Don't be overawed by the occasion

Don't be overawed by the occasion

Chess Checks

Don't be overawed by the occasion

Overanxiety and overly defensive moves do not help in a game of chess. Many a time a beginner or an amateur try to keep things on an even footing against masters or higher ranked players even though there is a chance to improve their position with some dynamic play.

In the game which follows, the position is balanced well into the middle-game. Then Black invades White’s territory with his queen and the latter, instead of grabbing a pawn, tries to drive away the queen first. It is then that Black grabs a pawn and thereafter White cannot get back into the game.

White: Ronen Lev (2390) – Black: Matthias Wahls (2565)
Bern, 1990
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nc3 e6 4.g3 b6
Fianchetto on opposite sides. If  4...d5 5.cxd5 exd5
5.Bg2 Bb7 6.0–0 d6 7.d4 cxd4
If 7...Be7 8.d5 exd5 9.Nh4
8.Qxd4 a6 9.b3. If 9.Rd1 Be7 10.Ng5 Bxg2 11.Kxg2 Nc6 12.Qf4 Ra7 13.Nce4 Rd7 14.Nxf6+ Bxf6 15.Nxh7 Rxh7
9...Nbd7 10.Rd1 Be7 11.Ng5
Ready to exchange the fianchetto bishop. If 11.e4 Qc8 12.Bb2 0–0 And if 11.Bb2 .0–0 12.e4 Qc7
11...Bxg2 12.Kxg2 0–0
If 12...Rc8 13.Nge4 Rc6
13.Nge4 Qc7 14.Bg5
If 14.Nxd6 Rad8 15.Nde4 Nc5 16.Qe3 Rxd1 17.Nxf6+ Bxf6 18.Nxd1 Bxa1
14...h6. Black played a novelty here. If 14...Qc6 15.f3 Rfd8 16.Nxf6+ Bxf6 17.Bxf6 Nxf6 18.Rac1 Rac8
15.Nxf6+ If 15.Bxf6 Nxf6 And if 15.Be3 Ng4 16.Nxd6
15...Nxf6 16.Be3
If 16.Bxf6 Bxf6 17.Qd3 b5
16...b5. An interesting pawn advance
17.cxb5 axb5 18.Kg1. Getting out of the diagonal but he can play 18.f3
18. ..Rfb8 19.a4
If 19.Rac1 b4 20.Na4 (20.Nb5 Qd8 21.Nxd6 Rxa2) 20...Qb7
19...bxa4. If 19...b4 20.Nb5
20.bxa4 Nd7. Better appears 20. … Qd8  And if 20...Qa5 21.Nb5
21.Nb5. If 21.Rab1 Bf6
21...Qc2. Invading into enemy territory. If 21...Qd8 22.Nxd6 Bf6 23.Qf4 Bxa1 24.Qxf7+ Kh7 25.Rxa1 Nf8 26.Bd4 Qg5 27.Ne4

Diagram 1

22.Rac1. Difficult to understand this move! White could have continued 22.Nxd6 Bf6 And if 22.Rd2 Qc6
22...Qxe2 Black in turn grabs the pawn. If 22...Qxa4 23.Qxa4 Rxa4 24.Nxd6
23.Nxd6 Nf6 24.Nb5
If 24.Ne4 Rd8 25.Nc3 Rxd4 26.Nxe2 Rdxa4 And if 24.Rd2 Qa6
24...Rd8 25.Qa1 Rxd1+ 26.Rxd1 Qc2
If 26...Qc4 27.Na7 (27.Rd4 Qxb5; 27.Nc3 Ne4 28.Nxe4 Rxa4) 27...Qa6 28.Qd4 Nd5
27.Na7. Difficult to understand why White puts this knight to the side of the board. He can think about 27. Nd4. If 27.Rc1 Rxa4

27...Ng4 28.Rc1. If 28.Bd4 Bc5 29.Rc1 (29.Nb5 Nxf2) 29...Bxd4
28...Qf5 29.Nc6
If 29.Rc8+ Rxc8 30.Nxc8 Bc5
29...Bf6 30.Bd4 e5 31.Bb6 e4 32.Qa2
If 32.Bd4 e3 33.f4 Qe4 34.Bxf6 Nf2 35.Ne7+ Kf8 36.Bxg7+ Ke8 37.Kf1 Qf3
32...e3 33.fxe3. If 33.f4 Qe4 And if 33.Bxe3 Qh5 34.h4 Nxe3 35.fxe3 Qg4
33...Rxa4 34.Qc2. If 34.Qe2 Qe6
34...Qh5. If 34...Qf3 35.Rf1 Nxe3? 36.Ne7+ Bxe7 37.Qc8+
35.Qe2 Re4 36.Rc2
If 36.Rf1 Re6; 36.Rc5 Rxe3 37.Rxh5 Rxe2 38.h3 Re6
36...Bg5 37.Rc3 Qg6 38.Bd4
If 38.h3 Qd6
38...Qe6 39.h3 Nxe3 40.Bxe3 Bxe3+
And White resigned for if 40...Bxe3+ 41.Kg2 Bd4

Diagram 2

White to play and win
1.Kf5 Rg7. If 1...Rh7 2.Rg6 checkmate
2.Rh8+ Rh7 3.Rxh7#