Chess Checks

Bluffing isn’t a most prudent option always

In the game which follows, Black shows aggressive instincts right from the opening stages. However, when his attack is blunted, instead of playing correctly, he plays dangerously, which is akin to gambling and it does not pay off in this instance.
White: Zigurds Lanka (2525) – Black: Dorian Rogozenko (2495)
Chebanenco Memorial,  Kishinev, 1998

Sicilian Defence

1. e4 c5. The Sicilian Defence.
2. Nf3 d6, 3. d4 cxd4, 4. Nxd4 Nf6, 5. Nc3 a6, 6. Be3 Ng4, 7. Bg5 h6, 8. Bh4 g5, 9. Be2 Bg7, 10. Bg3 h5. Black is intent on chasing the bishop away.
11. Bxg4. White decides to swap the knight for his bishop.
11. ... Bxg4, 12. f3 Bd7, 13. Bf2 Nc6, 14. 0–0. White castles on the Kingside though Black has steam-rolled his pawns there. However, the players are still following a previously played game.
14. ... e6. If 14. ... Ne5, 15. Nde2 Rc8, 16. Nd5 Be6, 17. Bd4 Bxd5, 18. exd5 Qa5, 19. f4 gxf4, 20. Nxf4.
15. Nde2. White plays a new move here and it looks like a strong one. If 15. Qd2 Ne5, 16. b3 Rc8.
15. ... Ne5. Landing in the centre! If 15. ... Be5, 16. Qd2 h4, 17. Be3.
16. a4. An interesting move! If 16. Qxd6 Nc4, 17. Qb4 b5 (17. ... b5, 18. Nd1 a5, 19. Qe1 Nxb2).
16. ... Bc6, 17. Bd4. This bishop is a well travelled one in the few moves made so far.
17. ... h4. Black tries to pressurise the King side with his pawns. If 17. ... g4, 18. f4 is better for White and if  17. ... Rc8, 18. b4 Qd7 (18. ... b5, 19. axb5 axb5, 20. f4 gxf4, 21. Nxf4) 19. f4 gxf4, 20. Nxf4.
18. h3 b5. If 18. ... Rc8, 19. b4.
19. axb5 axb5, 20. Rxa8 Qxa8.
If 20. ... Bxa8, 21. Nxb5 is also better for White. 21. b3.

Diagram 1

21. ... f5. Desperation! Black is not happy with the way White has been blocking his intentions and tries to bluff through. However, he now seriously compromises his pawns structure, more so as the King is still stranded in the centre. If 21. ... b4, 22. Nb1 gxf3. 
22. f4. A good move! If 22. exf5 exf5.
22. ... b4. If 22. ... gxf4, 23. Nxf4 Rh6, 24. exf5 exf5.
23. fxe5 bxc3. If 23. ... dxe5, 24. Bc5 bxc3, 25. Qd6 with advantage for White.
24. exd6. A dangerous advanced passed pawn! Things are clearly in White’s favour now!
24. ... e5. If 24. ... 0–0, 25. Bxg7 Kxg7, 26. Qd4+.
25. Bc5. If 25. Bxc3 Qa7+, 26. Kh2 Bxe4.
25. ... Bxe4. Black cannot afford to castle at the last minute as 25. ... 0–0, 26. Nxc3.
And if 26. Rxf5 Rxf5, 27. exf5 Bxg2, 28. d7 Bf6, 29. Nxc3 Bxh3, 30. Qd5+ Qxd5, 31. Nxd5 Bd8.
26. d7+ Kf7. If 26. ... Kd8, 27. Qd6 Qb7, 28. Qe7+.
 27. Nxc3 Bxg2. If 27. ... Rd8, 28. Nxe4 Qxe4, 29. Qh5+ Kf6, 30. Qe8.
28. Rxf5+ Kg6. If 28. ... Bf6, 29. Qd6 Qd8, 30. Kxg2. And if 28. ... Ke6, 29. Rf2 Bc6, 30. Qg4 checkmate as is checkmate with 30. Qd6.
29. Qg4. It is all lost for Black now! If 29. Be7 Kxf5, 30. Qg4+ Kg6, 31. Qe6+ Kh7 (31. ... Kh5, 32. Qf5 Qa7+, 33. Kxg2 Qe3, 34. Ne4) 32. Qf5+ Kg8, 33. d8Q+ Qxd8, 34. Bxd8.
29. ... Bf6. If 29. ... Bh6, 30. Rxe5 Qf3, 31. Qxg2.
30. Rf2 Bb7. If 30. ...Qa1+, 31. Kxg2 Qxc3, 32. Qf5+.
31. Qf5+ Kh5, 32. Qxf6 and Black resigned as 32. Qxf6, 32. ... Qa1+ 33. Rf1.

Diagram 2

White to play and win

1. Rxd7+ Kxd7, 2. Nc5+ Kc7, 3. Qxe6 Rc8 and White wins.



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