Vital to stay focussed right through

Vital to stay focussed right through

Certain positions in chess can appear deceptive, for beginners as well as for Masters. They might lure you into thinking that things are under control and there is no apparent danger.

The player then makes a move which he thinks is innocuous and would not disturb the balance of the game. However, the whole game can crumble with one careless move.

In the game which follows, Black is struggling and just when it appears that he has possibilities of salvaging a draw, he makes an innocuous looking move with his King.

Thereafter there is no defence and Black ends on the losing side.

White: Erik den Doel (2485) – Black: Alexander Cherniaev (2465)Hoogovens, 1998Sicilian Defence1.e4 c5. The Sicilian Defence2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 e6 4.0–0 Nge7 5.c3 a6 6.Ba4 b5

7.Bc2 Bb7 8.Re1Here White can also try to play at the centre with 8.d4 cxd4  9.Nxd4 Ng6  10.a48. ..Rc8 9.a4If 9.d4 cxd4 10.cxd4 Nb4! 11.Bb3 Rxc1 12.Qxc1 Nd3 And if 9.d3 g6

10.Be3 d6 11.a3 Qc7 12.d4 cxd4 13.cxd4 Nb4 14.Nc39...b4. An interesting decision by Black to advance his pawn. If 9...Ng6 10.axb5 axb5 11.d4 cxd4 12.Nxd4 Nxd4 13.cxd4

(13.Qxd4 b4) 13...Be710.d3 d5. Not exactly the right continuation. Black should have played 10...Ng6 11.Nbd2 Be7 12.d4 bxc3 13.bxc3 cxd4 14.cxd4 Nb4 15.Bb1 Qc711.Nbd2 Na5If 11...Ng6 12.exd5 Qxd5 13.Nc4 Rd8 14.Bg5 Be7 15.Ne3 Qd712.cxb4 cxb4 13.e5White could have also pushed13.d413. .. d4. If 13. ..Ng6  4.d4 And if 13...Qc7 14.Bb1 Nac6 15.d4 Ng6 16.b3 Be7 17.Nf1 0–0 18.h414.Ne4 Nf5 15.Bg5 Be7Black could have maintained equality also with 15...Qb616.g4. A bold advance16. ..Bxe4. Better appears 16...Bxg5 17.Nfxg5 Nh4 18.Nd6+ Kf8 19.f4 (19.Nxc8 Qxg5 20.Nd6 Nxg4)17.Rxe4 Bxg5 18.gxf5 exf5 19.Rxd4White has gained the upper hand after these spate of exchanges19. ..Qe7If 19...Qc7 20.Nxg5 Qxc2 21.e6 Qxd1+ (21...fxe6 22.Qe1 Qc6 23.Qe5) 22.Rxd1 fxe6 23.Re1 0–0 24.Nxe6 Nc6 25.Rd7 Rf7 26.Rd6 White is still better20.Rd6A good move!20. ..Bf4 21.d4 g6 22.Rxa6White now gobbles up the pawn22. ..Nc4 23.Bb3 Qb7If 23...Nxb2 24.Qe224.Rf6 0–0Black finally castles but it is White who is in an advantageous position25.Bxc4White should have played 25.Qe2 to maintain advantage25...Rxc4. Black has chances to stay in the game now26.Qe2Diagram 126. ..Kg7

A terrible blunder! After getting back into the game Black blunders with a King move which at first glance might appear innocuous. The correct continuation is 26...Rfc8 27.a5 Rc2 28.a6 Qa8 29.Qd3 Rxb2 keeping the position dynamic27.Qxc4 Qxf3 28.Qc6 Qh5. Rushing back for defence but it is already too late!29.Qg2

White pawn is now going to march without any hindrance while Black cannot garner any counter play

29...Rc8 30.Rxf7+ Kh6If 30...Kxf7 31.Qb7+ Kg8 32.Qxc8+ Kg7 33.Qb7+ Kh6 34.Qg2

31.e6 Rc2 32.e7 Re2 33.a5 Bd6 34.a6 Re4 35.e8Q Rxe8 36.a7 Re4 37.h3 and Black resigned for if 37. ..Re8  38a8(Q) Rxa8  38.Qxa8 Qg5+  39.Kf1. 1–0
White to play and checkmate in two moves1.Qxh6+ Kxh6 2.Rh8 checkmate.

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