mia analisi: Il
La lezione del GM Schwartzman: As usual, I like to use my bad luck for some instruction, so that is why I
chose the position above. I was playing with the white pieces against a much
lower rated player. Why am I putting so much emphasis on who I was playing?
Well, you will understand in a second.
The game had been a very interesting one. I had allowed my position to accumulate a few weakness in exchange for some serious pressure on black's king. Unfortunately, my opponent had defended very calmly, and managed to trade queens, which took most of the teeth out of my attack.
So, how is the resulting endgame? Well, I can't say that I mis-assessed my position - I did see that black is better. After all, he has a better placed bishop, slightly better rooks, and most importantly, a better pawn structure. Under normal circumstances, I should thus have been playing for a draw, and been quite happy with it. But no, my emotions had to get in the way...
You know how everybody says that you should play the position on the board, and not your opponent... Well, they are all right! But it is not so easy! You see, when you are about to make that final step towards the draw, you suddenly remember that the player on the other side of the board is rated below you, and maybe that you have already lost a point, and out the window goes the whole drawing thing. Especially, if you don't have very much time to think...
So, instead of playing for a draw, I overconfidently decided that I can make my opponent "earn" it, by proving how well he plays the endgame. Which is why I played the ill fated 1.Rd3?
Apart from defending the pawn on d5, this move is not meant to do very much, and it indeed doesn't do much... With the strong 1...Kh7! black threatened to trap my rook on g4, thus giving me further headache reasons. It took only a few more moves to reach a really bad endgame, and despite the fact that the position wasn't easy to win at all for black, my opponent played very precisely the next more than 25 moves, driving the victory home...
Of course, had I listened to the popular advice, and played the position on the board, I would have played one of two moves: 1.Bf6 or 1.Ra8 with the idea 1...Kh7 2.Bf6
Both moves are considered correct, since they both have the same goal: create
the checkmate threat on h8, and thus prompt black to capture the bishop, and
allow a perpetual check draw with the rook on a7 and a8. Black's attempts to
avoid such a maneuver with 2...Bg5 aren't that great, since they allow white to
get out of the pressure in the regular position.
So, I made a mistake. But at least I hope you will learn something from it. Believe me, ratings are not what it is all about. It is the position on the board that is important, and that is the one who should be guiding what you are playing for, a draw or a win (we never play for a loss, do we?)