Be alert to danger at every turn

Be alert to danger at every turn

Chess positions at time can prove to be deceptive at first glance and the most natural looking moves can end in disaster. Careful calculations are needed before each and every move and even before the most innocuous looking exchanges.

In the game which follows, White is enjoying a big advantage and appears to be coasting towards victory when a minor piece exchange turns the table. White then goes haywire and from a winning position, the game drifts towards a draw and finally towards a loss for White.

White: Rade Milovanovic – Black: Petar Mitrovic
Pozarevac, 1995

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 c5 7.Bc4 Bg7 8.Ne2 Nc6
Following Opening theory but the point to be noted here is that the d4 pawn is the focus here

9.Be3 0–0 10.Rc1 Bd7 11.0–0 Rc8
Both players have completed their development here

12.h3 Qc7. If 12...a6 13.d5 Na5 14.Bd3 b5 15.Qd2 e6 16.Rfd1 exd5 17.exd5 Re8 18.Ng3 Nb7 19.Bg5 Qb6

13.f4. An aggressive pawn advance. White can also play 13 Nf4
13. ..e6 14.dxc5 Nb8

Black looks to be in a hurry to regain back the pawn and retreats back the knight to the original square. Better appears 14. ..Rfd8 15.Nd4 Be8  16.e5 Ne7. And if 14...Na5 15.Bd3 f5

 15.f5. White immediately advances this pawn. He could have played 15.Bd4 Rfd8  16Qb3 Bc6 in reparation of the advance

15. ..exf5 16.exf5 Bxf5 17.Nd4 Bxh3
Sacrificing the bishop to break open the castle. If 17...Qxc5 18.Nxf5 Qxc4 19.Ne7+ Kh8 20.Nxc8 Rxc8 21.Bd4

 18.Qf3. If 18.gxh3 Qg3+ 19.Kh1 Qxh3+ 20.Kg1 Qxe3+ and Black is better
 18...Bd7. If 18...Be6 19.Nxe6 fxe6 20.Bxe6+ Kh8 21.Qe4
19.Bxf7+. Now it is White’s turn to sacrifice a bishop!

19. ..Kh8 20.Qe4 Bf5
Better appears 20. ..Bc6  21.Qg4 Qe7.  If 20...Qxc5 21.Ne6 Qe7 22.Bg5
21.Nxf5 gxf5. If 21...Rxf7 22.Nxg7
22.Qxf5 Nd7

The knight re-enters the game. If 22...Nc6 23.Qh5 Ne5 24.Be6

If 23.Qg5 Nxc5 24.Bd5 (24.Qxg7+ Kxg7 25.Bd4+ Kh6 26.Be3) 24...Nd3
23...Nxc5 24.Bg6 Be5 25.Bd4. With most of his pieces aggressively posted, White is gunning for victory. If 15.Rxf8+ Rxf8 26.Bxh7 Qxh7 27.Qxh7+ Kxh7 28.Bxc5 Rc8 29.Bxa7 Rxc3 30.Rxc3 Bxc3 31.Kf2
25...Bxd4+ 26.cxd4 Qg7

If 26...Rxf1+ 27.Rxf1 Ne6 28.Qxe6 hxg6 29.Qxg6

Diagram 1
A blunder! White should have maintained pressure with 27.Rxf8+ Rxf8 28.Qxh7+ Qxh7 29.Bxh7 Kxh7 30.dxc5
27...Qxg6 28.Qd7. If 28.Qc3+ Qg7 29.Rxf8+ Rxf8 30.Qxg7+ Kxg7 31.c6 with a more or less equal position
28...Qg7 29.Rxf8+ Rxf8 30.Qd6 Qf6 31.Qxf6+ Rxf6. A drawish looking position after the exchanges

32.Rd1. If 32.Rb1 Rf7 33.c6 bxc6 34.Rb8+ Kg7 35.Rc8 Kf6 36.Rxc6+ Ke5 37.Ra6
32...Kg7 33.Rd7+ Rf7 34.Rd5
If 34.Rxf7+ Kxf7 35.Kf2 Ke6 36.Ke3 Kd5
34...Kf6 35.Rd6+
It is from here that White starts losing ground. If 35.c6 bxc6 36.Rd6+ Ke5 37.Rxc6
35...Ke5 36.Rh6 Kd5 37.Rh5+ Kc4 38.g3 Kb4 39.Rd5 Ka3 40.Rd2 a5 41.Kg2
If 41.Rc2 Rc7

41...a4 42.g4 Rc7 43.Rc2
If 43.Kf3 Rxc5 44.Ke4 b5
43...b5 44.Kf3 b4 45.c6 b3 46.axb3 axb3 47.Rc5
If 47.Rc3 Kb4 48.Rc1 b2 49.Rb1 Kc3
47...b2 48.Rb5 Rxc6 0–1
Diagram 2
White to play and win
1.Bxc6 Nxc6. If 1...Kd8 2.Rg8+
2.Rg8 checkmate.

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