Timing of rook move is crucial

Chess Checks

Timing of rook move is crucial

Chess basics always stress on the importance of development of pieces, focus on the centre in the initial stages, control of open files, rows and diagonals by the bishops and rooks and so on. The rooks come into play only after the development of knights and bishops and are powerful when they are on open files and rows.

On a crowded board however blind application of these rules may result in a disadvantageous position many a time. In the game which follows, though Black is on the defensive part for most time, a wrong rook move brings about his downfall.

White: Tobias Jugelt (2401) – Black: Ulf Von Herman (2407)
 Altenkirchen (1999)
Trompowsky Attack
1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5
The Trompowsky Opening
 2. ..e6 3.Nd2 h6 4.Bh4 b6
A bit passive. Black could have tried playing at the centre with either 4. ..c5 or 4. ..d5.
 5.e4. White decides to go for the centre!
 5. ..Bb7 6.Bd3 Be7 7.c3 d6
If 7...d5 8.e5 Nfd7 9.Bxe7 Qxe7 10.f4 c5
 8.Qe2. White can also play 8.Ngf3
8...Nbd7. If 8...c5 9.f4 cxd4 10.cxd4 d5 11.e5 Ne4 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.Ngf3
 9.f4. If 9.0–0–0 c5 10.Ngf3 g5 11.Bg3 g4 12.Ne1 cxd4 13.cxd4 Rc8+ 14.Kb1 e5 15.Nc2
 9...c5 10.Ngf3 Qc7
Here Black can continue 10. ..g5  11.fxg5 And if 10...Nh5 11.Bxe7 Qxe7 12.g3 g5 13.fxg5
11.e5 Nd5 12.Bg3
If 12.Bxe7 Kxe7 13.g3 (13.exd6+ Qxd6 14.g3 cxd4 15.Nxd4)
12...cxd4 13.Nxd4. If 13.cxd4 Nb4
13...0–0 14.0–0 dxe5 15.f5
A tempting and exciting move to play but it is not the correct one! White can continue 15.fxe5 Nc5 16.Bc2 (16.Bc4 a6 17.a3 Rac8)
16...Ba6 17.c4 Nb4 18.Bb1 Rad8 19.N2f3
Mistake! The correct continuation is 15. ..Qd8  16.fxe6 exd4  17.exd7 Qxd7. If 15...exf5 16.Nxf5 Rae8 17.Rae1
16.Bxf4 exf4 17.fxe6 Ne5
If 17...Nf6 18.exf7+ (18.Rae1 Bc5 19.N2b3 f3! 20.gxf3 Bd5) 18...Rxf7 19.Bg6 Rff8 20.Ne6
If 18.Be4 Bxe4 19.Nxe4 Nc4 (19...f3 20.exf7+ Rxf7 21.Nxf3) 20.Nf5 Bc5+ 21.Kh1 Ne3 22.Nxc5 Qxc5 23.Nxe3 Qxe3
18...Rxf7 19.Be4 Bxe4 20.Qxe4 Re8 21.Rae1
If 21.Qd5 Kh8 And if 21.Rxf4 Rxf4 22.Qxf4 Bg5
21...Bf6 22.Qd5. If 22.Kh1 Rfe7 23.Nf5 (23.Qd5+ Kh8 24.Nb5 (24.Rxf4 Bg5) 24...Qc5 25.Qxc5 bxc5 26.Nd6 Rd8 27.N2c4 Nxc4 28.Nxc4 Rxe1 29.Rxe1 g5 30.Kg1 Kg7) 23...Re6 24.Qd5 c6 25.Qxc6 Nxc6 26.Rxe6 Rxe6 27.Kg1 Re2 28.Rf2
22...Rd8. If 22...Qd8 23.Qb5 (23.Qxd8 Rxd8 24.Ne4 Nc4) 23...Rfe7 24.Rxf4 Bg5 25.Rf5 Qb8 26.Nf1
23.Qb3 Qd7 24.Ne4

Diagram 1

24. ..Re8. A mistake which immediately allows White to get advantage. Black should have played 24...Bh4 25.Rd1 Qg4 26.Rd2 Kh8 (26...f3 27.Nxf3 Rxd2 28.Nexd2 Nxf3+ 29.Nxf3) 27.Qb5
25.Nxf6+.  White can also play 25.Rxf4
25...gxf6 26.Qc2
Better appears 26.Rxf4 Nd3  27.Rg4+ Kh8  28.Rf1
26...f3 27.gxf3 Rg7+
If 27...Rfe7 28.Kh1
28.Kh1 Kh8 29.Qf5! Qf7 30.Qh3 Reg8
Correct continuation is  30...Rg6 31.f4 Ng4 32.Qf3 Rxe1 33.Rxe1 Qd5 34.Re2
31.Nf5. 31.Qxh6+ Rh7 32.Qd2 Qxa2 33.Rg1±]
Black should have played 31...Rh7 32.b3
32.Re4. Better is 32.Rxe5 fxe5 33.Nxh6
32...Qh7 33.Rh4 Nf7
A blunder which results in immediate loss. Black had to play 33...Nd3 34.Rg4
34.Ne7. 1–0

Diagram 2

White to play and checkmate
1.Rxg5 bxc3 2.Rg8#

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