n o rm a l for a l l the a dult events in a
chess congress to be p l ay ed w i th clocks.
A chess c lock consi sts of two clocks
j o i ned together ; y ou p ush a button to
stop o ne c lock a nd start the other, so that
each clock records the thi n k i ng time of
one player. If you a re a serious player, it
is a good idea to buy your own clock
(usually costing a bout 1 0- 1 5 or $ 2 530) which you can use for timed practice
games.
T i me l i m i ts in weekend congresses are
normal l y someth i ng l i ke 40 or so moves

'
in 1 l- hours, fol l o wed (in Briti sh events)
by a bl itz fi n i sh where all the rema i n ing
moves have to be made in 1 5-20 m i nutes.
Begin ners normally play fa st a nd don't
make use of the avai lable ti me. La ter on
you may find yourself one of the many
who go too far in the other d i rec t i on and
run short o f time near the fi nish. Chess
cl ocks have a flag which fa lls on the hour
and i f you have fa i led to make the
requi red moves by flagfa ll you au to
matically lose the game .
T ime pres sure
A s i mple technique if you get very short
of time is to note subsid iary time l i mits on
your score sheet. Normally the book
opening moves, which may be anything
from the first three on each side up to a
dozen or 1 5, a re made quickly . When you
have reached the end of the opening
and both players a re thi n k i ng hard, work
out the number of moves and time
rem a i n i ng a nd give yourself a schedule
for each ten moves or so. For exam ple
you m i ght find that you have rea ched
the end of your book knowledge after
move 1 0, w i th 30 more to go before the
t i me control and 1 hours left. Then, mark
moves 20, 30 and 40 on the score sheet
a nd note the clo ck t i me when you ex pect
to reach these moves. Al low fi ve or ten
m inutes ex tra for d i ffi c ult situations.
Age and y outh
Chess has become very m uch a young
m a n ' s game i n recent years, a nd this is
particularly so in congress play. Even in a
nov i ce tou rn ament, you may fi nd that the
unknown opponent on the other side
of the board is a stu d i o us and ambitious
looking youngster c l u tching a tome of
o pe n i ng analysis. Whether you are also
young or a re a comparative veteran, the
question is how shoul d you tackle this
type of perso n ?
Young p layers at the chess boa rd have
two a ssets. One is physical : in a four
hour tournament game it is hard for the
older pl ayer to keep h is energy a nd con
cen tra t i on a t fu l l p i tch in that period
when the game a p p roaches its c l i max. In
evening l ea gue games, when the older
player has proba bly had a hard day at the
office w h i le the juni or has been cram m i ng
c urrent master variations, age is sti l l more
of a han d i c a p .
Younger p l ay ers a re usual l y better at
c a lculating tactics. The a b i l i ty to see
ahead at the board, to spot hidden traps
and i d eas in any position, dec l i nes after
the a ge of 30.
But an o lder p layer has h i s a ssets too.
A c anny psychological a p p ro ach, which
is beyond many young p l a yers, c an pay
d i v idends. A mature attitude is valua ble
in d e fence, where a young attacker may
overlook a key resource . If he over
reaches and the ga me sta rts to flow
aga i n st h im then his volatile emoti ons can

make for d ispirited resistance against a


counter-attack .
When meeting a younger opponent
try to stick to simple, strategic play,
where judgment and general principles
are more a t a premium. I n endga mes, too,
younger players sometimes lose i n terest
because of the lessened chance of ' inter
esting' tactics .
Even Tal, renowned as a tacti ci a n, has
used the simple a pproach against
young players. Here is an example :
meeting an opponent twenty yea rs youn
ger, Tal chose a simple variation of the
Ruy Lopez, swapped off t hree sets of
minor pieces to s top complications, d rove
his opponent on the defensive and
quietly made sure of the w i n .
White : M : T a l . B lack : R K na a k
O p e ni n g : R u y L o p e z (Ha l le I 974 )
I . e4 Nc6 2. Nf3 (following the reci pe of
Chapter 9 against Black's N imzovich
Defence) eS 3 . B b S a6 4. Ba4 d6 S . 0-0
B d 7 6. d4 N f6 7. B x c6 Bxc6.
This reca p ture already shows Black
has been psychologically thrown by
Tal's unexpected swap. He heads for the
old Steinitz Defence which i s well-known
to give Black a passive position (see
Chapter 3, Trap I ). More a ctive is bxc6.

8. Re i B e 7 9 . N c3 e x d 4 1 0. N xd4 B d 7
1 1 . Q f3 B g 4 (better 0-0, but Black is try
i ng to be tactical) 1 2 . Qg3 Qd7 1 3 . h 3
Bh5 I 4. N 5 0-0-0 I S . B g S N g8 1 6. Bxe7
Nxe 7 .

fig. 2 3 7

17. Qg5 !
This d ri ves Black compl etely on the
defensive. The toughest way to res ist
now is 1 7 . . . . N c6 1 8. Qxh5 g6, but
Black, di scouraged, overlooks th is re
source and Tal fi ni shes nea tly .
17 . . . . N x 5 ? 1 8 . exfS g6 1 9 . g 4 Qc6
20. f6 ! (clearer than taking the bishop)
d5 2 1 . Re7 h 6 2 2 . QeS d4 23. N e2 RdS
24. Nxd4 ! Resigns. Neither Rxe5 2 5 .
Nxc6 nor Qc4 2 5 . Rxc7 + ! gi ves Black
any chance.

Ch o o sing opponents
For purposes of rapid improvement,
you should try to play w i th sl i ghtly

stronger opponents : weak ones will


teach you little, good ones will beat you
too easily. Many people, however, cannot
easily find such an ideal tra i n i ng partner ;
what a lternatives a re there a p a rt from
the club and the weekend congress ?
P ostal chess
One poss i b il ity, useful mainly for those
who live far from major cities or who for
other reasons cannot compete in weekend
events, is to play postal chess. This will
help to develop your analysis and s tra
tegy, though the fact that players can
look up openings means that the games
are sometimes unimaginative. Inter
national postal chess is at a high level but
the general run of domestic competitions
a re wea ker than over-the-board chess.
Both the BCF and U SCF c an put you in
touch w i th postal organizations in B ri tain
and the US.
There is every possibility that the new
comer to postal play will be a ble to find
opponents of a s imilar standard from
beginner upwards. Two special pitfalls
a re present in this type of chess. One is the
r i sk of blundering through setting up the
wrong posi tion. It is only too easy, a fter
a na lyzing the consequences of the oppo
nent's latest move in depth on a pocket
board, to leave the posi tion slightly
altered w i th d i re consequences a few
moves later.
The rec ommended approach is to use
at least two pocket sets for each game,
one to show the actual posi tion and the
other for analysis.
Another risk to the postal pla yer is a
blunder th rough ina ttention or boredom
during a protracted game. Some oppo
nents will s p in out a losing position longer
than they would across the board, hoping
for a c areless error or a c areless offer of a
cond i tional move. W inning a routine,
technical endgame can take seve "- 1
months at postal chess. It is no pastime
for the i m pa tient, so only ta ke it up if you
a re sure you have suffi c ient free time and
will-power to carry the games through.
There is a l ways a d rop-out in postal tour
naments from players who simply a ban
d on their games part-way through .
A couple of games aga i n st each of s i x
postal ch ess opponents is a good com
p rom ise between too many games (when
you ' ll fi nd high postage costs a deterrent)
and too few. It bri ngs a bout one letter a
day ; enough chess to keep your brain
active and alert, but not enough to over
whel m .
H ome c omp ute rs
Computers that anyone can purcha se and
use for a home opponent a re a very recent
chess development, and it i s too soon to
say whether they will be a nine-day
wonder or become a regular part of the
scene. The earliest models d rew a lot of
criticism as they allowed illegal moves,

could not castle, and lost easily to ele


mentary mates. More recent versions
seem a little s tronger, although they have
been beaten by most of their h uman
opponents in the lowest section of con
gresses. Prices at the time of writing a re
from a bout 50 or $ 1 00 upwards. They
may be useful as long as you a re a real
novice and a re una ble to find human
opponents, but I think it unlikely that
they will become good enough to be
useful pra ctice for average club players.
If you a re thinking of buying one, try to
insist on a test run at home fi rst. Major
computer programmes which c an be used
on powerful IBM a nd Control Data
machines a re a d i fferent matter. The best
of these a re pa rticularly good at quick
play and have already won several games
against grandma sters.
P la y i ng i n s imuls
Simultaneous d i splays where a master
takes on twenty or more opponents at
once a re an i nteresting way to meet
s tronger players - there is a real thrill the
fi rst time you w in or draw. What takes
place is that the players sit round the
outside of a ci rcle while the expert moves
from one board to another. A bout three
hours is par for a 20-board exhi bition and
the simulta neous giver rarely scores less
than 80 per cent.
The world record for such a d isplay
was set up at Emmen, Switzerland, in the
summer of 1 979 and was rema rka ble.
Werner Hug, Switzerland 's best player,
took 2 5 hours to meet 5 60 opponents,
defeating 385, d rawing with 1 26 and
l osing to only 49. A round 1 8, 000 people
watched, and Hug walked over twenty
miles. I should be interested to know how
he dealt w i th what I have found to be the
main d i fficulty of very long d isplays a fter some hours the expert is lia ble to
develop cramp of the neck muscles
through continual stooping down to the
boa rd s .
How should you beat the master in
such an exhi bition ? Partly, it's l uck the expert usually makes one or two
blunders and that can happen against the
strongest player or the weakest. The
technique for the master who commits a
bad error in a simul is to race round the
next move series so that the opponent
concerned is p ressurized i nto a quick
deci sion on whether the move is brilliant
or is a blunder. If you think the ex pert
may have blund ered watch to see
whether he ha stens to get round to your
board aga i n .

1 25

R o u lette c h e ss
Blun ders a part, the m ost p ro m i s i ng
chance to beat a s i m u l-gi v i ng ma ster, or
i nd eed to d e feat a ny much stronger
opponent, is by w hat i s k n o wn as ran
d om i zi ng the position or roulette c h ess.
Roulette c h ess is a position w h i c h
a bounds in tac ti ca l chances and w here
n e i ther p l a yer rea l ly knows what is
happening. In such situations, the scien
tific preci sion of c l osed posi tions, stra
tegic play agai nst pawn weaknesses,
tec h n i cal know-how and book endgames
all have less i n fluence. Everything
depends on ta cti cs, and if the expert
m i sses a c heck or a ca pture in the m i d d le
of a c ritical l i ne you have the c ha n c e of a n
upset resul t .
How do y o u c reate roulette situations ?
Normally you d o it by sac r i fi c i ng a pawn
or two so as to give the p ieces attack ing
l i n es and chances for o pportun i st raid s .
Most defea ts for the s i ngle player i n
s i m u l s o c c ur i n m i d d l e g a m e m elees
where the e xpert l oses the thread because
of the p ressure of h av i ng to move quickly.
On the other hand, let him have the
i n i tiative, a quiet position or an ending
and h i s tec h n i cal s k i l l will outplay you
even i f h i s game is o bj ectively worse.
G ra n d master Bent La rsen says a bout
rook e n d i n gs in s i muls that ' pa w n down,
I d raw ; level material, I w i n ' .
Endgames in s i m u l s should in fact be
avoided at a l m ost a ny price. N o t only is
the ex pert's tec h n i que superior to yours,
1 26

but by the time an end i ng i s rea ch ed most


games w i l l be over a nd the fi nal moves
will be p layed at b l i tz s peed to the benefit
of the master's better sight of the board .
Moreover, the p ressure of b e i ng the last
to fin i sh watched by a crowd of s pe c
tators has caused m any b l u nders by c l u b
p layers u n used to b e i ng the focus of
attenti o n .
Chess m a y be a game of pure skill i n
theory, but i n pract ice ra n d om c hance i s
a factor i n t h e form of u nex pec ted ta ical
shots which even strong players can
easily m i ss, and sometim es do. Thus
p racti cal a d v i ce on roulette chess is to
encourage it when you meet a m uch
stronger opponent. On the other hand
you should m i n i m i ze it aga inst a weaker
player whom you should beat on merit.
Aga i n st him you a i m for a routine,
tech n i cal a nd positional game fol lowed
by s i m p l i fication to an e n d i ng .
There a r e u n k i n d ways for clubs to d o
w e l l i n s i m u l s . One i s t o p rovi de sets a n d
boards of varying shapes and sizes a n d
to u s e l ighting whose qual i ty varies i n
d i fferent parts o f the roo m . Y o u a l so have
a better c h ance if you a re on a corner
ta ble w h ich j uts out i n to the m i d d l e of
the c i rcle - s i m ul p layers l i ke to mai n tain
a steady w a l k i ng rhy thm and the c heck
to the master's stride will n ot help his
gam e .
S i m u l s prod u ce a quota o f p retty and
i nstructive w i ns as the ma ster overcom es
weak resistance. I ' ve commented earlier

World c h a mp i o n Karpo v t a kes on England's


t op t en j u n i o rs in a Lloyds B a nk clock m a t ch ,

1 9 7 7, p a rt of t h e B a nk 's 1 4,000 0 1 d t o school

chess.

(see Chapters 2, 3 and 9) on the strength


of the V i e n na against i n e x perienced
o p ponents ; h ere i s another example, won
by Horowi tz in a simul in 1 94 1 .
W h i te : Ho rowitz . B lack : A mateur
V i e n na O p e n i n g
l . e4 e 5 2 . N c 3 N c6 3 . B c 4 BcS 4 . Q g4
Q f6 ? ( best i s K f8) 5 . N d S ! Qxf2 +
6 . K d l K f8 7. N hJ Qd4 8. d3 Bb6
9. R O N f6 1 0 . R x f6 ! d 6 (if gxf6 1 1 . Bh6 +

Ke8 1 2 . Qg7 wins).

fi g . 2 3 8

1 1 . Q x g 7 + ! K x g 7 1 2 . B h 6 + K g8 1 3 .
Rg6 + fx g6 1 4 . N f6 mate .

Chess books
There are hundreds of c hess books in
print, so any player who w i sh es to im
prove needs to be h ighly selecti v e . Below
is a list of those I think most useful - but
if you browse at a congress bookstall you
may find others you prefer.
General a d v i ce : Th ink like a Gra nd
master ( A . Kotov) ; Chess for Tigers
(S. Webb) ; The Chess Teacher ( A . P h i l
lips) and Chess Mastery by Question and
Answer (F. Rei n feld) .
Openi ngs : How to Play the Openings
in Chess (D. Levy a nd R. Keene) ; Chess
Openings for You ( B . Ca fferty ) .
M iddle G a me : The Pengu in Book of
Chess Posit ions (C. A l e x a nder) .
Endgames : A Pocket Gu ide t o Chess
Endgames (D. Hooper). How to Play the
Endgame in Chess (L. Barde n ) .
Game Col lecti o n s : My 60 Memorable
Games ( R . Fischer) ; La rsen 's Selected
Games of Chess (B. Larsen ) ; The Master
Game (J . James a nd L . Ba rden ) ; Capa
blanca 's 1 00 Best Games (H. Golom
bek) .
Puzzles a n d P r o b l e m s : Leonard Bar
den's Chess Puzzle Book ( L . B a rde n ) .
Re fere nce : The Encyclopedia of Chess
( H . Gol om bek) ; Encyclopedia of Chess
Openings, 5 vols. (Batsford Chess In
formant).
Chess ma g a z i n e s : Chess ( month l y ,
British ) ; Bri t ish Chess Magazine ( mon
thly, B r itish ) ; Chess Life ( monthly, U S ) .
New s pa pe r c o l u m n s : A m o n g t h e
most in teresting weekly c hess columns
in English a re those i n the Specta tor
(R. Keene), the Ti mes (H. Golombek),
the Guardian ( L . Barden) and the New
York Ti mes (R. Byrne). Both London
even ing papers run a da ily featu re .
Eve n i n g

classes

and

indiv idual

t u i t i o n : Even i ng classes are available


in Lo ndon from M orley College and
indi v i dual cassette tuition from Audio
Chess of Chessi ngton, Surrey.
W a t c h i n g t h e masters

Perhaps the most enjoya ble of all the ways


to i m p rove your c h ess other than w i n
ning a b ig tou rna ment, i s to watch the
masters and grandma sters in action in
BBC2 ' s annual Master Game p rogra m m e
w h i c h is normally screened between
January and March in a 1 3-part series.
The Master Game s hows the players
th inking out their moves aloud w hile
eve ry move and square discu ssed is
indica ted on an electronic board. The
programme attracts audien ces of up to
two million - not only chessplayers, b ut
others who e nj oy the contra sts of person
ality and the tone of the comments w hich
range between elation a nd despair.
R u n n i ng commenta r i es on major games
are a l so a feature at many big inter
nati onal events, and a day spent in the
audience at the a n n ual to urnaments like

Hastings or the Lloyds B ank Masters in


B r i tain or the U S O pen w i ll be valuable
e x perience.
Chess can be an exciting game to watch
for two rea sons : the knowledge that a
single m i stake can be fatal a nd the slow
b u i ld-up towards the ti me control. As
the game p rogresses the clock steadily
i n c reases the p ressure and the tension
for both players and spectators. The
spectator can best share this e x c i tement
by watc h i ng a game where he has a parti
san in te rest - for example a l eading Briti sh
or US play er meeting a top Ru ss ian - and
by working on the games h i mself.
T h i s means ta k ing along a pocket
boa rd and men and dec iding on two or
th ree games to watch seriously. T ry to
work out the best move on each tu rn, and
then try to u nderstand w hy the e x pe rt
may do someth i ng q u i te di fferent. Tack
ling the games this way, not know i ng the
result in advance, is more stimulating
than pla y i ng over games from book s .
I f y o u are u na ble t o attend a tou rna
me nt, then the next best idea is to play
over master games from books, covering
up the next move and working it out.
Time yourse l f w i th a clock as i f you were
one of the players. I used to fi nd this
valua ble as a young player and recom
mend ma k i ng it more i n teresting by
marking you rself on a 5 point sca le. You
get 5 points for c hoosi ng the same move
as the game w i n n er or a move wh ich the
commentator says is j ust as good, 4 poi nts
for a move which (after the ga me) still
seems as good as the one that was played,
3 poi nts for a sl ightly i n ferior contin u
ation, and so on down to 0 for an outright
bl under. If you c heck your results over a
period of weeks or months you can ex pect
to record p rogressive improvement.
P o ints of t e c hni q ue
Successful m iddle game and e ndgam e
stra tegy and ta ctics is largely a matter of
experience as well as recognizi ng the
su btle di fferences in c hess patterns - but
some more general points will stil lt be
h e l p ful.
Castl ing
Castl i ng can someti m es be delayed with
adva ntage, but the i nexperienced player
should castle rather than not i f in dou bt.
The Yugoslav writer V u kov ic once
analyzed the results of a n u m ber of
sim ultaneous di s p la ys by masters. He
fou nd one com mon feature in ' s i mul
ta neous massacres' where th e ex pert won
all or nearly all the games : late castl i ng by
the opponents.
While the begin n e r fails to castle
quickly enough, the a ve rage player does
so too mechan ically. V u kovic quotes th is
diagram as a type-situation where club
or county players castle unthinki ngly
for either side .

fig . 2 3 9

Here, if Whi te castles KR, Black also


castles short a nd White's obvious pawn
attack w i th h3 and g4 will weaken his
own king's defences. So Whi te does
better with the more su btle 1 . Qe2 fol
lowed by long castling - 2. 0-0-0. If
Black thinks on routine l i nes and con
tinues l . Qe2 0-0 ? then 2. 0-0-0 followed
by h 3, Rdg 1 a nd g4 is now very strong
W h i te h as a powerful attack, wh ile h i s
o w n k i ng rema i ns sa fe .
Thus a strong player w ith Black would
spot Wh i te's intention a nd h i m self c hoose
wa iting tacti c s . A fter 1 . Qe2 he could
postpone the castli ng dec i s i on by 1 .
a6. Then if 2. 0-0-0 0-0-0 ! Now the g4
attack is ha rmless, while if W h i te ad
vances on the other flank by b4-b5, his
own king is ex posed to the cou nter
attack Qa 3 + .
A sti l l more sop h i sticated refi nement
a fter I . Qe2 is for Black to regroup by
1. .
N d8 2 . h 3 Nf7 3. Qd2 ( now both
sides are j ockeying for position) 0-0-0.
By now Black has sufficie ntly improved
h is position to ca stle long in sa fety, for if
Wh ite castles short then the knight at f7
enables Black to play RdgS followed by
g5 with a quick counter-stri ke. White
would proba bly in turn avoid this l i ne by
4. 0-0-0 a fter which the game proceeds
along a calm positional course .
P i l l s bury is said to have been the first
to summarize the rule on ca stling for
strong players, 'Castle because you must
or because you want to, never just be
cause you can . '
.

P l anning and exchang ing


W hether to compli cate or exc ha nge, and
h ow to plan stra tegy, are com mon prob
lems on the c hessboard. There is no
uni versal answer, but there are some
guide l i nes. Here are a few :
(a) If you a re short of time on the clock it
is generally better to simpl i fy ; if your
opponent is pressed for time then keep
the attack goi ng.
( b) If there is no definite plan, do not
compl i ca te but make a non-committal
move which makes your position soun
der - often a plan will suggest itself in the
1 27

course of the next few moves.


(c) If you can gain material by exchang
ing, or if you are already ahead on mater
ial, then it generally pays to go for the
endgame. It may not be the quickest or
the prettiest w i n, but your aim once in a
favourable position should be to safe
guard the full point without letting
your opponent back into the game.
(d) You should exchange if you are under
attack or cramped, and avoid exchanges
if you a re atta cking or command more
space. This is particula rly so if an ex
change would swap one of your well
posted p ieces and bring a poorly situ
ated opposing p iece i nto better play.
A typical situation : you have rooks at
d 1 and a l, your opponent rooks at dB and
fB. If you play R( d 1) xdB then the reply
R(fB)xdB changes a near-symmetrical situ
ation to one where your opponent's rook
is the better placed. Needless concession
of an open line in this way can make the
d i fference between v ictory and defeat.
Better leave the opponent to exchange, or
else look for an outpost s quare on the
open file where your rook c an be pro
tected by a pawn. Then you have the
chance to increase the advanta ge by
doubling rooks.
A nother frequent case : you have a
bi shop on g5 pinning a k night at f6 against
a queen at dB. Your opponent attack s the
bi shop with pawn h7 to h6 ; s hould you
swap bishop for knight ?
Normally the a n swer is no. The bishop,
a developed p iece in good play, d i s
appears, while the prev iously defensive
queen comes into a ction. U sually in such
cases it is better to retreat the bishop
when the pawn ad vance will have
weakened your opponent's king. But
there are no a bsolute rules ( bar check
mate) ; there are times when it is right to
make the exchange because it gains a
tempo or because it gives your remaining
bi shop and knights command of the
l ight squares.
(e) If the game is being adj ud i cated (see
page 1 32) you have to decide whether the
simpl i fied position after an exchange is
more l ikely to be given a win.
L e v e l p ositi o ns , outp osts and
initiative chess
To become a successful match and tour
nament player it is essential to have the
ability and d etermi nation to win posi
tions that you shoul d n' t ; to win from
level positions and even bad ones. The
art of swindling in bad positions is largely
the ability to in trod uce unexpected com
plica tions : but what a bout when material
and position is level (though the game is
completely simplified) and your natural
instinct is to offer a d ra w ?
The first step is to follow a rule already
mentioned to look for out-of-play pieces
and switch them to more useful squares.
One recurrent and practical theme in
1 28

equal-look i ng middle games is to try and


create outposts. This usually means a
knight, rook, or bishop fi rmly esta b
l i shed on a central square - it may not
sound much, but a dominating outpost
has the same effect as a tennis player in
the net position or a soccer set-piece free
kick j u st outside the penalty box .
The special s trength o f an outpost i s
that it enables a player to swi tch t o either
side of the board for the most p romising
attack. The outpost c uts the defending
forces in two, j ust as in the soccer set
p iece where the atta ck i ng team has the
option of a direct shot at the lone goal
k eeper or going round the outside of the
wall of defenders.
T h e square sq ueeze
A single square in a blocked position can
be enough for a dominating outpost. The
a verage chessplayer doesn't understand
how such squa res can dominate the entire
game - w i tness the cool public response
to the successes of Petrosian and Karpov
who are essentially strategic, square
control players.
As an example, here is a game begin
ning w i th a black defence - the Meran
variation - which used to be a popular
counter-attack line u ntil W h i te scored
several successes with a Petrosian-style
square squeeze .
Polugaevsky, the winner, is one of the
world top ten, and his grand plan is based
on the simple concept of settli ng a k night
at the c4 outpost. The kni ght constantly
threatens to help the d pawn advance,
and Black's attempts to blockade this
pawn are sim ply stopped by ex changes .
W h i te : L. P o lugaevsk y . B l a c k : P
.

B i y ia sas
Opening :

Queen ' s

Gambit,

Slav

M e ra n ( P et r o p o l is 1 97 3 )
l . d 4 N f6 2 . c 4 e6 3 . N O d 5 4 . N c3 c6

5. e3 N bd7 6. B d 3 d x c4 7. Bxc4 b 5
8 . B d 3 a6 9 . e 4 c5 1 0 . d 5 e 5 1 1 . b 3 B d 6
1 2 . 0-0 0-0 1 3 . R e i R b8 1 4 . B fl R e 8 7

Black's last is the culprit which allows


Black's pawn front to be immobilized and
concedes White the v i tal c4 square.
Black should have tried 14 .
. f. N e8
1 5 . a4 Nc7 keeping the Q-side pawns
mobile. Spotting this, some experts
cla imed after the game that W h i te should
have played 1 3 . a4, when Black in turn
c an try a square squeeze by 1 3 . . . . c4
1 4 . bxc4 b4 1 5 . Ne2 N c 5 while White can
aim to eliminate this blockade by Be3xc 5 .
W h o is really better is a matter o f tas te but the real lesson is that the player who
is fa mil iar with square squeeze technique
greatly improves his chances.
.

1 5 . a4 !

The k ey manoeuvre. The slight loss of


time by the N regrouping from c3 to c4
via b l and d2 coun ts for little beside the
great value of controll i ng the c4 square.
For the rest of the game, Black is al ways
struggling.
1 5 . . . . b4 1 6. N b 1 N b6 1 7 . N b d2 Re7
1 B. Bb2 N eB 1 9 . R c l f6 20. a 5 N aB 2 1 .
N c4 ! (at last occupying the outpost) Rc7
22. N fd2 (giv i ng support to the first
k night and preparing the advance of the
central pawn roller) Bd7 2 3 . f4 Qe7 24 .
fxe 5 fxe5 2 5 . N x d6 N x d6 2 6 . N c4 Nxc4
2 7 . B x c4 R e s i g n s If 27 . . . . Qd6 28.
.

Bxe5 ! Qxe5 29. d6 + wins.

The Steinitz knight


Steinitz once made the arresting obser
vation that if you c an plant your knight
at d6 or e6 (d3 or e3 when playing Black)
you can go to sleep and let the game win
itself. The Steinitz knight is really an
especially good form of the square
squeeze ; set far in the opponent's pos i
tion, it paralyses his forces by denying
them co-ord i nation .
The knight at e6 situation often comes
a bout in the King's Ind ian or the Dutch
( l . d4 f5) Defence in queen 's side open
ings or in K-side openings with l . e4 e5
where it is routine for Black to advance
his f pawn for counterplay. If at that
s tage White has a pawn on d5 there may
be a tacti cal chance to seize the e6 square
by advancing the k night there v ia d4 or
g5.
The knight at d 6 s ituation comes
a bout more often with support from a
pawn at c5 rather than at e 5 . A typical
preamble is a Sicilian or King's Ind ian
Defence which Black has handled too
cautiously and permitted White a space
gaining pawn advance. If the defender,
t rying for some acti ve play, pushes his c
and e pawns forward, then d6 is a natural
target for a white knight.
There are three cautionary points to
note before you establish a Steinitz
knight. It is essential to check the k n i ght
can be ad equately guarded should the
opponent try to expel the unwelcome

invader by a crossfire of bishops and


rooks. Neglect of this p recaution can
lead to a Steinitz knight unable to move
being pinned against its guarding rook or
queen .
The Steinitz knight player also h a s to
watch for defensive i deas based on sacri
fice of a rook to elimina te the kn ight and
its pawn guard. Thirdly, as Steinitz well
knew despite his tongue-in-cheek aphor
ism, no chess game really w i ns itself. The
Steinitz knight s imply c reates an oppor
tunity for a winning attack elsewhere on
the board . The game below is a good
example of how to esta bl i sh the kn ight
and use it to force weaknesses a round the
enemy king.

but a fter Petrosian's next move creating a


Steinitz knight Black is already strategi
cally lost) 1 0. N g S I Q x f5 1 1 . 0-0 N f6
1 2 . B d 3 Q g4 1 3 . Be2 QfS 1 4 . f3 B h6
1 5 . B d 3 Qd7 1 6. Ne6 !

White : J a nsso n . B lack : H e l mers


Openi ng : K i n g ' s I n d ia n (Swed e n
v. Norway 1 976)
l . NO N f6 2. c4 g6 3. N c3 B g7 4. d4
0-0 5. BgS h6 6. B h4 d6 7 . e 3 c6 8 . Be2
Nbd7 9. Qc2 eS (now the d6 square has no

pawn guard and in the n ext phase of the


game Whi te aims to create his S tei n i tz
knight) 1 0 . R d 1 Qe7 1 1 . 0-0 R eS 1 2 .
dxeS dxeS 1 3 . N d 2 Q f8 1 4. a 3 a S 1 5 .
Na4 NcS 1 6. NxcS QxcS 1 7 . B x f6 Bx f6
18. Ne4 Qe7 1 9 . N d6 R f8 20. c S .

The Stein i tz kn ight i s esta b l i shed .


Now White b a c ks it up w i th dou bled
rooks before a d v a n c i ng h i s h pawn to
open up the black k i n g .

fi g . 2 4 1

20 .
23.
26.
29.

. . . Be6 2 1 . B c4 Bxc4 22. Qxc4 Qc7


Rd2 Bg7 24. Rfd 1 K h7 2 5 . h4 ! Rab8
h S b6 27. cxb6 R x b6 28. Qe4 R 6 b8
g3 Ra d8 ? (B l ack blu nders under

pressure, but other w i se W h i te could


continue Kg2 and s w i tch h is rook attack
to the h fil e) 30 . N x f7 ! Resigns. I f Q or
Rxf7 3 1 . hxg6 + w i n s .
And n o w a n even c lea rer example by
the great Steini tz knight p layer Petrosian :
White : P et ro s ia n . B lack . I. Za itsev
Opening : K i n g ' s I nd i a n (Moscow
1966)
l . c4 N f6 2. N c3 g6 3. e4 d6 4. d4 Bg7
5. Be2 0-0 6 . N O e S 7 . d S N h S ? ( better
Nbd7) 8. g3 f5 ? ( better N d 7 ) 9 . exf5
Qf6 (hoping for the gam bit 1 0. fxg6 Bg4
1 1 . gxh7 + K h8 w i th atta c k i ng chances,

(a) When you are one or two pawns


ahead, exchange pieces but not pawns your obj ective is to reach a pawn end
game w ithout pieces, the easiest of all to
w in when you a re material up.
( b) When you are one or t wo pawns
down, exchange pawns but not pieces.
If you reach an endgame w i th one piece
a gainst t wo they can be d i fficult or
impossible to win w hen no pawns remai n .
( c) Always use the rook actively. Here
a re two ideal rook si tuations for Black,
w i th Wh i te's rook tied to passive de
fence :

fi g . 242

16 .

. . .

Bxc 1

1 7.

Qxcl

Rf7

1 8.

f4 !

(threa tening 1 9. f5 to make the knight


i mp regnable) e x f4 1 9 . Qxf4 (threats QgS
followed by Bxg6, or simply doubling
rooks on the f fi le) N x d S 2 0 . Q x f7 +
Q x f7 2 1 . Rx f7 Bxe6 22. N x d S B x d S
2 3 . Rxc7 Na6 24 . R d7 R e s i g n s .

D i ffi cult positi o ns


Most amateurs a re scared by defensive
posit ions, but experts treat them w i th
resil i ence a nd patience . The i mportant
thi ng is not to make desperate or u nsound
moves to escape trouble - that is often the
qui c kest w ay to lose. The way to play the
defence is to rei n force weak points,
especia lly a round the king ( Larsen once
sa id ' wi th a k ni ght on fl or f8 you w i l l
never be mated'), w a t c h o u t for d irect
threats, a nd look for weaknesses in the
enemy camp created by his overstretched
communication l i nes. It isn't always
the obvious formations w hich are easiest
to defend - th us b i shops of opposite
colour (one p layer w i th a b ishop on
light squares, h i s opponent w i th a bishop
on d a rk squa res) wh ich ama teurs thi nk of
as a d ra w ing si tuation, is very favourable
for the attacker i n the m i d d le gamf. But
even here you can make the best of
d e fence - th i nk forward to the time when
the attack fades, and then p repa re for the
endgame, for example by march i ng the
k i ng a l i ttle nearer the centre. Keep your
pa wns in compact groups : ' pa wn islands'
on their own a re easy targets for rooks.
Endga m e h i nt s
T h e end ing i s t h e weakest p a r t of many
club players' game, and even reasona ble
technique is . sure to reap dividends
against many opponents. We have al
ready stressed how essential it is to use
the king and the rook as a ctive fighti ng
p ieces in the endgame. A few more prin
c i p les to remember :

fi g . 24 3

(d) Rook endgames are the most fre


quent in pra ctical play, and there are two
basic positions w h i ch it is essential to
know. Many rook endings boil down to
rook a nd pawn against rook. If the
a ttacker's rook can then cut off the
defender k i ng, there i s usual ly a w in by
Lucena ' s method ; but if the defender's
k i ng can blockade the pawn he can nor
mally d raw by Phil idor's technique. Both
these positions are hundreds of years old
but they remain val i d .

The Lucena position . White's rook makes


a barrier which stops the black K ap
proaching the pawn. The winning
method is called ' building a bridge' : 1 .
R e4 R c l (if Kf6 2 . Ke8 wins) 2 . Rf4 + Kg7
( if Kg6 3 . Ke8 Re 1 + 4. KfB Rd 1 5. Rf7 wins)
1 29

3. K e7 Re l + 4. Kd6 R d l + 5 . K c6 Kg6
(if Rc l + 6. Kd5 Rd l + 7 . Re4 completes
the ' b ridge ' begun by l . Re4, and W h i te
wi ns) 6. R c4 Kf7 7 . K c7 K e7 8. d 8 = Q +
Rxd8 9 . R e 4 + w i n s .

fi g . 24 5

Philidor's d ra w . B lack keeps h i s rook


at a6 to hold back the w h i te king. If the
pawn advances, Black's rook goes to a l
to threaten checks on the fi les which
White can not escape w i th h i s pawn com
mitted to the s i x th : l . e6 Ra l 2. K f6
R fl + 3. K e 5 R e l + 4. Kd6 R d l + with
a d ra w .
(e) Passed pa wns far from the opposing
k i ng are very strong, passed pawns in
the centre can more easi ly be stopped .
( f) If you have the ad vantage, t ry to
keep pa w ns on both s i d es of the board it's easier to win if you can crea te th reats
on both flanks.
(g) Bi shops are general ly better than
kn ights in the en d i ng except where the
b i shop is bloc ked by i ts own pawn c h a i n .

M ore advanced p ract i ca l h ints


This section of the cha pter is intended for
those who a l ready have some experience
in congress and match chess ; well
routi ned c l u b players who k now what the
game is a bo ut but are always on the l ook
out for methods to i mprove their results.
For such players, a few small improve
ments here and there in p ractical tech
ni que and approach can spell a d i ffer
ence of fi ve or ten grading points at the
end of the seaso n .
C h e s s pi e ce s
Some p layers still make do w i th a n
anc ient fa m i ly wooden s e t w ho se knight
heads have l ong si nce become d etac hed
from the body, or wo rse sti l l w i th men
designed in some un orthodox pa ttern.
Nowad ays v i rtua l l y all major tourna
ments u se plastic sets and rol l-up boa rds
ava i la ble from any major c hess suppl ier
for a few pounds or d o llars. It's a fa l se
economy not to possess one. The very
design of such sets ma kes it eas i er to
1 30

calcula te ahead and can thus help your


improvement ; and it makes sense to keep
your b ra in fam i l iar with the exact set
you will have in front of you for several
hours w hen you try to w in first prize in
your next tournament.
B lu nd e r avo i da nce
An increasing number of players in
i n te rna tional c hess write down their
next move on the score sheet before
mak i ng it on the board. M i k h a il Tal set
the world fashion for this technique and
Tony Miles took it up for Britain, w i th the
ad d ed personal touch that Miles writes
his move in Russian nota tion and puts h i s
watch o n top of t h e score s het t o hide h i s
move from t h e opponent.
The real poi nt of writing down the
move fi rst is to reduce the ever-present
risk of a bl under. Thus you should think
out your move, write it down, and then
spend another ten or twenty seconds
j ust l ooking at it sceptically to see if
you ' ve missed anythi ng o b v ious. There
is no need to write down every single
move in advance - for example it is
pointless to do so in a routine book
ope n i ng w h i ch you have decided on
before the game, silly to do so w hen you
a re too short of time to k eep score pro
perly at alL and perhaps a good idea not
to w hen your posi tion i s totally lost, just
to try and make your opponent careless.
But in ord i nary c i rcumstances this tech
n ique i s recommended and will margin
ally i mp rove your resul ts - even if it only
stops you b l undering away one winning
position a year that will be worth, for the
average player, some two or three grad ing
points in B ri tain or some 1 5-20 Elo
poi nts in the U S .
W inning a w o n ga me
Fa i ling to win won games is another
common chess boa rd d i sease and is o ften
another variation of blund ering too o ften.
W i ns can a l so be mi ssed by indeci s i ve
ness or by fri ttering away a b ig advan
tage .
The reason why some people are better
than others at w inning won games is
rooted in c h essboard psychology. It4i s
o n l y too easy d uring a game for a player
to give h i mself credit for gaining an
ad vantage. The temptation is to relax
and to assu me that the opponent's res i s
tance w i l l crumble. B ut relaxation in the
expectation of an easy win communi
cates itself to the opponent and may well
sti ffen his d eterm i nation to a rea rguard
fight a ction to the fin i s h .
A Russian ma ster, Romanovsky, once
l i sted various psyc hological blocks to
real izing an advantage. He noted exces
sive ten sion caused by the ga me, im
pati ence in antici pati on of an easy v i c
tory, the w i sh to fi n i sh the game q u i ckly
in a showy way, l oss of inte rest in the
techni cal phase of the game, and irrita-

tion at the opponent for h is stu b born


resistance.
The remedies ? Romanovsky suggested
severa l . Firstly, you must try to maintain
your concentration right up to the mo
ment of resignation. If the position gives
a choice b etween a simple and a showy
victory path , c hoose the simple one ;
from the practical v iewpoint, you should
reduce the risk of an analytical mi stake.
Keep the initiative, delay w inning mater
ial if you can do it w i thout permitting
counter-c hances.
If you c onstantly lose from winning
positions, go over these games and l ook
for a pa ttern in your errors. One strong
p layer revealed that this search showed
that several of h i s blunders arose through
overloo k i ng a double attack by the
opponent's queen ; another typi cal vi sual
fa i l ing is to miss or underesti mate back
ward ca ptures, particularly on a d iagona l .
Th is is t h e c lassic in stance :

Reshevsk y-Savon, Petropol is 1 97 3. With


only a few seconds to make his forti eth
and fi nal move before the time control,
Reshevsky pla yed l. Qxg6 and an
nounced ' Mate ! ' A fel low-gran dmaster
descri bed Reshevsky's move as 'the
blunder of five centu ries' as Savon 's
b i shop took the queen. The tragedy for
Reshevsky was accentuated because
W h i te h as a real mate by l . g5 + Kxg5
(Bxg5 2. Rh8 mate) 2 . h4 + Kxh4 3. Qf4
mate.
Self-knowledge of how you bl under
can be very useful in avoiding the experi
ence of losing several ti mes by s i m i lar
means .
Finally, a typi cal mi sta ke when wi n
ning is to rush your moves. There are
some occasions when ' bl i tzi ng' can be
considered (see page 1 4 3) b ut a wi nning
posi tion is not one of them . You only
r i sk your ad vantage . It pays to take your
ti me working out a w i n . Two techniques
which can help a re writing down the
move before you make it ( see a bove)
and the ol d-fashioned remedy advocated
by Tarrasch of ' sit on your hands when
the win is in sight' .

fi g . 247

This end ing from Bernste i n-Smyslov,


Groningen 1 946, is a typical case of im
patience jeopard izing a win, and the cul
prit was a future world champion. Black
is two pawns up, and winning ea sil y . He
moved l . . . . b2 w ith the i d ea of 2 . Rxb2
Rh2 + and 3 . . . . R x b 2 winning. No
solution is given - you should be a b le to
work out for yourself w hat B la ck mi ssed .
Look i n g fo r peace
Proba bly well over half of a ll o ffers to
draw a game are improper, that is made at
the wrong time according to the laws o f
chess. T h e relevant r u l e in t h e FIDE
(World Chess Federation) code requi res
a player to make his move, then propose
the agreement to d raw, and then start his
opponent's clock so that the o ffer is con
sidered in the opponent's thinking time.
The opponent can decline the offer e i ther
verbally or by making a move. In the
interval between the o ffer and the reply
the offer cannot be retrac te d .
I t is easy t o make a d raw offer at the
w rong time in the heat o f the moment.
The most important and frequent case of
improper d raw offers occurs when a
player makes a verbal d raw proposal
while it is his o wn turn to move i nstead of
after making the move. I f your opponent
d oes this, it is important to rememb er
you have the option of ei ther accepting
or refusing at once or of requiring h im to
make his move befo re you deci d e .
Th is means, from a p racti cal player's
viewpoint, that you s hould normally
postpone the decision. If the move played
is strong, you will still h ave the d raw
option ; but sometimes your opponent
will be thro wn mentally off balance by
the sud d en requi rement to find a move to
justify his o ffer. I f his move is un
expec tedly weak, the d raw can be re
fused with a d d ed psychological effect.
Repeated d raw o ffers a re bad etiquette
and il legaL but people still make them and
there is o ften no c ontroller to rule that
they are d i sturbing the other player.
Two good ver bal c ounters to the un
wanted d raw offer a re 'Of course not ! '
(Fischer) and ' I 'll say when i t ' s a d raw ' .

Some playe rs, particularly i n master


tournaments, do not offer a d raw in so
many words. A frequent euphemism is
' Are you playing to win ? ' At the 1 9 5 3
world title cand idates tournament in
Zurich, Naj do rf used this phra se to
Boleslavsky. ' N o ! ' replied the Soviet
grand master. ' Are you playing to d raw,
then ? ' asked Naj dorf hopefully. ' N o ! '
' W hat a re you play i ng for, then ?' 'Just to
play' , retorted Boleslavsky. The game
c ontinued, and was later agreed d rawn Bolesla vsky had nevertheless out-talked
his o pponent.
D ra ws can, o f course, occur in o ther
ways besides mutual agreement, such as
lack of mating material or perpetual
check. An i mportant d raw for practical
chess is by threefold repetition o f the
i dentical position with the same player to
move each time. This exact definition is
necessary since ignorance of it has cost
even top grandmasters half a point.
Somet_i mes a threefold repetition occurs
wi thout the actual moves being the same
- for example, when one player oscil
la ted first a rook and then a bishop to and
fro . It is only too easy for one side to
check his score- sheet against repeti tion
of moves and fail to notice that the
position, though not the exact moves has
been repeated .

forfeited his right to claim.


The other typical error on threefold
repetition is to forget that the same
player has to be on move on each recur
rence.

Keene v . Donoso, Haifa 1 976, Keene


needed to w in this position to become a
grand maste r, but though White is a pawn
up it's d i fficult to make p rogress. Play
continued 1 . Ra6 K c7 2. Ra7 + Kd6
3. Ra6 Kc7 4 . Ra7 + Kd6 5. Ra8 Ke7
6 . Ra6 ! N ow B lack should play Rc 3,
alth ough he's still losing, but Donoso
called o ver the controller, announced his
intention of playing 6. . . . Kd6, and
cla imed a d raw by repetition si nce the
same posi tion occurred at moves 1 and 3 .
H is claim w a s a t once dism issed b y the
a r bi ter, since a d i fferent player was to
move on the thi rd occasion. Moreover, by
international rules, B lack is committed to
his announced move. The game ended
6 . . . . K d 6 7 7. d5 Ke5 8. dxc6 Bc8
9. Ra8 K f4 1 0 . B d 5 Resigns.

fi g . 248

This diagram from Castro-Petrosian, Biel


in terzonal 1 976 occurred ju st a fter t> et
rosian, playing Black, o ffered a draw
wh ich was turned down . The game con
tinued 1 . Qb7 R ffi (Petrosian o ffered
another d raw) 2 . N 5d7 R d8 3. N e5 RfB
4 . N 5 d7 Rd8 (again B lack suggested a
d raw) 5 . Qc7 Ra8 6. Q b7 R d8 7. Re7
and White's attack b roke th rough to win.
A rema rka ble la pse for a world c hampion
-Petrosian should have a n nounced that
he was going to play 6 . . . . Rd8 and
cla imed a d raw under the th reefold
repetition rule. Obv iously both sides
were here con fused by the d i fferent
o rd er of moves wh ich reached the same
position. N ote that the d raw has to be
claimed when it is your turn to move ;
once Rd8 was made on the board, Black

Tacti cal o ffers of a d raw are an impor


tant aspect of chess which few average
players consider. If a poor posi tion is
starting to improve, or to become un
c lear ; if the opponent, with an ad vantage,
is getting short of time and starting to
look anxiously at h is clock ; then a d raw
o ffer is good psychology . If it is accepted ,
you have esca ped lightly from your
trou bles ; if the opponent refuses and his
position then deter iorates fu rther the
thought o f the d raw he turned down can
d emoralize him compl etel y .
At t h e 1 9 59 world title cand idates,
Olafsson offered Petrosian a d ra w . The
Russian, who is deaf, fai led to hear. He
would have accepted if he had known
a bout it, but instead played on and lost.
Petrosian was leading the tournament,
but never recovered from the upset .
At New York in 1 949 there was a com
plete conversation among four people
using only one word . H orowitz had a
won game against Najdorf, then a w orld
ti tle contender, but the players had only
a few seconds to reach the time control.
Najdorf asked :
' D raw ?'
H orowitz

I 3I

The other i m po rtant factor in ad


j u d i cation c hess is that material a dvan
tage gai ns in significance. A pawn up
without compensation would still be a
tough fight i n normal play, but on
Adj u d i cati o ns
adj u d i cation is worth the same as a roo k .
S o the right styles for stronger players
Someti mes it is necessary to d e c i d e the
in l ocal leagues are sharp tactical-style
result of a c hess game before it has gon e
the full d ista n ce. T h i s occurs parti c ularly
openings w here the weaker opponent
in i nter-cl u b matches w h ich may not
has plenty of pro bl ems to solve, and
sta rt u ntil h a l f-way t h rough the evening
favourable variations where theory
shows the stronger side gai n i ng material .
and have to finish some two or three
Players i nvol ved in adj u d i cation who
hours later. It is too awkwa rd to a rrange
really want to improve their win per
a second session a nd a normal arran ge
centage must bear in m i nd that there i s
ment is for the game to be stopped some
where between moves 30 to 40 and for the
n ormally a right of appeal aga i n st a
result to be j udged by an independent
decision. Some positions a re marginal and
expert.
the adj u d i cator w i ll normally settle them
A dj u d i cation is more p revalent i n
on general pri n c i ples. I f these general
Brita i n t h a n i n other countries a n d h a s
princi ples i n d i cate a d raw but your
d eta i led analysis (or analysis i n con
been harmful t o t h e stand ard of play a t
club level. It means t h a t m a n y people
j un ction w i th the club top boa rd) shows
never play an endgame and that games
a win, then you ha ve to set the a nalysis
are o ften stop ped just as the posi tion is
d o wn on paper and be ready to send it
becoming criti cal .
o ff as the appeal as soon as the d rawn
The adj ud icator's mandate is to decide
verd i ct comes through .
Another useful tip when the game for
the result w i th b est play on both s i des,
a dj u dication shows chances for both
someth i ng w h i c h would rarely o c cu r i f
the game was played out. In m y v iew
sides : claim a w i n, even i f you don't think
there i s n o d o u bt that it would benefi t
you really have more than a d ra w . It i s
British chess i f t h e national fed eration
l ikely that t h e other team w i ll p u t i n for a
took a lead and recommend ed that a
w i n a nd the temptati on is strong for the
three-h our club match session should
adj u d i cator, confronted w i th a tricky
consist not of 30 moves i n an h our and a
position and u nsure w ho is really better,
half fol lowed by adj ud ication but of 30
to award a d raw in the hope this w i ll make
in an h our and a quarter fol lowed by a
every body happy .
What of a dj u d i cation w hen you have
quick-play fin i sh w i th 20 or m o re
moves in 1 5 minutes on the clock . There
the edge on position b ut material i s level ?
would be blunders at the q u i ck-play
In this case the fi n al few moves b efore
stage, t ru e ; but this wou l d be a small
adj u d i cation a re v i tal. The rec o m mended
d raw back compa red w i th the ad vantage
tec h n i que i s known as ' w indow
d ressing' : you put your pieces on the
that players would be responsi ble for
most active a nd i m pressi ve squares pos
their own game ra ther than relying on
s i b le, k n o w i ng that in ma rgi n al s i tuations
the adj u d icator.
a dj u d i cators w i ll be i mp ressed by the
M ea n w h i le, adj u d ication is l i kely to
general look of a position. If one side's
continue for a w h i l e ; h ow should you
p ieces are on a ct i ve squares while h i s
make the best o f ga mes u nder these con
opponent's a re passive, y o u m a y sneak a
d i tion s ? Two spec i al c ha racteri sti cs are
win even though material is l evel . And i t
that the game lasts fewer moves tha n i n
is h a rder t o mount a successful a ppeal
normal tournaments and that t h e position
agai n st such an adjud i cation than in
at the end w i ll be j udged, assu m i ng the
pos i tions capable of co n crete analysis.
adj u d i cator knows h i s j o b, by the sa me
Too many average players a ssume that
h ighly o bj ective standards as a master
an a dj u d i cator i s i n fall ib le or that it isn't
contest.
proper to appeal agai nst d e c isions. But an
The i m p l i cations of t hese parameters
a m b i tious player can make the best of
are that a strong p layer should avoid
adj u d i cations by analyzing every position
highly strategical openi n gs or systems
i n d epth. You should be h ighly motivated
where the centre is l i kely to be blocked.
to do the work - it's your game - and
The risk i s too great that by move 30 any
h o u rs spent exa m i n i ng the adj u d i cation
advantage ga i n ed w i ll not be good
position can give you e xtra i n si ght i n to
enough for a w i n . For weaker players, the
chess. W r i te down your analysis and
reverse appl ies - good openi ngs for h i m
conclusions so that i t i s ready to sen d
i n league ch ess are t h e s o l i d defen ces to
w ith t h e appeal against the verdi ct i f
the Quee n ' s G a m b i t such as the Lasker
n eeded . The tec h n ique o f such analysis
( w i th . . . N e4) and Tarta kover ( w i th
w i ll be good expe rience fo r tournament
. . . b 6 ) ; or the closed form o f the Ruy
adjou rnments o r for postal ga mes where
Lopez. Such ope n i n gs ena ble the weaker
players often analyse ten or fi fteen
player to p rogress a good part of the way
moves a head looking for chances to reach
towa rds move 30 adj u d i cation w h i le
winning e n d ings.
rema i n ing in the shel ter of the tex tbooks .

( pleased n ot to lose to a stronger oppo


nent) ' D ra w ! ' Expe rt onlooker. noti c i ng
that Horo w i tz was a b i sh op up : ' D raw ? ! '
Referee : ' D raw . '

1 32

Ga m esma nship
Y ou don't have to be Bobby F ischer,
turning up late to ga mes, or Vi ktor
Korchno i , donning one-way m irror spec
tacles, to u se o ffboard tactics. ln theory
the two protagonists in a game should be
emotionless automata w i th i mpeccable
beha viour ; in p ractice some players adopt
techniques designed to i mprove thei r
o wn perfo r mance and m a r the oppon
ent ' s .
Stopping for tea or coffee i s a frequent
courtesy in friendly games or club c hess,
and it may help to suggest this b reak if
you a re surprised by some unexpected
corn b i nation. If there is no tea or coffee
handy, it is a good plan after an up set
move to spend longer than usual on your
reply, pondering till your calm is res
to red and you can v iew the position
o bj ecti vely. Offeri ng to pay for tea or
coffee c an also be a subtle ind i cation to
your opponent that you l i ke your posi
tion and feel ready to compensate h im for
i m pend i ng d efeat.
Mannerisms can be very d istracting
d u r i ng a game and the problem is that
the opponent never quite knows whether
they are unconscious reactions or ploys
designed to d i sturb him. You will cer
tai nly m eet opponents with unpleasant
manner isms and i t is d ifficult to a im for
real chess success unless you c an seal off
your thi n k i ng enough to avoid b reaks in
your concentration.
Smoking is the most o b vious form of
d isturbance to a sensitive opponent, and
the US Chess Federation now restricts
smokers to a separate room at several
major tournaments. Lasker was one of the
fi rst great masters whose smok ing ha bits
aroused ad verse comment, and some of
h is opponents a rgued seriously that the
aroma of his pungent cigars was a factor
in his successes. Later Botvinnik, a non
smoker, was bothered d u ring tourna
ments by opponents w ho 'accidentally'
blew c igarette smoke towards him ; he
overcame the problem by arranging a
tra i n i ng match w he re his coach Ragozin
was under orders to smoke heavily !
Some masters try to d isgu i se a prepared
o pening by thinking long over the first
few moves as if they faced unexpected
d iffi culties. The same technique can be
u sed a fter a djournment. Botv in n ik on
returni ng to finish an adjo4fned world
c hampionship game that everyone be
l ieved an easy win for his opponent, did
not bring along h is usual _t hermos of
coffee. During his home analysis he had
d iscovered some promising resources
which could nevertheless be stopped if
the opponent played precisely, and he
wanted to give the impression that he
expected the game to last only a few more
moves. His opponent played carelessly
and Botvi n n ik held on to a d raw.
A common practice is symbolic physi
cal aggression . My first experience of

this technique was at a Bognor congress


in the mid- l 9 50s w here as a young
player I had a w i nn ing position against
a veteran master. While I pondered over
the best way to win, the floor began to
shake. It was my opponent marching up
and down beside the board ; the floor
was uncarpeted and he was wearing hob
nail boots. A more sophisticated version
of this approach is described by Bot
vinnik who watched Alekhine play
against Bogolyu bov at Nottingham 1 9 3 6 .
While Bogolyubov thought, Alekhi ne
circled round the board like a kite, glar
ing at his opponent. When Bogolu bov
finally moved, Alekhine rushed to the
board and, still stand ing banged down a
surprise reply with such force that his
opponent al most jumped out of his chair.
There are ploys, too, to i mpress your
opponent with your own strength . The
former world champion, Smyslov, has
the habit when making a move of screw
ing down the piece into its new square
with an air of finality as if no other move
was reasona ble. Fischer, and following
him N igel Short, has long arms and hands
and stretches out to c apture enemy p ieces
like a vultu re seizing its p rey. Botvi nn i k,
and also Paul Keres who narrowly failed
to become world champion, wrote down
the moves slowly and exactly, as i f the
score sheet i tself was part of a work of
art. Petrosian has impressive eyebrows
and frequently arches them as if amazed
by his opponent's naive manoeuvres.

Karpov looks extremely cool and does not


s weat even under television l ights .
G randmasters and masters in general
are used to giving simultaneous d isplays
and exhi bitions, and acquire the flair of
making moves and captures cleanly so
that the taking piece operates with a kind
of flick action. Even if you cannot
always make good moves, you can train
yourself to improve your physical pre
sence at the board by watc hing the ex
perts and copying them in these and other
attitud es. Simply by acting like a good
player, whether or not you really are one,
will make some psychologi cal impression
on your opponent.
P ro b le m s
A problem i s a n arti fi c ial si tuation where
White has to mate Black in a stipulated
num ber of moves, usually two or three,
against any defence. The positions bear
l ittle relation to practical play, but can
have a charm of their own. The key move
in a problem is seldom material istic or
obvious, and is rarely a check or a pawn
promotion. There should normally be
only one possi ble solution.
S pecialized problems are based on the
illustration of particular themes in the
play or in ' tries' which nearly work. It is
hard now to produce enti rely original
two-movers which the average solver
enjoys, and largely for this reason many
chess columns have gone over to game
pos i tions wh ile others mainly publish the

Karpov prowls round the board as Spassky is


under pressure in their 1 9 75 candidates match
which Karpov won 4- 1 with 6 draws.

classic al problems of past years.


From the viewpoint of the practical
player who occa sionally glances at a prob
lem d iagram, the most interesting chal
lenges occur where only small forces
remai n, the position looks rather game
like, and the solution appears - but isn't
easy. As a brief introduction to this
speciali zed world here are three problems
whose answers can be found at the end of
this chapter.

fi g . 250

White mates in four moves at latest,


against any defence (by 0. von Krob
shofer) .
1 33

fi g . 2 5 1

White mates i n three moves a t latest,


against any defence ( by T. and J. Warton).

fi g . 2 5 2

White ma tes i n th ree moves a t latest.


against any defence. This puzzle defeats
many solvers a nd can take a little of the
credit for Russian chess successes - it was
one of Lenin's favouri tes .
W o me n ' s c h e ss
Women 's chess has for years been the
poor relati on of the men's game in
Western countries. At international level,
the Russians and East Europeans are far
a head of everyone else. Within the
USSR there is also the u n ique situation
that the tiny republic of Georgia in the
Ca ucasus prod uces more talented women
players than the rest of the country put
together. In fact, a women's team from
Georgia would beat the rest of the world
in a 5-a-side matc h .
The poor standards of women's chess
in the West have been variously
attri buted to sex d i fferences in spatial
a b i l i ty, related to hemispheric speciali
zation in the brain, as well as to purely
s o c i al causes such as the long tradi tion of
c h ess as a male game. In contrast to
b r i dge, a partner is not necessary to play
c h ess and this often has the consequence
t hat the i nterested woman or girl p layer
has nobody to go with her to tournaments
a n d c l u bs .
I

34

Despite this d i scouraging background,


there are hopeful signs in recent years for
women players. Both i n the US and
Britain, chess is gaining in popularity
among women and girls. Lloyds B ank
sponsorship of British chess includes a
number of one-day ladies tournaments
which are more practical for many com
petitors than longer congresses. Entries
for some of these events have totalled
nearly l OO, a figure which would have
been considered impossible for a women 's
tournament only a few years ago. Grow
ing numbers will almost certainly mean
rising standards, and we may yet see a
Western challenge to the domination of
the women's game by the girls from
Georg ia .
G r a d i ng a nd rating
Gradi ngs ( in Britain) and rati ngs ( in the
US and other countries) essentially mean
the same thing - a way of measuring
performances of p layers in a tournament
or over a period .
The basic concept is simple. If you
perform well against players better than
yourself, your rating goes up ; if you
perform badly against players worse
than yourself, your rating goes down.
Rating is based only on results - w ins,
draws and losses - and no a ttempt is
made to measure the quality of play or
whether you won convincingly or only
because of a blunder.
Some 1 0, 000 British chessplayers have
a publi shed grade. A newcomer who
takes part in a congress and meets graded
players will have his grade calculated by
totalling the grades of his opponents,
adding 50 poi nts for each game won and
su btracting 50 for each loss, and aver
aging the total .
Example : Jones starts his chess career
in a four-round tournament. He beats
o pponents graded 1 20 and 1 1 0, draws
w i th a player graded 1 1 6, and loses to one
graded 1 28 . The total of his opponent's
grades is 474, to which l OO is added for
the two games won and 50 deducted for
the loss, making 524. Divide by the num
ber of games, four, and his grade based on
his first event is 1 3 1 .
Grades are normally published ann
ually each autumn. They are based on at
least 1 8 results to avoid distortion
through too small samples. In calculating
results aga i nst j uniors aged under 1 8,
ten points are added to the j unior's grade
to allow for improvement since the grade
was cal culated, while differences bet
ween players more than 40 grading
points apart are calculated as i f they were
40 points.
The system used in the United States,
and in World Chess Federation ratings,
takes a little longer to calculate but is
more closely related to statistical pro
babilities. The formula as stated by Pro
fessor Elo is as fol lows :

Rn = Ro + K(W-We)
is the new rating after a tournament.
Ro is your rating before the tournament.
W is the number of points scored.
We is the number of points he was
expected to score, based on the difference
between his rating and the a verage rating
of his opponents.
K is a constant which is used to weight
the most recent performance relative to
past performance. This normally varies
from lO to 30 according to the strength
of the players : the higher figure enables
ratings to change more rapidly, and is
useful in the case of j uniors or of players
who have competed in only one or two
events. The number of expected points
(We) is determined from a table, not
shown here, which shows percentage
expected against rating difference.
Rn

P e rs o n a l chess a udits
The sti mul us of the grading/rating system
is one of the most i mportant assets in
enabling a competition player to monitor
his own improvement and spot weak
nesses in his style. It is important to keep
what I call a personal chess audit, for .
which essential equipment is a good
quality scorebook and a copy of the latest
grading list.
Rati ng lists contain published form
a ssessmen ts for active players. There is a
single list for the United States while each
major region of Britain - North, South,
Midlands, West, Scotland, Ireland and
Wales - has its own list. If you play in
congresses or sufficient inter-club
matches, your name should eventually
appear on the list for your area. If you
have d i fficulty in tracking down your
local list, ask the BCF, a congress official,
or the USCF.
In order to carry out your chess audit,
make a provi sional assessment of your
own rating when starting match games
by asking a couple of strong players to
assess your standard, or find out the
ratings of players a bove and below you
in the club team and assume you are
m i d way between them.
A fter each game, look up the oppo
nent's rating in the list (in well-organized
tournaments you will be able to find it
d irectly from the pairings card or the wall
chart) or ask him direct, then compare
your results with the form expectation.
You should score 60 per cent against
players with British grades 10 points
below yours, 70 per cent against those
20 points below, 90 per cent against those
40 points or more below, and so on. This
should mean in pra ctice that most of your
drawn games will be against players
whose grades are not too d i fferent from
your own.
If you are improving, you should start
to beat lower-graded opponents more
regularly and take more frequent points
and half points from higher graded ones.

Strength

British grade British title

International
players

225

Congress
winners

US

rating
up

US

title

Senior
Master

British Master

2400

2 1 3--224

Candidate
Master

2 300--2 399

US Master

Strong national
player

200--2 1 2

British
Expert

2 200--2 299

U S Master

County, club and


state champions
Strong club players

1 7 5- 1 99

2000--2 1 99

Expert

1 5 0-- 1 74

Candidate
Expert
Class A

1 800-- 1 99 9

Category I

Average club p layers

1 2 5-- 1 49

Class B

1 600-- 1 799

Category

Lower board
club players

1 00-- 1 24

Class C

1 400-- 1 599

Category Ill

7 5--99

Class D

1 200-- 1 399

Category IV

Class D

Below

Category V

Weak club players


Novices

up

Below

75

The next step in your audit is when you


have at least 20 results and can sum
marize what is happening. A re you doing
a lot worse with Black than with W hite ?
You may not be scoring so well as you
should aga i nst weaker opponents (over
confidence ?) or stronger ones (scared of
their reputati ons ?) or it may be that you
are performing below your grad ing ex
pectation in partic ul ar openings, par
ticular types of middle game, or endgames.
You then have to try and isolate the re
current errors in those games where your
results are worse than they should be : the
mistakes will exist as surely as a golf slice
or a tendency to underbid at bridge, b ut in
chess there is often a chance to avoid
'error-prone' situations by switching to a
more suitable opening system.
Grading t o u r na m e nts
In Britain it is perfectly possible to keep
constant track of your grade and to
check at the end of the year w hether your
calculations agree with those of the local
or area grader (it is also possi ble to do this
in the U S, though with a sli ghtly greater
degree of approxi mation). The grading
year is from 1 May to 30 April a nd the
new li sts are publi shed between Septem
ber and November.
In most B riti sh weekend tou rnaments
there is not only an open tournament
where lead i ng players ta ke part but
where anyone can enter, but al so lower
sections limited to players below certain
grades. If you take part in congresses,
these events are another important reason
for keep ing exact track of your grade .
The upper grading l imits a r e o ften in the
range 1 50- 1 60 and 1 2 5- 1 30. If you are
a serious competi tor, this is something
which you should consider as you ap
proach the end of the grading yea r. For
example, if your grade i s around 1 40 i n
March but you feel you can improve a lot
on th i s, it will probably pay to d rop out
of tourname nts for a couple o f mon ths
and then concentrate your improvement

1 200

11

in the following gradi ng year when you


will be in contention to win the under1 50 and under- 1 60 tournaments. Of
course the existence of such limits is a
temptation to the really unscrupulous
player to artific ially deflate his grade by
losing uni mportant games, wh ich is why
in the USA rating limited prizes are
confined to those who have not been
rated a bove the figure in question for two
years or more.
P r izew i nn ing arithmetic
Masters and grandmasters often calculate
the score required to w in a tournament
or fin i sh among the prizes on the basis of
percentages which have won in similar
previous situations. The weekend con
gress player should do likewise. An over
all score of 7 5 per cent in a master
invitation guarantees a high prize in that
type of event but would probably put a
player out of the money in a weekend
Swiss. This a ffects the strategy, for while
international regulars often take energy
conserving d raws when Black it is neces
sary to play for a w in with both colours
in a weekend domestic event.
The most common type of weekend
Swiss runs for five or six rounds and has
anyth ing from 50 to 200 participants. It
is l i kely that you will need at least 4/5
and 5/6 to w in substan tial sums in
smaller events while 5 /5 and S!/6 will be
requi red if the entries approach 200.
Assume for the moment that you are one
of the stronger players in the tournament
and have chances to win i n your best
form, how should you approach the
tournament ?
There are two especially promi sing
ways of aiming to reach a score of 5 /6 or
better. One is by starting slowly with one
or two draws in the early rounds (a bad
start w i th a loss has a si milar effect) and
then coming from behind, meeting
weaker opponents while avoiding the
top players who are battl ing it out at the
front. W hether this pol icy works really

depends on how many other strong


players there are in the event. If there are
qui te a few, the odds are that you will
meet one or two of them in the later
rounds anyway when they too have
d ropped a draw or a loss. But if you are
one of, say, half-a-dozen strong players
in a field of a hund red, then the slow start
method gives good chances of reaching a
high score against fairly easy opposition .
The other method of i mproving your
chances of becoming a consistent money
w i nner is if you can keep on winning for
five of the six rounds. Paradoxically
this may i mprove your chances of avoid
i ng the strongest opposition in the middle
and later rounds, when good players are
paired together and may drop half a
point. If you reach 5 / 5 in a six-round
event you w i ll be probably paired either
with another player on maximum points
- when in many cases the opponents
agree a quick draw to make sure of a high
prize - or w ith a player half a point
behind who will also be tempted to accept
a d raw as it guarantees a reasona ble
prize. Only rarely does a player with 5/5
find hi mself a full point clear and paired
with a 4/5 going all out for a win.
N ational titles
Another opportunity given to you by
rated and graded chess in Brita in and the
US is to qualify for one of the national
titl es open to lower-ranked players. Of
course at the lower and middle levels
many other people will hold the same
title and it w i ll carry no great weight
within chess ; but outsi de the game non
players are impressed by such high
sounding names as 'cand idate expert'
and it may well gain you benefits in
applying for a new job or a place at
college .
U n fortunately the US and British
national ti tle systems are not standard
i zed so that the same title refers to quite
d i fferent levels of play in each country .
A bove is a comparative gui de to the
various rating and title equivalents .
These titles form a valuable target for
all chessplayers of reasona ble intelligence
who are will ing to work at the game.
Even without any spec ial talent for chess,
a com bination of learning from the
masters, frequent play, and use of the
many practical techniques recommended
in th is book should mean that the
Class A/Category I level is a reasonable
goal. If you have real ability, you can aim
still higher.
P r o blem s o l u t i ons (see page 1 3 3)
(a) l . c8 = B ! b3 2. Bg4 b2 3 . Bd l ! Kx b l
4 . Bb3 mate . I f W hite's pawn had
promoted to queen, his third move
would draw by stalemate .
(b) l . Ra3 f2 2. Rhxb3 Kxh2 3. Rh3 mate.
(c) 1 . Qg7 Ke2 2. Qd4, and if K f3 3. Qe4,
or if Kfl 3. Q f2 .
I 35

The final chapter of this book deals w i th


the mechanics of getting on i n the c hess
world for those readers w ho feel they
have the talent, the ambiti on and the
dedi cat ion to succeed at h igh levels of
play. If you are able to treat chess as
serious work and to harness your energies
to an unremitting search for improve
ment, then you can start to think in terms
of success in open competition, or i n ter
national rankings and titles, and of the
national championship of your country .
There are ultimately no barriers except
ability and results, to becoming the heir
to Bobby Fischer and Tony Miles and
proving yourself the best player of the

Black sealed his move in a master game here,


then offered a draw. Would you accept as
White ? Sealed moves are frequent in match
chess - see page 1 4 5 for the answer.

US or Britain . The national US magazine


Chess Life periodically publi s hes ranking
l ists of the top 5 0 men, women and
juniors based on performances in all
rated events. Naturally you can only
reach the top men's l i st if you do well in
major events such as the US Open
championship, the Eastern and Atlantic
Opens, and the N ational Open. But if your
results reach these exal ted levels, the
doors w ill open. Selection for the dozen
or so players in the US closed cha m pion
ship is made on ratings as is the choice for
the US team in the world olympics.
Entry to the Lone Pine tournament, the
most prestigious open in the world, is
ba sed on m i ni mum ra tings. All you have
to do is prove yourself by your results .
In Britain, the national championship
is open for anyone to enter on payment of
a modest fee and joining the British Chess
Federation (d etails from 4 The Close,
Norwich) . The p rel iminary stages of the

event are organized in counties and


zonals, w ith qualifiers from these tourna
ments joining exempted players for the
title d uring the annual congress in mid
August. A bout 40 players normally con
test the fi nal. Once there, you have the
chance to defeat some of the leading
masters and experts in the country, and
the road to international chess opens
both as a member of the England team
and as an individual .
Three of the best English players are
chosen every three years to compete in
the world championship eliminators.
Winning the national ti tle along with
other good resul ts may well win one of
these coveted nominations to a zonal
tournament with representatives from
the Netherlands and other West European
countries. In the US, the national cham
pionship counts as an independent zonal .
A p lace in the top two or three of the
zonal ensures a place in one of the two
i nterzonals, contested between w inners
and h igh placers in world wide zonal
tournaments plus exemp ted masters
from the previous world title series. W ith
travel expenses paid by the national
federation and hospitality provided by
the organizers, you prepare to take on the
celebrated Soviet grandmasters. You,
they, and the rest of the field of around
18 players settle down for a month-long
ba ttle at the end of which you are again
in the top three and qualify for a place
among the eight world champ ionsh ip
candidates.

Can d idates' matches l ast from ten to


si xteen games agai nst the same opponent.
The prizes for winni ng are becoming
more valua ble but are sti ll probably not
more than 5 , 000 or $ 1 0,000. You w in
your qua rter-final, semi-fi nal and final
matches, and you hit the jackpot - a
series of perhaps 24 games against Ana
toly Karpov or whoever suc ceeds him as
world c hampion .
You will now be the la test hope from
the West w hom chess fans everyw here
want to see fol low Bobby Fischer and
chal lenge Soviet supremacy. T here is
inte nse interest in the matc h between the
the reigning champion and the u nknown
from Britain or the U S . Many ci ties bid to
stage the match and you and the cham
pi on naturally choose the richest purse.
Your payoff even i f you lose the match is
unl ikely to be l ess than 5 0,000 or
s 1 00,000 . . .
J u st a d rea m ? Yes, but a d ream every
young and ambi tious player should have.
For to have the motivation to work at
c hess and to win monotonous rook and
pawn en dgames i n unhelpful surround
i ngs, you need to have a v i sion of reach
i ng the to p . Most c hess players a re too
l i m i ted in their ambitions. W i n n i ng a
club or area championship w i ll not be a
suffic ient end in i tself to stir your latent
effort and talent ; the effort of strai ning
for ' im possi ble' targets brings out ability
in players which they and their friends
did not suspect.
J u n io r co r n e r
Many chess players learn the moves and
become i nterested i n the game at primary
or secondary schoo l . At that age the
possibil i ties of becoming a strong player
are much better than for the adult
begin ner who, w hatever h i s ta lent, fin d s
i t d i ffi cult t o fit in enough ti me for the
game because of job and fam i ly commit
ments .
J u n iors have a great advantage in that
t h ey are the ideal age for absorb ing the
mass of deta i led information that is
conta i n ed in c h ess theory , generally have
a h ighly developed desire for com
peti tion, and have th e time to s pe nd on
chess until they get involved w ith the
more d i ffi cult public examinations such
as A-l evel or uni versity entrance. Lower
standard exam i nations such as the B ritish
0-level present few d i fficulties to most
young chessplayers since they are nor
mally academic ally bright and fi nd the
structure of chess tournaments simi lar to
sc hool tests. To make 40 moves in I i
hours is good train ing for w riting four
essay questions in the same period .
J u n i o r events
J u n ior chess i n t h e U S is l imited in scope.
The U S Ch ess Federation i ssues regular
' top 50' ra nking lists for players u nder2 1 . 1 6 and l 3 but apart from the ann ual

1 38

Schedule for grading performance


Age

International
sched ule

Age

International
schedule

6.0
6.6
7.0
7.6
8.0
8.6
9.0
9.6
1 0. 0
10.6
1 1 .0
1 1 .6

50
61
70
78
86
94
101
108
1 14
1 20
1 25
1 30

1 2.0
1 2. 6
1 3 .0
1 3.6
14.0
14.6
1 5 .0
1 5 .6
1 6 .0
1 6.6
1 7 .0
17.6

1 35
1 40
145
1 50
1 54
1 58
161.5
165
1 68 . 5
1 72
175
178

U S Junior Championship and the National


H i gh Schools Championship there are
few cha nces for big all-j u n ior compet
itions. This does not prevent the top
players becoming very strong in their
mid-teens but l imits their strength in
depth in compari son to their counter
parts i n England and Russia .
Junior chess in England starts with
p ri ma ry chess which includ es team
events for schools and a reas, and a
na tional c ham pionship for under- 1 1 s. At
secondary level there is the Sunday
Times nati onal school championship, i n
w h i c h some 800 schools take part. a s well
as annual British and London age group
champi onships, and the nati onal j unior
squad .
The junior squad is unique to Britain
a nd has had a marked influen ce on the
develop ment of a continual stream of
ta lented young players. Grandmasters
such as Petrosian, Hart and Spa ssky have
all rema rked that j u n ior strength here is
greater in depth than in the Soviet
Union .
The ma i n emphasis of the squad is to
spot ta lented youngsters early, guide
them i n to suita ble tournaments, a rrange
coac h i ng and give encouragement to
ensure that they will gain opportu n i ties
as ra pidly as their progress perm its. Thus
N i gel Short at the age of 9 was sent to
p lay in the interna tional open at Jersey
w ith aid from the organizers and from
the Slater Foundation, one of whose
associates was eo-sponsor of the tourna
ment.
The squad emphasizes world perfor
mance and issues periodic ranking lists
showing the best j uniors in the world in
ea ch age group and how the most talented
B ritish youngsters compare w i th them .
This immed iately provides the ' world
championship' moti vation mentioned
earl ier in this c hapter ; the s ight of h is
name up in l i ghts as world no. 10 for his
age immed i J tely fires any youngster
worth h is salt to aim for the no. 1 spot .
Juni ors are also encouraged to measure

Age

In terna tional
schedule

1 8 .0
1 8.6
1 9 .0
1 9.6
20.0
20.6
2 1 .0
2 1 .6
22.0
22.6
2 3 .0

1 80. 5
183
185.5
1 88
1 90
192
1 94
195.5
1 97
1 98 . 5
200

their grading performance agai nst a


sched ule d esigned to reach international
standard by age 2 3. This schedule is
rev i sed from time to time in the l ight of
experience but has proved to have good
pred i ctive value.
A j u nior who reaches any of these inter
med iate levels shows excellent promise.
He has significant chances, if he ma in
tains h is interest, to reach 200 grad ing
strength (2 200 on the international scale)
when he will be good enough to take part
in i nternational chess and will be among
the top 1 00 - 1 50 players in the country.
Girls w ho achieve these standards are
potentially international women masters.
At the highest levels, world class
p layers should be able to beat the
schedule by a w ide margi n . Here are
d eta ils of the ages at which outstanding
players of the past, together with a few
who may become outstanding players
in the 1 980s, rea ched vari ous grading
standards (Right).
Of those players listed who do not
al ready appear in the biograph ies chap
ter, Maia Chi burdanidze is world woman
c hamp ion and in the autumn of 1 979 was
joint win ner of a men's grandmaster
event in Barcelona. Cha ndler is New
Zealand 's best-ever player, Benjami n and
Litvi nchuk are bright young American
ta len ts, while Hodgson, Wells, Conquest
and Carr are promising British j uniors
who could be future masters.
Two further policy p lanks of the
successful British j unior squad are also
worth mentioning. The squad expects its
players to compete wherever possible
against older juniors and in adult events ;
regular practice against such hard opp
siti on encou rages a more controlled game
with fewer of the errors through in
attention which are frequent in all
j un ior tournaments. S quad players are
a l so expected to take part in a lot of
competitive games a year : the squad
agrees with several lead i ng grandmasters
that frequent play is necessary for ach iev
ing results.

An improving and ambi tious j u nior


should play at least 80 competitive games
a year and preferably l OO to 1 5 0. It is
importa nt to acquire a s much chess
information as possi ble w h i le your mem
ory is at its peak and your enthusiasm is
at its ma x i mum. Magazines like Chess
Informa nt a nd The Chess Player a re good
reference sources. Later on in school
years it be comes more d i fficult to play
so frequentl y beca use of the increasing
pressures of the sc hool exami nation
system . The break-th rough point for a
junior is li kely to come when he rea ches
around a 1 90 British grade or a 2 1 00
international or US rati ng. This is the
level for en try to maj or events such as the
Hastings Challengers and international
Swiss system tournaments, or to become
a contender for a p lace i n the national
junior team . The IM sched ule shows that
the poten tial ma ster needs to reach 1 90
strength by the age of 1 5 but this is a l so
the time when exam i nation pressures
start to slow the natural ra te of c hess
improvement.
Many parents of j u n i or players ask
about coa c h i ng. In Bri tain it is only rarely
pussi ble to a rrange for regular master
coaching for i n d i vidual players, but this is
by no mea ns a maj or ha ndica p . Such

talented masters as Miles and Short


became strong with l i ttle or no regular
coaching. It is a help however, to an
a m bi tious j un ior if he can find a lead ing
player in h i s club who is will ing to play
with h im regularly and go through his
games checking for m istakes. The p layer
d oes not have to be a particularly good
teacher, for the regular conta ct and
sti mulus of a stronger opponent alone
will help the youngster improve fast.
S i m ulta neous play aga inst masters fur
nishes a nother incentive. Ea ch year a fter
the ann ual Hasti ngs congress the England
j unior squad ta kes on the Russian grand
masters who compete there. The matches
a re helped by the Slater Foundation and
ena ble 50 to l 00 youngsters to meet a
strong GM across the board . The games
vary i n quality but they give pa rti ci pants
the v i tal moti vating experience of m eet
i ng world -class com peti tion. In his fore
word to this book, V i ktor Korchnoi
descri bes his own match against the
squad where N igel Short was the only
winner. Other grandmasters have found
the going hard in similar matches. In
1 978, Petrosian conceded nine losses
and eleven d raws in h is 30-board Slater
Fou ndation match against BCF squad
and Central YMCA opponents - the best

Grading pe rformance of outsta nding players

Alekhine
Capablanca
Reshevsky
Botvinnik
Spassky
Fischer
Karpov
M i les
(b. 1 9 5 5)
Seirawan
(b. 1 960)
Chandler
(b. 1 960)
Chi burdanidze
( b . 1 96 1 )
Kasparov
(b. 1 96 3)
Hodgson
(b. 1 96 3)
Benjamin
( b . 1 964)
Wells
( b . 1 964)
Short
(b. 1 96 5)
Conquest
( b . 1 967)
Litvinchuk
( b . 1 967)
Carr
(b. 1 968)

1 50
( 1 800)

175
( 2000)

1 87 . 5
(2 1 00)

200
(2 200)

2 1 2. 5
( 2300)

225
( 2400)

2 37 . 5
( 2 5 00)

250
(2600)

ll

9
7
13
9
9
8
12

13
i1
7
l3
11
12
10
l3

14
12
8
14
12
l3
11
14

14
13
9
14
12
13
12
14

15
16
11
15
14
14
14
15

16
17
19
17
15
14
15
17

19
18
23
19
16
14
19
20

25
20
24
23
18
16
20
22

12

12

l3

14

14

17

19

11

13

14

15

16

19

20

11

12

13

14

16

17

lO

11

12

l3

15

lO

12

12

13

14

11

11

12

13

13

15

11

12

l3

14

10

11

12

12

14

10

11

12

13

10

11

12

12

10

11

15

16

result ever against a world champion


outside the USSR .
How does a keen youngster get to join
the national squad ? That's no real pro b
lem. All congress results and j unior
tournaments from everywhere in the
country a re scrutinized and youngsters
who do well are given the opportunity at
an early date to take part in a squad event.
In consequence of this policy, little chess
talent in Engl and goes to waste or remai ns
undi scovered , wherea s in many other
countries offici als o nly start to take an
i n terest when a j unior has already
rea ched i nternational standard by his
own efforts.
J u n i o r games
A common characteristic of junior games
as indeed of most chess below strong
ma ster level is that initiative counts for
much and that players are relatively weak
in defence. The overall standard in top
j unior c hess is h igh, as shown by these
two games w hi ch brought English victor
ies in the world under- 1 7 and European
under- 1 3 team c hampionships.

W hite : J . M . Hodgson (England)


B la c k : L. Degerman (Sweden)
O pe n i ng : S i c i l ia n , Cutty Sark At
tack (Viborg 1 979)
1 . e4 c5 2. f4 g6 3 . Nf3 Bg7 4. Nc3 e6
5. d4 cxd4 6 . Nxd4 Ne7 7. Be3 0-0
8 . B e 2 a6 9. 0-0 d6 1 0 . Qd2 Qc7 1 1 . Rad 1
Rd8 1 2 . B e x B 1 3 . e x B B x B 1 4 . NxB
N x B 1 5 . N d 5 Qd7 1 6. RxB ! gxB
1 7 . Bg5 N c6 18. N f6 + Bxf6 1 9 . Bxffi K f8
20. B c4 Q c 7 2 1 . Q h 6 + K e 8 2 2 . Qxh7
Ne5 23. B e6 Ng6 24. Re 1 Resigns
W h i t e : S . C. Conq uest (England)
B lack. P. Bezi lko (France)
O p e n i n g : Reti (Eumig C h ildren ' s
Cup 1 978)
1 . Nf3 N f6 2. c4 g6 3. b3 c5 4 . Bb2 Bg7
5 . g 3 0-0 6 . Bg2 Nc6 7 . 0-0 d6 8. e3 BB
9 . d3 N b4 10. Ne1 R b8 1 1 . a 3 Nc6
1 2. h3 Be6 1 3 . N c3 d5 1 4. Qe2 dxc4
1 5 . dxc4 Qc8 1 6. K h2 Rd8 1 7 . N d3 N a S
1 8. N c l a6 1 9 . a4 Qc7, 2 0 . e 4 N c6 2 1 . N d S
B x d 5 2 2 . cxd5 N b4 2 3 . f4 N d7 2 4 . Bxg7
K x g7 2 5 . Na2 Nxa2 26. Rxa2 e6
27. dxe6 fxe6 28. Qg4 R eS 29. e5 Rbd8
30. Qg5 Qb6 3 1 . Rd2 Qc7 3 2 . R fd 1 bS
33. axb5 a x b 5 34 . B exB 3 5 . Rd6 c4
36. bxc4 bxc4 37. Bc6 NxeS 38. Qf6 +
K g8 3 9 . B d S + Resigns

I n te rnati o n a l ratings and titles


One objective of every strong p layer
should be to qualify for a World Chess
Federation (FIDE) rating, opening up the
possibility of obtaining international
titles. Rati ng and ti tle tournaments have
to last at least nine rounds and more than
half the p layers must have existing rat
ings or titles as appropriate. You can
normally quali fy for an international
rating with nine games against players
with existing FIDE ratings, provided that
your performance in these games is better

1 39

than 2200 (equivalent to a 200 British


grade). To convert a British grade to an
international rating, multi ply by 8 then
add 600 .
International titles are also awarded on
the results of FIDE tournaments ; to
quali fy for a title you have to perform at
the sti p ulated level over 24 games and
two or th ree tournaments, and to include

among the opponents specified num bers


of grand masters, international masters or
FIDE masters. In both England and the
US there are normally several inter
nationally rated Swiss system tourna
ments each year where anyone of 200
strength or slightly less can qualify for a
rating.
Current men 's titles are FIDE Master,
for w hich the qualification is 24 games at
a performance level of 2 3 5 1 (2 1 9 British
grade) ; International Master, with a per
formance level of 24 5 1 (2 3 1 British) ; and
Grandmaster (260 1 , 2 50 British). There

a re also women 's master and grand


master titles fixed at a lower level .
In countries where the state supports
chess, nota bly Eastern Europe, possession
of an international title confers an auto
matic salary and is therefore highly
prized . The natural though unfortunate
consequence of this over the years has
been a rapid expansion of the num ber of
titled p layers and devaluation of their
importance . Only the title of world
champion, because it is unique, has
acquired progressively increased kudos.
In Western countries at the present
time this has led to a strange contra
d iction : talented untitled players chase
the lM title eagerly and are willing to
take part in half-a-dozen tournaments a
year to get it ; but there is an increasingly
high d rop-out rate from regular tourna
ment play among those who possess the
master title and find it carries little
fi nancial value. The grand master title is
J u n i o r world c h a mpion Yasser Seirawan works
on his next m o ve at H as t i ngs to the sombre
backgro u n d of a black knigh t .

still rare. There a re a bout 200 holders i n


the world, h a l f of t h e m pla yers from the
USSR who almost never compete in
Western Europe. G Ms have ample in
vitations to play in tournaments or give
simultaneous exhibi tions at tournaments
at 50- 1 00 per session. But i n rela tion to
the time invol ved - around two to three
weeks for a GM or IM tournament competi tion pri zes are poor, w h i le events
in Eastern Europe normally pay in un
con verti ble lo cal currency .
Assuming that you a re unlikely to
become strong enough to be a grand
ma ster - or even if you are - it is better,
in the context of world chess, to have as
your main ta rget a h igh rating rather than
a title. As the IM title becomes devalued,
ratings w i l l become more important as
the true i ndex of strength .
From the practi cal v iewpoi nt, it is
easier to fi nd events w h i ch help your
rating ra ther than those wh ich quali fy for
a title. Tournaments w i th two rounds
every day can count for ratings but not
for ti tles ; you can a l so i m p rove your
ra ting at purely national events l i ke the
Bri t i sh Cha mpionsh i p .
Rapid im provement can d ramatical l y
alter a player's ra ting. T h e formula for
interna tio nal rat ing, as explai ned on page
1 34 , is Rn
Ro + K(W- We). In m i d - 1 97 1
Anatoly Karpov was, l ike several others,
a promising young grandmaster and was
consid ered a possi ble contender for the
world ti tle in the late 1 97 0s. His rating
was 2 5 40.
In the 1 9 7 1 U SSR championsh i p, w h ich
fi nished in mi d-October, Karpov fin i shed
fourth with 1 3 out of 2 1 . The average
ra ting for the tournament was 2 5 1 8, and
by a ta ble of perce ntage expected agai nst
rating d i fference (which I do not show)
he was expected to score 53 per cent, that
is 1 1 . 1 out of 2 1 . The sta bi l ising faCtor K
c o u n ts as 1 0 for m a s ter p l aye rs ra ted
2400 or higher, so FIDE, the World Chess
Federation, assessed Karpov 's perfor
mance as 2 5 40 + 1 0( 1 3- 1 1 . 1 ) = 2 5 59, a
rise of 1 9 poin ts .
In the A lekhine Memorial tournament
in Moscow from Novem ber to December
1 97 1 , Ka rpov scored 1 1 out of 1 7 and
fi nished in a tie for fi rst place. The aver
age ra ting for the event, w i th Karpov sti ll
counting as 2 540 (ratings only change
from year to year), was 2 5 8 6 . As a result
he was ex pected to score less than 44 per
cent represented by a score of 7 .4. Rn =
2540 + 1 0( 1 1 - 7 . 4) = 2 576, a rise of a fur
ther 36 points.
Karpov then went on to Hastings
(December 1 97 1 -January 1 9 7 2) where he
sha red fi rst prize with Korchnoi, scoring
1 1 out of 1 5 . The average rati ng of th i s
event was 2498 and h is expected score
was 56 per cent, that is 8 . 4 . Again using
the ta ble, his actual score gained a further
26 points. Thus at the end of t he three
e\'ents he had ga ined 1 9 + 36 + 2 6 = 8 1
=

points and his rating had risen to 262 1 ,


well into the group of super grand
masters rated over 2600. Karpov' s results
in other events d uring this period meant
that his rating in the next p u b l i shed FIDE
l i st of July 1 9 7 2 appeared as 2 6 30 .
There is a n important p racti cal appl i
cation of this for the ord ina ry strong
player who manages to acquire a FIDE
rating and wants to go h igher. The
method of calculation, w i th the previ ous
ra ting used as a consta nt, meant that
Karpov ' s ra ting was 1 5 points higher
than it would have been i f adjusted after
each event. The ra tings a re calculated
once a year, w i th a cut-off at the end of
October. If a player's resul ts d uring the
ra ting period are su bstantially better than
h is publ ished rati ng, as was Karpov's, it
w i l l benefit him to p lay as much as pos
si ble because of the bonus effect of this
calculation method. This fact is also rele
vant to the cl uster technique for tourna
ments recom mended on page 1 4 5 . Many
even ts take place d uring the summer
when most p layers have extra free time
and it is possi b l e to make a deci sion on
w hether to step up your tournament
programme in the li ght of your previous
resu l ts during the FIDE ra ting yea r .
T h e basic mechanism o f internati onal
chess, the system of ti tle tou rnaments
w hich has encouraged a rapid e x pans ion
of activi ty over the past d ecade, is
a p proaching a crisis. There is no problem
in mak i ng a l i v i ng if you are Karpov, one
of the top dozen grand ma sters with a ra ting
a bove 2600, or have regular newspaper
w riting commi tments. But at lower levels
the economics of infla tion are rapidly
overtaking the willingness of unsalaried
c hess masters in the West to continue on
the European and US circuits. Chess
tournaments attract li ttle or no spectator
income and, apart from the special case
of the BBC Master Game, li ttle or no
television coverage. Occasi onally there is
a genuine Maecenas l i ke the patron Louis
D. S ta tham who sponsors the annual
Lone Pine international in Cali fornia, but
such weal thy and interested individuals
are becoming rarer.
Small master events a re usually depen
d ent on busi ness sponsors or on towns
who value the publi city. The sponsor,
howe ver, sometimes does not get much
in retu rn : one or two professional GM and
IM columnists report international events
with hardly a mention of the people who
put up the money . They may not cover
some national tou rnaments at all unless
they or their friends are personally in
volved in it. Thus the sponsor is only
guaranteed a reasona ble publicity retu rn
if he invites, say, Karpov, Korchnoi or
Spassky - and that becomes very expen
sive.
The conclusion ? I nternational titles
a re a nice tag to have before your name,
but unless you are going a l ong way to-

wards the world championship or can


com bine mastery with some other allied
a b i lity such as chess journali sm or author
ship they are not l ikely to pay the mort
gage. The talented player at national level
will do better making his name on the
weekend congress circuit, while testing
his a b i lity aga inst the toughest opposition
in one or two major tournaments a year.
Weekend Swi ss events have a friendly
atmosphere but a re h ighly competitive.
They give the keen amateur a chance to
try h is skill against lead ing players, and
are an e xcel lent proving ground for
young ta lent.
B r i t i s h and U S events
If you are to make your name as a national
chessplayer it helps to l i ve in an area of
major tournament activity. This means
South-East England or the Manchester
area in B ritai n, and N ew York or Cal i
fornia in the US. Though it is possi ble to
operate from other regions, the wear and
tear of constant travel i s a serious handi
ca p .
The most i mportant regular events in
Brita in are geared to school and university
h o l i days. This is no accident. Younger
players are a high proportion of tourna
ment regulars, w hile schools and colleges
are frequently used as playing sites.
However, there i s usually at least one
congress somewhere in the country on
al most every weekend of the yea r . The
BCF publishes an annual tou rnament
calendar.
Major British tournaments include
Hastings (Decem ber-January), the British
Championship (mid-August), the Lloyds
Bank Masters (late August) and the Bene
d i ctine International (early September).
In all of these except the British Champion
ship there may be a chance to quali fy for
an interna tional title. Prizes vary, but the
top a ward is likely to be in the range of
400- 1 000, and esta blished in terna tional
masters w ill often recei ve appearance
money or a guarantee .
The most i mportant US international is
the Lou is D. S ta th am event in Lone Pine
(March-Apri l) which has a generous prize
fund of up to $ 50, 000 and attracts grand
masters and masters from all over the
world. But you have to be very strong
al ready to qualify for this event whereas
the US Open in mid-August is still a
prestigious tournament and al lows any
one to take part . An unknown winner
l i ke Joe Bradford in 1 9 78 will not
immed iately get on the national team, but
his name is widely publicized in the
med ia and ne can expect to be offered
places in other strong events. The World
Open in July also has a big money pr i ze
fund, although its entry has never j u sti
fied i ts high-sound ing name. Other regu
lar national and international tourna
ments are announced in advance in Chess

Life.

141

T o u r na m e n t t e c h n i q u e

W h at k ind of com peti tions should you


e n ter if you a re a strong p l ayer hoping for
fi nan c i a l rewards on the weekend
c i rc u i t J That w i l l depen d on how
strong you a re . At 1 90 strength, an upper
boa rd cou nty team player, you are in the
top 200 or so i n B r i ta i n but you will nor
ma l ly fi nd several better players at any
congress . However one of the d i fferen ces
. betvveen US weekend to urnaments and
some B r i t i sh ones l ies in the pairing
system. In US events p a i r i ngs are seeded
ac cord i ng to ra t i ngs so t h a t the fa vourites
only meet a fter d i sposing of two or th ree
lesser lights. S i m i l ar methods are used in
the most i m portant British events, but in
some congresses, parti cularly outside
south-east Engla n d , players may be
pa i red by cha nce. Over a fi ve-round
cou rse this makes for a reaso nable pos
s i b i l ity, that the stron g players w i l l
knock e a c h ot her o u t w h i l e a m i d d le
ra ted p layer in the 1 80-200 range comes
to the top aga i nst weaker opposition.
Hence unseeded to urnaments are your
best bet at a round 1 90 strength ; but if
you are say gra de 2 1 0 or better you a re
better in tournaments w i th seeded pair
ings.
Both the Bri t i sh and US congress
circu i ts have as their c l imax a G rand
Prix, sponsored respectively by C utty
Sark and C h u rc h ' s Fr ied C h icken. The
G rand P r i x, worth several th ousa nd

pounds or dollars, goes to the best overal l


c ongress performance w i th extra we igh t
i n g for the strongest tou r n a ments. To
have a chance of w i n ning, you need to be
both a very strong player (say at least
2 20 or 2 3 50 sta n d a rd) and to be profes
s ional and o rgan ized not only on the
c hess boa rd but in your travel a rrange
ments.
In the middle 1 970s one of the sights
of the British congress circuit w as Gerald
Bennett ' s Dormo b ile in w h i ch he travel
led the country participating in a high
p roportion of the available congresses.
David Rumens, who twice won the G rand
Prix and popularized the Cu tty Sark
Attack (see page 1 1 3) on the circ uit, was
a keen tra i n-spotter as a child and used
his knowledge of rai l way timetables and
connections to be another active com
petitor.
S t y l e fo r t h e w e e k e n d

A key fa ctor in d o i ng well in weekend


events is to gear your play to the fast t i me
l i m i t and the long d a i ly sess ions w h i c h
c a n b e up t o twelve hou rs w hen t here a re
three games in a day. Fatigue or trouble
w i th the clock are likely to bring their
toll of blunders to knock you out of

contention. The style for success in a


sprint distance Swiss event of 5-6 rounds
is s i m i lar to the method recomm ended
agai nst ma sters in simultaneous di splays
(see page 1 2 5 ) .
Active, a tta c ki ng c hess w i th a s i m ple
plan rea ps a high bonus. At 40 or 50
moves in two hours few opponents are
capa ble of susta i ned precise defence.
W ith two or three games in a day, you
want to k eep down the num ber of long
endgames which leave little time for rest
before the next roun d . A strong player
should a l so be a ble to beat wea ker
opponents on tec hnique w i thout great
mental exertion . One of the su ccessfu l
Swiss system pla yers i s Australian open
champion Ma x Fuller, who commutes
between the N ovem ber-March circuit in
his own country and the summer events
in Europe. He derives a useful proportion
of his weekend points from si mple, d i rect
k i n g's side attacks which his opponent
m i ght be a ble to defend a t a slower time
l i m i t . This w in from the 1 969 Athen aeum
Open is a good example of the style which
suc ceeds in a weekend Swiss.
W h i te : M . L. - Fu l le r . Black : R. F.
Harman
O p e n i ng : Sicil ian Defence
1 . N O g6 2 . e4 cS 3. d4 Bg7 4. N c 3
c x d 4 5 . Nxd4 N c6 6 . Be3 N f6 7 . Bc4 Q a S

8. 0---0 (Black has geared his d evelopment


to the theoretical l i ne where White ca stles
long, so White switches to a si mpler l i ne
where he has a slight p l us in the cen tre)
0--0 9 . B bJ d6 I O. hJ Bd7 I I . 4 Nxd4

1 2. Bxd4 Bc6 1 3. Qd3 Nd7 7 (a typ i cal


weekend imprec ision. Better is 1 3. . . .
Rad 8 and if 1 4. Rad 1 Nd7 1 5 . Bxg7 Kxg7
1 6. Kh 1 Nc5 1 7 . Qd4 + e 5 ! and if 1 8 . fxe 5
Nx1:1 when B l a c k stands well) 1 4. B x g7
Kxg7 1 5 . R a e 1 N c 5 1 6 . Qd4 + Kg8 ( now
e5 fa i ls to 1 7 . Qxd6. Consequently Black
is unable to start the normal counterplay
in the centre and for the rest of the game
has to defend unsuccessfu l ly agai nst an
easy-to-play king's side a ttack) 1 7 . B d S
N d 7 1 8 . K h 1 Q b 6 1 9 . Q d2 R a d 8 20 . fS
Kg7 2 1 . R f4 N f6 2 2 . R h4 h 5 2 3 . g4 R h 8
24. fxg6 fx g6 2 5 . g x h 5 N x h 5 26. Q g 5
N f6 27. R g 1 B e8 2 8 . R x h 8 K x h8
29. Qh6 + N h 7 30. R fl B c6 3 1 . R f7
Resign s .

Beatin g t h e c l o c k
Han d l i ng the clock i s im portan t in week
end Swi sses not only because the normal
time limit is ra ther fast but because of the
practice in Bri tish events of decid ing the
final moves over a ' b l i tz fi n i sh' where
the game has to be completed a fter four
hours or so with ten or fifteen minutes on
each player's clock . Therefore poi n ts
will be won and lost ac cord i n g to how
well you handle you r own time, can drive
your opponent i n to severe time pressure,
and exploit his time p ressure when it
oc curs .
Techn iques w h i ch can help i f you a re
prone to time pressu re i n clude :
1 In less important games, make the
clock the fi rst consi deration rather
than the qua l i ty of the p l ay : try to
develop an i n ner control mec hanism
which s tops you agon izing too long
over a 5ingle move a n d keeps you
aware of how the time is go i n g .
2 I f you can not decide on a n y p l a n , or i f
you are i n time pressure a n d your mind
goes blank a fter a n unex pected move,
concen trate on improv i ng the position
of your worst posted piece.
3 If you have the chance to repeat moves
any time once or twice d uring the
game before time pressure comes along,
do so - but make sure you u n derstand
the explanation of the th reefold repe
tion rule on page 1 3 1 .
4 Avoid repea ted calculation of the same
l i ne of play - a fter two or th ree attempts
assume you a re not going to fi nd
sign i fi ca nt i m provements .
5 Use your opponent's t i me to keep
track of general strategy, and your
own time for concrete va riations.
6 Look at the clock when it is your
oppon ent's tu rn to move, not yours.
7 If the posi tion is complicated a n d you
don't have time to analyze, simply
make the move which looks best on
gene ral pri n c i ples.
8 Put ticks i nstea d of writing down the
moves - this w i ll save precious seconds,
a l though you must w r i te up the score
properly as soon as the time scramble
is over.

Some p layers a re notorious time pres


sure a d d i cts. If you are a tournament
regu lar you a re l i kely to k n ow some of
them by repu te or personal experience.
When meeting such p layers, i t i s worth
tem pti ng them to go i n to the k i nd of
tra nce wh i ch w i ll produce time pressure
later o n ; the same a p pl ies i f you fi nd
d u r i ng the game that your opponent is
playing slowly .
Tec h n iques which hel p :
I f you know the open ing well a nd your
opponent c l ea rly d oes not, try blitzing
him. Make your moves fa st, with an air
of great confi d ence as if it was all
a nal y zed at home for weeks ahead .
I remem ber once using this technique
agai nst the late Hugh Alexander in the
Briti sh Championship when a fter a
dozen moves the clock showed Barden,
l m i n ute ; Alexand er, 1 hour. Later he
fought back both o n the board and the
clock, but there was a dela yed action
effect when he made the d ecisive m i s
take la ter on duri ng time pressure.
2 Try to c reate posi tions w here your
opponent w i ll have no clear l ine of
play but i nstead a choice between
several a pparently equal plans. If you
can get h im to spend hal f an hour
d e c i d i n g which rook to use to occupy
an o pen fi le or which of four d i fferent
pa wn ca ptures to make, you a re doing
a l most as well as being a sound pawn
up.

Botteri ll-N unn, _ BBC Master Game 1 97 5 .


Normal here i s 1 . Bf4, but W h i te played
l . Bg 5 ! a good example of a time
pressure i nducing move. Black repl ied
w i th the more-or-less forced l. . . . f6
and then 2 . exf6 leaves Black four plaus
i ble ways to reca pture. Black settled for
2 . . . . N d x f6 - but the time spent put him
l ater i n clock pressure .
3 There may be a chance to repeat the
b l i tz i ng tech n i que in the opening i f
the game i s adj ourned, a s happens i n
major tournaments last i ng several
days. Someti mes the player making
the sealed move (see page 1 4 5 ) can do
something unex pected ; then that move

should be made quickly and confi


dently and the ensuing moves fol lowed
up in a ba rrage.
I was on the receiving end of this
technique i n the 1 9 57 British Cham
pionsh i p agai nst R. G. Wade, when I
adjourned w i th a good position and
expec ting to win and ta ke a clear
tournament lead . But the pressures of
b e i ng bli tzed with surprise moves
a fter adjournment induced a losing
blunder. A cla ssi c insta nce of this
techn ique from world ti tle play
occu rred i n Korch no i-Ka rpov, 5 t h
game 1 97 8 .

J g 2 ') 4

B la c k 's game is proba bly lost, but Karpov


sea led the unexpected l .
. Nh7 1 at
adjournment which Korchnoi's tea m
failed t o analyze. Korchnoi eventually
found the correct plan in reply (2. Be5
QgS 3. QxfS Qd2 + 4. Kg3 N7f6
5. R g 1 Re8 6. Be4 ! followed by bri nging
the WK to h4 to clear the g fi l e) but mea n
while he was getting into acute time
trou ble while Karpov replied quickly.
The consequence : some moves later,
j ust before the next time control, Korch
noi mi ssed a n elementa ry ma te . It
shouldn't happen in a world champion
ship, of course, but some of the cred it
must go to Karpov for his sea led move
surprise/bl itz technique .
4 S i mon Webb in Chess for Tigers recom
mends walking away from the board
when your time-trouble add ict oppo
nent is in a trance so as not to wake him
up. Keep an eye on him from a d i stance
and i f he looks a bout to move (p hysi cal
signs are shifting of position and fl ex
ing of the right arm muscles) then
return to the board and appear to be
concentrating hard aga i n . This can
have the effect of sen d i n g him i nto
another long t h i n k - your ac tion
giv es the i mpression that you have
suddenly noticed a hidden resource,
so of course he has to look for it too .
5 As time goes on and you get further
ahead on the c lock, try to make non
forc i ng moves which mainta in the
balance of the position. Pawn holes for
143

the k i ng or ' mysterious' rook re


grou p i n gs a re i d e a l .
b \\' he n y o u r oppone nt gets rea l l y short
of t i m e, say ten moves or so i n a cou p l e
of m i n u tes, t h e n open u p t h e g a m e a n d
I f poss i b l e s e t h i m p r o b l ems of exact
c a l c u l a t i o n . A t t h i s s ta ge, a vo i d posi
t i o n s w h e re he c an m a ke non-fo r c i n g
rep l i es s o as t o r e a c h the t i me contro l .
I U s e the barrage c echniq ue. T h i s i s
ano ther of W e b b 's s uggest ions, a n d
has a l so been used e ffec t i v ely over t h e
y e a r s by t w i ce Bri t ish c ha m p i o n B o b
Wade i n i n ter n a t i o n al pla y . T h e bar
rage tec h n i que consi sts of p l a n n i ng
t \">'O or th ree moves a head, then m a k i ng
them v i rtua l l y i n sta n ta n eous l y . If the
s e c o n d or t h i rd move i s unexpe c te d ,
t h e effect can b e p s y c h o l og i ca l l y s h a t
t e r i n g t o an o p po n e n t a l ready w o r r i ed
a bo u t h i s c l o c k .
R I f y o u a re s uffi c i e n tly a h ead o n t i m e ,
com b i ne t he b a r ra ge tec h n i q ue w i th
the m riablc pace t echnique. W h en a
p l ayer is v e ry s h o rt of t i me, he i s
m en t a l l y gea red u p for a c t i o n , rather
I i ke a comm uter r u s h i ng to fin is h h i s
work before t h e l a st t ra in or a j o u rn a l i st
w r i t i ng h i s p i ece before the copy d ead
l i ne B u t such a h i gh p i tch of mental
ene rgy can not be susta i ned for long
and i s b i o l og i c a l l y fo l l owed by a l et
d o w n Therefore, the exper i en ced p ro
\\ i l l use h i s l o n g l ead on the clock t o
s h oot o ff a s er i es of moves o n t h e bar
r a ge t e c h n i que, a nd w i l l not move
then a t a l l for fi ve or ten m i n u te s .
vV a d e tel l s of a t o u r n a m ent game
w h e re h e met the German g r a n d m a ster
Sam isch, for y ea rs the most noto r i o u s
t i m e press u re pl aye r i n the world w h o
o n ce w e n t th rough a n e n t i re to u rna
ment l osi n g every game on the c l o c k .
\\. a d c w as an h o ur a nd a ha l f a h ead on
t i me, and S a m i sch was s i t t i ng at the
boa rd w i th h is clock O ag a l ready
s t a r t i ng to r i se and 25 moves to go
before the contro l . T he posit ion was
l eTd an expectant crowd gathered
ro und the board wa i ting for a scra m b le
to
start. W a d e m a d e a three-move
b a rr a ge and then, as h i s o p ponent sat
p o i s ed and e x pe c ta n t, got up w i th h i s
own cl ock t i c k i ng a n d
. . went o ff
t o buy a coffee . He brought i t b a c k
a nd s a t s l o w l y s t i r r i ng a n d s i p p i n g
w h i l e h is o p poenent w i l ted . Some
l a t er Sami sch 's clock d uly fel l .
y o ur opponent h a s stop ped ta k i ng

m o v es

9 I!

d ue to h i s t i me p ressure, cover
up your own sh eet. N e i th er you nor
the co n t ro l ler has any obl igat ion to
t e l l h i m h o w m a ny moves rem a i n u n t i l
t he c o n t roL and if he has a l l oca ted h i s
t i me s o that he has h a r d l y any l e ft for
t he l a st few moves, t h a t ' s h is fa u l t .
A l l these ti me-pressure tec h n i q ues
o n l y apply as maj or weapons w hen the
pos i t i o n o n the board rema i n s u n c l ear or
is a t best only s l i gh t l y i n your favour. But
s c o re

1 44

if y ou a re w i n n i ng h a n d s d own, i gn o re
your oppone n t ' s c l o c k , concen trate on
the most a c c u ra te method to v i ctory a n d
a v o i d h i s t r a p s . S o m e ex perts w i l l d e l i ber
ately get themse l ves short o f ti me, in a
real ly p oo r p os i ti on, w ith the o bject of
h ei gh te n i ng the nervous tension a nd i n
c rea s i ng the c h a n ce of the player on top
b l o w i ng the game. It i s n ' t easy to d e a l
w i th such ta c t i cs a nd you may h a ve to
consc i o u s ly work to keep your coo l .
D i rty t r i c k s

There is a n a rrow a n d o ften u n c lear d i v i d


i ng l i ne between l eg i ti m a te ta c t i cs in
o r d er to wear d o wn your opponen t ' s
psychological res i s ta n ce a n d other prac
tices w h ich many would con s i der un
et h i ca l . The l a w s o f ch ess g i ve con t rol l e rs
power to a wa rd penalties up to loss of the
game for i n fra c t i o n s of ' moral p r i n c i p l es ' .
a nd a p l a yer's pos i t i o n i n t h e tou rn ament
w i l l not s u r v i ve b e i ng caught i n the to i l et
w i th a copy of an o p e n i ngs m a n u a l a nd a
pocket set . But in m a n y other ca ses
d i struba nce to the opponent when both
s i d es a re u n d er tension d ue to c lock
pressure is d i ffi c u l t to rule on . Here a re
some i tems y ou may meet i n t he d i rty
tricks d e pa rtm e n t .
l Say i ng J a d o u be' as o ften as p o ss i b l e
in t i me pressure, a n d a dj u s t i ng severa l
p i eces so th at they a re centred exactly
on the i r sq u a res. The opponent, gea red
u p to reply i m med i ately to any move,
gets u n d e r s ta n d a b l y rattled b u t t h e re
is oft en too l i t tle t i me left for h im to
prote s t .
2 C o n t i n ua l l y l e a n i ng o v e r t h e b o a r d t o
l ook a t t h e c l o ck w h i le t h e opponent i s
t h i n k i n g. th us o bstructing h i s v i ew of
t he boa rd ; p i c k i ng u p t he c l ock to look
a t the t i me j u st as the opponent i s rea d y
t o move a n d p ress t h e c lock b u t ton .
3 W r i t i ng down an ex tra move for each
s i de, then l e tt i ng the opponent see the
score sheet so that he t h i n ks he has
rea c h ed the con trol w hen t h e re i s sti l l a
mo ve togo.
4 Lea n ing ri g ht over the boa rd so that the
head i s over the central squa res - even
more e ffec t i ve if the p l a yer is tall w i th
l o ng ha i r.
5 H o v e r i n g near the edge of the board
w i t h i n the edge o f the o p ponent's fie l d
of v i s i o n . T h i s form o f sym bo l i c
p h y s i cal aggression is u n p l easant fo r
an o p p o n e n t in time press u re or w h en
he is try i ng to res c ue a bad pos i tion .
6 M a k i n g an i l lega l move i n the
opponen t ' s t i me p ressure ; the i l l ega l i ty
is n a tu ra l l y o f the so rt w he re the
presc ri bed pena l ty i s o n l y to m a k e a
l ega l move w i th the same p i ece : R a y
Keenc d e s c r i b c s o n e i n c i d e n t where
h i s o p pon e n t ' s ' move' w a s to p l a ce h i s
k i n g o ff the boa rd in an ash t ra y . The
correct c o u n t e r to th i s pl oy i s to rea ct
i mmed i a tely, w i th o ut mak i ng a coun
ter-move or protest, a n d s i m p l y to

resta rt your opponent ' s clock : you


a re not o b l iged to have time recorded
aga i n st you u n l ess p resen t ed w i th a
l egal posi t i o n . T he same cou nter I S
a v a i l a b l e when y o ur opponent knocks
over several p i eces, spi l l s coffee, e t c .
C h e s s s w i n d l i ng

Contrary to fi rst i m p ressions. swi n d l m g


at c h ess is more eth i c a l and normal t h a n
the d i rty tri c ks d escri bed a bove. S w i n d l
i ng m e a n s recog n i z i ng that the pos i ti on i s
l o st a n d m a k i n g t h e d e c i sion t o look for
acti ve resources rather than j ust get
g round d o w n . Swi n d le tec h n i que nor
m a l ly a p p l i es i n defens i ve positions and
recogn i zes that the only real chance to
fi ght b a ck is to ga i n an i n i ti a t i ve or
counter-a ttack even at the p r i ce of more
ma t e r i a l .
To set u p a poss i b l e s w i n d le mea ns
a ba n d o n i n g to their fate one or t w o weak
pawns w h i ch tie your p i eces to passive
d e fence ; perha ps g i v i ng up a rook . wh ich
is most usefu l in the endgame, for a b i shop
or k ni g h t, more v a l u a ble in a m i d d l e
game c o u n ter-atta c k , a n d a l so to u se
w ha t W e b b c a l ls ' controlled desperation ' .
I f vou see several moves. most o f which
gi e your opponent a c l ear win, then
c h oo se the one p l a u s i b le move left w i th
out d eep a n a l ys i s . This method e n a b l es
com p l i ca ted moves to be m a de q u i c k l y
a nd pl a ces the o n us o n y o u r o p ponent of
try i ng to work them o u t .
T h e psychol ogy of s w i n d l i ng fa vours
the sw i nd ler - it is u n pleasant for the
opponent to h a v e to a dj u st from a sol id
pos i t ional p l us to a war of movement and
c o n fu s i on w h ere the c h a n ce of a d ec i s i v e
m i stake is m u c h greate r .
W e b b recommends s w i n d l ers to
hei ghten the effect of the change of the
board by fa c i a l e x p ression : to l ook com
pl etely d o w n c a st and bea ten w h en on the
d e fe n s i ve in the hope that t h e w i n n i n g
player becomes c a re l ess ; then, once the
p i eces get i n to a c t i on a nd the pos i t ion

becomes romp/ex Jnd uncleJr. to looi Js


confi d e n t a s poss i ble to scare the oppo
nent. If y ou a re setti ng a ta cti cal trap
h o w ever, the co rrect fa c ia l i m p ress ion is
e i t her a normal one or one that is a l i ttle
nervous. It is i m po rtant not to overact
but if possi bl e to feel the emoti ons you
a re t ry i ng to con vey a c ross the boa rd ;
th i s i s not too d i ffi cult b ec a u se a ny ch ess
game a p p roa c h i ng i ts c l i m a x a rou ses
powerfu l ten sions.
F ! n a l l y , i f d espi te your efforts, your
pos i tion rem a i ns c o n s i d e ra b l y worse a p
proa c h i ng the time co n tro l . you can t ry
( s in ce you w i ll u n d o u bted l y be s ta r t in g to
feel n e rvous you rse l D com municating
t h i s f eel mg to the opponent Such bodv
gestu res a s roc k i ng, g l a n c i ng a t the cloc k
and back to the boa r d , h ove r i ng over the
p 1 ece a s you a re a bout to ma ke a m o ve ,
c an be i n fecti ous a nd i n c rease your
opponent's tension to the extent where he

sta rts to make errors. Of c o u rse the posi


tion on the boa rd has to be such that
there is ten sion to c o m m u n i cate : you w i l l
feel and look ut t e r l y r i d i c u l o u s i f y o u try
the tec h n iques when a p i ece d o wn i n a
si mple en d i ng w i thout c o m p e n sa t i o n .
But when you have t h e r i g h t occa s i o n .
chess swind l i ng wor k s .
p

Sea l e d m o v e a n d a dj o u r n m e n t s

I n maj or tourna m e n ts a t i n te r n a t i o n a l
t i me l i m i t s i t i s n or m al for u n fi n i shed
games to be adjou rned a fter fou r or fi ve
hours and res umed e i ther l a ter the sa m e
day or, more rarely, t h e n e x t morn i ng o r
another d a y . The fi n al m ove o f t h e sess ion
is not p l a yed on the board but w r it ten
down on t he score sheet a nd p l aced i n a
sea l ed move env e l o p e for reope n i ng w hen
the game resumes. O ften t he p l a y ers rea c h
the fi rst t i me cont rol r i g h t at the e n d of
the sess ion and the s i de w i th W h i te has to
readj ust h i s thoughts and emotions fro m
t he b a t t le w i th t h e c l oc k to fi n d i ng t h e
best a n d most p re c i se sca l ed m o v e w h i l e
h i s op p o n e n t g oes o tT to a n a l vzc
The pe r i od bet w een the t i m e c o n t r o l
and t h e e a l ed m o \T : s a t n c k v- o n e
b ec a u se t i re d n e s s c a n i m pa i r buth s i d e s '
j udgment O n e of t he c l a s s i c m i sta kes i s
t o r e a c h a '"on ga m e a t t h e t : m e c o n t ro l
a n d t h e n g') , m b l i t Z i n g m o v e s m s t ead o f
s e a l i ng E \en w o r l d c h a m p i o n s a r e n o t
immune.

li g 2 ) ')

Ka rpov - K o rc h n o i . 2 2 n d m J t c h game
1 9 7 8 . This w a s t h e pos i t i o n a ft e r Korc h
noi 's 4 0 th move as B l a ck R x d 6 . N o w
W h i te sho u l d s u r e l y w i n by t h e o b v ious
1. Rxd6 N x d 6 2 . R xa 4 . Black h a s some
cha nces by 2.
h S but they sho u l d n ' t
be e n o u g h : t he w h i te Q - s i d e p a w n s a i d ed
by the w i d e- ra n g i ng b i shop r u n faster
than B l a c k ' s pawns on the other w i ng .
A l l t h i s w a s u n i m porta n t bes i d e t h e
fa ct t h a t t he w o r l d c ha m p i on had the
chance to a dj o u rn a nd w o rk out a win at
l e i sure. Ka rpov was t i r i ng in t he l a ter
st a ge s of the match a nd this m u st have
a ffe c t ed h is norma l l y so u n d j u d gm e n t .
fo r p l a y c o n t i n u ed 1 . R x d 6 ? ( t he ? is
because th i s was W h i te ' s i d e a l o p por-

tu n i ty to sea l ) N x d 6 2 . Bc7 ? ? (an


' i m provement' . . . ) R e l + 3 . Kc2 Ne8 !
( . . w h i ch m i s ses t h i s reso u rce. Now
d e m o ra l i zed by h i s ove r s i g h t , K a rpov
con t i n u ed a t b l i tz s peed a l t hough he
could s t i l l p ro ba b l y win by a d j o u r n i n g :
4. B a 5 a 3 5 . R h 8 R e 7 and n ow 5 . B b4 ?
( 1 . h x .1 3 1 ) R e 2 + 6. K d 3 a x b2 d rew for
K o n h n o i . A re ma rka b le esca pe. w i th a
c l e a r m o ra l .
A no t her p ra c t i c a l lesson was g i ven by
the fo l l ow i ng pos i tion from K n a a k -Z i l ber
s te i n , Tal l i nn 1 97 9 .

['i g 2 1 6

The d i a g ra m a ro se i m med iately before


ad j o u rn me n t and B la c k had to seal h i s
m cl v e . He i s m a te r i a l up w i th queen and
t wo p a w ns aga i n st rook a n d b i s hop. but
W h i te has some c o u n terp l a y . K naak, a
gra n d m a ster. a na l yzed the pos i t ion a n d
d e c i d ed that a fter 1 .
K h 7 2. R x b ) he
had good c h a n ces to d ra w .
He w a s nevertheless r e i ie ved w hen
Z i l be r s t e i n , c h a m p i o n of the R u s s i a n
repu b l i c . came t o h i m and offered a d ra w
s t ra i gh t a w a y . K n a a k a greed . But t h e n he
fo u nd t hat Z i l berstein had sea l ed the
d rea d ful b l u n d er I .
Q b l ?? a ft er
w h i c h W h i te w i ns at once by 2. R x h 6 +
g x h 6 3 . Rx b 5 + and 4. R x d I
T h u s you normJ l l y never a c cept a d ra w
d u r i n g t h e a d j o u rn me n t w i thout seei n g
t he o p po n e n t ' s sea l ed move fi rst. I t
m i g h t h e a h l u nder. as here. o r i t cou ld be
i n fe n o r o r e v e n i l l ega l . the lat ter cost i n g
t h e game. Remem ber t h a t you r o p po
n e n t -; d raw o ffer a fter a sca l ed move
c a n n ot h e retra cted u n t i l you have rep l i ed
to it or made your n e x t move on the
boa rd .
I have w r i tten ' norma l l y n ev er accept
a d ra w beca u se you have to c o n s i d er the
p h y s i c a l c o n d i ti ons of the tou rn a me n t .
I f the event i s i n a s m a l l town or re
s u m p t i o n of p l ay is l a ter the same d a y
t hen t h e r e ' s no d o u bt y o u should i n s i st
on i n s pec t i ng the sea led move. But i n
some very b i g events l i k e t h e w o r l d team
c h a m p i on s h i p the p l a yers stay a l en gthy
b u s j o u rney from the p l a y i n g s i te : at
B u e n os A i res 1 978 t he u n l u c ky m a sters
resu m i ng a d j ou r n me n ts had to r i se at

a t 7 a . m . fol l ow i ng a ha rd l a te n ight
ma tch the pre v i ou s even ing. Under con
d i ti o n s l i ke that. the e x perien ced pro has
to j ud ge w h ether the poss i b i l i ty of fi n d i ng
a bad sea l ed move i s wo rth the a bsol ute
certa i n t y of ex tra fa t i g u e i n t h e n e x t
rou nd .
C l u s te r t e c h n i q u e
u y ou do u n e x pected ! y wel l in a n v
tou rna m e n t a nd feel you a re in good
fo r m . cons i d er cluster t ech niq ue. w h i c h
m ea ns concen trati ng y o u r p lay so that
you enter a n u m ber of other events in a
h art period . The ra t i o n a le for t h i s
a p proa ch l i es i n t h e mecha n i cs o f chess
i m p rovement demon strated by P rofe s s or
E l o ' s work on perfo r ma n ce measuremen t .
Deeper u n d e r s ta n d i ng o f new stra teg i e s
a nd i d eas i n c hess comes not in a stea d v
flow but in quantu m j u m p s m i xed w i t h
l o n g per iods of steady conso l i d a t ion
w h e re the pl ayer m a y not seem to be
get t i n g be t t e r
At t he m o s t elementa ry l e v e l . q ua n t u m
j u m ps c a n be d e m o n s tra ted by t h e
i m p ro v e m e n t a beg i n ner m a k e s \\ h e n h e
u n d e r s t a n d s scho la r s m a te o r h o \\ t o
m a t e w i th a k i ng a nd roo k . A t a h 1 g h n
a n d more c o m p l e x l evel . t h e c o m p r c h e n
sinn
of
v a n o us c h e s s a t t a c k mg a n d
d e fen s i ve pa t t e rns often seem s t o ' c l i c k '
i n to p l a c e . The player has pro ba bly read
the correct a p p roach or techn ique in a
bo o k but d ue to h i s l i m i t ed ex periences
his fi rst few a t t e m p ts to apply it in h 1 s
own games a re u n s u ccessfu l . Then. ra t h er
in t he wav that a n ov i ce c vc l i st sud d e n h
stops fa l i'i ng off h is ma h i ne. acqui re-s
balance and co-ord i na tion. and in most
ca ses never loses it. so t he ch essp layer
su d d e n l y su cceed s in i ncorpora t i ng t he
n ew techn ique i n to h i s e x i s t i n g game .
Thus the u n e x pec ted l y good to urna
ment resu l t can be a sign of a personal
qua n tum j u m p . a n d it i s i m portant to
ta ke a d va n tage of i t . In E n g l a n d and t h e
US there a re p l enty o f ma tches and
tourna ments o ffe r i ng compe t i t i ve c h e s s .
a n d t h e q u a n t u m j u mp c a n b e ex p l o i t ed
by con cen t ra t ed play - the c l u s ter t e c h
n i q u e - in order to boost a pl a y e r ' s ra t i n g
The conve rse of the c l us ter techn i q ue i s
t h a t a fter an unex pected l y poor res u l t
y o u should take a break. a n a l vze the
"
d e feats. a nd restru c t u re your ga me and
open i ng reperto i re as necessa r y .

H o w m a n y g a m es ?
The Soviet gran d ma ster G e l l er used t n
say he felt rusty a n d out of pra c t i ce if he
p layed fewer than 80 tourna men t and
match games a yea r . Korchnoi has gone
on record w i th s i m i l ar com m e n t s . S u c h ,1
level of act i v i ty i s n ot for every body -- fo r
e x a m p l e, Botvi n n ik kept at h i s peak with
a m u c h lower ou tput of games w h i c h he
compensa ted for by espe c i a l ly meticu lous
prepa ra t i o n . But for most st rong players.
pa rt i c u l a rly if aged u n d er 30. a total of
1 4 ')

RO

t he

'50

g a m e s a y e a r i s n ee d ed to g i ve

( o n c e n t r a ted

e x pe r i e n c e w h i c h w i l l

h e l p i m p ro v e m e n t .

\\" i t h s u c h n u m b e r s o !" g a m e s . c l u s t e r

e x a c t l y w ho y o u w i ll m e e t . b u t it i s s t i l l
p o ss i b l e

to

map

out

s c h ed u l e .

For

e x a m p l e l e a d i n g c o n t e n d e r s in the B r i t i s h

k .1 d i n g p l a y e r B o t t c n l l b e g a n t h e B r i t i s h

C h a m p i o n s h i p t ry to r e a c h at l e a s t p l u s
t wo h v t h e e n d o f t h e f"i r s t w e e k , r e m e m
h e n n g t h a t t h e h a r d e s t ga m es a rc i n t h e
m 1 d d l c ro u n d s

l n l l m \ i ng a p r e v i o u s s u c c e s s ru n w h en he

T h e fi n a l r o u n d

l t' L h n 1 q u e (a n h e u sed t o r e a l effc ( t . I n

t he s u m mer o f 1 9 7 9 . ! o r e x a m p l e, W a l e s ' s
L l r l' u i t a ft e r a fa l l o w p e r i o d of t wo yea rs

hcc1 n1 e

i n t e r n a t i o n a l m a s te r . T h e
1 9 / LJ c 1 r c u i t i n c l u d e d t h e N a t i o n al Ba n k
t)l D u ha 1 O p e n , t h e B r i t i s h C h a m p i o n s h i p ,
t h e Ll o v d s B a n k a n d B e n e d i ct i ne M a s
l L' r '> . ,1 nd t h e A c1 ro n so n O p e n .1 t o ta l o f ') I
ga me'> i n s e \ - c n \'\C C b a n d ,1 g r u e l l i n g
'>C h cd u l c . B u t B o t t e r i l l s t a r t ed w e l l i n t h e
1 1 r <;t n e n t a n d k e p t g o m g a s l o n g a s h i s
g u od ! "n rm l a s t e d
w h i c h w a s t h e fu l l
p cr 1 o d o l t h e c i r c u i t . A t t h e e n d o f i t a l l h e
h a d t i ed ! or f i r s t p r i ze i n t h e M a n c h e s t e r
l k n L' d J c t J m' e v e n t a n d h a d b e e n i n t h e
r u n n i n g f or a g r a n d m a s t e r re s u l t i n t h e
e a r l ier Ll o v d s Ba n k tou r n a m e n t . U n t i l
t h e n n t) - o n c h a d L' o n s i d e red h i m c1 p o t e n
T i a l C \11 p r o s p e c t - t h e c ] u <, t e r t e c h n i q u e
h t l pcd to m a k e t he q u a n t u m J U m p
an

A c t l i k e a g r a n d ma st e r
T \\ ll p o p u l a r h o o k s b _y A l e x a n d e r K o to v

Ti: ! n /... / i /-_t c l x rcm ci m u S i t'r a n d P/u r l i ke


.i ,\ ' ,i l l , f m ll .\ l t' r B o t h a rc i n fo r m a t i v e o n
.t '> pec t s ol G M t h i n k i n g a nd i n p a r t i c u l a r
h t)\\ l t l se t t l e a n i n d i v i d u a l m o v e hv c1
l t l g i c a l s t e p - b y - s t e p p ro c c <; s
H u t t he re
.ne a bo g r a n d m a s t e r a p p ro a c h e s t o t h e
b ro a d e r m e c h a n i c s of s u c c e s s i n a l l - p l a y
J i l ,l !l d t n u r n ,nn e n t p l a y
T h e n o r m a l s t r o n g e x p e rt t h i n k s o l- h i s
fl r u g r c '> '> l \'l' '> c o r-e i n c1 t o u r n a m e n t i n t h e
tl h , i t l U S t e r m '> o f p o i n t'> sco red r e l a t i ve t o
rt l U n cl... p i a v c d , s u c h a s 2 ! o u t o f or ')
t l U t o l / B u t i n e v e n t s l o n g e r t h a n a \'\' C c k
t' n d 1 1 I '> m o re u s c l u l t o a d o pt t h e m ,J s t c r
d p p ro,r c h of t h i n k i n g o f a t a rget s c o re i n

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.., n e f o r v a r i o u s e \ e n ts a n d p l a n t h e
fl i .J \" J tl g ( a m p a 1 g n b e f o r e h a n d i n t e r m s o f
\ \ h ,J t v o u c a n r e a s o n a h I y e x p e c t I n t h c
lh i l t '> h C h .l m p 1 o n s h i p cJ p l .1 y c r a i m i n g t o
\ \ i l l t h e e \ t n t \'\ i l l p l a n ! o r p l u s li v e o r
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1 , 1 l i tl l '> h 1 11 t h e p r i ze l i st at p l u s t h r e e
1 - I I ) t\ t .1 h i g h e r l e v eL g r a n d m a s t e r s
, J i m t n g I l l he o n e of t h e t h ree q u a l i f i e rs t o
t h L \\ t l r l d c h a m p i o n s h i p L' a n d i d a t es a i m
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l t l U r n a m e n t . H l) \\" \ ' o u r e a h s u l h '> l o r e '>
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some
h l tl \ l 1 k e P e t r o s i a n w i l l t r v t o a v o 1 d
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L' ll l L 'r f ) r i s J n g p l a y e r w i l l r e ( k o n on a
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1 46

A n o t h e r c h a ra c t e r i s t i c w h e re t he S w i ss

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( p a ge

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Lr s t ro t J n d p Ll \T r . a n d t o he a good
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H m"- c v cr , t h e se n s i b l e p ro w i l l t a k e
'> n m c p r e , a u t i o n s
for a wee k c nd e v e n t
I C c t a g o o d n i g h t ' s s l e e p on t h e
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a t a h o t e l n e a r t h e e v e n t . O f c o u r se i t a d d s

to y o u r c o s t s e v e n i f y o u do w e l l . h u t i t

m a v h e e s se n t i a l i f v o u co n t i n u a l l ,v fi n d

y o f 1 a g o n t h c !"i n a 1 - da y
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m i n u t e \Y a l k b e t -w e e n r o u n d s t o c i c,J r
\' o u r h r .1 1 1 1 .

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d a y , a n d t h i s q u i t e o f t e n o c c u rs t o p l a y e rs
w h o a r e s t i l l i n t o n t e n t i on !"o r a p r i z e .

') R e m c m h e r t h a t y o u r o p po n e n t s w i l l
cJ i so he f e e l i n g \' a r_v i n g d e g ree'> o l t i r e d
n e -> s . ,J n d a d .1 pt y o u r t e c h n i q u e J L c o r d
i n g l y . a \ o i d \T ry h l g h l y - a n cJ I ' Zed va r i
a t i o n s a g d i n s t y o u n g o p po n e n t s w i t h
their

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fee l i ng t h e p a c e o n t he S u n d a y .

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a d v i se s
'> l ro n g r Ll \ c rs e v e n t o go f o r S i m p l i l "i ed
e n d i n g ->. S i n C e t h e n u d n C C<. n f '> U dl
p o s i t i o n s J re h a r d e r fo r t h e w e a k e r
p l a y e r to s p o t .

Fast c hess
L1 st c h e s s i s a t e c h n i q u e for i m p r o v e m e n t

\\ h o se v , J i u c h a s b ee n g r e ,n l y u n d er
l''> l i m a t cd
I ll
B r i t a m L o m p a rcd w i t h
m o re '> LI L. LT S '> I ul L h c '> s c o u n t r i co.; s u lh ,1 o.;
l{ u <, '> J ,l ,J n d t h e l J S I t I S ne ,J L C J d e n t t h ,l l
L1 s k c r . C , r p a h l d n c d , h sc h c r , T,1 L K a r p m
a n d K o r c h n o 1 w e re a l l a m o n g t h e h e st
f"a st p l a y e rs o r t h e i r t i m e, a n d at t h e
Le i p z i g o l y m p i c s o f
Tal

a nd

K o rc h n o i

1 9 60

all

w h e re F i sc h e r ,

p l ayed

t h ey h a d

b l i tz s e s s i o n s i n t h e h o t e l l o b by a l m o st

e v e ry e v n i n g . A ft e r t h e fi n a l ro u n d Ta l
p L1 y ed a l l d a y i n an o ffi c i a l l y o rga n i ze d

ten-mi n u te tournament and then all


n i ght fi ve-minu te games in his hotel
room w i th Fischer. A bsta i ners from bl itz
a mong the top G Ms, for in sta nce Bot
v i n n ik a nd Portisch, are in a m i nority .
From fa st c hess o ne lea rns tactical
awaren ess, and a b i l ity to play fast under
p ressu re is essential for good resul ts near
the time control at s lower ra te s.
Prolonged experience of fast chess
hel ped i m p rove my own playing standard
from p ro m i s i ng j u n ior to British cham
pionship competitor. During the midd le
1 940s when orga n i zed chess in London
began to rev i ve at the tai l-end of the wa r,
the Lud Eagle c l u b in the West End
staged weekly five- m i n ute tournaments.
Compet i ti o n was fierce. After a few vi sits
the masters k i n d ly accepted me into the
top group where, o n pen a l ty of losing
my small poc ket money in losi ng sta kes,
I had to l ea rn to play well at speed . T h e
conti nuous experience aga i nst these i n
terna tional e l d ers p roved an exce l l e n t
chess education and in today's terms I
i m pro v ed a round 20 grad ing poi nts or
1 SO rati ng poi n ts in a bout a yea r .
T h e most popu lar cu rren t form of fa st
chess is the quickplay tourn ament. at
t i me l i m i ts ranging from twenty m i n utes
u p to one hour per player for the enti re
game. Th i rty m i n utes per pl ayer per
game seems the most successfu l . Like it
o r n ot, this type of event seems d estined
to gain ground i n the 1 980s. Strong
economic forces fav our the one-day
Saturday tournament. These i n c l ude the
narrow cost margins of many weekend
congresses, the pro h i b i ti ve costs of or
gan i z i ng a master tournament wit hout a
maj or s po nsor or spectator i n come , the
d i ffi c u l ties w i th Sunday venues and
traveL and the a wkward ness of over
n i ght s ta ys for out-of-town entra nts .
Rapid sight of the board, evid en ced by
unusual a b i l ity at l i ghtn i ng and fi ve
m i n u te c h ess, can be an early sign of
ma stery. Olafsson, Icelan d ' s best-ever
player, won a bl itz tournament ahead
of many G Ms at the Staunton Centenary
in Engl and in 1 9 5 1 w h i le he was s t i l l a n
u n k nown j un ior. D a v i d B ro nstein, a n
i nc essant fi ve-mi nute p layer i n the Mos
cow c l u bs, surprised everyone the same
year when he came through the world
title e l i m inators at the first attempt and
nearly took the c hampionship from Bot
vinnik.
Special ru les for quickplay a n d fi ve
m i nute games are that each player must
tap h is c l ock w i th the ha nd he uses to
make h is moves. Opi n ion is d i v i ded on
w hether a player who makes an i l legal
move l oses automatical l y . S i nce games
often continue t i l l mate, there a re various
p rov isions to avoid r i d i cu lous resu lts. In
Tension a t Hast mss a s . le(t t o ri,r.:h t , Mrchacl

Stean and I. Zither ponder wh zle Nr,el Short


wri t es his m o ve o n the score sheet

1 47

most q u i c k p lay tournaments a draw i s


decla red when a p l a y e r w i th a c l early
w i nn i ng position on the boa rd fin d s h i s
fl ag g o down .
In Brita i n , m ore than in other c o u n tr i es
\'\' here fa st chess is popular, th ere are fears
of vv hat fi ve- m i n u te ga m es w i l l do to the
clocks. The B ri ti s h Chess Fede rati on
pu b l i s hed a set of r u l es for fi ve- m i n u te
ch ess, the fi nal rule being that ' u n d er no
c i rcumstances s h a l l c l ocks ow ned by or in
the care of the Bri t i sh Chess Federa t i on be
used for p l a y mg fi ve-m i n ute c h ess . '
W i th c l o c k s cost i ng a t l east 1 5 o r $ 30
a time, avoi d i ng u n d ue wea r a nd tear is
o b v i o u s l v essential in fast chess. How
ever, it i s quite poss i bl e for experienced
b l i tz players to get i nto the ha bit of
hand l i ng the c l ock gently even in a c u te
time pressure.
For others it i s s i m p ly necessa ry to have
a ru le ( w h i c h m u st be e n forced and not
1 ust be u sed as fa l se comfort to the clock
o w ners) tha t u n d ue force on the clock is
pena l i zed by several m i n u tes ha n d i cap
on a fi rst o ffence and a u tomatic d e fa u l t on
a seco n d .
Q u i c k p lay events at 30 m i n u tes per
player per game ena b le a seven or eight
round tou rnamen t to be hand led in a day.
I n Brita i n until now, o ffi c i a l fea rs of
da mage to the c lo c ks have meant that the
na ti onal b l i tz c h a m p io n s h i p is p l ayed
w i th ten seconds for each single move.
This sys tem req u i res no clocks but only
a buzzer t i m i ng device. How ever, the
fi x ed rhythm means that a player has to
l i nger over fo rced captures w h i l e l a c k i n g
extra secon d s t o perform d i ffi c u l t ca l
c u la t i C' n s .
I e x pect q u i c k play, rather t h a n fi ve
m i n ute or ten- m i n ute ga mes, to p rove the
boom fo rm of c hess in the 1 980s and
1 990s. It is slow enough for even average
pla yers to t u rn i n a fa i r game a n d for
c l ock wear a nd tear to be l i m i ted, yet fa st
enough for a one-day tournament.
A d v i ce on how to p l ay it m u st i n c l ude
emp hasis on the d anger of lagging too fa r
beh i nd on the c l o c k . Even in a strong
pos it ion on the boa rd , ten m i n u tes in a
ha l f-hour game is a big h a n d i c a p .
I n i t i a t i ve chess p a y s off. s i n ce i t ' s hard
to defend w e ll when moving fa st. Gener
a l l y the best pia yers w i ll sti l l win - few
peo ple re mem ber that Bobby Fischer's
fi nal to u rna ment before he gave u p c hess
vv as a 2 2-round b l i tz event in N ew York
i n 1 9 7 1 w h i ch he won w i th 2 1 w i ns and
a d ra w . That was his l a st p u b l i c tra i ni ng
before bea t i ng S passk y .
T h e i n h i b i t ions w h i c h a ffect B ritish
chess orga n i zers a bout q u i c k p lay events
da maging the c l ocks do not seem to a ffect
their co unterpa rts i n Russia where fi ve
m i n u te championships a re h e ld on the
h i ghest level with the top gra n d ma s te rs
ta k i ng part. The Soviet contro l le rs cheer
fu l l y a ccept that there w i l l be occasional
fl a re - u p s . O ne year there was a b i tter d i s-

1 48

p u te between grandmaste rs Kotov (a


sen i or chess esta b l i s h ment mem ber and
Com m u n i st Pa rty d ig n i ta ry) and K arpov
(then a young n ew comer to the top fl igh t)
over whose flag had gone d own first ;
excited specta tors joi ned in the d ispute.
The best k nown Sov i et fa st event is the
a n n ual Moscow fi ve m i n u te c h a m pion
s h i p wh ich has often been won by out
sta n d i ng players such as Ta l , Bronstein
a nd V a s y u ko v . Here is a quick v i ctory
from t he 1 9 78 event where Black tries a
new move 8 . . . . N f6 only to fi nd that it
wea kens the c6 k n ight and the f3-a8
d iagonal too m u c h .
T h e pin on t he e fi le p roved d ec i s i ve
( 1 4 . . . . Q x c6 1 5 . Rxe7 + w i n n i ng the
game) so B l a ck resigns early.
W h i t e : E . Vasy u k o v . Blac k : A .
Sueti n
O p e n i n g : R uy Lopez ( M oscow 5m i n u te 1 9 78)
l . e4 e 5 2 . N O N c6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 d6
5 . c3 f5 6 . e x 5 B x 5 7 . 0-0 Bd3 8 . Re l
N f6 9. N d4 Qd7 1 0 . Q O B x b l l l . N xc6
e4 1 2 . R x h 1 bxc6 1 3 . R x e4 + Be7
1 4 . Bxc6 ! N xe4 1 5 . Q x e4 R d8 1 6. d4 d S
1 7 . Qxd5 Resigns
H o w w e l l Bo b by Fischer p layed a t fi ve
m i n u te speed can be j u dged by this game
from the Manh attan b l i tz event of 1 9 7 1 .
Fi scher was an expert on the b l a ck side
o f a K i ng's I n d ian Defence and here the
only d i sc ern i ble b l e m i sh in h i s play i s the
sl ight l o ss of time w i th the queen on
moves 2 1 - 2 2 . If you d i d n ' t know the
c i rc u m s t a n c es, it would be easy to c redit
th i s as a normal slow rate tournament
game .
W h i t e : P . B ra n d t s . B l a c k : R. J. F i sc h e r
O pe n i n g : K i n g ' s I n d i a n ( M a n ha t t a n
1 97 1 )
1 . d4 g6 2 . c4 B g7 3 . N c 3 N f6 4 . e4 d6
5 . Be2 0-0 6 . N O e S 7. 0-0 Nc6 8. d S N e7
9. N e 1 N d 7 1 0. N d 3 f) 1 1 . e x B gxB 1 2 .
f4 N g6 1 3 . Be3 N f6 1 4 . Qc2 Re8 1 5 . fxe S
d x e S 1 6 . B gS h6 1 7 . B x f6 Q x f6 1 8 . Q b 3
e 4 1 9 . N f4 N x f4 2 0 . R x f4 Q g S 2 1 . R4fl
Q e 3 + 2 2 . K h 1 QgS 23. cS K h8 24. Ra d l
BeS 2 5 . g3 Rg8 26. N b l f4 2 7 . R g 1
f3 28. Bc4 Q h S 29 . Q e 3 R x g 3 30. Qxe4

30 . . . . Qxh2 + ! a nd Wh i te resigned
because of 3 1 . K x h 2 R h 3 mate .
An i l l u stration of ten seconds a move
c hess is t h i s game from the 1 9 77 B r i t i sh.
l i gh tn i ng championship. N igel Short here
l oses to o ne of the country ' s leading
ma ste rs, but the fol lo w i ng year the
youngster won the l i ghtni ng title ou t
right. The game shows the theme em
phasi zed often in th is book that you have
to take your chances for i n itiative chess.
Short made an a utomatic pawn recapture
on move 20 and lost w i thout a real fight :
i n s tead 20 . . . . N fe4 ! would have brought
h im out of d e fence i n to acti ve play.
W h i t e : J. S pee l m a n . B l a c k : N. D.
S h o rt
Eng l i sh O pe n i ng ( B r i t i sh l i g h t n i n g
1 977)
l . c4 c5 2 . N f3 Nc6 3 . NcJ g6 4. eJ Bg7
5. d4 cxd4 6 . exd4 d6 7. Be2 N f6
8 . 0-0 0-0 9 . d 5 N b8 1 0 . N d4 Nbd7
1 1 . R e 1 a6 1 2 . Be3 Ne5 1 3 . h 3 Qc7
1 4 . b3 N 5 d7 1 5 . R c 1 Nc5 1 6 . B fl b6
1 7 . Bg5 Re8 1 8 . Q d2 B b7 1 9 . R e2 e 5
2 0. dxe6 e . p .

fi g 2 5 1\

20 . . . . fxe 6 ? 2 1 . B x f6 B x f6 2 2 . b4 e 5
2 3 . N fJ N e 6 ? 24. N d S ! B x d S 25 . c x d 5
Res i g n s .
T h e p ra ct ica l master
I f you a sk a ma teur c hesspl ayers \v hat
books a nd maga z i n es they read regu larly,
you w i ll get a great variety of an swers.
M ost of them w i l l rely for their open i ngs
knowledge on a l on g-possessed and out
da ted manual such as the ele venth edit ion
of ' M od ern Chess Openings' or some
poc ket compen d i u m . For the middle
ga me some w i l l swear by N i mzc, v ich ,
others l i ke the col lected games of such as
Larsen and Fischer, most w i ll have a store
of wel l - known o p e n i ng trap s .

Masters and grand masters tend to be


more stand ard ized in the i r c h o i c e . If you
are a very strong player you w i l l a l ready
have a wide corpus of k n o w l edge at your
fi nge1 i ps and the pro b lem i s to keep
abreast of new i d eas i n po p u l a r ope n i n gs
and to get to know the repertoi res of
future r i v a l s .
Practically a l l ma sters w i l l u se the fi ve
volume Yu g osla v - w r i tt en Encyclopaedia
of Chess Ope n i ngs ( ECO) as the i r basic
reference source. The books a re packed
with data from games of t he 1 970s and
contri butors i n c l u de many l ea d i ng grand
masters. But the fi ve volu mes cost a round
1 00 or $ 200 and such expen d i tu re can
only be logical l y j u s t i fi ed for a player
who i s already strong and who i n tends to
be an active tournament competitor.
In o r d e r to s u p p l e m e n t ECO most G Ms
an d I M s w i l l ta k e at l e a st one of these
theoret ical journa l s :
Chess Info rma nt ( t w i ce a yea r)
The New Ch ess Player ( fo u r t i mes a
year)
Modern Chess Ope n i ns Th eory ( monthly
theory maga z i n e )
Tak i ng s u i t c a s e s o f c hess b o o k s o n t h e
tourna ment c i r c u i t c a n re s u l t in both
armache and a i r l i n e e x c e s s l u ggage c h a r
ges. Many i n te r n a t i o n a l players therefo re
prefer to p i c k up fu rther i n fo rm a t i on as
they go al ong, loo k i ng at i d eas gleaned
from t he p o s t m o rt e ms of the i r own games
a n d those of r i v a l s . If they spec i a l i ze i n a
pa rti cular ope n i ng, they w i l l probably
have the relevant Ba tsfo rd monogra ph or
the loose-l ea f sec t i o n of the R HM open
ings survey
Players who enj oy read i ng and keepi ng
a b reast w i th i d eas ma y a l so take one or
more of such c hess j o u rnals as 64 ( R u s s i a n
fort n ightl y ) . S h a a k h u l let i n ( D u t ch m o n
thly theory magazi ne), Ch ess a nd Brit ish
Chess Maxa : i ne ( both Engl i s h ) and Chess
L i (e (US) . It is a l so p o s s i b l e to keep a head
of th ose w ho on I v r e a d the t h eorv
j o u r n a l s if y o u go d i cc tly to t he prima ry
sources, the b u l l e t i ns w i th a ll the games
of parti c u l ar to urnamen ts. In B r i ta in for
example, Hasti ngs, the Lloyds Bank
Masters, and the Bened i c t i ne event all
issue bul l e t i n s .
H o w e v e r m u c h or l i ttle he reads, the
wo u l d - be pro will fi nd it a u seful exerc i se
to keep h i s own ga me fi les in w h i ch to
note variations played by regular o p po
nents and nove l ties in h i s own fa vouri te
systems The point is not to have e a s i l y
accessible refe rence materi a l . t h o u g h th i s
i s importa n t . b u t t o g a i n su ffi c i ent fee l i ng
for a system of play that you s ta rt to
devel op yo ur own i d eas and i n novations.
O n e e x a m p l e : the young N ew Zea land
champion M ur ray Chand ler p l a yed a lot
of games with the G ru n feld Defence
l . d4 N f6 2 . c4 g6 3. N c 3 d S . Some o f h i s
oppon ents r e p l i e d w i th the quiet syst em
4. fJ B g7 5. BgS N e4 6. c x d S N x g S
7 . :'\i x g 5 e6 8 . N f3 e x d S 9 . e 3 c6 1 0 . b 4 .

T h i s pos i tion i s h a r d e r t h a n i t l oo k s for


B l a c k . W h i te p l a ns the m i n o r i t y pawn
a t tack where his a a nd b pawns run at the
black Q-side trio w ith the o bj ect of
c rea ting a weak isolated or backward
pa wn w h i ch the w h i te rooks and m inor
p i eces can then a tta c k . The conventional
reply ma noeu v re i s 0-0 fol l owed by Re8
and B f8-d 6, regrou p i ng the black fo rces
in the h o pe of a K-s ide cou nter-a ttac k .
B u t t h e rook i s not s o w e l l pla ced o n f8 :
B l a c k ' s c o u n te rp l ay often requ i res the
pawn a d v ance f?-fS fol l owed ei ther by
f5- f4 to o pen the f fi le or by N e4 a nd i f
W h i te ta k es the k n ight to reca ptu re w i th
the f pawn .
From h is experiences w i th this prob
lem Cha n d l er h i t u pon h is new i d ea : h e
pl ayed at o n c e 1 0
BfB ! w i th t h e
i n te n t ion of fi rst r e g r o u p i ng t h e b i s h o p ,
o n l y t h en c a s tl i ng, a nd p l a y i ng the K - s i d e
attack w i th the rook employed on i ts best
square at f8 . W h en C h a n d l e r i n trod uced
his novel ty in the P h i l ad e l p h ia i n te r
nati onal of 1 9 79, h i s opponent bu rst i n to
la ugh t e r . Not for too l o ng : Chand ler won
the game and h i s i n novation was w i d ely
pra i sed in t he t h eo ry j ou rn a l s This type
of c rea t i ve t h i n k i n g IS a p p l i c a ble to many
o pen i ng s i tu a t i o ns.
.

R es u l ts a n a l ys is

At the USSR C ha m p io n s h i p fi nal of 1 97 8 ,


G a ry Kaspa rov scored 50 p e r c e n t in h i s
fi rst attempt o n t h e ti tle a t t h e a g e of 1 5,
a result a c c l a i med round the worl d .
Howe ver a t h i s next tournament a few
months l a ter at Banja Luka, Kaspa ro v d i d
even bette r , o u t c l as s i ng a star fi eld o f
gra n d m a sters. W h a t h a d o c c u rred in the
mean t i me ?
Someth ing w h i c h c learly h a p pened
was that Kasparov and h i s tea c h er Bot
v i n n i k rev i ewed the resul ts of Ka s
parov's open i n gs in the c ha m p ionsh i p
and d i scovered that h e d i d n ' t w i n a s i ngle
game w i t h B l a c k . Careful not to do ba d l y
o n h i s d e b ut Kaspa rov s t u c k to so l i d
d e fe n c e s l i ke the Ca ro-Kann a nd a i m ed
s i mply for equa l i ty from the o pe n i n gs.
But s u c h u l tra-po s i t i o na l systems did not

rea l ly su it his style - a c ross between


Fisc her a nd Tal with W h i te, vigorous and
a c t i ve and generally str i v i ng for open
play.
A t Banja L u ka Kaspa rov revised h i s
repertoi re a n d chose more posi tive sys
tems w i th B l a c k . He was rewa rded with
several fi ne v ic to r i es and evi dently bene
fi t ted from h i s homework .
Such con sta n t chec k i ng on open i n g
systems to weed out those whose resu l ts
a-re below par is a necessary exerc i se for
any strong player. Just before writing
t h i s cha p ter I happe ned to be ta l k i ng to
the Engl i sh gra nd master Or John Nunn,
who told me that he had d i agnosed the
weak ness in h i s own reperto i re as the
Tarrasch Defence to l. d4. N u nn d id not
u se the gambit a n a l yzed on page I 0 I .
i n s t ead p l a y i ng the more classical system
w h e re B l a ck acce p ts an i so l a ted queen 's
pawn in retu rn for p iece play. For some
t i m e this gave h im good resul ts but
N u n n ' s opponents grad ually came to
ex pect it a nd i n i nternational games he
had to contend continually w i th home
brewed attempts at refu ta t i o n . The young
GM told me h e was going to inc lude a
more so l id d e fence. Co i n c ide nta llv or n o t .
"
a few months l a ter he became the fi rst
B r i t i sh w i nner at Hasti ngs for 26 yea rs.
The point i s to d e mon strate the import
a n ce of keeping ta bs on your resu l ts and
fi n d ing the systems w h i ch s u i t you best
a g a inst opponents of s i m i lar or superior
rating.
The best way to a na lyze your resul ts
a nd style is to consi der a ll your games
for t h e l a st yea r or two a n d assess them
in terms of o pe n i n gs, m i d d le game s t ra

tegy and ta ctics, time trouble and


end i ngs. Try to p i ck out s i tuations where
you d id wel L i . e. got results above your
gra d i ng ex pectation, and put more em
pha s i s on open i ngs which lead to the
pos i ti o ns you l i ke. If there a re open i ngs
d o i ng ba d l y, phase them o u t of y o u r
repcrtoi re .
Conclusion

A l l the h i n ts in this c h apter and through


out this book a re des igned to have a
c u m ul a t i v e e ffect. One becomes a strong
c hesspla yer. as V i k tor Korchnoi says i n
his fo reword, by trea t i ng each event and
t he prepara tion for it as serious work .
Chess is such a complex a nd many-sided
game that a ny i n d i v i d ual p i ece of advi ce.
no ma tter how fa i th fu l ly you fol low i t .
w i l l o n l y ap ply to a sma l l percentage of
your ga mes a nd tournaments. A working
k nowl edge of a wide variety of strategic
patterns a nd of their subtle d ifferences
takes years to acquire. What can make i t
a ll poss i b le is y o u r dedicati on a n d desi re
to become a master or ex pert. In the pro
cess you w i ll d i scover that the sub t l e t i es
of c h ess a nd the comradesh i p of fello w
players add an extra d i mension to your
c u ltural and sporting l i fe .
1 49