Placement of the queen is crucial

Placement of the queen is crucial

In an equal appearing position with majority of the pieces still gracing the board, the queen is a central character.

 At such times the decision about the placement of the queen, either at the centre, the king-side or the queen-side can be crucial and can decide the outcome of the game.

In the game which ensues, it is White’s queen move on the 18th turn which to a certain extent starts tilting the balance of the game. Thereafter White also fails to play accurately and ends on the losing side.

White: Hulak Krunoslav (2525) –Black: German Kochetkov (2350)European Championship, Pula 1997King’s Indian Defence1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0–0 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Nf3 a6Generally Black plays 6.d6 or 6. ..d5. This is a new strategy7.0–0If 7.d5 Na5 8.c5 d6 9.Qa4 b6 10.cxb67...Rb8 8.d5Centre advances are what every player strives for in the Opening8. ..Na5 9.Nd2White can play boldly 9.c5 d6 10.b4 Nc4 or even better appears 10.Qd3 b59...c5Black equalizes with this move10.Rb1If 10.Qc2 b5 And if 10.b3 Nxd510...b5Interesting pawn advance11.b3This is a passive reaction. White had better options in 11.cxb5 axb5 12.b4 cxb4 13.Rxb411...Ne8 The usual reaction would be 11…d6 but perhaps this is the main idea of waiting with the move d7–d6.12.Qc2 If 12.Bb2 bxc4 13.bxc4 Rxb212...Nd6A different idea. The knight does look strong here covering the important squares b5 and c413.cxb5Surprising that White decides to give up the centre.  White can try for some action at the centre with  13.e4  And if 13.Nce4 Nxe4 14.Bxe4 f5 15.Bg213...axb5 14.Re1Difficult to understand why White made this move. Worth a look is 14.Bb2 b4 15.Nce4 And if 14.b4 cxb4 15.Rxb414...Ba6 15.Bb2If 15.e4 b4 16.Na4 Rc8 17.e5 Nf5 18.Bb2 Bb515...b4 16.Na4 If 6.Nce4 Bxb2 17.Qxb2 c416...Bxb2 17.Qxb2If 17.Nxb2 Rc817...c4 A good advance! Black is trying to push through on the queenside

18.Qd4Not the right move and lands White in a bad position. The correct continuation is 18.bxc4 Ndxc4 19.Nxc4 Nxc4 20.Qd4 d6 and the knight on the side of the board is virtually out of the game18...c3Black can also think of 18. ..Bb519.Nf3 Nf5 20.Qf4 d6 21.g4Better appears 21.e4 Ng7 22.Qh6 f6 23.Nd4 Bc8 24.Bh3 gave some practical chances for White to stay in the game21...Ng7 22.Qh6 f6Also playable is 22. ..Ne823.Nd4 Bc823. ..Qd7 is better24.h3 Bd7 25.Qf4Here 25.Rbc1 appears better25. ..Qc7 Black could have pushed 25. ..f526.Rec1 Bxa4 A good move!27.bxa4 Qc4 28.e3It was necessary to play 28.Rc2 here28. …Qxa2 Black is winning now29.Nc6 Nb3 30.Nxb8In an inferior position White goes for the rook  but it does not help30. ..Nxc1 31.Qxb4 Nd3 32.Qb7 Qxf2+ 0–1

White to play and checkmate in two moves 1.Nd5+ Ke6Black does not have any choice2.Nef4 checkmate.