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LCB, Issue #068 --, Greater Activity Brings Victories
February 01, 2021

Greater Activity Brings Victories

Lapoc Chess Board, Issue #068 -- GOTM #38

learn and play online chess
In the opening you always want to develop quicker than your opponent and develop better.

Getting your pieces out quicker but also finding better posts for them. Finding ways to shape the pawn structure to support your attack and offer your own King shelter from the enemy.

What if in the course of your development, you not only gained a lead in development, but changed the pawn structure in such a way as to prevent your opponent from developing in the short and even medium term. This would surely give you a great chance to win.

We can see such a scenario play out in an online encounter between Pentala Harikrishna and Hikaru Nakamura. This game was played on in 2016 and contains important lessons about stifling your opponent and exploiting the ensuing advantages.

Greater Activity Brings Victories

Harikrishna, Pentala - Nakamura, Hikaru [C45]

GotM #38 -, 2016
[Connaughton, Ken]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5

Ruy Lopez Opening


Berlin Defense


(4.Nc3 Bc5 5.0-0 0-0=; 4.d3 Bc5 5.Bxc6 dxc6=)

4...Bc5 5.Nxe5 0-0

(5...Nxe5 6.d4 Qe7 7.dxc5+/=)

6.Nf3 Nxe4 7.d4

The d-pawn will be used to close down Black's activity

7...Bb6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Bd3

Every move in the combo steals time through creating threats

9...Nf6 10.d6

Game position after 10.d6

And the combination consisting of this pawn's march up the board effectively cuts Black's Queenside off from the Kingside which will be the main theater on which this battle will be fought


The Queenside Rook and Bishop will have enormous difficulty ever coming into the game. Look at Black's pawns

11.Bg5 Ng6 12.Nc3

White points his forces toward the Black King, his greater mobility should ensure he gains a big attack

12...h6 13.Bxf6 Qxf6 14.Nd5

Game position after 14.Nd5


Black feels like retreat is his best option

(14...Qxb2 might lead to something like 15.Bxg6 fxg6 16.Qd3 Kh7 17.Rfb1 Rxf3 18.Qxf3 Qxc2 19.Rc1 Qb2 20.Qf8 h5 21.Ne7+-)

15.Bxg6 fxg6

Game position after 15...fxg6

White has now exchanged off both of Black's defending Knights, his remaining pieces will encircle the King before Black's defenders can be mobilized to stop them

16.Qd3 Qe8 17.Rae1 Qf7 18.Ne7+ Kh7 19.Ng5+!

Game position after 19.Ng5+!

And Black resigns

(19.Ng5+ Black could see that the game was up: 19...Kh8 (19...hxg5 20.Qh3#) 20.Nxf7+ Rxf7 21.Nxg6+ Kh7 22.Re8 Rf8 23.Rxf8 Bxf2+ 24.Kxf2 a5 25.Rh8#)


Harikrishna - Nakamura,, 2016)

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