Need to take setbacks in your stride

Chess Checks

iSometimes while playing, a player misses the winning continuation and realises it immediately, then it is difficult to shake off the despondency and once again view the position objectively.

Of course it is difficult to get out of the feeling that a victory was within grasp but it is important to calm down and accept the position for what it is.

In the game which follows, Black has virtually managed to get a winning game but fumbles. Then it appears that it is difficult for him to reconcile to the situation on board and he even misses a drawing opportunity.

White: Alexei Shirov (2734) – Black: Eduardas Rozentalis (2586)
Bundesliga, Germany  1999
The Petroff Defence
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6
The Petroff Defence which these days is dubbed as the ‘drawing defence’ and is used by lot of top level GMs when they need draws.
3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Bd6 7.0–0 0–0
Castling at proper time
8.c4 c6 9.Re1 Bf5 10.Qb3 Na6 11.cxd5 cxd5 12.Nc3 Be6 13.a3
If 13.Qxb7 Nb4 14.Bxe4 Rb8 leads to an equal position
13...Nc7 14.Qa4
White played a new move here. If 14.Qc2 f5 And if 14.Qd1 Nxc3 15.bxc3 Bg4 16.Bb1 Bh5 17.Qc2 Bg6 18.Qb3 b5 19.Bxg6 hxg6 20.a4 Qd7 21.a5 Rfe8 led to a draw in a previous game
14...f5 15.Ne2 f4
Difficult to understand this advance!
16.Nc3
If 16.Qc2 Ng5 17.Nxg5 Qxg5 18.Bxh7+ Kh8 gives a dangerous initiative to Black and he can start attacking
16...Ng5 17.Ne5 f3
Advancing it all the way to have a crack at the opponent’s castle.
18.g3. White had better moves in 18.Bxg4 and can also play18.Qc2 Kh8 19.g3
18...Nh3+ 19.Kf1 Bf5 20.Bxf5 Rxf5 21.Bd2 Qf6. Black intensifies his attack on the King and his pieces are trying to crowd in around the King
22.Re3. White could have thought of Rac1
22...Bxe5 23.dxe5 Qe6 24.Qg4
This sudden swing onto the King side is not good and gives advantage to Black. Better is 24.Rc1 Ng5 25.g4 leading to an unclear position
24...Ng5
A good move! If 25...h5 25...Nf7
25.Ree1 Nf7 26.Bf4 h5
Not a good move as it allows White counter play. Black should have played 26...g5 27.Bd2 (27.Rad1 Nh6) 27...Nxe5 28.Qh5 (28.Qd4 Rf4) 28...g4 29.Qh4 Qg6 and Black could have been on the path to win
27.Qxf3. If 27.Qh3 g5
27...g5. Keeping the attack going
28.Ne2 gxf4
If 28...Nxe5 29.Qc3 Nb5 30.Qb3
29.Nd4 Qa6+
If 29...Qg6 30.Nxf5 Qxf5 31.Qxf4 Qxf4 32.gxf4 Nh6 33.e6 with advantage for black
30.Kg2 Rxe5
If 30...Rg5 31.e6 Nd6 32.Qxf4 And if  30...Nxe5 31.Qc3
31.Rxe5 Nxe5 32.Qxf4 Re8 33.Rc1
A good move! If 33.Re1 Nf7 works better for Black
33...Qb6 34.Qg5+
If 34.Nf5 Re6 35.Qg5+ Ng6
Diagram 1
34...Ng6. A blunder which loses the game. Black could have tried for a draw with34...Kf8 35.Nf5 Ne6 36.Qh6+ Kg8 37.Qxh5 Qd8
35.Rxc7 Qxc7 36.Qxg6+
The tables have turned and now it is White who is firmly in the driver’s seat
36. ..Kf8 37.Ne6+ Rxe6 38.Qxe6 Qc4 39.Qh6+ Ke7 40.Qxh5 d4 41.Qe5+ Kd7 42.Qe4  and Black resigned.
Diagram 2
Black to play and win
1...  Nf3+ 2.gxf3
If 2.Kg3 Be5+ 3.Kg4 Qxg2 checkmate
2...Be5+ checkmate.

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