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LCB, Issue #091 --, Manage Your Imbalances with Skill
January 01, 2023

Manage Your Imbalances with Skill

Lapoc Chess Board, Issue #091 -- GOTM #61

learn and play online chess
Who knows how much a piece is worth. When I first learned to play chess, pieces were given arbitary values.

Bishops and Knights were worth 3 pawns, Rooks were worth 5 pawns and Queens were worth 9 pawns. Later it emerged that there was nuance in every position and those values could fluctuate wildly from scenario to scenario.

So the top masters through time have demonstrated in competition how we should evaluate the value of pieces. They have done that by backing their calculations over the board, with material sacrifices in return for promising factors of other kinds.

This month we go to Varna, Bulgaria for a game played in 1962 for a good example of these questions. Andreas Dueckstein of Austria takes on future World Champion Tigran Petrosian of the Soviet Union.

Manage the Imbalances with Skill

Dueckstein, Andreas - Petrosian, Tigran [B18]

GotM #61 - Varna, 1962
[Connaughton, Ken]


King's Pawn Game


Caro-Kann Defense

2.d4 d5 3.Nc3

(3.e5 Advance Variation; 3.exd5 Exchange Variation)

3...dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5

Classical Variation

5.Ng3 Bg6 6.Nf3 Nd7 7.Bd3

Wanting to exchange light square Bishops.

7...e6 8.0-0 Qc7 9.c4 0-0-0

Game position after 9...0-0-0

Opposite Sides Castling


He would have preferred that the exchange to have taken place on d3 but at last he relents opening the h-file for Black.

10...hxg6 11.Qa4 Kb8 12.b4

And so the race begins, White attacks on the Queenside, Black on the Kingside.

12...Nh6 13.Qb3 Nf5 14.a4

Game position after 14.a4

White has a pawnstorm marching toward the Black King while Black has an open file against the White King. Which will prove decisive?


Black puts the question to White's majority and prepares to get his own infantry moving.
15.dxe5 Nxe5 16.Nxe5

(16.Bf4 Nxf3+ 17.Qxf3 Bd6 18.Bxd6 Rxd6=)

16...Qxe5 17.Bb2 Qc7

White has his pieces in the game and his pawns are more advanced.

18.c5 a5 19.Rad1 Rxd1 20.Rxd1 Rh4

Game position after 20...Rh4

What a Rook Lift!


Opens a road to the King.


Suddenly Black's pieces have sprung to life and his attack is starting to look menacing.


Who has the edge?

22...b6 23.Re1 Ka7 24.Be5 Qd7 25.Ne4 Bd4 26.g3

White wants to get the Black Rook off the 4th rank.


Game position after 26...Bxe5!

The Exchange Sacrifice that Petrosian is famous for. The defensive shell around the White King is greatly weakened.

27.gxh4 Nd4 28.Qd1 Qd5

Securing the Queen on a defended square and also establishing control of the long diagonal.

29.Re3 Nf5

More clever tricks from Black

30.Re1 Nd4 31.Qd3 f5

Now the pawns start driving back the White pieces.

32.Ng5 c5

Game position after 32...c5

White's only real assets now are the exchange sacrifice and a well blockaded passed a-pawn, Black has spatial superiority, good control of the center and control of the long diagonal. How will this struggle end?

33.Re3 c4!?

Contrary to what you might expect Black begins to push his Queenside.

34.Qd1 Kxa6 35.Ra3 Bf6 36.h3 f4

Black continues to restrict space to his opponent.

37.Qg4 Ka5

Not allowing the White Queen to enter with tempo.

38.Nf3 Kb4 39.Nxd4!

Game position after 39.Nxd4!

Returning the exchange with the idea of relieving the pressure.

39...Kxa3 40.Nc2+ Kxa4

Game position after 40...Ka4

Black has too much in this position and White resigns.


Dueckstein, Andreas - Petrosian, Tigran

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