Queen must backtrack when in need

Chess Checks

The  queen is the most powerful piece on the chess board and the general opinion is that this piece is most lethal in attack as it can cover the chessboard over a wide range. However when position demands, the queen should be used for defence as well.

In the game which follows, Black tries to build almost a solo attack with his queen on the queenside. White meanwhile targets the kingside and his attack succeeds because the Black queen stays stuck on queenside.

White: Nikolay Tolstikh (2419) – Black: Sergey Ionov (2558)

Russian Championship, 2000

English Opening

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 a6

This is not one of the popular continuations

4.Bg2 b5. A bold aggressive move in the Opening stages

5.b3 c5. Another interesting pawn advance!

6.Nc3 Qb6. If 6...b4 7.Na4

7.0–0 Bb7 8.e3 Be7 9.Qe2 Ne4

Black could have castled here 9...0–0 10.Rd1

10.Nxe4 Bxe4 11.d3 Bc6 12.Bb2

If 12.d4 0–0 13.Bb2 bxc4 14.bxc4 d6 15.Rfd1 Nd7 16.d5 exd5 17.cxd5 Ba4


13.Nd2. White can play 13.e4 Bb7

13...Bxg2. No hesitation in exchanging the fianchettoed bishop

14.Kxg2 Qb7+15.Kg1 d6. Black can think about 15.Nc6

16.f4 Nd7 17.e4 Rae8 18.Rae1 a5

After getting his forces near the King he could have thought about the advance 18. ..e5

19.Qg4. A good move, activating the queen

19...g6. If 19...Nf6 20.Qh3 (20.Bxf6 Bxf6 21.e5) 20...d5 21.f5

20.Qh3 f5. This opens up the Kingside and with the White queen hovering there, doesn’t look like a good idea

21.g4. White too makes a hasty advance. Better appears 21.cxb5 Qxb5 22.Nc4 d5 23.exd5 exd5 24.Qg2 dxc4! 25.dxc4 Qb6 26.Qd5+

21...fxg4. If 21...Bf6 22.e5 (22.Bxf6 fxg4 23.Qxg4 Nxf6) 22...Bg7

22.Qxg4 Bf6 23.e5. From a rather passive looking opening, White is now getting into aggressive mode

23...dxe5 24.fxe5 Bg7 25.Rxf8+ Nxf8

Better appears 25. ..Bxf8  26.Ne4 bxc4 And if 25...Kxf8 26.Ne4 Nxe5 27.Qf4+ Nf7 28.Nd6

26.Ne4. A strong crucial square to land on from where the knight has plenty of scope to make inroads into enemy territory

26...bxc4 27.dxc4. If 27.Nd6 Qb4 28.Rf1 Rd8

27...Rd8 28.Rf1. White is getting a good grip on the game

Diagram 1

28...a4. Black wants to continue with attack on the queenside when defence was the order of the game. The queen is on the wrong side of the board and should make attempt to go and defend the King.

29.Qf3. Once again a good move!

29...Kh8. If 29...Qc7 30.bxa4

30.Nxc5 Qb6 31.Qf2 axb3 32.axb3 Qb4. Here he can try 32. ..g5. The queen virtually goes out of the game with this move

33.Bd4 g5. If 33...Ra8 34.Ra1 Rxa1+ 35.Bxa1

34.Ne4. White can think about 34.Qe3

34...Qxb3 35.Nxg5 Rc8. Here it is better to play the defensive 35. ..Rd7

36.Nf7+ Kg8 37.Nd6 Rc7 38.Qg2 Qd3

Though situation is difficult for Black he should have played 38. ..Ng6

39.Rxf8+ Kxf8 40.Qa8+  and Black resigned for if 40…+ Ke7 41.Qe8 checkmate


Diagram 2

White to play and checkmate

1.Rxh5+ Kxh5 2.Qg4+ Kh6 3.Qh4 checkmate



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