Defence is better than infiltration

Chess Checks

Every chess player relishes attacking positions and wants to barge into enemy territory at every possible opportunity.

Here, however, it is always very tempting to look at moves which keep the attack going, especially in trying to make inroads into the enemy territory. Sometimes, if the position so demands, it is better to retreat rather than infiltrate.

The following game is an example where White gets carried away in trying to continue with the attack. He persists with the attack when he should have given thought to consolidating his position.

White: Mihail  Saltaev (2510) – Black: Oleg Korneev (2560)
Moscow, 1998
Sicilian Defence
1.e4 c5. The Sicilian Defence, a sharp response to White’s King Pawn Opening
2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6
The Taimanov variation of the Sicilian defence
5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be3 a6 7.Bd3 Nf6 8.0–0 Ne5 9.h3 Bc5 10.Kh1 d6 11.f4
11. ..Ng6 12.Qf3 0–0. The players are still in the Opening theory which has been played before, on many occasions
13.Rae1. If 13.Qg3 Nh5 14.Qg5 Nhxf4 15.Rxf4 f6 16.Qg3 Nxf4 17.Qxf4 e5 had resulted in a victory for Black in a previous game
13...b5. Pushing on the queen side. If 13...e5  14.Nde2 Bxe3 15.Qxe3 exf4 16.Nxf4 Be6 17.Nxg6 hxg6
14.Qg3. White uncorks a novelty here. If 14.f5 Ne5 15.Qg3 Qb6
14...Nh5. Intent on driving back the queen..Black is now not having any problem. If 14...Bb7 15.f5 exf5 16.Nxf5 Bxe3 17.Rxe3
15.Qg5 Nhxf4
Interesting move! If 15...Nf6  16.Qg3  

16.Rxf4. White should have played 16. Nxb5 by either of the knights. If 16.Bxf4 Bxd4
16...b4. Black decides to give up the piece. If 16...Nxf4 17.Qxf4 e5 18.Qh4 Bxd4 19.Bxd4 exd4 20.e5. Here however worth a look is 16. ..f6
17.Nce2 e5. If 17...Nxf 18.Nxf4 e5 (18...Bxd4 19.Bxd4 e5 20.Nd5) 19.Nd5 is better for White
18.Rf3 exd4 19.Bxd4. If [19.Nxd4 Ne5
19...Be6. 20.Rg3 f6 21.Qh5
White should have retreated 21.Qe3
21. ..Ne5 22.b3. White should have taken a closer look at 22. Rf1. If 22.Bxe5 dxe5 works well for Black
22...Kh8 23.Rf1 a5  
Black can consider 23. ..Qa5
24.Bb2 Qf7. If 24...a4 25.Nf4 Bf7
25.Nf4. If 25.Qxf7 Bxf7
25...Qxh5 26.Nxh5 Ra7 27.Bb5
 27...Rb7 28.Ba4 .
Why not 28.Ba6?
28...f5!? 29.exf5. If 29.Bc6 Rbf7 (29...Nxc6 30.Nxg7 Bd4 31.Nxe6) 30.Bd5 fxe4 31.Rxf7 Bxf7 And if  29.Nf4 fxe4 30.Ng6+ Nxg6
29...Rxf5 30.Rxf5 Bxf5 31.c3. If 31.Bc6 Rc7 And if 31...Nxc6 32.Nxg7 Bg6
31...h6. Black had a good move in 31. ..Bb1  32.c4 Rf7
32.cxb4 axb4 33.Bc6. If 33.Nf4 Bf2
33...Nxc6 . Better appears 33...Ra7
34.Nxg7. If 34.Bxg7+ Kg8 (34...Kh7 35.Nf6 checkmate) 35.Bxh6+ Kh7
34...Bd4 35.Nxf5 Bxb2   36.Rg6
If 36.Nxd6 Rd7
36...Be5 37.g4. White can play 37Rxh6 or 37.Nxd6 Rd7 38.Ne4 Rd1 but it does not do anything for him
37...Bf4 38.Nxd6 Re7
White is waging a losing battle
39.Rf6 Bg5 40.Rf8+ Kh7 41.Nf5 Rd7  42.h4 Bd8  43.Re8 Nd4 44.Re4 If 44.Nxd4 Rxd4
44...Nxf5 45.gxf5 Be7 46.Kg2 Kg7 47.Kg3 Kf7   48.Kg4 Rd2 49.Re6 h5! 50.Kf4. If 50.Kxh5 Rd4
50...Rf2+   0–1

White to play and checkmate
 1.Re8+ Nxe8 2.Bh7 checkmate.

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