Do You Feel Lucky?  Well, Do Ya?

Do You Feel Lucky? Well, Do Ya?

spassky
spassky
Jul 12, 2009, 12:00 AM |
9 | Tactics

Sometimes a game comes down to which player can see further ahead.  After dodging a bullet in the middlegame (where he almost loses a rook after initiating a combination), White finds himself in situation where he has to see as many as ten dangerous moves ahead in order to decide on his next move, which is a very appetizing pawn push that he has been striving for most of the game.  Black, too, is in a position where he can finally penetrate into White's king position as he has been trying to do all game long.  But to do so, he must also look far ahead and now allow White to make a nearly winning move.  Whose move is more dangerous?  Who can see further ahead?  Who is right?  Do you feel lucky?

The lesson here?  Just because a player has a high rating does not mean that he is equally good at all aspects of the game.  In this game, White initiated a combination which ended up losing him the exchange (and nearly a whole rook), and finished up by missing a mate at the end.  Although I'm sure that his tactical ability is above average, he is probably more comfortable making positional decisions in quiet games.  So if you are paired against a more highly rated opponent, you can always hope that you will match up well with him (i.e. your strength will be his weakness).  Then the trick is to try to choose openings that create the types of positions you favor.  In this game, White played a positionally-oriented opening (the English) and Black countered by selecting a more aggressive line (...e5 & ...f5).  In the end, as occurs in many a game, king safety was the deciding factor.  If you are going to leave your king exposed, you have to ask yourself "Do you feel lucky?"  

More from spassky
How Do You Win a Chess Tournament?

How Do You Win a Chess Tournament?

What are "weak squares"?

What are "weak squares"?