Don't panic in pressure situations

Chess checks


Amateurs and beginners quite often crumble under the pressure of the attack on board and even psychologically so.

At such crucial times, simple defensive moves are often missed and this results in instant loss or deterioration of position to such an extent that the game cannot be salvaged.

The game which follows is played between two Masters and Black presses the panic button when Whites queen invades the eighth rank. The decision to bring the knight positioned on the queen side to the King side for defence, immediately worsens Black’s position which already appeared difficult to defend.

White: Suat Atalik (2549) – Black: Gregory Shahade (2453) Los Angeles, 2000, Grunfeld Defence

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bg5 . Following one of the old lines5...Ne4 6.Bh4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 dxc4 8.Qa4+ Qd7. An early invitation to trade queens9.Qxc4 0–0The usual continuation is  9...b6 10.e3 Ba6 11.Qb3 Bxf1 12.Kxf110.Bg3If 10.Qb3 b6 11.e3 Nc6 12.Be2 Bb7 13.0–010...Na6. Straying from the usual line 10...Nc6 11.e3 b6 12.Rc1 Bb7 13.Qa4 Rad8 14.Ba6 11.e3 c5. If 11...b6 12.Be2 Bb7 13.0–0 12.Be2. If 12.Qb5 Qxb5 13.Bxb5 cxd4 14.cxd4 Nc5 15.Bh4 12...cxd4. If 12...b6 13.0–0 Bb7 14.a4 cxd4 15.cxd4 Rac8 16.Qb513.cxd4 Qf5Black is aiming for 14. ..Qa5. 14.0–0 Be6 15.Qa4 Rac8 If 15...Bd5 16.Rfc1 Rfc8 17.Rxc8+17.Bxa6 bxa6 18.Qxa6 Rxc1+ 19.Rxc1 Bxf3 20.gxf3 Qxf3 21.Rc6 16.Rfc1 Rxc1+If 16...Bd5 17.Rxc8 Qxc8 (17...Rxc8 18.Bxa6 bxa6 19.Qxa6 Bxf3 20.gxf3 Bf6 21.Kg2) 18.Qa3 Qe6 19.Rc1 Bxa2 20.Ng5 Qb3 21.Qxb3 Bxb3 22.Rb1 Bd5 23.e4 17.Rxc1 Rc8 18.Rxc8+ Bxc8 19.Qe8+ . Dangerous infiltration on to the eighth rank19. ...Bf8 20.Ne5+-Diagram 120. ..Nc7. The position was already difficult and Black does not help his cause by this move. If  20...Qb1+ 21.Bf1 Be6 22.d5 gives advantage to White But Black can offer more resistance with   20...Be6 21.Bf4 f6 22.Bd3 Qh5 23.g4 (23.Nd7 Bxd7 24.Qxd7 Qd1+ 25.Bf1) 23...Qh3 24.Bf1 Qh4 25.Bg3 Qh6 26.Nd7 Bxa2 27.Qc8 21.Qd8If 21.Qxf7+ Qxf7 22.Nxf7 Kxf7 23.Bxc7 also leads to victory 21...Ne6 22.Qxc8 Nxd4 23.Qc4 Nxe2+ 24.Qxe2 Qb1+. The Black queen also infiltrates the 8th rank but cannot do much25.Qf1 Qxa2 26.h4 f6 27.Nd7. White can play 27.Nf3 or he could have also played 27.Qc4+ Qxc4 28.Nxc4 e5 29.Kf1 27...Qd5 28.Nxf8 Kxf8 29.Qa1 Qc5 30.f3 a5. Interesting ending! White has an extra piece while Black ahs two pawns extra31.Bf2.

If  31.Be1 b6 (31...Qxe3+ 32.Bf2 Qe5 33.Qxe5 fxe5 34.Be1 31...Qb5 32.e4 a4 33.e5. White missed an easier win with 33.Qa3 Qb1+ 34.Kh2 b5 35.Bc5 Kf7 36.Bxe7 Qe1 37.Qb433...fxe5 34.Bg3 Qc5+ 35.Kh1If 35.Kh2 36.Qe1] 35...Qd4 36.Qe1 e4 37.fxe4A mistake! White can win easily after 37.Qxe4 Qxe4 38.fxe4 b5 39.Be1 Kf7 40.Kg1 Ke6 41.Kf2 37...a3 38.Qa5 Qa1+ 39.Kh2 a2 40.Qe5 Qxe5. Another mistake. If 40...Qb1 41.Qh8+ Kf7 42.Qxh7+ Kf8 43.Be5 Qxe4 44.Qh8+ (44.Bg7+ Ke8 45.Qg8+ Kd7 46.Qxa2 Qxh4) 44...Kf7 45.Kh3 41.Bxe5+- Ke8 42.Kg3 Kd7 43.Kf4 h6 If 43...Kc6 44.Kg5 Kc5 45.Kh6 Kc4 46.Kxh7 Kd3 47.Kxg6 Kxe4 48.Ba1 44.g4 b5 45.h5 gxh5 46.gxh5 Ke6 47.Bb2 1–0

Diagram 2

White is winning in this position but in this problem composition,  White has to checkmate in three moves1.Nh2 Kxh2. If 1...Kh4 2.Ra5 Kh3 3.Rh5 checkmate2.Ra3 Kxh1 3.Rh3 checkmate.

   

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