Focusing on the aspect of regrouping

Chess Checks

Regrouping of pieces is an interesting aspect of chess where the pieces often retreat to their original squares and start afresh to take up different positions on the board. This is generally witnessed when the pieces appear to have no scope or their mobility is restricted and restarting their journey opens up new avenues.

In the game which follows, Black interestingly retreats his knight twice to the original square but does not get the position he would like.

Even his rook is forced into a passive mode in trying to defend one pawn. It is however White who capitalises  and seals the game with a crushing and forced sequence.

White: Jurij Zezulkin (2470) – Black: Plotr Murdzia (2440)
Swidnica, 1999
Caro Kann Defence
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5
The Caro-Kann Defence
3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 e6 5.g4 Bg6 6.Nge2 f6
Last week’s game was also a Caro-Kann but here Black deviates on the 6th turn and opts for a continuation which leads to complications. More popular line is 6...c5 7.h4 h6
7.Nf4 fxe5 8.Nxg6
The proceedings have livened up in the opening phase of the game itself with some sharp play.
If 8.dxe5 Bf7 9.Qe2
8...hxg6 9.dxe5 Nd7
If 9...Bc5 10.Bf4 Nd7
10.Bf4 Bc5
If 10...Bb4 11.Bd3 Ne7 12.0–0 Qc7 13.Ne2
11.Bd3 Ne7 12.Bg3 a6
Black had a better option in 12. ..Qb8  13.Qd2 Nxe5  14.Be2 Bd6 15.Qe3 Rf8 And if 12...Qc7 13.Na4 a5 14.Qd2 b5 15.Nxc5 Nxc5 16.Qg5 Rh6 17.Qe3 Nxd3+ 18.cxd3 c5 19.Rc1 Rc8 20.0–0 And if  12...a5 or 12...a6. 13.0–0 Qc7 14.Re1 0–0–0 15.Qd2 Rdf8
13.Qd2
White is hinting at castling on the queen side. If 13.0–0 Qc7 14.Re1
13...Qc7 14.Qg5
If 14.f4 g5
14...Rh6
The rook is forced to get into this bad position to defend the pawn. If  14...0–0–0 15.0–0–0 (15.Bxg6 Qb6! 16.0–0–0 Nxg6 17.Qxg6 Bxf2)
15.Ne2 Ba7
Both players had the option of castling on the queen side. 15...0–0–0 16.0–0–0
16.0–0–0 Nc5 17.c3 Nxd3+ 18.Rxd3 Ng8
This retreat does not appear good. Perhaps Black should have given a thought to 18. ..Nc8 19.f4 Qa5 And if 18...0–0–0 19.Rf3
19.Rhd1 Qe7 20.h4 Kd7
If 20...Qxg5+ 21.hxg5 Rh8 22.Nf4 Kf7 23.Rf3 and White is better
21.Qd2 Rf8 22.Nf4 g5 23.hxg5 Qxg5 24.c4
Attacking move! Black has not castled and it makes sense to open up the central file
24. .. Kc8 25.cxd5
White is in an aggressive mood and decides to open up more lines to launch an attack
25. ..exd5 26.Kb1 d4 27.e6 Rd8
If 27...Ne7 28.Rxd4! Bxd4 29.Qxd4
28.Qe2 Ne7 29.Qe4 Qf6
Black should have considered 29...c5
30.Rf3
Diagram 1
30. ..Ng8
The knight has retreated here for the second time. If 30...Qg5 31.Nd3 Nd5 32.Rf7
31.Re1 Re8 32.Nd3 Qd8
If 32...Qxe6 33.Qf4
33.Rf7
Infiltrating into the 7th rank
33. ..Rhxe6 34.Qf5 Nh6 35.Rxe6
Forcing the exchange of pieces to get a clear cut winning position
35...Nxf5 36.Rc7+ 1–0
Diagram 2
White to play and win
1.Rh8+ Bxh8 2.Qxh8 checkmate.

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