Few gambles needed to change course

Few gambles needed to change course

Chess Checks

Chess might be a game of thought and calculation, but there are also other factors which influence the eventual outcome of the game. Subtle psychology, instincts and at times even a few gambles can change the course of the game. The moot point many a time however is whether an attack will steam roll or the defence will prevail?

In the game which follows, Black’s sense of danger appears to have deserted him. There are times in this small game where Black had chances to equalise with accurate defensive moves, but a few rash moves on his part ends the game rather abruptly.
 White: Johann  Hjartarson (2590) – Black: Marko Manninen (2365)
Reykjavik, 1995 Queen’s Gambit Declined
 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6
One of the most popular  continuation in modern chess
 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 a6 5.Nc3 b5
This is an unusual move not seen very often but has been played before
 6.b3 Bg4 7.Be2 e6 8.0–0 Nbd7 9.h3 Bh5 10.Bb2
Both players are not interested in exchanging pawns and keep the tension alive. If  10.Ne5 Bxe2 11.Nxe2 Nxe5 12.dxe5 Nd7 13.cxd5 cxd5 14.Bb2 Be7 15.Nd4
10...Qb6
The Queen enters the warfare early! Black could have developed his bishop with 10. ..Be7 11.cxd5 cxd5 And if 10...Bd6 11.Ne5 Bxe2 12.Nxe2 Rc8 13.a4
11.cxd5 cxd5
They now exchange a couple of pawns
 12.Ne5 Bxe2 13.Nxe2 Be7
If 13...Bd6 14.Rc1 Qb7 15.Qc2
14.Rc1 Nxe5
If 14...0–0 15.Qc2
15.dxe5 Nd7 16.Nf4
White’s pieces are better posted
16. .. 0–0
Better appears 16. ..Rd8
17.Qg4
Worth a look is 17.e4
17. ..Rad8
If 17...Rac8 18.Nxd5 And if 17...Qb7 18.Nxe6 fxe6 19.Qxe6+ Rf7 20.Qg4 Nf8. White enjoys space advantage on the kingside but there are no visible chinks in Black’s armour.
18.h4
White wants to involve his pawns into attack by advancing them but he could have thought of 18.Rc2 Qb8 (18...Qb7 19.Rfc1 Rc8 20.Nxe6–) 19.Nh5 g6 20.Nf6+ Bxf6 21.exf6 e5 22.Qg5 Qd6 23.Rfc1 Qxf6 24.Qxf6 Nxf6 25.Bxe5 with advantage for White

Diagram 1

18...f5
Black had a good chance to equalize but with this rash advance makes things difficult for him. He had two options in 18. ..Rfe8  19.Rc2 Qb8  20.Nh5 or 18...Qb8 19.Nh5 g6 20.Nf6+ Bxf6 21.exf6 e5 22.Qg5 Qd6 23.f4
19.Qg3
Losing some of his advantage! He could have tried 19.Qf3  Bc5  20.Rxc5 Nxc5  And also playable is 22.Qe2  b4  23.Bd4
19. ..Bc5
If 19...Rc8 20.Nh5 g6 21.Nf6+ Bxf6 22.exf6 Kf7 23.Bd4 Qb8
20.Rc2 Rfe8
Things are already difficult for Black but he can try 20. ..Rf7  21.Rfc1 b4
21.Rfc1
Doubling devastatingly on the open ‘c’ file
21. ..b4 22.h5
22.Nh5 looks more appealing
22. ..Kf7
The King sensing danger thinks of trying to escape
23.Qf3 Qb5 24.g4 g6
A big mistake. Opening up his own gates to allow the enemy to enter?. If 24...fxg4 25.Qxg4
25.hxg6+ hxg6 26.gxf5  and Black resigned in this hopeless position as 26.gxf5 gxf5 27.Qh5+
1–0

Diagram 2

White to play and win
1.Bh6+ Rxh6 2.Qe5 checkmate.

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