ETCETERA / Chess

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GRANDMASTER Norwood gives a lesson in how to beat someone who is happy to come away with a draw.

White: David Norwood

Black: Ravi Sekhar

Goodricke International, Calcutta 1993.

A common complaint among grandmasters is that many opponents are playing only for a draw. In this game, my opponent had clearly set his heart on a draw, but a combination of threat and bluff overcomes his resistance.

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d6 3. Nc3 Bf5 4. g3 d5

When White has blocked his c- pawn with Nc3, it can be worth losing a move to regain central space and control e4.

5. Bg2 h6 6. 0-0 e6 7. Bf4 c6 8. Nd2 Be7 9. e4 dxe4 10. Ndxe4 Nxe4 11. Nxe4 Bxe4 12. Bxe4 Bg5

At this point I groaned inwardly. My opponent, a strong Indian master with a reputation for his solid style, simply intends to avoid any action by swapping all the pieces off.

13. Bxb8 Rxb8 14. c3 Bf6 15. Re1 h5 16. Qf3 Kf8]

Black intends simply g6 and Kg7 with a super-solid position. 16 . . . g6 would have been met by 17. Bxg6] fxg6 18. Rxe6+ with a strong attack.

17. Re2 Rh6?

You can try to play too safely sometimes. He wants to play g6 without allowing even the possibility of a sacrifice on that square. It must have been the way I was eyeing his king that bluffed him, but really there was nothing wrong with 17 . . . g6.

18. Rae1 g6 (see diagram)

He looked happy now, ready to tuck his king behind its secure blanket of pawns on g7. My next move visibly changed his expression.

19. d5]] exd5 20. Bxd5

Now 20 . . . Qxd5 21. Qxf6 (or even 21. Qf4]) is much better for White, while 20 . . . cxd5 21. Re8+ Qxe8 22. Rxe8+ Rxe8 23. Qxf6 also gives a clear advantage. By the time Black's rooks start working, the white queen will have played havoc among his pawns. Shocked by all this, my opponent makes things worse.

20 . . . Kg7? 21. Bxf7] Rh8

21 . . . Kxf7 22. Re7+ Qxe7 23. Rxe7+ Kxe7 24. Qe3+ loses the rook on h6.

22. Be8]

A nice move, cementing White's advantage. The threat is 23. Re7+ Bxe7 24. Qf7+ with mate on g6 to follow.

22 . . . Qd5 23. Qf4 Rhxe8

There was nothing to be done. After 23 . . . Rbc8 I intended 24. Re7+ Bxe7 25. Rxe7+ Kg8 26. Bf7+.

24. Rxe8 Rxe8 25. Rxe8 Qd1+ 26. Kg2 Qd5+ 27. Qe4 Qxa2 28. b4 Qf7 29. b5] Qd7

Or 29 . . . cxb5 30. Rb8 and the attack breaks through.

30. Ra8 resigns.

Once White's queen and rook get working together, Black cannot resist for long.

(Graphic omitted)

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