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LCB, Issue #030 --, Burst Their Bubble with the Pin
November 01, 2017

Stick a Pin in The Enemy Camp

Lapoc Chess Board, Issue #030 -- Pull the Pin and Throw the Grenade

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Last month we dealt with the chess fork. We looked at the patterns for creating the conditions to spring a fork in a real game. We saw 3 games played by some of the world's best players over the last 2 centuries.

This month we're going to be concentrating on another tactic that you often hear mentioned along with the chess fork. It is quite different from the fork in nature. I am talking about the pin.

We have 3 more games to enjoy, each featuring the chess pin. Some of the players this month are well known to you. Others perhaps less so. But all three games illustrate the devastating, immobilizing effect of the pin.

Classic Pinning Games

Tal - Larsen

Tal and Larsen were both eccentric characters and played really interesting chess. Tal's tactical prowess is the stuff of legend. This game featured a tactical sacrifice in the middlegame followed by a couple of clever pins.

As the two players continued to maneuver Tal was able to come out of it a couple of pawns to the good. He kept the pressure on Larsen and before long he was able to exploit a back rank problem for the Black King.

He entangled Larsen in one final pin on the back rank and with that the contest was over. Tal had engineered another beautiful victory from few obvious resources. Tal - Larsen.

A Night at the Opera

The next game just might be the most famous in chess history. It certainly has to be the most celebrated game by Paul Morphy. Of course I'm talking about A Night at the Opera.

This game could have been chosen to highlight many different themes, such was the clean, direct, purposeful play of Morphy. Quick development, good co-ordination, making a threat with every move, making double threats. These were just some of the boxes ticked by Morphy in this classic miniature.

But the aspect we will be focusing on today in this game is how the pins inflicted here by Morphy completely paralyzed Black's key defenders. This served to delay and impede Black's development to such a degree that their forces were sitting ducks in the face of Morphy's scintillating combinations. Morphy - Isouard, Brunswick.

Gamback - Nevanlinna

This game was played a few years ago in Finland. It was such an exemplary demonstration of pinning technique that it became known as The Immortal Pin Game. Black repeatedly pinned White first on one square, then the other.

This game more than any other reveals the potential damage that a pin can do. Of course a basic explanation of the pin would be: pin the piece, pile up on the piece, capture the piece. But this game shows that the pin can cause deeper and more profound harm than mere material gain.

As soon as White failed to castle in a timely manner and got one piece caught in a pin, the game took an intriguing path. The first pin site was on d4. Black used this pin to improve his own co-ordination and simultaneously tie White's pieces up in knots.

The pressure he applied enabled him to get a second pin on e2. More pressure and a third pin on d2, while maintaining the e2 pin. And finally some good work on the Queenside earned him the fourth and final pin on d1. It was this pin that finally brought White's house crashing down. This game is the greatest showcase for the pin tactic you could ever hope to see. Gamback - Nevanlinna.

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See you next month.


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