A flashy finish or a simple clearcut win?

Chess Checks

A flashy finish or a simple clear cut win? The choice is always difficult one to make for amateurs to make while even the Masters are tempted at times to go for the fireworks and play to the galleries rather than settle for a simple finish. The most important thing is not to miss the victory route and take the one where victory is the most logical conclusion.

In the game which follows, White too decides to take the simpler route to victory but then he also misses out the easy and quicker one!

White: Felix Levin (2531) – Black: Arshak Petrosian (2514)
Petermaennchen GM Schwerin ,1999
Queen’s Indian Defence
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4+ 4.Nbd2 0–0
Quick development
5.a3 Bxd2+ 6.Qxd2 b6 7.e3 Bb7 8.b3 d6
If 8...Ne4 9.Qc2 f5 10.Bd3 d6 11.Bb2 Nd7 12.0–0 Rf6 13.c5
9.Bb2 Nbd7 10.Be2
Playing out previously made moves
10. ..Ne4
If 10...Qe7 11.0–0 Ne4 12.Qc2 f5 13.Ne1 c5 14.f3 Nef6 15.Nd3 Rac8 16.dxc5 bxc5
White makes a new move here. If 11.Qc2 f5 12.Bd3?! Qe7 13.0–0–0 c5 14.Rhg1 cxd4 15.Nxd4 Ndc5 16.f3 Nxd3+ 17.Rxd3 Nc5 18.Rc3 Rac8
11...f5 12.0–0 Rf6

Making aggressive intentions clear! If 12...Qe7 13.Nd2 Nxd2 14.Qxd2 e5
13.d5 Rh6

If 13...e5 14.Ne1
14.g3 e5 15.Nh4
White could have thought about 15.b4 or 15.Ne1
If 15...Rxh4 16.gxh4 Qxh4 17.f3 Ng3
16.Ng2 b5

If 16...c6 17.dxc6 Bxc6 18.b4 And if 16...Qe7 17.b4 Nef6
17.cxb5 Nb6 18.Rad1 Nxd5
If 18...Bxd5 19.Qc2 19.Qc4 Nef6 20.e4

If 20.g4 a6 21.g5 axb5 22.Qd3 Rh3 23.gxf6 Qxf6 24.Qxb5 Nb6 25.Qb4
20...fxe4 21.Bc1

If 21.Ne3 Qd7 22.g4 Rh4 23.Nxd5 Nxd5 24.Rxd5 Rxg4+ 25.Kh1 Qf7 26.Rxd6!! e3+ 27.Rc6 21...Kg7 22.Bxh6+ Kxh6 23.Ne3

If 23.f4 Qe7 24.g4 exf4 25.Nxf4 Nxf4 26.Rxf4  23...Nxe3 24.fxe3 Kg7
If 24...d5 25.Qc5 Nd7 26.Qc3 Rc8 27.Bg4
Diagram 1


Infiltrating into enemy territory to settle things out. White had a choice of playing more aggressively but prefers to simplify and get a clear cut ending.

25...Bc8 26.Qxe5 Bh3  27.Qc3 Bxf1 28.Rxf1 Qe7  If  28...h5 29.Rc1 Rc8 30.Qa5
29.Rc1 Rc8 30.Bg4 Re8 31.Bh3 Kh6 32.Qxc7 Qe5 33.Qxa7

If 33.Qf7 Nd5  33...Qxb5 34.Qd4

Straying a bit. White should have gone deep into enemy territory with 34.Qf7 Qe5 35.Rc7 Ra8 36.a4 with an easy win in sight 34...Qxb3 35.Rc7 Qb1+

Perhaps better would have been 35...Nd5 36.Qg7+ Kg5 37.Rf7! Qxe3+ 38.Kh1 And if 35...Rf8 36.Rc1 Qxa3 37.Rf1 Kg7  36.Bf1 Re5 37.Qd2  If 37.Qxd6 Rf5 38.Qa6 Nd5 37...Rf5
Black should have thought about 37...Qb6 38.Rc1 Qb6

Also playable is 38...Qb3 39.Rc3 Qb1 40.Qc1 Qxc1 41.Rxc1 Ng4
39.a4  Time to advance his passed pawn

39. ..Nd5 40.Re1 Qa7Going too much on the back foot. He should have tried out 40...Nf6 or 40...Qb4 41.Qxb4 Nxb4 42.Rb1 Nc2 43.Rb3 Rc5 and the win is not so easy for White  41.a5 Ne7 42.a6 Nc6  If 42...d5 43.Qc3

43.Qxd6 Ne5 44.Bg2 Nf3+ 45.Bxf3 exf3 46.Kf2 Qf7 47.Ra1 Qc4 48.Qd2
White has taken control of the game now 48...Rd5 49.Qa2 Qd3

If 49...Qc3 50.Qxd5 Qxa1 51.Qd6 50.a7 Ra5  If 50...Rd8 51.Qb2 Qe4 52.Ra2 Ra8
51.g4 Re5

If 51...Rxa7 52.Qxa7 Qe2+ 53.Kg3 Qg2+ 54.Kf4 f2 55.Qa6
52.a8Q Qxe3+ 53.Kg3 f2+ 54.Qf3 1–0.

Diagram 2

Black to play and win
 1.. Nh7 2.Qxh5 Ng3 and Black is better.

Manisha Mohite

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