Carelessness can lead to loss even from winning position

Chess Checks

Carelessness results in loss from many a winning game in chess. Just when things appear to be sailing smoothly, with the game almost in your pocket, things can go drastically wrong with a careless move. However advantageous the position, it is still necessary to think deeply before making any move. In the game which follows White appears to be cruising in a comfortable position but a couple of moves made without much thought change the whole complexion of the game and it is suddenly Black who is gunning for victory!
White: Vladimir Antoshin; Black: Mikhail Botvinnik,
URS-ch22 Moscow, 1955
French Defence
1.e4 e6
The French defence
2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4
The Winawer variation
4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Qc7 7.Nf3 Ne7
If 7...Nd7 8.Bd3 Nb6 9.0–0 (9.a4 Bd7 10.a5 Na4) 9...c4 10.Be2 Na4 11.Bd2 Bd7 12.Re1 Ne7 13.Ng5 h6 14.Nh3 0–0–0 15.Nf4
8.Bd3
If 8.a4 Nd7 9.Be2 f6 10.exf6 gxf6 11.c4
8...Nd7 9.0–0 "
If 9.a4 Qa5 10.0–0 c4 11.Be2 Nb6 12.Ba3 Nxa4
9...c4 10.Be2 Nb6 11.Ne1
If 11.a4 a5 (11...Bd7 12.a5 Na4
11...Na4 12.Bd2 Bd7
If 12...Qa5 13.Bg4 Nxc3 14.Qf3
13.g3 0–0–0
Castling on the long side
14.Ng2 f6
Black is interested in opening the King side
15.exf6 gxf6 16.Bg4 Ng6
He can also consider 16...e5
17.Re1 Rde8 [
He can also try out 17...e5
18.Qf3
A good move!
18...Rhf8 19.Bh6 Rf7 20.Nf4 Qd6
If 20...Nxf4 21.Bxf4 e5 22.Bh5
21.Re3 e5. This move tilts the game in White’s favour. If 21...f5 22.Bh5 Rg8 23.Rae1 is also good for White
22.Nxg6 hxg6 23.dxe5 Rxe5 24.Bf4 Rfe7
If 24...Rxe3 25.Qxe3 works well for White. 25.Bxe5. Black has lost the exchange and does not have any compensation for it
25. ..fxe5 26.Qf8+
Going all the way into enemy territory!
26. ..Kc7 27.Bxd7 Qxd7 28.Rae1 e4 29.Qf6 Qd6.
Things are worsening for Black and he hopes that the exchange of queens would ease off some pressure
30.Qxd6+ .Kxd6 31.f4
With a winning advantage White misses some quick ways to wrap up the game and becomes careless. The easiest route to victory would be 31.f3 Nc5 32.h4
31...b5


Diagram 1

32.Kg2
Another unthinkable move which wipes out all the advantage which white so far held. The correct move is 32.g4
32...Nxc3
Black ism quick on the uptake and immediately sacrifices the knight
33.Rxc3
White is more or less forced to accept the sacrifice as otherwise Black gets a winning game with two connected passed pawns
33. ..d4
All of a sudden Black’s connected pawns in the centre look very threatening
34.a4 dxc3 35.axb5 Kc5 36.g4
If 36.Kf2! Rd7 37.Rxe4 Rd2+ 38.Re2 Kxb5 39.Rxd2 cxd2 40.Ke2 c3 41.f5
 36...Rd7 37.Re2 Kxb5 38.h4 a5 39.h5 gxh5 40.g5 Rd2 41.Kf2 h4 42.g6 Rxe2+ 43.Kxe2 h3 44.g7 h2 45.g8Q h1Q
Both have promoted their pawns simultaneously into queens but White King is highly vulnerable and the position is lost
46.Qd5+
A familiar position straight out of the book dealing in endings
46...Kb4 47.f5
If 47.Qd6+ Ka4 48.Qc6+ Ka3 49.Qc5+ Kb2 50.Qb6+ Kxc2
47...Qf3+ 48.Ke1 Qe3+ 49.Kd1 Qf2 and White resigned for if 49...Qf2 50.Qd6+ Ka4 51.Qc6+ Ka3 52.Qd6+ Ka2 wins for Black.

Diagram 2
White to play and win
1.Nc8 Rxc8
If 1...Rc7 2.Rxb8 Rcxc8 3.Rxc8 Rxc8 4.Qf5.  2.Qf5 and White wins.

Comments (+)