Travail Pursuit #20: Finding the Killer Blow

It's White to move in Shapland vs. Einarrsson, London 2005. This is game 1 in the viewer below

It’s White to move in Shapland vs. Einarrsson, London 2005. This is game 1 in the viewer below

For some reason the 11th of July was a heavily congested date in my calendar when I compiled my list of games and positions for this series. I found that I had no less than five games that were either started on (in the case of correspondence chess) or played on this date. I’ve therefore chosen to provide three of those games from the 11th as extended tactical exercises for you to test your skills with in today’s post. To be clear these aren’t just single move exercises. In each case I’ve picked a critical moment in the game as the starting point and then analysed right through to the end of the game. The nature of all three positions is tactical but you’ll have to consider and decide upon some positional approaches as well. The game viewer has been set to training mode so that you can consider what you’d play in each position before looking to see what was actually played and what the best moves where.

It's White to play in Intermezzo vs. Ourobouros, Redhotpawn 2007

It’s White to play in Intermezzo vs. Ourobouros, Redhotpawn 2007. This is game 2 in the viewer

All three tests are pretty tricky in my view. I’ll be interested to get feedback from readers about how many of the ‘best’ moves you found and how difficult or easy you found the exercises to be. First up is this position (above right) which I played when I was living down in London in 2002. It from a summer competition and I was drawn to play one of my team mates from the Albany Club. My opponent was a higher rated player than me but I nevertheless managed to obtain a very good position by move 33, which we arrive at in the diagram below. Sadly, although I started off well from this point I didn’t find a critical idea and lost my advantage, and later, the game. Can you find the best method of pressing home White’s advantage?

Position 2 (left) was played on the Redhotpawn website in 2007 and sprang from the open variation of the French Tarrasch (for a change!) In the starting position White faces a critical and tricky decision. A piece is under attack. Should he retreat it, exchange it or leave it enprise and play something else? In this instance I did find a strong idea (though objectively it isn’t the strongest method if my engine’s assessment is to be accepted as the arbiter) and was able to win the game with a little help from my opponent who didn’t always mount the sternest defence in an admittedly tough position. What would you do here?

This one is Black to play in Daromott vs. Intermezzo, Redhotpawn 2007

This one is Black to play in Daromott vs. Intermezzo, Redhotpawn 2008. This is game 3 in the viewer just below.

Finally, the third game will once again test your ability to convert an advantage. In this game I had slowly managed to achieve a strong positional and spacial plus but White had all his pieces on hand to defend his king. I found an interesting idea which preserved the advantage and was enough to win but it could have been further refined. White also missed some tricky defensive resources which required some precise calculation. Can you find the best way for Black to play and, later on, the most stubborn defensive moves for White?

 

Use the arrow on the right of the game details below to reveal the drop down menus and select the game you would like to view.

Advertisement

7 Responses to “Travail Pursuit #20: Finding the Killer Blow”

  1. Martin Carpenter

    Jul 12. 2014

    Not sure you need to see that finesse in position 1 in advance, its just such an obvious thing to do.

    Position 2 has a problem! Black Q meant to be on c7 instead?

    The actual game 3 continuation is funny :)

    Reply to this comment
  2. James Carpenter

    Jul 12. 2014

    Well, if you play through the game the first move is actually Qc7 :)

    Nice set of positions, I noticed the exchange sacrifice on one and then e6 but did rather less well on the second position, I wanted to go Bxh6 and play g4 and hack! No patience these days I fear.

    Game 3, Rb3 looked like the try but I didn’t analyse very deeply. I feel you might be beating yourself up a bit Dave since the computer analysis of Rdb6 doesn’t seem obviously superior to the game :).

    Reply to this comment
    • Martin Carpenter

      Jul 15. 2014

      g4,g5 (rather than f4, f5 etc) is I thought the normal way to attack in those sorts of positions. Doesn’t get a mention in any of the variations for some reason. Maybe it can’t be made to work due to some concrete issues, maybe computer doesn’t like it until walked down a bit.

      Some slightly strange looking Kb1 moves too, which is always comforting of course but I’m not totally sure what its for here. Anyway :)

      Reply to this comment
      • Dave

        Jul 15. 2014

        Hi Martin,
        Do you mean in game 2? Play Bxh6 then g4-g5. It might work against a humanoid but it wasn’t a ‘Castrol GTX’ move :)
        Not sure which game you are referring to with Kb1 in it…
        Anyway, glad you enjoyed the positions…
        Cheers,
        Dave

        Reply to this comment
  3. James Carpenter

    Jul 16. 2014

    Was the younger, more foolish sibling wanted to hack on h6 and play g4. The super calm Nd7 is a bit of a damper though. After Nxf7 Kxf7 Qxe6 black’s king escapes to the middle of the board and commences mocking you :).

    Reply to this comment
    • Martin Carpenter

      Jul 16. 2014

      I was imagining the rather saner plan of g4 ^ Bxf6/g5 or even just g4 before Bxf6 or Bf4 ^ g4,g5. They all make sense to analyse :)

      For that matter 1 Bf4 Qc5 2 g4!? looks a very good way to do it. Nothing sacrificed, whites pieces super solid and dominating. g5 still a very major threat.

      Really not quite sure why the computer is going Kb1 then.

      All I can think of for black to try and disturb whites pieces would be to go Bd6 but that can surely simply be hacked off by whites rook on d1? Otherwise he’s just waiting for the axe to fall.

      Reply to this comment

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Daily Chess News Links July 13, 2014 | blog.chesscafe.com - July 13, 2014

    […] Travail Pursuit #20: Finding the Killer Blow Yorkshire Chess For some reason the 11th of July was a heavily congested date in my calendar when I compiled my list of games and positions for this series. I found … […]

Leave a Reply