Turning a weak spot into a strength

Chess Checks

The perspective and position change after every move on the board and this is what makes chess a challenging as well as a complex game.

If a move is brilliant when it is executed but the follow up is not up to the mark, then it can result in a defeat whereas a move or a piece which appears weak at a particular point can easily become the strength of that game later on.

The game which follows is a good example that a weak point need not necessarily remain the same throughout. Here Black’s ‘c’ pawn in the opening stages looks weak but becomes the trump card in the concluding stages and helps Black to register a victory.

White: Dimitri Tyomkin (2522) – Black: Alexandre Lesiege, A (2584)
Montreal, 2000
Queen’s Gambit
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e3 b5
Intending to keep the accepted pawn which White had gambitted
6.a4 b4 7.Ne2
White usually replies 7.Na2 or 7.Nb1
7...e6
If 7...Ba6 8.Ng3 Qd5 9.Be2 Nbd7 10.b3 e5 11.0–0 (11.e4 Qa5 ) 11...exd4 12.Nxd4 Bc5 13.Bb2 (13.Bf3 Qe5) 13...c3 14.Bxa6 cxb2 15.Rb1 Bxd4 16.exd4 0–0 was played in a previous game
8.Ng3 c3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black made a new move here. If 8...Ba6 9.Ne5 c5 (9...Qd5 10.Be2 Qxg2 11.Bf3 Qh3 12.Nxc6 Nd5) 10.Be2 Nbd7 11.Nxc4 cxd4 12.exd4 Qc7 13.Ne3 Bxe2 14.Qxe2 Bd6 15.d5 e5 16.Ngf5 0–0 17.Nxd6 Qxd6 18.Nf5 Qb8 19.0–0
9.bxc3 bxc3. It has been more of pawn moves till now and both sides have still not developed their pieces
10.Bd3 a5 11.0–0 Ba6 . An invitation to swap the light square bishops
12.e4 Bb4 13.Bg5! h6 14.Bxf6 gxf6
If 14...Qxf6 15.Nh5 Qg6 16.Ne5 Qh7 17.Bxa6 Rxa6 18.Qg4  
15.e5
This move looks attacking but then it is a mistake by White. If 15.Bxa6 Nxa6 16.Rc1 Rc8 17.Qd3  And if 15.Rc1 Bxd3 16.Qxd3 Nd7 17.Qc2  
15...f5 16.Nh5
White once again tries too much for a victory. If16.Bxa6 Rxa6 17.Rc1 c5 18.Ne2 cxd4 19.Nfxd4 Nc6
16...Nd7 17.Bxa6 Rxa6 18.Qe2 Ra7 19.Rfd1 Nb6
Black appears better now with an extra pawn even though his King is still stuck in the centre
20.Rd3 . If 20.Nf6+ Kf8
20...Nd5. This is a strong knight, anchored at the centre
21.Ne1 Rg8
Taking control of the open file.
22.Rad1 Kd7
Trying to take the King to safety onto the Queen side. Here Black can also try 22. ..Rg5 or 22. ..Rb7 or he can simply think about 22. ..Kf8
23.Rh3. Not the right move! If 23.Rg3 Rg6 24.Nd3 Qh4 25.Rxg6 fxg6 26.Nf6+Nxf6 27.exf6 Qxf6 28.Ne5+ Kd6
23...Kc8 24.Rdd3 Rb7 25.Rhg3 Rg6 26.Rd1
If 26.Nc2 Be7 is better for Black
26...Kb8 27.Nd3 Ka7
The King has reached a safe square. Black can also think of 27...Rxg3 27...Qh4
28.Nhf4
If 28.Rxg6 fxg6 29.Nhf4 Qe8 30.Qc2 g5 31.Ne2 f4 32.Nc5 Bxc5 33.dxc5 Rb2
28...Rxg3 29.hxg3 Qb6 30.Ne1 Be7  31.Qd3 Qa6
Ironically the ‘c’ pawn of Black, which was a weakness in the initial stages of the game, becomes the trump card now!
32.Qc2 Rb2 33.Qc1 Bb4 34.Nfd3 Rd2 35.Nf3
If 35.Nxb4 axb4 (35...Rxd1 36.Nxc6+ Qxc6 37.Qxd1 Qc4) 36.Rxd2 cxd2 37.Qxd2 Qxa4
35...Rxd3 36.Re1 Qc4 37.Qxh6 c2 38.Rc1 Rd1+  0–1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White to play and win
1.Rxh7+ Kg5 2.h4 checkmate.


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