Don't lose sight of advanced passed pawns

Chess Checks

Keeping track of advanced passed pawns is very important as they are virtually like live wires, threatening at every possible opportunity to gain promotion into a piece of their choice. It is not only important to keep a check on them but many a times it is also necessary to eliminate them as soon as possible.

In the game which follows, Black advances his passed pawn on the queen side right up to the seventh rank. White gets an opportunity to capture that pawn and gain a big advantage but misses it in trying to get an attack going on the Kingside.

White: Tunik Gennady (2440) – Black: Michail Brodsky (2510)
Chigorin Memorial, St Petersburg, 1996
Queen’s Indian Defence
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6. Fianchettoing on the queen side. These defences are known as Queen’s Indian defences
White on the other hand fianchettoes on the King side
4.Ba6 5.b3 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Be7
Declining to swap bishops
7.Bg2 d5 8.cxd5 exd5 9.0–0 0–0 10.Nc3 Bb7 11.Qc2 Na6
Intent on development
12.Rad. White has a few options at his disposal like 12.Rac1 or 12.Rfd1 or 12.Bf4
If 12...Qc8 13.Bg5
If 13.Bf4 Qd7 14.Be5 Rad8 15.a3 Ne4 16.Nxe4 dxe4 17.Nd2 f6 18.Bf4 Bxa3 19.Nxe4 Nb4 20.Qb1 Nd5 21.Bd2
13...Ne4 14.Bxe7 Qxe7 15.Nxe4 dxe4 16.Ne5
Targetting the central pawn by trying to shut out the queen and rook which have doubled up on the central file
16. ..Nb4 17.Qb2 f6. Trying to dislodge the knight anchored in the centre. Worth a look is 17. ..c5 or 17. ..Nd5
18.Nc4 a5 19.Rc1 Nd5 20.a3 Ra7. Not exactly the right move! Black can look at 20...b5 or 21.Rf8
If 21.Rc2 Rec1
21...Kh8. Taking time off to keep the King on a safe looking square
22.Rfe1. Better is 22.Rfd1 leading to equality. 22...b5 23.Nd2 b4
Pushing on, on the queen side!
24.Nxe4. If 24.axb4 Nxb4 25.Bf1 Bd5
24...bxa3 25.Qa1 Nb4 26.Nc5 Bxg2 27.Kxg2 Rb8
Black had a better move in 27. ..Qd6 or 27. ..Raa8
28.e4. If White hurriedly grabs 28.Qxa3 Nd3 29.Red1 Nxc1 30.Rxc1 then Black is in with a chance
28...a2 29.Qc3. White could have considered 29.f3
29. ..c6 30.Ra1
If 30.Nd3 a4 31.Nxb4 Qxb4 32.Qxb4 Rxb4 33.Rxc6 h6 34.bxa4 Raxa4 35.Rcc1 (35.Ra1? Rb1 36.Rc1 Rxc1) 35...Rxd4 and Black looks better
30...Qd6 31.Re2. If 31.Nd3 a4 32.Nxb4 axb3. 31...Rd8 32.Rd2 Re7 33.Qc4 f5 34.exf5
If 34.f3 fxe4 35.fxe4 Rf8
34...Qf6. Black can try exchanging queens with 34. ..Qd5+
35.Ne6 Rd5. A mistake! Black should have played 35. ..Rde8  36.Qc5 Nd5
Diagram 1
36.g4. White should have grabbed the advanced pawn when he had the chance 36.Rdxa2 Qxf5  37.Qxb4 Qxe638.Rxa5 h6
36. ..Rxe6. Once again not the right choice. Black should have played 36...h5 37.h3 Qh4 38.Qe2 or even 36...g6 37.Raxa2  gxf5 (37...Nxa2 38.Qxc6) 38.Qxb4.
37.fxe6 Qxe6 38.f3 h5 39.h3 Qd6
If 39...c5 40.Re2. 40.Qe2 c5 41.Qe8+ Kh7 42.Re2 h4
If 42...cxd4 43.Re6 Qf4 44.Qg6+ Kg8 45.Re8+
43.Qe4+ Kg8 44.dxc5
If 44.Qe8+ Kh7. 44...Qg3+ 45.Kh1 Rxc5. If 45...Qxh3+ 46.Rh2 Qg3 47.Rhxa2. 46.Rd1 Rd5 47.Rde1 Rc5 48.Qe8+ Kh7 49.Qe4+ Kg8 ½–½       
Diagram 2
White to play and win
 1.Qxb4 axb4 2.Rxa8+ Be8 3.Bxd5 and White wins.

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