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LCB, Issue #062 --, Plot the Path to Victory with Tactics
August 01, 2020

Plot the Path to Victory with Tactics

Lapoc Chess Board, Issue #062 -- GOTM #32

learn and play online chess
Tactics are such an important facet of chess. It is probably the pre-eminent factor at amateur level that determines where you sit in the tree. Masters tend to have a good command of a wide range of patterns and ideas.

They are typically seperated by other subtle aspects of chess strategy. But for amateurs, tactical skills seem to be paramount.

Here we have two strong players known for their emphasis on tactical chess. Both play in this style and an instructive middlegame takes place.

Our game takes place in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1994. GM Alexei Shirov of Latvia has White and GM Judit Polgar is playing the Black pieces.

Plot the Path to Victory with Tactics

Shirov, Alexei (2740) - Polgar, Judit (2630) [B54]

GotM #32 - Buenos Aires, 1994
[Connaughton, Ken]

1.e4 c5

Sicilian Defense

2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 d6

Black adopts the Scheviningen formation, allowing for many possible strategies.


Game position after 6.g4!?

A common idea for White against the Sicilian. Very often White will castle Queenside and strike against the Kingside.

6...a6 7.Be3 Nge7 8.Nb3 b5 9.f4 Bb7 10.Qf3

supporting the Kingside pawns and preparing to castle.


Game position after 10...g5!!

It seemed as if the Kingside was the wing where Black's King would find some cover, but with an impending assault looming there, she decides to engage in hostilities here. This is a very clever idea as the move intends to win e5 for the c6-Knight.


(11.0-0-0 Ng6 12.f5 Nce5 13.Qh3 Nf4 14.Bxf4 gxf4+/=; 11.Bg2 gxf4 12.Qxf4 Ng6 13.Qg3 h5 14.gxh5 Rxh5 15.0-0-0 Qh4=/+; 11.f5? Ne5 12.Qe2 b4 13.Na4 Bc6 14.Nb6 Bxe4-/+)

11...Ne5 12.Qg2 b4

Black is increasing pressure on e4 now.

13.Ne2 h5!

Black believes that her King has enough cover in the center and her Kingside pawns are free to attack. This move frees up f5 for her Knight.

14.gxh5 Nf5 15.Bf2

(15.exf5 Bxg2 16.Bxg2 d5 17.fxe6 fxe6 18.h4 Nc4 19.Bd4 e5=/+)


Game position after 15...Qxg5!

Black's pieces are arriving and protected by tactical means.


(16.Qxg5 Nf3+-/+)


Again tactics are deployed to defend otherwise hanging pieces.


Now some exchanges in a forcing line.


(17...Bxe4 18.Bxe3 Qxg3+ 19.Nxg3=)

18.Nxg3 Nxc2+ 19.Kd1 Nxa1 20.Nxb7 b3!

Game position after 20...b3!

Key move to save the Knight and Black is an exchange ahead.

21.axb3 Nxb3

Black's pieces will need less time to co- ordinate.

22.Kc2 Nc5 23.Nxc5 dxc5 24.Be1 Nf3

Stealing a tempo.

25.Bc3 Nd4+ 26.Kd3 Bd6

(26...e5 27.Bh3 f6 28.Rf1 Ke7 29.Bg4 Rb8 30.Kc4 Rb6 31.Nf5+ Nxf5 32.Bxf5-/+)


(27.b4 Ke7 28.bxc5 Bxc5 29.e5 Rad8 30.Ke4 Nb5 31.Bb2-+; 27.Bxd4 cxd4 28.Kxd4 f6 29.Ke3 a5-+)

27...Be5 28.Kc4 Ke7 29.Ra1 Nc6

Game position after 29...Nc6

With more forced exchanges coming we are heading towards a won endgame for Black. In view of this, White resigns here.


Shirov - Polgar (Buenos Aires, 1994)

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