Be patient to crack blocked positions

Chess Checks

Be patient to crack blocked positions

Open positions offer plenty of scope for attack and combinations are always a delight to watch for the spectators. Blocked positions on the other hand may appear a trifle boring but they need plenty of patience and calculation as it depends on piece manoeuvring, at times inching slowly to improve your position.

In the game which follows, Black gets himself into a cramped position and the bishop pair which is generally considered as a big advantage, is rendered passive here with them being blockaded out of the game and the knight hardly having any role to play.
White: Zlatko Ilincic (2554) – Black: Arsen Yegiazarian (2513)

Yerevan, 2000
King’s Indian Defence
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 c5 4.d5 Ne4
This is a surprising move!
5.Bg2 Qa5+
Attacking from the other flank now. If 5...Nd6 6.Nd2 Bg7 7.Ngf3 Qa5 8.0–0 b5 9.cxb5 Qxb5 10.e4
6.Nd2 Nd6 7.Qc2 Bg7
Not a position one encounters often!
8.Ngf3 b5 9.0–0
White can think about 9.cxb5 Qxb5 (9...Bb7 10.0–0 Bxd5 11.e4 Bb7 12.a4 Qb4 13.e5 Nf5 14.b3 Nd4 15.Nxd4 Bxg2 16.Kxg2 Qxd4 17.Bb2 Qd5+ 18.Nf3) 10.0–0 Na6 11.a3
Black could have thought about 9. ..9...bxc4 10.Nxc4 Nxc4 11.Qxc4 d6 with a good Benko type of position
10.a3 0–0. If 10...bxc4 11.Nxc4 Nxc4 12.Qxc4 d6 13.Bd2 Qb6 14.Bc3
11.cxb5 Qxb5 12.e4 Bb7 13.Rd1
If 13.Rb1 f5 14.e5 Ne4 15.Nxe4 fxe4 16.Qxe4 Nc7
13...e5. Black should have thought about 13. ..Rb8. If 13...f5 then 14.e5 And if 13...c4 14.e5 with a better position
If 14.Bf1 Qa5 15.Nc4 Nxc4 16.Bxc4 d6 17.Bd2 Qb6 18.b4
14...f5. A bold pawn advance
15.Bb2. Better is 15.Nc4 Nxc4 (15...Nxe4 16.Nfxe5 d6 17.Bxe4 dxe5 18.Bg2 e4 19.Bb2) 16.bxc4 Qa5 17.Bb2 d6 18.Ng5 Nc7 19.Ne6 Nxe6 20.dxe6
If 15...fxe4 16.Bf1 Qb6 17.Nxe5
16.Nc4 Nxc4 17.bxc4 Qa5
Diagram 1
It should be noted here that both Black’s bishops are virtually blockaded, out of the game and even the knight does not appear to have any role to play
Worth a look is 18.Rab1 Ba8 19.Bc3 Qd8 20.exf5
Almost forced for if 18...gxf5 19.Nh4 and Black is all at sea
19.Nd2 Ref8
Doubling rooks!  If 19...d6 20.Ne4 Qc7 21.Bh3 and White is better
20.Ne4 Qd8
Back to square one! He can try 20...Qc7 21.Rab1 d6 22.Bh3 but it does not really change anything
White misses the continuation 21.Bh3! Rf3 22.Bg4 R3f7 23.Be6 which further enhances his position
21...Bc8. Another piece goes back to square one!
22.Qa4. White misses another winning continuation with 22.Bh3 R5f7 23.Be6 dxe6 24.dxe6 Bxe6 25.Rxd8 Rxd8 26.Ng5
22...h5 23.h4 Bh6 24.Ra2
Not exactly the right continuation as White can play 24.Rb1 but now the game is out of Black’s hands
24...Qe7 25.Bd2 Bxd2 26.Raxd2 Kg7 27.Re1. If 27.d6 Qd8 28.Rb2
27...R5f7 28.Bh3 Rf3
Black should have played 28.Re8
 29.d6 Qd8 30.Ng5 R3f5 31.Bxf5 Rxf5 32.Qb3 Qf6 33.Qb2
Diagram 2
White to play and checkmate
1.Qa3+ Nb4 2.Qxb4+ Ke8
Forced sequence
3. Qxf8 checkmate

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