mia analisi: Il
La lezione del GM Schwartzman: Well, this was an easy one, wasn't it? At least judging by the number of correct
answers, I have no choice than to conclude that it indeed was! And why shouldn't it
be? After all, it is one of those nice little combos where checkmate is the end
result, and for some reason, those always seem to be a bit easier...
Alright, so what is the deal with this position? Well, white is a pawn up, so that is fairly good news... Furthermore, black seems to be in the mood for trading queens, at least judging by the contact that the two queens are enjoying on the 'e' file. And talking about contact, the two knights seem to be having an affair of their own in the center of the board.
So, what is white to do? That is a good question... He could trade queens, and enter an endgame that is without a doubt superior. Nonetheless, it would still take a bit of work to win it. On the other hand, what are the options? The queen does not seem to have that many good squares, in case we wanted to avoid the trade. But, who says we can't create those squares? What's wrong, for instance, with checking the black king first with 1.Rh1.
And then follow black's 1...Kg8 with 2.Qh6. The idea? How about threatening a nice little checkmate on h8?
Well, it certainly looks good! I mean how is black to stop that mate? Taking the knight won't help, neither would moving the rook - that would only cause the location of the checkmate to be f8 this time... That kind of only leaves a check as the only option for black, doesn't it?
However, the place of the check is unbelievably important. If he plays 2...Qc2, after white moves the king, black would find himself in a tight spot. If, however, black checks with 2...Qd3 instead, salvation is on his side! Just look at the classical mate after 3.Ka1 Nc2 4.Kb1 Na3 5.Ka1 Qb1 6.Rb1 Nc2 mate!
So, who exactly was on the brink of checkmating - I don't quite remember, do you? Well,
I guess it doesn't matter - after all, black is the one who got there first.
Ok, so is black winning this game? Certainly not - white simply took a little bit too long to prepare his mating net - just long enough to give black time to sneak in and do the deed.
Nevertheless, there is no way you can blame white for trying. After all, black's king on h7 was not exactly the most protected king in the world. The black queen and knight are kind of far away, and the rook is, well, around there - but not awfully close... Meanwhile, our rook can take advantage of the 'h' file, the knight on e6 is awfully close, and the queen has good line of sight to that part of the board.
In other words, the black king is asking for trouble. The real question is, how are we going to give it to it?
Well, how about by giving black our queen? Specifically, I am referring to 1.Qh6!!
What is the point of this sacrifice? Getting black's king where we
want him to be - this is the point! You see, while the king on h7 wasn't perfectly
placed, it still had the square on g8 to go to, which is precisely what saved black in the
However, now things are different. If black takes the queen, then his king is suddenly on h6, instead of h7. Does this make a difference? You bet - just look at he position after 1...Kh6 2.Rh1 checkmate!
As to not taking the queen, that is not really an option. Yes, the king can move to g8, but after 2.Rc8, the checkmate on the way is just as painful. No wonder, thus, that Korchnoi preferred to resign after the first move.