Kings become more powerful with less pieces

Chess Checks

The position of the King is very critical when there are pawns scattered around the board and generally a King positioned well in the centre is considered to be advantageous most of the time.

However, there are times when the King in the centre can be more vulnerable, especially if the opponent’s pieces are targeting him. In the game which follows, White boldly marches his King into the centre but with two rooks and a minor piece each, the King becomes a vulnerable target and is check-mated.

White :Wang Zili (2520) – Black: Yuri Yakovich (2610) ST Lee Cup, Beijing,1997
Sicilian Defence 1.e4 c5

The Sicilian Defence
2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 b5
Black indicates an aggressive approach
6.Bd3 Qb6

If 6...Bb7 7.0–0, 7.Nb3. If 7.Be3 Bc5. 7...Qc7. If 7...d6 8.a4 b4 9.a5
If 8.a4 b4 9.Ne2 Bb7 10.Ned4 Nf6 11.Qe2 Nc6 12.Nxc6 Bxc6 13.e5 Ng8 14.0–0 Ne7 15.Bg5 Ng6
If 8...Nf6 9.Qe2 Nc6 10.Bg5 Be7 11.a4 b4 12.Nd1 0–0 13.f4 d6
9. f4
White also wants to play actively
9...d6 10.Qe2 Nd7. If 10...Nf6 11.e5 dxe5 12.fxe5
11.Bd2 Ngf6 12.a3. If 12.Rae1 e5  And if 12...b4 13.Nd1 e5
12...Be7 13.Rae1 e5. If 13...0–0 14.e5
14.h3. If 14.Kh1 0–0. 14...0–0
Black castles after a long time
15.fxe5. White immediately opens up the ‘f’ file. 15. ..dxe5. If 15...Nxe5 16.Nd4. 16.Rf3 Bc6 17.g4
Too soon? Here 17.Rd1 appears better. If 17.Nd1 a5 18.Bxb5 Qb6+ (18...Bxb5 19.Qxb5 Qxc2 20.Rc3 Qb1 21.Rc1 Qa2 22.Ra1)
17...Rae8 18.Ref1
If 18.g5 Nh5 19.Nd5. 18...Nb6 19.Na5
Here 19.Be3 is better
19. ..Ba8
A good move!
20.b4 Rc8 21.Rf5. If 21.Nd1 Ne8 22.Ne3. 21...Ne8
A good manoeuvre. The knight is heading for the c4 square
22.Qf2 Nd6 23.Rf3 Nbc4 24.Bxc4 Nxc4 25.Nxc4 Qxc4
After a few quick exchanges, Black has improved on the queen side and looks better.. 26.Qa7
White on the other hand infiltrates deeper into the queen side. If 26.Re1 Qd4. 26...Qd4+. Forcing the exchange of queens.
27.Qxd4 exd4 28.Nd5 Bxd5 29.exd5 Rxc2. White has lost a pawn and also has allowed the Black rook to invade the seventh rank. Also Black’s passed pawn now is dangerous
30.Rd3 30...Bf6 31.Re1 h6
If 31...Rd8 32.g5
32.d6.. If 32. Rf1 Rfc8  33.Rxf6 gxf6  34.Rxd4
32...Rd8 33.Bf4 Rc3 34.Red1. If 34.Rxc3 dxc3 gives advantage to Black
34...Kf8 35.Kf2 Ke8 36.Kf3. The King’s start marching out! 36. ..Kd7 37.Ke4 Re8+
Diagram 1
38.Kd5. The King is trying to control things from the centre but White’s position is a delicate. 38. ..Re6 39.h4. If 39.R1d2 Bg5 40.Bxg5 hxg5 41.Kxd4 Rc4+ 42.Kd5 f6
39...g5 40.hxg5 hxg5 41.Bh2. If 41.Bg3 Re3 42.Rxe3 dxe3. 41...Bg7. Black can also win with 41...Re3
42.Rf1 f6 43.Rxd4. If 43.Kxd4 f5+
43...Bf8 44.Re4 Rd3+ 45.Rd4 Rh3 46.Rf2. A mistake! But the position is already lost for White and there is not much he can do. If 46.Rd2 Bxd6
46...Rxh2  and White resigned for if 46...Rxh2 47.Rxh2 Re5 checkmate.
Diagram 2
White to play and win
 1.Rg8 Qxg8 2.Ne7+  and White wins.

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