Complacency could cost you dear

Chess Checks

Complacency could cost you dear

The most dangerous thing to do while playing a game of chess is to get lured into a sense of complacency when the position appears dull or even and a draw appears as the most logical outcome. In such positions, carelessness or even laziness in calculating can make the difference between winning and losing.

 In the game which follows, the exchanges give the impression that perhaps the game might be heading for a draw but a few tame moves by White allows Black to win.

White: Alexander Goldin (2545) – Black: Andrei Kharlov (2580)
St Petersburg , 1993
Queen’s Gambit Accepted

 1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4
Accepting the gambitted pawn
 3.e4 Nf6
 If 3...e5 4.Nf3 exd4 5.Bxc4 Bb4+ 6.Nbd2 Nc6 7.0–0 Qf6 8.e5
 4.e5 Nd5 5.Bxc4 Nb6
In five moves, this knight has had to move three times. Black can also play 5. ..Nb4  6.Nf3 And if 5...Nc6 6.Ne2
If 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.Be3 Nb4 8.Be4 f5 9.exf6 exf6 10.Nc3 f5 11.Bf3 N4d5 12.Bd2 Be6 13.Nge2 Qd7 14.0–0 0–0–0
If 6...c5 7.dxc5 Qxd1+ 8.Kxd1 N6d7 9.e6 fxe6 10.Be3
White could have also thought of 7.Nf3
 7. ..Bf5 8.Nbc3 e6 9.a3
This appears a bit passive. White could have developed 9.Be3. If 9.0–0 Be7 (9...Qd7 10.Be3 Rd8 11.a3) 10.Be3 0–0 11.Ng3 Bg6 12. Na5 13.d5 Nbc4 14.Bc1 Bc5+ 15.Kh1 Qh4?? 16.Bxc4 Nxc4 17.f5
Black could have given a thought to the aggressive looking 9. ..Qh4
10.0–0 Qd7 11.Ba2
White can exchange the light squared bishop after 11.Bc2
11. ..0–0 12.Be3 Rfd8 13.h3 h6
If 13...Na5 14.Ng3 Bg6 15.Qe2
White uncorked a novelty here but does not appear to give him any advantage. In fact Black looks better14.Qc1 Bf8  15.g4 Bh7 16.f4 Na5 17.f5
 14...Bh7 15.f4 Bh4
If 15...Na5 16.b3 Bxa3 17.Bb1 Bb4 18.f5 Rac8 19.Qc1
An interesting advance!
 16. .. exf5 17.e6 fxe6 18.gxf5 Nd5
An interesting move and after a long time, the knight gets back into the game!
 19.fxe6 Qxe6 20.Nxd5 Rxd5 21.Bxd5 Qxd5
An interesting position where Black has managed to get two pieces for the rook while White’s King appears vulnerable with the castle shattered
Not exactly the right move! White could have played 22.Nf4 or even worth a look is 22.Qd2
22...Qe6 23.Bf4 Ne7
If 23...Qxh3 24.Bxc7 Bg3
An invitation to trade queens!
24. ..Qxg4+ 25.hxg4 c6 26.Rad1 Rd8 27.b4
White could have played 27.Kh2 or 27.Kg2
27...a6 28.Rd2 Bg6 29.Kg2 Bf7 30.Kh3 Ng6

Diagram 1

A mistake! White could have tried to maintain balance with 31.Bg3 Bc4  32.Re1
31. ..Be6
Better is 31. ..Re8  32.Bg1 Bc4
32.Ne4 h5 33.Bg5 Bxg4+ 34.Kg2
This loses immediately! White could have tried out  34.Kh2 Re8  35.Bxh4 Rxe4  36.Bf2 Be6
34. ..Re8 35.Nd6 Bxg5 and White resigned

Diagram 2

White to play and checkmate in two moves
1.Nxc5+ bxc5
If 1...Ka5 2.Qa6 checkmate
2.Qa6 checkmate

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