Have we met before?

A couple of days ago I saw an interesting position occurred in the game of two strong GMs - Becerra vs. Blehm from the match Miami vs. Baltimore (US Chess League, I suggest you visit this site frequently and find a team to route for). See the diagram 1 below. The way White dismantled Black's position was very impressive, but I did have a strange Déjà Vu feeling. Then I  recalled a few of positions I saw and stored in my workbooks that were somewhat similar. See diagrams 2-4.

Assess the position, find moves candidates and the best variation. Write it down. Give it your best shot before proceeding to the answers (below). 

#1 After 22...Ne5 #2 After 17...Bxe5

#3 After 31...Bf6 #4 After 21...Qg7









<1> Becerra Rivero,J - Blehm,P, USCL New York, 2006

Black's dark squares near his K are compromised due to the absence of the defender - the dark-squared B. Black is trying his best to build some barriers - having the Pf6 and with his last move getting the N on defense as well.


However, White found an elegant way via small but devastating tactics - 23.Bg5! undermining the Ne5. Black's position fell apart. He chose 23...Nd7 offering the P on f6, but White wanted more 24.Rxd7! (It is also fine if you prefer a risk free 24.Nxf6+ or 24.Bxf6. Black's dark squares are extremely week and White should have no problem converting his positional and material advantage. Practice against a friend or a computer) 24...Bxd7 25.Nxf6+ Kf7 26.Qc4+ Be6 27.Qh4 with super dangerous attack. Here are the remaining moves - 27...Rh8 28.Ne4 Qf8 29.Qf4+ Bf5 30.Qc7+ Ke6 31.Qc4+ Kd7 32.Qd5+ Kc7 33.Bf4+ Kb6 34.Nd6 Black resigned 1-0


<2> Reshevsky,S - Shainswit,G, USA-ch New York, 1938

Once again, the position of the Black K is somewhat compromised, but at least his defender, the dark-squared B, is still present. Not only it defends the K, but it also pressures White's Q-side, specifically the Pb2. White found a nice little tactics at his disposal that forced Black to trade his prized B for its White counterpart. After 1.Bh6! Qxh6 19.Qxe5 Qg7 20.Qd6, White gained a solid positional advantage due to a better pieces and safer K. The game continued  20...f4 21.Bd5+ Kh8 22.Rae1 Bf5 23.Re7 Qd4 24.Qe5+ Qxe5 25.Rxe5 fxg3 26.hxg3 Rab8 27.Rfe1 b5 28.b3 bxc4 29.Bxc4 Rfc8 30.Re7 a5 31.Ra7 Ra8 32.Ree7 Rxa7 33.Rxa7 Be4 34.Rxa5 Rd8 35.Kf1 Rd1+ 36.Ke2 Ra1 37.a4 1-0


<3> Yudasin,L - Hueber,G, World op Philadelphia, 1991
White is completely dominating here. The shortest way to finish the game is to strike against the defender of the Ne5. After 32.Bxg5 Black resigned.

<#4> Ehlvest,J - Lakdawala,C Koltanowski mem op San Francisco, 2000
Once again we see the Be5 as a key defender and, once again, White can eliminate it and regain the P in the process. After 22.Bh6! Qxh6 23.Qxe5+ Qg7 24.Qxc5, White is better because of better pieces (compare the Bishops) and the weak Black K. 

The game continued 24...Re8 25.Rd1 Qxb2 26.Bf7 Qe5 27.Qa3 Re7 28.Rd7 Qe1+ 29.Kh2 Qe5+ 30.g3 Qe1 31.Qb2+ Re5 1-0


The piece on e5 is often subject of direct and indirect attack. Reviewing well selected and organized examples and memorizing ideas will definitely come handy at some point in the future as (you can see) the Tactical and Strategic ideas tend to repeat themselves.





How did you do? For comments send email or this form

You might want to take a look at my new Tactical test 

More on chess training (serious and enlightening)

Chess Exam and Training Guide  $24.95 + shipping  Chess Training Services


Copyrighted @ 2006 Igor Khmelnitsky

For comments or permission to reprint please send inquires via email or this form