Analyse tough positions with a cool mind

Chess Checks

Analyse tough positions with a cool mind

In difficult situations or disadvantageous positions in a game of chess, it becomes more and more difficult to shrug off the worry and analyse the position rationally. Panic sets in and beginners start losing ground quickly, often playing desperately which in turn proves disastrous! Many a time, moves which appear natural could actually be blunders.

The game which follows is a good example where Black plays passively for most part and lands up in an inferior position. Thereafter it becomes difficult for him to work out the good moves and his position keeps on deteriorating. In the dying stages of the game, Black’s position just crumbles and he ends on the losing side, most of his pieces remaining inactive.

White: Christian Gabriel (2555) – Black: Matthias Wahls
Bremen, 1998
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 Qe7 5.g3 Nc6 6.Nc3 Bxc3
Black had the option of castling here
7.Bxc3 Ne4 8.Rc1
White can also play 8.Qb3
8. ..0–0 9.Bg2 d6 10.d5 Nd8
A surprising retreat! If 10...Nb8 11.dxe6
White could have castled here. If 11.dxe6 Nxe6 12.Bb4 and Black does not appear to have much problems
11...e5 12.Nd2 a5 13.Ba3
If 13.Nxe4 axb4 14.Qb3 f5 15.Nd2 c5
13...Nxd2 14.Qxd2 b6 15.0–0 Nb7
It has been a strange journey for the knight
16.b3 Nc5 17.Bb2 Bf5
If 17...f5 18.f4
Black has opted for a passive option and it would be difficult for him to get initiative. He will have to wait for White to give direction
18.h3. Vacating the square for the King
18. ..Be4 19.f3. Immediately driving back the bishop from the centre
19. ..Bf5 20.Rc3. An interesting move!
20...Rae8 21.Kh2 Bd7 22.Re3 Qd8 23.Rg1 f6 24.f4 Re7
Once again a rather passive choice. Better appears 24...exf4 25.gxf4 Rxe3 26.Qxe3 Re8.  White has weakened the square e4 and black will get good counterplay in the ‘e’ file
25.Rf3 Bf5 26.Rff1 Be4
Black is content in defending and playing passively. He could have tried to grab counterplay with 26...exf4 27.gxf4 (27.Rxf4 Be4) 27...Qe8
27.f5. A good strong advance which works favourably for him
27...Bxg2 28.Rxg2 g5
Black decides to try and grab some initiative but at the moment better appears 28. ..Qd7
29.fxg6 (en-passant) hxg6 30.Qc2 Kg7
If 30...f5 31.g4 And if 30...Qe8 31.g4
31.g4 Ref7 32.Bc1
Shifting diagonals- from a closed diagonal to a open one, one where he has chances of getting active
32...Qd7 33.h4
White is playing actively. Things can get dangerous for Black now
Diagram 1
33. ..Rh8
This does not look like a good move. But it is difficult to decide whether to play 33. ..Kh7  or 33. ..f5 or 33. ..Rh8
34.h5 gxh5
A big mistake, which unleashes a vicious attack by White. But then 34...f5 35.Kg1 also does not help his cause
35.gxh5+ Kf8 36.Qg6
Multiple attacking possibilities for White but for Black none of his pieces can come to the King’s defence
Another mistake! But the game is beyond repair now!
37.Bh6+ Ke8 38.Bg7 Rg8 39.h6 Qe7 40.Qh5
More effective and quicker is 40.Kh3
40. .. Kd7 41.Rxf5
Diagram 2
White to play and check-mate in two moves
1.Rh5+ Bxh5 2.Qg5#

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