Important to shut the opponent out

Chess Checks

Important  to shut the opponent out

Wrapping up a chess game where one player has advantage is not merely acase of exhibiting good technique. One has to always be on guard as the opponent may opt for desperate measures in the form of some tactical tricks or small traps when he has nothing to lose.

Chess basics stress that when you are ahead in material it is better to exchange pieces and cash in on the extra material.

However, there are also many interesting motifs which can be tried out in certain positions. In the ensuing game White adopts one such motif, that is virtually shutting off a major enemy piece out of the game when he already has a winning game on hand.

White: Ralf Lau (2500) – Black; Eckhard Schmittdiel (2490)

Rubinstein Memorial, 1991French Defence1.e4 e6 2.d3White does not play the usual 2.d42. ..c5 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 g6 5.Bg2 Bg7Both have fianchettoed their King side bishops6.0–0 Nge7 7.Re1 d6So far it has been a very quiet opening8.c3 e5 9.a3 a5If 9...0–0 10.b410.a4 0–0 11.Na3 h6 12.Nc4White played a novelty here. If 12.Nb5 Kh7 13.d412...Be6 13.Bd2 f5 A bold move by Black14.exf5 White could have played 14.Qb3 or 14.Qe214. ..gxf5 15.Qb3 Bf7Not a very good option by Black. He could have played 15. ..Rf7. If    15...Qc7 d5 16.Qb6 (16.Qb5 d5) 16...Qxb6 17.Nxb6 Ra6 18.Nc4 And if  15...Bd5 16.Qb5 (16.Nh4 Bxg2 17.Kxg2 d5) 16...Ra616.Qb5 White cannot capture the pawn as 16Qxb7?? Rb8 17.Qa6 d5 18.Ncxe5 Rb6 and Black is better16...Ra6Black could have equalized with 16. ..Be8. Also it may be interesting to look at 16...Qc717.Nh4 If 17.Qxb7 Bxc4 18.dxc4 Rb617...Qc7 18.Bxc6White decides to give up his fianchettoed bishop. He had a better option in 18.Rab118. .. Rxc6 19.Qxa5 If 19. ..Qxa5  20.Nxa5 Ra619. ..b6 20.Qb5 Be8 If 20...d5 21.Ne321.a5 bxa5 22.Qxa5 Qd7Once again Black declines to exchange queens23.f4 White decides to explore on the Kingside23. ..e4 24.dxe4 Bf7 25.Qa4 fxe4 26.Rxe4If 26.Na5 Rc7 27.Qxd7 Rxd7 28.Rxe4 Ra8 29.Rea426...Bf6 Black has the double bishop advantage but it is not of much use now. If 26...d5 27.Rxe7 Qxe7 28.Qxc6 dxc4 29.Re1 And if 26...Bxc4 27.Rxc4 d5 28.Rxc5 and White is better in both cases27.Nf3 Qc8 If 27...d5 28.Nce528.Rae1 Nf5If 28...d5 29.Nce5 dxe4 30.Nxc6 And if 28...Bxc4 29.Rxe7 Bxe7 30.Qxc4+ Kh8 31.Rxe729.Ne3 Ra6If 29...d5 30.Nxf5 dxe4 31.Ne5 Qxf5 (31...Bxe5 32.Ne7And if 31...Ra6 32.Qxe4) 32.Qxc6 Bxe5 33.fxe5 Qxe5 34.Qxh6 and White holds advantage30.Qb5 Ra8 31.Nxf5 Qxf5 32.Bc1 Ra1Black invades the eighth rank but cannot really gain anything. If  32...Bd5 33.R4e333.Qe2 d5 34.Re3 d4 35.cxd4 cxd4 36.Re4 Qc5 37.Bd2 Ra2 38.Ne5 Bxe5 39.Rxe5 Qb6 40.Qg4+The Black King is exposed40. ..Qg6 41.Qxg6+ Bxg6 42.Bb4 Rb8Diagram 143.Ba3Literally jailing the Black rook43. ..Bc2 44.Rd5 d3 45.Rd7 and Black resigned as he virtually has nothing to play.1–0Diagram 2White to play and checkmate in two moves1.Rh8+ Kxh8Black has no choice2.Rf8 checkmate.

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