Chess Checks

Vital to keep the castle well fortified

Therefore it is important at all times to see that the castle is well fortified and the pawns around are not moved indiscriminately.

In the game below, the players castle on opposite sides and play is centred around the King side where Black has castled. Black advances his King side pawns way too much and this allows White to infiltrate his territory with a splendid rook sacrifice. Thereafter Black has no defence and his King is cornered and dragged into a check-mating net.

White: Zbigniew Ksieski (2410) – Black: Ludwig Zesch
VfB 5th Leipzig 1998
King’s Indian Defence
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7
The King’s Indian defence which is a sharp response to the Queen’s Gambit
4.e4 d6 5.h3 0–0 6.Bg5 h6 7.Be3 e5 8.d5 a5 9.Qd2
There are many possible continuations in this particular variation like  9.Bd3 Nh5 (9...Na6 10.Nge2 Bd7)
If 9...Kh710.g4 Ne8 11.Bd3 Na6 12.Nge2 Nc5 13.Bc2 b614.0–0–0 Qd7 15.g5 h5 16.Nb5 Ba6 17.Nec3 Rd8 18.Kb1 Bh8 19.a3 Ng7 20.b4 Nb721.Ba4 Bxb5 22.cxb5 Ra8 23.Qc2 was played in a previous game.
10 f3 Na6 11.Bd3 Nd7
If 11...Nh712.Nge2 f5 13.exf5 gxf5 14.g4
White makes an aggressive pawn advance and this is an indication that White may be thinking of castling on queen side
12. ..Ndc5 13.0–0–0
White has castled on the queenside and things should be interesting now. White has also pushed his Kingside pawns and it would be interesting to see whose attack gets in first. If 13.Bc2 Nb414.0–0–0 f5 15.gxf5 gxf5 16.Nge2

Black is also interested on the King side and immediately advances his King side pawn also. However it is difficult to understand why he wants to do this as it will expose his King
14.exf5 Nxd3+ 15.Qxd3 gxf5 16.Nge2 f4
If 16...Nc517.Qd2 e4 18.fxe4 fxg4 19.Nf4 Qe8 20.hxg4 Bxg4 21.Rdg1
17.Bf2 h4
Black is fixing up the pawns. Worth a look is 17...Qe8
18.Ne4 b6
Black fianchettos the other bishop also.
19.N2c3 Nc520.Qe2 Kh8 21.b3 Nxe4 22.Nxe4 a4 23.b4 a3. Perhaps Black should have also looked at 23...b5
24.b5 White would like to force play on the queen-side
24. ..Bf6 25.Be1 Bg5 26.Bc3 Bd7 27.Qc2 Qe7
The position is closed
28.Rd3 Ra729.Bb4 Rfa8 30.Rb3 Be8 31.Qc3 Bg6 32.Re1 Kg7 33.Rxa3
Black loses apawn and White will gain entry into his territory
33. ..Kh634.Rxa7 Rxa7 35.Kb2
The White king is on the queen side but Black is finding it difficult to infiltrate there.
35. ..Qd836.Kb3 Qa8 37.a3
If 37.Nxg5 Rxa2
37...Qb8 Nxg5Kxg5 39.Rxe5+

Diagram 1

White sacrifices a rook to open up the gates towards the Black King 37...dxe5 40.Qxe5+ Kh6 41.Qf6 c5
If 41...Qg842.Bf8+
White is distinctly better
42.Qxh4+ Kg743.Bc3+ Kf7 44.Qf6+
And Black resigned for if 44.Qf6+ Ke8 45.Qh8+  1–0.  The Black King is comprehensively cornered.

Diagram 2

White to play and win

1.Qh8 d4 2.Qh1 check-mate.
If 1. ..g3 2.Qh4 check-mate.
If 1. ..Kd4  2.Rf4 check-mate.

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