Chess

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The Independent Culture
One of the reasons that no Briton has yet won the world championship is the poor lighting in our tournament halls. In conditions of gloom, the correct strategy, as any experienced player knows, is to leave your pieces lurking in the shadows on black squares. That's why the Sicilian Dragon, Benoni and King's Indian defences are so popular and successful - all black-squared strategies. Such players, however, never realise that in the world of well-lit, top-class play, the white squares are undoubtedly stronger than the black ones.

White: F Tairi

Black: M Taimanov

Stockholm 1997

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6! 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 a6!

This white-square strategy was perfected by Mark Taimanov in the early 1960s. Taimanov himself is now in his early 70s, but still packs a good punch.

6.Be3 Nxd4 7.Qxd4 b5 8.a4 b4 9.Nb1 Bb7 10.Nd2 Nf6 11.e5?!

Giving up the battle for the white squares, but he feels obliged to do something before Black plays Rc8 and Bc5.

11...Nd5 12.Nc4 Rc8 13.Bd2 Bc5 14.Qg4 Kf8! 15.h4 f5! 16.Qg3 Nb6!

With his chain of pawns commanding the long white diagonal, Black has a big advantage. The inconvenience to his king is only a minor concern (see diagram)

17.Na5 Bd5 18.Bxa6 Ra8 19.Nb7 Bxb7!

The bishop has done its job. Now it is the turn of the knight and pawns.

20.Bxb7 Ra7 21.Bf3 Nc4!

With b2 and e5 under assault, Black will regain his pawn with interest.

22.Bf4 Bd4! 23.0-0 Bxb2 24.Ra2 Bc3 25.Be2 Qc7 26.h5

After 26.Bxc4 Qxc4, White's rook is sentenced to death.

26...Bxe5 27.Bxe5 Nxe5

White has lost two pawns on black squares. Is not our thesis thereby proven?

28.Rb1 Nc6 29.Qg5 h6 30.Qg6 Ne7 31.Qg3 Qxg3 32.fxg3 Nd5

And still the white squares dominate.

33.Raa1 Ke7 34.Bc4 Ne3 35.Bd3 Rc8! 36.Rxb4 Rxc2 37.Bxc2 Nxc2 38.Rab1 Nxb4 39.Rxb4 Kf6 40.g4 Kg5 41.gxf5 exf5 White resigned.

A game of very considerable class by a master of the white squares.

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