mia analisi: Il
La lezione del GM Schwartzman: Well, this was certainly not a very difficult puzzle. But when I saw it, I just
couldn't resist the temptation to show it. Why? Because I have rarely seen such a good
example of how vulnerable two rooks can be...
Yes, it's all about the rooks, as you will see in a second. But first let me say a few things about the position. It is quite an interesting one with good things on both sides of the board. You have white, with an actively placed knight on h5, and a fairly controlling queen on h2. Further, the two rooks happen to control the same file, 'c', but just from different angles. Now please do not ask me how the rook got to c6, because I have absolutely no idea! But it is there, and while it can't go to too many squares, it does one good thing: it keeps a close eye on the sixth rank, which we as black would love to open.
Why do we care so much about the sixth rank? Very simple: our rooks. Our rooks are absolutely beautifully doubled - the only problem - there is a pawn on d6 which sits right in front of their noses. Which is exactly why playing d6-d5 should be pretty high up on our list of priorities, as that could suddenly make our rooks really the best in the league. However, as I mentioned before, the white rook on c6 puts a little damper on our enthusiasm, as its long range puts a little too much heat for comfort on our king.
So, then what do we do? Do we move our queen out so we can create some extra space for the rooks and move them over the 'e' file, where they can show themselves? I guess that would be an option, but when you see the other one, you won't even spend a minute trying to decide.
The fact is that white's rooks are terribly placed. The one on c6 is undefended, and has only two squares to go to. Amazingly, though, that is not the rook that we are going to trap! It is actually the other rook, the one on c1, who looks so comfy, and so far from any sign of danger. But, as usual, looks can easily deceive, and in this case the rook is undefended, and that's going to cause its downfall. How? Simple: 1...Ne5!
So, what's special about this move? Nothing much, apparently. After all, it is a normal move that puts the knight in a much better position, while gaining a tempo by threatening the white rook. But... it is after 2.Rb6 that the fireworks start happening with 2...Nf3!
Of course, 2...Qg5 is not as good because of 3.f4!.
So, why is 2...Nf3! so good? Well, it all comes down to piece positioning. Concretely, two things: the white king and queen in a fork configuration, thus forcing white to take the knight back with 3.gf3. And then comes the other special fork: 3...Qg5, and the queen, from a distance, suddenly check the white king and at the same says a tender hello to the rook on c1, who will fall on the next move.
I hope you have enjoyed this special tribute to the rook's vulnerability! It looks mighty, but sometimes, it isn't!