Click to follow
The Independent Culture
IN MY youth, when grandmasters were gentlemen, a high-level chess game was a contest of profound strategies. The player with the greater understanding of the deep mysteries of the game would use his skills to gain a positional advantage, which he would then nurture until the full point was brought home.

The young players of today, however, have wrecked that idyllic scene. Now they deliberately set out to spoil their opponents good strategic play with tactical opportunism. Thrilling it may be, but where is the profundity of yesteryear?

White: B Kurajica

Black: P Soln

Dresden 1998

1.Nf3 d5 2.e3c6 3.c4 Nf6 4.Qc2 e6 5.b3 Bd6 6.Bb2 0-0 7.Nc3 Nbd7 8.Be2 Re8 9.0-0 dxc4

Recognising that 9...e5 10.cxd5 cxd5 11.Nb5 Bb8 12.Rac1 would favour his op-ponent, Black cedes ground in the centre.

10.bxc4 e5 11.Ng5 Nc5 12.d4 exd4 13.exd4 Ne6 14.Nce4 Nxe4 15.Nxe4

Thanks to his patient and profound play, White has succeeded in his strategic ob- jectives. He is now in a position to gain the bishop pair with Nxd6, to create a passed pawn with d5, and, with the same move to unleash the power of his bishop on b2. Black is reduced to spoiling tactics.

15...Nf4 16.Bf3 Bf5 17.Rfe1

White is ready to unpin the knight then get on with Nxd6, d5 and a furious attack on the b2-g7 diagonal.

17...Qh4 18.g3 Nh3+ 19.Kf1 Qh6 20.Qc1

Now after the exchange of queens, White will be ready to play his positional trumps.

20...Bf4 (See diagram.)

A rude and most unfortunate awakening for White. After 21.gxf4 Nxf4 he has no good defence to the threat of Qh3+. For example 21.Re3 Bxe4 22.Bxe4 Rxe4 23.Rxe4 Qh3+ 24.Ke1 Nd3+, or 21.Qc3 Qh3+ 22.Kg1 Bxe4 23.Bxe4 Rxe4.

21.Qd1 Rxe4

Retreat is not an option.

22.Bxe4 Nxf2

Most unpleasant. 23.Kxf2 Qxh2+ 24.Bg2 Bxg3+ gives Black a winning attack.

23.Qf3 Nxe4 24.Qxf4 Qxh2 White resigns

25.Rxe4 (to meet the threats of Bh3+ and Nxg3+) Bxe4 (or Qh1+) 26.Qxe4 Qxb2 leaves White two pawns behind.