Queen really relishes open spaces

The queen is the most powerful piece on the chess board and can virtually control most of the board, short range as well as long range. Once a few pieces and pawns are exchanged, the queen really relishes long-range targeting through open files, rows and diagonals.

In the game which follows, White is dominating for most part and only after a careless move, allows Black to get back into the game. By that time, it is virtually a war between two queens and the way Black is able to move his queen to control squares and also attack, decides the game in his favour.

White: Roman  Ovetchkin (2475) – Black: Sergey Volkov (2545)
Moscow , 1998
French Defence
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5
The French Defence
3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 dxe4
The French Classical system
5.Nxe4 Be7 6.Bxf6 gxf6 7.Nf3 b6 8.Bc4
If 8.g3 Bb7 9.Qe2 Qd5 10.Ned2 Nc6 11.c3 0–0–0 12.Bg2 Qh5
8...Bb7 9.Qe2 c6 10.0–0–0 Qc7 11.Rhe1 Nd7 12.Kb1 0–0–0
Black also castles on the queenside in this variation
13.Ba6 He wants to exchange the light square bishop which is trained on his King 13. .. Bxa6
If 13...Rhe8  14.Bxb7+ Kxb7
14.Qxa6+ Kb8 15.Qe2
If 15.g3 f5 16.Ned2 Bf6
15...Rhg8  If 15...Rhe8  16.a3 Bf8 17.c4 h6 18.Nc3 f5 19.d5 Bg7
16.g3 f5 17.Ned2 Bf6
If 17...Rg4 18.Nc4 Bf6 19.Ne3 Rgg8 20.Ng2 Nf8 21.Nf4 Ng6 22.Nh5 Bh8
18.Nc4  If 18.c3 c5 19.Nc4 cxd4 20.Nxd4 Nc5 21.f3 a6 22.Ne3 b5 23.Nec2 Kb7   18...Bh8 Black deviates with a new move. Black can also look at 18. ..Rg4  19.c3 h6 19.Nfe5 Nf6 20.Rd3
A bold move! If 20.c3 Ne4 21.f3 Nf6
20...Ka8 21.Red1 Rc8 22.Ra3
Interesting move!
22...Rgd8 If 22...Rcd8 23.Nxb6+ Qxb6 24.Ra6 Qb7  25.Nxc6 Rd7 26.Rxa7+ Qxa7 27.Nxa7 Rxa7 28.c4  
23.Nxf7 Sacrificing the knight !
23...Qxf7 24.Nxb6+
Trouble is brewing up for Black
24. ..Kb8 25.Nxc8 Rxc8 26.Re3
White should have played 26.Re1 Re8 27.Re3 Rd8 28.Qc4 Ne4 29.Rb3+ Kc7 30.Qb4
26...Ka8 27.Re1
If 27.Rxe6 Ne4 28.Rh6 Rb8 29.Qe3 Qc4 27...Qd7 28.c3 c5 29.dxc5
Here White could have played 29.Rxe6 Ne4  30.Rxe4 fxe4  31.Qxe4
29. .. Nd5 30.Rxe6 Bxc3 31.Rd6 Qb7 32.Rd1 White once again misses the correct move. Better is 32.Rc1 Rb8 33.b3 (33.Rxd5 Qxb2+ 34.Qxb2 Rxb2+ 35.Ka1 Rc2+ 36.Kb1 Rb2) 33...Bh8 34.Qf3 Nc7 35.Qxb7+ Kxb7 36.Rc4
32...Bd4 33.Qd2  If 33.c6 Nc3+ 34.Ka1 Qb8  35.Qd2 Qxd6 (35...Nxd1 36.Rxd4) 36.Qxd4 Qxd4 37.Rxd4 Ne4
33...Nc3+ 34.Ka1 Nxd1 35.Qxd4 Nxf2
Suddenly the scenario has changed and it is White who is fighting to stay in the game after appearing to be totally in the driver’s seat
36.b4 Qh1+ 37.Kb2 Qxh2 38.Rd7 Ne4+ 39.Kb3 Qxg3+ 40.Ka4
Diagram 1
40. .. Qg8 It is important to understand the power of the queen and also which squares need to be controlled.
41.a3 Qe6 42.Ka5 Nxc5
Simplifying and steering the game towards a winning ending
43.bxc5 Rxc5+ 44.Qxc5 Qxd7 45.Qf8+ Kb7 46.Qb4+ Kc6 47.Qc4+ Kd6 48.Qf4+ Ke7 49.Qg5+ Kf7 50.Qh5+ Kf8
51.a4 Qd8+ 52.Kb4 a5+ 53.Kc5 Qf6 54.Kb5 f4! 55.Kxa5 f3 56.Qc5+ Kf7 57.Qf2 Qe5+ 58.Kb6 Qe6+ 59.Kb7 Qe2 60.Qd4 f2
61.Qf4+ Ke6 62.Qh6+ Ke5 63.Qg7+ Kf4 64.Qh6+ Kg3 65.Qg7+ Qg4 66.Qc7+ Kg2 67.Qc2 Qb4+ 0–1
Diagram 2
White to play and win
 1.Qxc3+ Nxc3 2.b4 checkmate.

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