Wrong pawn move could spell doom

Wrong pawn move could spell doom

Chess Checks

Chess basics harp on controlling the centre and advise that pieces and pawns should start their journey towards the centre. However each and every pawn advance has to be carefully calculated at every stage of the game. A wrong pawn advance and the game can collapse like a pack of cards.

In the game which follows, Black hurries with a pawn advance quite early in the opening stages of the game. Thereafter he is severely hampered by developmental problems and cannot get back into the game while White builds a devastating attack.

White: Jonny Hector (2540) – Black: Erling Mortensen (2500)
Reykjavik, 1995
Sicilian Defence
1.e4 c5
The Sicilian Defence
2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Qc7
Black ha quite a few options at his disposal like 4. ..Nf6 or 4. ..e5
5.Nc3 e6 6.Be3 a6 7.Bd3 b5
Trying to be aggressive. He can develop 7. ..Nf6
If 8.Nxc6 Qxc6 9.0–0 Bb7 10.a3 Nf6 11.Qe2 Be7 12.f4 0–0 13.Qf3 Bc5
8...Bb7 9.Nb3
If 9.Nxc6 Bxc6  10.a3 Nf6 And if 9.a3 Nf6 10.Qe2 Be7 11.f4 d6 12.Kh1 0–0
Black is still not keen on developing the other knight.
If 9...d6 10.f4 Nf6 11.Qf3 Be7
White immediately wants him to leave the centre
10. ..Nc4 11.Bd4
If 11.Bxc4 bxc4  12.Nd2 Nf6 And if 11.Bc1? Nf6 12.Qe2 Bb4 13.Nd1 0–0
Black could have grabbed the pawn  11...Nxb2 12.Nxb5 axb5 13.Bxb2 Nf6 and maintain status quo
12.Qe2. White can play dynamically with 12.Qh5 Nxb2  13.Nxb5 axb5

Diagram 1

12. ..e5
This pawn advance is a mistake and White gains advantage. Black should have played either 12. ..Rc8 or 12. ..Nf6
13.Nd5 Bxd5 14.exd5 Be7
The pawn is pinned and he cannot capture the bishop. The position is getting dangerous for Black
15.fxe5 dxe5
If 15...Nxe5 16.a4
16.Bxc4 exd4 17.d6
A good move!
More or less a forced move as White is threatening to crash through f7
18.Qf3. White is naturally not interested in exchanging queens and sets up fresh targets, the rook. Black is severely hampered by developmental problems
18. ..Rb8
If 18...Rd8 19.Na5 Qe6 20.dxe7 Nxe7 21.Rae1 Qd5 (21...Qd6 22.Nc6 Rd7 23.Qxf7#) 22.Nc6 Qxf3 23.Rxe7+ Kf8 24.Rxf3 And if 18...Ra7 19.Rae1 Nf6 20.dxe7
19.Rae1 Nf6
The position is already difficult and this move does not help either. Perhaps he can try 19. ..f6
20.Rxe7+ Kf8 21.Na5. Each and every piece of White has joined the attack while Black’s pieces are virtually useless
21. ..Qc5. If 21...Qb4 22.Qd5 Nxd5 23.Rfxf7+ Kg8 24.Rxg7+ Kf8 25.Ref7+ Ke8 26.d7+ Kd8 27.Nc6+ Kc7 28.d8Q+ Kxc6
22.Qb3 Qh5 23.Nc6 Rc8 24.d7
The pawn has been marching merrily and there is nothing that Black can do to stop the onslaught
24. ..Rd8 25.Re8+
If 25.Re8+ Rxe8 (25...Nxe8 26.Nxd8 (26.Qb4+ Nd6 27.Qxd6+ Kg8 28.Ne7+ Kf8 29.Ng6+ Kg8 30.Qf8+ Rxf8 31.Ne7 checkmate.) 26...Nf6 27.Nc6) 26.Qb4+ Kg8 27.dxe8Q+ Nxe8 28.Ne7+ Kf8 29.Ng6+ Kg8 30.Qf8 checkmate

Diagram 2

White to play and checkmate
 1.Qh8+ Ke7 2.Nf5 checkmate

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