mia analisi: Il
La lezione del GM Schwartzman: It is my pleasure to welcome GM Julian Hodgson (twice British Chess Champion) as a
guest Lessonr to the Internet Chess Academy. Please enjoy his Lesson.
It is vital to use all your army - not just a part of it. The secret to a well coordinated attack is often to find an efficient way to deploy all of your pieces. In this position Black has a well-placed queen on d3, and a very well centralized knight on d5. But unless the rook on d8 can be brought into play, it will be very hard to break down the white position.
This position (I have the black pieces) comes from my game against Lembit Oll (Estonia's top GM) from the 1993 Groningen PCA Qualifier - a game that was crucial to my chances in the tournament.
It looks like an impossible task for me to bring the Black rook into the game. The White quuen on c6 and the bishop on d6 are controlling all of the squares that the Black rook can move to. After thinking about this problem for a considerable amount of time, I came to the conclusion that there was only one way to do it. Black's next move is one that I am very proud of!
After my long think, I realized that the only way to get my rook into the
attack was along the semi-open h-file, but first I had to get my king out of the way! I
have to admit, I don't think my opponent realized the amount of danger he was about to be
Continuing with my plan by bringing my king one square further up the board. Now a clear path has opened up for my rook to enter the fray. Often this kind of strategy of bringing up your king in the middle of the board is very risky. But in this particular position, my queen and knight are so well centralized that it is very hard for the White pieces to get anywhere near my king. As a slight aside - if White tries to exchange queens to lessen the impact of my attack, then my king would be well placed for the ensuing ending.
Now my rook is on a journey it will never forget! It intends to go to h5,
and then f5 and then into the very heart of the White position. There is very little my
opponent can do to prevent this plan.
Oll played this move to give his king "luft" and avoid back rank mates, but there is a drawback to this move - if or when I later play b5-b4, the White king's defenses will opened up very quickly.
4...Rh5 5.Qg1 Kh7
There was no real reason to retreat my king. I should have simply continued with my plan by playing 5...Rf5. It doesn't make too much difference, as there wasn't much White could do anyway.
With this move, Oll offered a draw. But being the man that I was, I said that I would like to play on for a few more moves - which is about how long the game lasted!
6...Qb3 7.Rd2 Rf5
White is helpless against the coming finale. His bishop on d6 is like an overgrown pawn and it cannot come to the rescue of the White king.
8.g4 Rf4 9.Qb1+ Kg8 10.g5 b4
Now White's king is in great danger as my pieces are coming in for the kill.
Note that 11.axb4 loses to 11...Qa4+ 12.Qa2 Rf1+ and mate next move.
This tricky move was Oll's last chance. If 12.bxc3 Qxa3+ 13.Qa2 Rf1+ and it's all over. I can now take his queen with 12...Nxb1, but then White takes my queen with 13.Rxb3. I can't take the bishop with 12...axb4, because I would fall for a back rank mate with 13.Rd8 mate. Care must be taken right to the end of the game. A chess player must be like a boxer - never drop your guard, as one punch can knock you out. My next move came like a bolt from the blue. Two of the older Russian grandmasters stopped dead in their tracks when I played my next move.
Here Oll Resigned, (0-1). I can safely say that this is the prettiest
chess finish of my career. I am not even sure that Oll saw it coming - he looked a little
dazed to say the least. It is fitting that after 13.Qxa2, it is my rook that delivers the
fatal blow with 13...Rf1+ and mate follows.