Passive play could result in a defeat

Chess Checks

Passive play could result  in a defeat

Defence in a game of chess can be active as well as passive depending on the style of the player. There are players who do not like their pieces to get into a cramped position and try to defend an inferior position by complicating the position and try to get some counter play.

In the game which follows, White makes a few weak moves and plays passively when Black starts attacking. Soon his pieces are pushed behind and Black does not have any problem in pocketing the point.

White: Julio Becerra Rivero (2510) – Black: Peter Leko (2600)
Capablanca 32th Elite Cienfuegos , 1997

Sicilian Defence

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Be3 Be7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2
White is intending to castle on the queen-side in this variation
8. ..0–0 9.g4
White decides to immediately go on the offensive rather than castling 9.0–0–0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxd5 Qxd5 with an equal position
9...d5. Black decides to hit out at the centre in return
10.g5 Nxd4
If 10...Ne8 11.Rg1 Nc7 12.0–0–0 Bb4 13.a3 Bd6 14.f4 Bd7 15.Bd3 Re8 16.Qf2 b5 17.exd5 exd5  was played in a previous game.  
11.Qxd4. If 11.Bxd4 Nd7 12.h4 (12.f4 e5) 12...e5 13.Bf2 d4 14.Nd5 Nb6! 15.Nxe7+ Qxe7
11...Nh5 12.f4. White can also consider 12. Rg1. If 12.exd5 Bxg5 13.0–0–0 exd5 14.Nxd5 Be6 15.Bc4 (15.Qe5 Bxe3+ 16.Nxe3 Qb6 17.Rd6 Qb4 18.Rxe6 fxe6 19.Qxh5 Rf5 (19...Qe1+? 20.Nd1 Rad8 21.Bd3 ) 15...Rc8 16.Bb3 Bxd5 17.Bxd5 Qc7
12...dxe4 13.Qxd8
White decides to exchange queens. Better appears 13.Qxe4  d7 14.0–0–0 (14.Qxb7 Rb8 15.Qf3 Rxb2!! 16.Qxh5 Bc6 17.Rg1 Bb4 18.Bd2 Rxc2) 14...Bc6 15.Rxd8 Rfxd8 16.Qc4 Bxh1 17.Be2 g6
13...Rxd8 14.Be2 g6 15.Bxh5. White decides to give up his bishop pair to destroy Black’s pawn structure. If 15.Nxe4 Ng7
15...gxh5 16.Nxe4 Kg7 17.0–0
White finally castles on the King-side
17. .. b6
A strong diagonal for the light square bishop
18.h4 Kg6
If 18...Ba6 19.f5
19.Ng3. White is threatening 20.f5+ ef5. If  19.Rae1 Ba6 20.Rf2 Rd5
19...h6 20.Rf2 f5
A good, strong pawn advance
21.Re1 hxg5
Black can consider 21. ..Bb7
22.hxg5
If 22.fxg5 e5
22...Bb7 23.c3. If 23.Rh2 Bf3 24.Kf2 Bg4 25.Reh1 Rd1
23...Rd3. Occupying the third rank and obtaining the excellent interaction between the pieces
24.Kh2 Rad8
If 24...Bd5   25.a3 (25.Bd4 h4 26.Ne2 Bd6 27.Nc1 Rd2) 25...h4
25.Bd4. White had an interesting continuation in 25.Bxb6  axb5 26.Rxe6+ Kf7   27.
25. ..h4
Another strong advance!

Diagram 1

26.Ne2. This passive move yields Black a stable advantage. Much better was 26.Rxe6+ Kf7 27.Rxe7+ Kxe7 28.Nxf5+  with dangerous counter chances
26...Bd5
Better appears 26. ..Rd2
27.Be5. Another bad choice! White should have played 27.Nc1 Rg3
27...Bc5
The bishop pair is flexing their muscle
28.Bd4. Another mistake by White and now it is difficult to defend this position.  It was necessary to play 28.Nd4.
28...Rd2 29.Kg1 Rxb2 30.Bxc5 bxc5 31.Rh2 Rh8 32.Nc1 Rb1 33.Rhe2 c4 34.Kh2 h3 35.Re3 Rh4 36.Kg3 Rg4+37.Kxh3 Rb8 38.Rxe6+ Bxe6 39.Rxe6+ Kf7 40.Rf6+ Kg7 41.Rxf5 Rg1
0–1

Diagram 2

Black to play and win in 2 moves
1.       ..Nf4+  2.Kg3 Re3 checkmate.


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