Passed pawns could tilt the game vitally

Passed pawns could tilt the game vitally

Chess Checks

Passed pawns could tilt the game vitally

Passed pawns if handled carefully can tilt a chess game decisively. The opponent then has a restricted game as he has to deploy his forces to prevent the passed pawns from marching merrily towards the last rank to gain promotion.

In the game which follows, Black has a passed pawn on the queen side while White’s pawns are all on the King-side. Black starts rolling his pawn and White misses a chance to defend actively by marching his centre pawn. While Black is in an advantageous position, White blunders and ends up losing a piece and the game.
White: Nigel Davies (2460) – Black: Igor Khenkin (2530)
Tel Aviv, 1992

English Opening
The English Opening
1..e5 2.g3 c6 3.d4
If 3.d3 d5 4.Nd2 Nf6 5.Bg2 Bd6 6.Qb3?! 0–0 7.cxd5 cxd5 8.Ngf3 Nc6 9.0–0 a5 And if 3.Bg2 d5 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.d4 exd4 6.Nf3 Bb4+ 7.Bd2
If 3...exd4 4.Qxd4 d5 5.Bg2 Nf6 6.Nf3 Be7 7.cxd5 cxd5 8.0–0 0–0 9.Nc3 Nc6 10.Qa4 Qb6 11.Qb5
4.Bd2 Bxd2+ 5.Qxd2 d6
Black can play 5. ..e4  6.d5 Nf6 And if 5. ..exd4  6.Qxd4 Nf6  7.Qe5
6.Bg2. If 6.dxe5 dxe5 7.Qxd8+ Kxd8 8.Nf3 f6
6...Qe7 7.Nc3 Nf6 8.e4
If 8.dxe3 dxe3  And if 8.e3 0–0 9.Nge2
8...d5. Black can also castle here
If 9.dxe5 Nxe4 (9...Qxe5? 10.f4 Qe7 11.cxd5 cxd5 12.e5 0–0 13.Nge2) 10.Nxe4 dxe4 11.Qd6 Nd7
9...exd4.  If 9...cxd5 10.dxe5 Nxe4 11.Nxd5 Qxe5 12.Nf3±]
10.Qxd4 cxd5 11.Nxd5 Nxd5 12.Qxd5 0–0
Black decides to castle in an interesting position. Black’s queen side is still undeveloped while White needs to get his knight out before thinking of castling
13.Ne2 Rd8. Gaining control of the open file and not hurrying to bring out his queen side pieces
White can also play 14.Qc4 or 14.Qb5
14. ..Be6 15.Qe3. Once again forced to move! If 15.Qc3 Nc6 16.0–0 Rac8
15...Qb4+ 16.Qc3
The Queen moves again! White can consider 16.Nc3
16. ..Nc6 17.0–0
White can finally castle
17. ..Rd2
18.Qxb4 Nxb4 19.Nc3 Rxb2 20.Rab1 Rxb1 21.Rxb1 Nxa2 22.Nxa2 Bxa2
Suddenly there has been a flurry of exchanges and the game has quickly transposed into the ending
23.Rxb7. White captures one of the two passed pawns on the queen flank.
23. ..a5
Even though Black has a passed pawn on the queen-side, it is not easy to convert this into victory
24.e5 Rc8 25.Be4
If 25.Bc6 Kf8 26.Rb6 Bc4
25...a4 26.Ra7 Bb3 27.f4 g6 28.Kf2
The King starts marching out to join the action
28. ..h5 29.Ke3 Rc1

Diagram 1

White could have played actively with 30.e6 Bxe6  31.Rxa4 Kxg7. The elimination of the outside passer would have improved /white’s chances of holding the game
30. ..Ra1 31.Kc3 Ra2 32.h4 Ra1
Better appears 32. ..Be6  33.Kb4 Re2
33.Rd7 Rc1+ 34.Kb2 Re1 35.Bb1 Be6
A good move!
36.Rd3,. Another mistake! But things were getting difficult for White. He could have tried 36.Ra7
And White resigned for if 37.Kxb1 Bf5  38.Kc2 a3 39.Kb3 Bxd3

Diagram 2

White to play and checkmate
 1.Rf5+ Rxf5 2.Nee checkmate.

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