mia analisi: Il
La lezione del GM Schwartzman: Well, I certainly hope that you have enjoyed this short series. Also, if you
found the right move in both, or at least one of the puzzles presented, you should give
yourself a well-deserved pat on the back, because they are some of the hardest ever shown
in the Academy. One of the reasons they are so difficult, is that they come from a
famous game, played by one of history's most fantastic positional players, Jose Raul
Capablanca. It is his unbelievable simple play, but so effective in the course of
the game, that earned him the world champion title, and is also to blame for the
incredibly keen strategic play that Karpov has become known for - Karpov admitted that
playing over Capa's games in his childhood is what created his future playing style.
But now let's get down to business! What did we learn from the previous Lesson? I would say two things: try to stop your opponent as much as you can from developing, and when not possible anymore, then try to at least take advantage of the time needed to finish the development.
So, if that was indeed the lesson, how can we put it in practice in the position at hand? Well, I would say that white's easiest way to finally develop his bishop is the straight forward Bc1-d2. Yes, I know, it is not exactly the greatest square in the world, but hey, at least it's not on the 1st rank anymore, and it allows the rooks to finally get out. Furthermore, after moving one more square to c3, the bishop starts to finally look like a real bishop!
So, what do you think the first goal should be? I would say that stopping the bishop from moving to d2 sounds like a pretty reasonable goal, so why not fo for it? Which is exactly what Capa asked himself, and thus came up with the very efficient 1...Qd5!
So, what exactly does this move do? Yes, it stops Bd2. But is
this really enough? The answer is no. The fact is that white has now more than
one way to develop the bishop. He can move his 'e' pawn, and send his bishop on the
c1-h6 diagonal, or he can push the 'b' pawn, and place his bishop strategically on the
long diagonal. These, together with the Bd2-c3 threat were simply too many maneuvers
to stop, period.
So, what Capablanca decided to do, was to indeed let white finish his development - there is simply no way to prevent him from doing that. However, what black is doing, is placing his pieces in such a way, that he can achieve the greatest degree of penetration into white's position, thus not allowing white to completely get out of the corner.
For instance, if white pushes the 'e' pawn, black's queen can find an absolutely fantastic spot on b3, where it fixes white's weak pawns on the queen side, and establishes an entry pod for the rook on c2. White is certain to suffer for a long time under the regime of the black queen...
Which is precisely why white, another one of the world's great players, decided to play 2.b4 instead. Since the bishop is now not doing that much, and actually in the way of the rooks, black decided to move it all the way back to f8 with 2... Bf8. Without waiting another moment, white finally got his bishop out: 3.Bb2.
So, if white managed to successfully get his bishop out like that, what was the point of black's whole strategy? This is not an easy question to answer, if you didn't foresee Capablanca's brilliant plan. You see, he spotted the absolutely best spot from his queen, and therefore played first Qf6-e5, then Qe5-d5, and now, finally, 3...Qa2!!
The idea? Well, how about simply tying up all of white's pieces!
The bishop can not move because of the a3 pawn, and the rooks have to move only
with extreme care, because of the pin of the bishop on the 2nd rank. Further, you
have threats such as a7-a5, that would force white's b4 pawn off the board, and thus leave
the lonely 'a' pawn at the mercy of the black pieces, especially the bishop on f8 who
can't wait to speak up again. Talk about one annoying queen...
Well, you can certainly see how annoying the queen really became from how the rest of the game went:
4.Ra1 Qb3 5.Bd4 Rc2 6.Qa6 e5! 7.Be5 Rdd2 8.Qb7 Rf2 9.g4 Qe6 10.Bg3 Rh2!! 11.Qf3 Rhg2 12.Qg2 Rg2 13.Kg2 Qg4 14.Rad1 h5 15.Rd4 Qg5 16.Kh2 a5 17.Re2 ab4 18.ab4 Be7 19.Re4 Bf6 20.Rf2 Qd5 21.Re8 Kh7 and white finally resigned, succumbing to the relentless pressure of the black queen...