Making the most of second chance

Chess Checks

Making the most of second chance

Do you get second chances to claw back from a lost position to a victory? Do Masters and games at the highest level show vulnerability in difficult times and even when they have a winning game in hand? Yes! There are times that even World Champions blunder! Sometimes it is just loss of concentration, at other times it is miscalculations and at times it is lack of time to think.

In the game which follows, Black was cruising comfortably, then makes a big mistake but then manages to wrap up the game after a few inaccuracies by White.
White: Jan Timman (2655) – Black: Judit Polgar (2658)
Malmoe, 2000

Queen’s Indian Defence

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 b6 3.d4 e6 4.g3 Ba6 5.Qb3
White can consider 5.Qa5
5...Nc6. If 5...d5 6.cxd5 Qxd5 7.Qc2 c5 8.Nc3 Qc6 9.dxc5 Bxc5
6.Bd2 Bb7 7.Bc3
If 7.d5 Ne7. 7...Ne4 8.a3 Nxc3 9.Qxc3 Be7. If 9...Qf6 10.d5 Ne7 11.e4 Qxc3+ 12.Nxc3 a6. 10.Qd3 d5 11.cxd5 Qxd5 12.e4. White played a novelty here . If 12.Nc3 Qh5 13.Bg2 0–0 14.0–0 Rfd8
12...Qa5+ 13.Nbd2. If 13.Nc3 0–0–0 14.Qc4 f5 15.Bd3 Nb4
13...0–0–0 14.Rc1 f5
An aggressive pawn advance but better appears.
14...Bf6 15.b4 Qa4 6.Rc4 Nxd4 17.Nxd4 (17.Rxd4 Bxd4 18.Nxd4 Qd7 19.N2f3 e5) 17...b5 18.Qc2 Qxc2 19.Rxc2 Rxd4 20.Bxb5 Rxe4. And if 14...Nxd4 15.Nxd4 Qe5 16.N2f3 Qxe4+ 17.Qxe4 Bxe4 18.Ba6+
15.b4. If 15.Bg2 fxe4 16.Qxe4 Nxd4
15...fxe4 16.Qc3. If 16.Qxe4 Qxa3 17.Rxc6 Bxb4. 16...Qd5
Black indicates that queen exchange is not on the agenda. If 16...Bxb4 17.axb4 Qxb4 18.Nxe4 Qxc3+ 19.Rxc3 Nxd4 20.Nfd2
17.Ne5, White had a better move in 17.Bc4 Qf5 18.Ba6 Bxa6 19.Qxc6 Kb8 20.Qxc7+ Ka8 21.Qxe7 Rc8
17...e3 18.Ndf3 exf2+. If 18...Rhf8 19.Be2 exf2+ 20.Kf1
19.Kxf2 Rhf8 20.Kg2. If 20.Kg1 Bc5 And if 20.Nxc6 Bxc6 21.Bg2 Qd6 22.Qxc6 Qxd4+ 23.Ke2 Qd3+ 24.Kf2 Bc5+ 25.Rxc5 Qd2+ 26.Kf1 Qd1+ 27.Kf2 Rd2+ 28.Ke3 Qe2 checkmate

Diagram 1

20...g5. A big mistake and Black loses all his advantage. Black could have played 20. ..Rxf3  21.Nxf3 b5 And if 20...Bc5 21.Bc4 Qe4 22.Rhe1 Nxe5 23.Rxe4 Bxe4 24.dxc5
21.Nxc6 Rd7. If 21...Bc5 22.Ne7+
A questionable move? White could have captured the pawn 22.Nxa7+ Kb8 23.Nc6+and tried to retain advantage
 22...Bc5 23.Bb5. If 23.b5 Bxd4 24.Qd3 e5
23...Bxc6 24.Bxc6 Qxc6 25.Rhf1
White decides not to capture the bishop and instead get his rook into play and try to make his King safe but this leaves Black with an advantageous position.  Better appears 25.bxc5 h5 26.cxb6 Qe4 27.Rhe1 (27.b7+ Kb8 28.Rhe1 Qxg4+ 29.Kf2 Qh3) 27...Qxg4+ 28.Kf2 axb6 29.Re3
25...h5 26.Kg1. If 26.h3 hxg4 27.hxg4 Qe4 28.bxc5 Qxg4+ 29.Kf2 Rdf7 30.Ke2 Rxf3
26...Rxf3. If 26...Bxd4+ 27.Qxd4 Rxd4 28.Rxc6 Rxg4+ 29.Kf2
27.Qxf3 Qxf3
If 27...Bxd4+ 28.Kg2 Qxf3+ 29.Kxf3
28.Rxf3 hxg4 29.Rg3 Bxd4+ 30.Kh1 Be5 31.Rxg4 Bf4 32.Rc2
If 32.Rc3 e5 33.Rg2
32...e5 33.Rc3 e4 34.Rc4 e3 35.Re4 c5
If 35...Rd1+ 36.Rg1 Rd2 37.Rg2 c5 38.bxc5 bxc5 39.Rc4 Kd7
36.bxc5 bxc5 37.h4
If 37.Rc4 Re7! 38.Rxc5+ Kb7 39.Rc1
37...Rd4 38.Rxd4. If 38.Re7 Kd8 39.Re6 Kd7
38...cxd4 39.Kg2 d3 40.Kf3
If 40.Kf1 e2+ 41.Ke1 Be5
40...e2. If  41.Rg1 gxh4 42.Kxf4 d2

Diagram 2

White to play and checkmate in two moves
1.Qf6 Qxf6 2.Rxh7 checkmate

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