Vantage positions are vital

Chess Checks

Vantage positions are vital

Centralised pieces result in positional advantage as the power of the pieces is considerably enhanced when they enjoy this vantage point in a chess game. It is from the centre that the pieces can easily be utilised, either for attack or defence as their reach is maximum from here.

In the game which follows, the players are battling on equal terrain for most part before Black gets a tiny edge. The edge however is lost when Black hurriedly tries to lodge his knight in the centre of the chessboard. A couple of inaccurate moves later results in Black ending on the losing side

White: Ruben Gunawan (2430) – Black: ReefatBin Sattar (2430)
Dhaka , 1995
Queen’s Gambit Accepted
1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e3 Nf6 4.Bxc4 a6 5.d4. The Queen’s Gambit Accepted
5. ..e6 6.a4 c5 7.0–0 Nc6 8.Qe2 Qc7 9.Nc3 b6
Deciding to fianchetto the bishop. Black can also play 9 ..Be7 or 9. ..Bd6
10.Rd1. White could have tried to push at the centre with 10.d5
10. ..Bd6 11.h3. A cautious move! Even now White can play 10.d5
11. ..0–0 12.d5 exd5 13.Nxd5
If 13.Bxd5 Bb7 14.e4 Rae8 15.Bg5 (15.Be3 Bf4 16.Bxf4 Qxf4
17.Bxc6 Bxc6 18.Qxa6 Nxe4 19.Nd5 Qf5 20.Qc4 Re6)
15...Nd4 16.Nxd4 Nxd5 17.Nxd5 Bxd5 18.Nf5 Rxe4
13...Nxd5 14.Bxd5 Bb7 15.e4
If 15.b3 Rad8 16.Bb2 Nd4 17.Nxd4 Bxd5 18.Nf5 Bh2+ 19.Kh1 Be5
15...Rae8 16.Be3 Bf4
If 16...Bc8 17.Qd2 Rd8 18.Bg5 Rd7 19.Nh4 Nd4 20.Ra3 Bb7 21.Bxb7 Qxb7
17.Rac1. If Bxf4 Qxf4  18.a5 Na5
17. ..Re7. Perhaps Black wants to double his rooks. If 17...Bxe3 18.Qxe3 Nb4 19.Bxb7 Qxb7 20.e5 Rd8 21.e6
If 18.a5 Bxe3  19.axb6 Bxf2+  20.Qxf2  Qxb6
18. ..Rfe8 19.Rc3
Interesting move!
19. ..Bxe3. Also playable is 19...h6
20.Rxe3 h6 21.Qd1
Retreating to change direction but better appears 21.e5
21. ..Nb4
Things are getting interesting now! If 21...Bc8 22.b3 Nb4
22.Bxb7 Qxb7 23.e5 Nc6 24.Rde2
White can also consider 24.Qe2
24. ..Qc7
If 24...Qc8 25.Qd3
25.Qd5 Rd7
If 25...Nb4 26.Qc4 Qc6 27.Nh4 Qd5
26.Qc4 Rd1+ 27.Kh2 Nb4 28.g3
Here 28.Nd2 or 28.b3 would offer more resistance

Diagram 1

28. ..Nd5. Trying to centralize the knight but it is not the best continuation. Better for Black is 28...Re6
29.Re4 Qc6.
Once again not quite the right continuation. Black can play 29...Re6 30.Qb3 or think about 29...Qd7
The right move
30. ..Qb7
If 30...Qd7 31.e6 fxe6 32.Nxe6
31.Nf5 Qc6 32.Qb3 Rc1
Another mistake! It was necessary to play 32. ..Rf1 or 32. ..Ra1
33.Qf3. The Queen swings into action on the King-side
33. ..Kf8
If 33...Ne7 34.e6 f6 35.Rd2 and White is winning anyway. Black can move his King to 33. ..Kh7 or 33. ..Kh8
34.Nd6. Occupying the crucial central square
34. ..Re7 35.Rf4 f6. Another mistake or rather a blunder but then the position is difficult to defend now
36.exf6 Rxe2 37.fxg7+

Diagram 2

White to play and checkmate in two moves
 1.Rb7 Bb6 2.b5 checkmate.

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