Trading off queens as a tactical step

Chess Checks

However at the higher level of the game, players who excel in end game techniques will want to trade off queens at every opportunity when they have even minimal advantage. In the game which follows, there is an interesting contest with White trying to trade queens in a better position while Black tries to create some counter play with his queen.

White: Yasser Seirawan (2585) – Black: Nick De Firmian (2565)

USA, 1994, Modern Benoni

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.e3 d5 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.cxd5 exd5 7.Bb5 Bd6 8.0–0 0–0 9.dxc5 Bxc5. Nothing unusual!  The players are faithfully following Opening theory
10.b3. Finachettoing on the queen side. White can also do with 10.Be2 a6 11.b3 Qd6 12.Bb2 Rd8 13.Rc1
10...Bg4. If 10...Qd6 11.Na4 Bb4 12.Bb2 Ne4 13.a3 Ba5 14.b4 Bc7 15.Bxc6 bxc6 16.Be5 Qe7 17.Bxc7 Qxc7
11.Bb2 Rc8. If 11...a6 12.Bxc6
12.Rc1. If 12.Be2 Bd6
12...Bd6. If 12...Qd6 13.Be2 a6 14.h3
13.h3. Wanting to drive away the bishop
13. ..Bh5. Stays on the same diagonal
14.Be2 Bb8 15.Nh4 Qd6. Targetting long range on the diagonal
16.g3. A forced move!
16. ..Bg6. Black is not keen on trading the light square bishop. If 16...Bxe2 17.Nxe2 Rfd8 18.Kg2
17.Nb5. If 17.Nxg6 hxg6 18.Bf3 Rfd8 19.Bg2
17...Qe6 18.Bxf6 Qxf6 19.Nxg6 hxg6 20.Bg4. If 20.Qxd5 Qb2 with an unclear position.
20...Rcd8 21.Nd4 Be5. If 21...Nxd4 22.exd4 And if 22.Qxd4 Qxd4 23.exd4 Rfe8 And if  21...Ne5  22.Be2 a6
22.Nxc6 bxc6 23.Qd3
White appears better now
23...Rd6 24.Kg2. If 24.Qa6 d4 25.Qxa7 (25.f4 dxe3 26.fxe5 Qxe5) 25...d3 26.Rfd1
24...Qe7 25.Rc5 Qb7.
Difficult to understand why Black played this move. If 25...d4 26.Rfc1
26.Rfc1 Bb2 27.R1c2 Ba3 28.Ra5 Bb4 29.Ra4  Rf6 30.e4
30...Re8. If 30. ..dxe4  31.Qxe4 a5  32.a3
31.exd5 cxd5 32.Bf3 Rd8
If 32. ..Rf5  33.a3 Be7
33.a3. If 33.Bxd5 Qb6 (33...Rxd5 34.Rxb4) 34.Qe4 (34.Rxb4Qxb4 35.Bxf7+ Kxf7 36.Qxd8 Qe4+)
33...Be7 34.Ra5
34...Rf5 35.b4 Qb6 36.Ra6 Qb8 37.Qd4 Bf6. If 37...Rd7 38.Bg4
38.Qxa7. White has now got two passed pawns on the queen side
38. ..Qe5. Black understandably does not want to exchange queens

Diagram 1

39.Qe3
White is persistent in his invitation to exchange queens
39. ..Qa1
If 39...Qxe3 40.fxe3 Re5 41.Rd2
40.Qc1
White wants to curtail the movements of the Black queen and would rather trade off
40. ..Qe5
Once again threatening Rxf3
 41.Re2 Qb8 42.Qc2
White had a better move in 42.Qc6
42. ..Rxf3
More in desperation than anything else! If 42...d4 43.Be4 is better for White
43.Kxf3 d4 44.Qc6 d3 45.Rd2 Bg5 46.Rd1 Kh7. If 46...Rc8 47.Rb6
47.Kg2 d2 48.Qf3 Rd7 49.Ra5 Qd8 50.Ra8 Qc7 51.Re8 Qc2 52.b5 White now gets a chance to advance his passed pawns. If 52.Qa8 Rd8
52...Rd3 53.Qxf7
White’s queen and rook are in ememy territory and so are Black’s rook and queen
53. ..Bf6 54.Qg8+ Kh6 55.Qh8+ and Black resigned for if 55.Qh8+ Kg5 56.Qh4+ Kf5 57.Qg4 checkmate. 1–0

Diagram 2

Black to play and win

1.  .. Rxh2 2.Kxh2 Rh8+ 3.Kg1 Rh1 checkmate.

Diagram 1
 Diagram 2

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