Two miniatures from recent events serve as fine morality tales. The first, from a tournament last month in the Czech Republic, shows how easy it is to adopt a cure that is worse than the disease it attempts to remedy. When Black played 11...Bf6 and 12...Re8 he clearly did not want either to block his bishop in with 11...f6 or allow his king to be lured forwards after 12...Bg7 13.Bxg7 Kxg7, yet either of those would have been better than what happened in the game.

Black must have seen the possibility of 14.d5 - perhaps he had missed the point that 16...Qxc6 allows mate on f8. White polished things off well with 17.Re1! (when 17...Bxe1 loses to 18.Qf6 Bc3 19.Qxc3 f6 20.Qxf6 Qf7 21.Qd8+) and 19.Qxd8! temporarily surrendering the queen in the certainty that another coronation was around the corner.

White: R Hasangatin

Black: D Simic

Pardubice 1997

1 e4 c5 12 Bh6 Re8

2 Nf3 Nc6 13 Rxe8+ Qxe8

3 Bb5 g6 14 d5 a6

4 0-0 Bg7 15 dxc6 axb5

5 Re1 Nf6 16 Qxd6 Bxc3

6 e5 Nd5 17 Re1 Be6

7 Nc3 Nxc3 18 cxb7 Rd8

8 bxc3 0-0 19 Qxd8 Qxd8

9 d4 d6 20 Bf4 Bxe1

10 exd6 exd6 21 Nxe1 resigns

11 Bg5 Bf6

The next game is a disaster from the American championship last week. Black's 2...a6 and 3...c5 is a curious attempt to lure White into a Benko Gambit position after 4.d5 b5 but with some of his options reduced by having the knight already on c3. By playing 4.dxc5!? Kaidanov in turn headed for a position in which the pawn on a6 would be a disadvantage. After 5.e4 the threat of e5 lured Black's queen to c7, after which 6.b4! held on to the extra pawn. Normally in such positions, Black would undermine the structure with a5, but in this case, quite apart from losing a move with the a-pawn, it would invite a white knight in to b5.

Gurevich sought a tactical solution with a little combination to win the white e-pawn, but he was left too far behind in development, as 17.Be4! proved.

White: G Kaidanov

Black: D Gurevich

Chandler 1997

1 d4 Nf6 11 Ng5 bxc5

2 c4 a6 12 bxc5 f5

3 Nc3 c5 13 0-0 Qc6

4 dxc5 e6 14 Bd4 Bb7

5 e4 Qc7 15 Qh5+ g6

6 b4 Nxe4 16 Qh3 Rg8

7 Nxe4 Qe5 17 Be4 fxe4

8 Be3 Qxe4 18 Qxh7 Rg7

9 Nf3 b6 19 Bxg7 Qxc5

10 Bd3 Qb7 20 Bf6 resigns