Infiltration not a sure recipe for victory

Chess Checks

Some assumptions in chess can be dangerous especially if one thinks that infiltrating into the enemy territory or positing pieces in their terrain is a sure shot recipe for victory.

Of course most times this can be beneficial but then there are positions where such moves can be misleading.

The game which follows is a good example where White’s Knight infiltrates deep into enemy territory but then is virtually out of play. An interesting point to be noted is that till the end of the game, this knight fails either to attack or defend and stays in the same place.

White: Rune Djurhuus (2510) – Black: Karel Van der Weidel (2450)
Reykjavik , 1998
The Benko Gambit
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5
The Benko Gambit where Black sacrifices a pawn on the queen side in the Opening stages
4.cxb5 White accepts the gambitted pawn 4. ..a6 5.f3 axb5 6.e4 Qa5+ 7.Bd2
If 7.b4 Qxb4+ 8.Bd2 Qa4 9.Qc1 Qa7 10.Bxb5 Na6
7...b4 8.Na3 d6 9.Nc4 Qc7
More popular is 9...Qd8 10.a3 e6
10.Bd3 White perhaps had a better option in 10.a3 bxa3 11.Bc3 g6 12.e5 dxe5 13.Bxe5 Qd8 14.Rxa3 Rxa3 15.bxa3 Nbd7. And if  10.Bf4 Nbd7 11.Nh3 g6 12.Qd2 Ba6
10...g6  If 10...e6 11.dxe6 Bxe6 12.Bf4 Nc6 13.Ne2 Be7 14.0–0 0–0 15.Ng3 Rfd8 16.Re1 Qa7 17.Qb1 h6 18.Kh1 d5 19.exd5 Nxd5 20.Be5 Nb6 21.Nxb6 Qxb6 22.Bh7+ Kh8 23.Bxg7+! Kxg7 24.Nh5+ Kf8 25.Rxe6
11.a3 If 11.Ne2 Bg7 12.0–0 0–0 13.Qb3
11...bxa3 12.bxa3 Bg7 13.Ne2 0–0 14.0–0 Ba6 If 14...Nbd7 15.Kh1 Ba6 16.Ba5 Qa7 17.Bc3
15.a4 If 15.Ba5 Qa7 16.Bc3 Nfd7 17.Bxg7 Kxg7 18.f4
15...Nfd7 If 15. ..Nbd7  16.Nc3 e6  17.Re1 Rb8
16.Bc3 If 16.Rb1 Ne5 17.Nxe5 Bxe5 18.Bxa6 Nxa6
16...Nb6 17.Bxg7 Kxg7 18.Qc2 Nxc4 19.Bxc4 Nd7
For a long time Black had kept this knight on the original square in a bid to protect the c6 square
20.a5 Better appears 20.Rfb1 Bxc4  21.Qxc4 Kg8
20...Nf6 If 20...Bxc4 21.Qxc4 Rxa5 22.Qc3+
21.g4 Kg8  If 21...Bxc4 22.Qxc4 Rxa5 23.g5 Rxa1 24.gxf6+
22.Bxa6 Rxa6 23.Nd4 Rxa5 24.Rxa5 Qxa5 25.Nc6 Qa3
Black decides to give back the pawn to keep his pieces active. If 25...Qc7 26.g5 Nh5 27.Ra1 e6 28.Qb2 exd5 29.exd5 c4

26.Nxe7+ Kg7
White’s knight though having infiltrated deep into enemy territory, ironically, is virtually out of play
27.Nc6 If 27.Kg2 Rb8 28.Rb1 And if  27.Qc1 Qd3 28.Nc6 Ra8
27...h5 28.h3
If 28.g5 Qe3+ 29.Kh1 Qxg5 And if  28.gxh5 Nxh5 are better for Black
28...hxg4 29.hxg4 Rh8
A good move!
30.Qc1  If 30.Kg2 Nxg4! 31.fxg4 Qh3+ 32.Kf2 Qh2+ And if 30.Qe2 Qc3 And if  30.e5 dxe5 31.Qe2 e4
30...Qd3 31.Rf2  If 31.e5 dxe5 32.Qxc5 Rh1+ 33.Kxh1 Qxf1+ 31...Rh4  32.Qf1
If 32.Kg2? Nxg4 And if 32.Qc2 Qe3 33.Qe2 Qc1+ -
 32...Qe3 33.Qe2
White is desperately trying to exchange queens and blunt out some of the attack 33. ..Qc1+ 34.Qf1 Qf4+ 35.Qe2
If 35.Qg2 c4  35...Rh3 36.Qd2
If 36.Qf1 Qg3+ 37.Qg2 (37.Rg2 Qxf3) 37...Qh4 38.Kf1 Rg3 39.Qh2 Qxh2 40.Rxh2 Rxf3+
36...Qg3+ 37.Kf1 Nxe4
Sacrificing the knight! If 37...Rh1+ 38.Ke2 Nxg4 39.Qb2+ (39.fxg4 Qxg4+ 40.Kd3 Rd1) 39...Kh7 40.fxg4 Qxf2+ 41.Kxf2 Rh2+
38.fxe4  If 38.Qb2+ Kh7
38...Rh1+ 39.Ke2 Qxg4+ 40.Kd3
If 40.Ke3 Rh3+  40...Rd1 0–1

White to play and win
1.Qf8+ Rxf8 2.Rxf8 checkmate.

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