How to Beat a Much Stronger Opponent.  Part Two.

How to Beat a Much Stronger Opponent. Part Two.

| 33 | Tactics

In the first part of this article ( I discussed what I think is the best strategy to beat a much stronger opponent.  I even showed my student's game where he was very close to beating one of the strongest US Grandmasters by employing this strategy.  Alas, he lost at the end and it might look like the end result of the game only reinforced the perception of many chess players that no matter what you do against a much stronger opponent, you are still doomed in the end.  Or as one of the readers put it in his comments: "To beat a stronger player, you have to attack with a purpose and wait for the inevitable defeat."

I strongly disagree with this way of thinking. In order to prove that it is quite possible to beat chess monsters I want to talk about US IM Emory Tate.  I've seen him playing Grandmasters in countless Swiss Tournaments.  Mostly Emory's rating is in the USCF 2350-2400 range, so he is a strong chessplayer of course. However, when he is playing GMs, the rating gap is usually around 250-300 points. He is doomed, right? Not exactly! According to Wikipedia, he won around 80 tournament games against GMs and I personally saw him beating many top Grandmasters. I doubt you can find many IMs who have been so successful against GMs. What's his secret? If you've seen any of his games then you know the answer. He plays an ultra agressive chess and tries to beat any opponent regardless of his rating and title! Here is one of his signature attacks: 

Even though Emory Tate has beaten many outstanding chess players, the next game is truly in a league of its own. I am really lucky since I had the privilege to watch it live as I played in the same tournament and our games were just a couple of meters apart.  Here is Emory's best masterpiece!

(Just like in the first part of the article, I give you a chance to test your attacking skills and see how you would play in the same situation against a much stronger opponent, therefore the game is given as a Quiz.  Please remember that you can always replay the whole game from the first move if you click "Solution" and then "Move list".)

The position in the next diagram is typical for extremely sharp lines of the Sicilian Defense.  How can White achieve a very promising attacking position and ruin Black's Queen's side ?

It looks like Black successfully repelled the first wave of White's attack, but Emory finds a very entertaining way to proceed.  Can you find it? 

It is quite obvious that White's attack is very strong here.  But remember that 'a strong attack' is not the same as a win in a tournament crosstable.  Remember what happened in the game we analyzed last week where White didn't finish his attack and even lost the game. So, how should White finish off his dangerous opponent in the position on the next diagram?

If you are still not convinced what you should do when facing a much stronger opponent, then get a database, find Emory Tate games there and play through them. I promise you a lot of fun!
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