Mid-game baits could spell huge disaster

Mid-game baits could spell huge disaster

Chess Checks

When they are offered in the Opening stages of the game, these pawn sacrifices are referred to as ‘Gambits’ or ‘Poisoned pawns’. However the pawns which are sacrificed in the middle-game or the endings which are deadly and can disturb the balance of the game.

In the game which follows, for most part, it appears that the game is heading to a draw but suddenly Black is tempted by the offer of a pawn and the speed with which his game collapses thereafter makes it a lesson to watch!

White: Sergei Movsesian (2659) –Black:  Dizdar,G (2549) [C02]
Las Vegas ,1999
The French Defence
1.e4 e6
The French Defence
2.d4 d5 3.e5
The advanced variation of the French Defence
3.  ..c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.Be2 Nge7 7.Na3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Nf5
The players are following one of the most popular continuations in this defence
9.Nc2 Nb4 10.0–0 Nxc2 11.Qxc2 Rc8
If 11...h5 12.Bd2 Be7 13.Bd3 Qb6 14.Bxf5 exf5 15.Bg5 Bxg5 16.Nxg5 Qxd4 17.Rfd1 Qh4 18.Qd2 Qc4 19.Rac1 Qb5 And if 11...Qb6 12.Qd3 a6 13.a4 Rc8 14.Bd2 h5 15.Rfb1 Be7 16.b4 g5! 17.b5 g4  led to a victory for Black in a previous game
Here White introduces a new move. If  12.Qb3 Qb6 13.Qxb6 axb6 14.Bd2 Ne7 (If 14...Be7 15.Rfc1 0–0 ) 15.Rfb1 Nc6 16.b4 Be7 17.a4 0–0 18.a5
12...a6 13.a4 White has no choice but to weaken his queen side as he  has to prevent 13... Bb5, which will cause him plenty of trouble. If  13.Qb3 Bc6
13...Bb4 14.Bg5 Qb6
At the moment the position does not offer much to either
White can play solidly with 15. Rc1 but he decides to try something on the King side.
15. ..h6 16.Bf4 Be7
If 16...0–0 17.g4 Ne7 18.h5
17.h5 Rc4
Looks aggressive but Black should have thought about castling here. If 17....Nh4 18.Nd2 Qb4 leads to an unclear position
If 18.a5 Qc7
18...Rb4 19.Bd2 Nxd4

Black has sacrificed an exchange. If 19...Rxb2 20.Bc3 Rxe2 21.Qxe2 Bxa4 22.Rxa4 Qb3 23.Ra2 Qxc3 24.Qb2 works well for White
20.Bxb4 Nxf3+
If 20...Nxe2+ 21.Qxe2 Qxb4
21.Bxf3 Qxb4 22.b3 0–0© 23.Qd3 Bc5
Here Black could also have thought about  23...Bg5. 24.Rac1 Bd4 25.Rfe1 Bb2 26.Rb1 Rc8 27.Re2
If 27.Rxe2  28. Qxe1
27. ..Bd4. At this juncture , the position appears drawish as the balance is maintained. If   27...Bc1 28.Qd1 Bf4 29.g3 Qc3 30.Bxd5 exd5 31.gxf4 Bg4 32.Re3 Bxd1 33.Rxc3 Rxc3 34.Rxd1 Rxb3 and should fritter into a draw
28.Rd1 Bc3
If  28...Ba7 29.Rc2 Rxc2 30.Qxc2 Bb8 and the position is still equal
Diagram 1
29. ..Qxb3
Black succumbs to temptation and grabs the offered pawn. From a position of equality the game now tilts in White’s favour after this blunder by Black.  Black should  have played 29...d4. 30.Re3 d4 31.Qxd4 Bxd4 32.Rxc8+ Bxc8 33.Rxb3 Bxe5 34.Bxb7 Bxb7 If 34...Bd7 35.Rb4 a5 36.Rc4 Bf6 37.Bc6! Bxc6 (37...Bc8 38.Be8 Bb7 39.Rc7) 38.Rxc6 with advantage for White
35.Rxb7 a5 36.Kf1 Kf8 37.Ke2 g6 38.hxg6 fxg6 39.Kd3 h5
If 39...Bd6 40.Kc4 Ke8 41.Kb5 Bb4 42.Rg7
40.Ra7 1–0
Diagram 2
White to play and win
1.Bd5+ Bxd5 2.Rf8 checkmate.

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