I See Dead Pieces...

I See Dead Pieces...

| 35 | Tactics

Do you remember this memorable line from the 1999 blockbuster "The Sixth Sense":

Cole Sear (played by Haley Joel Osment) says: I see dead people...  They don't see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don't know they're dead!

Sometimes, when you look at some chess positions, you immediately see dead pieces, but they just don't know yet that they are dead!

Let's take a look at the next iconic game of the great Capablanca. White just played the most natural move 10.Nd5 trying to capitalize on the pin. Capablanca's comment: "White falls into a trap which can be explained only by his lack of experience!"



 Capablanca evaluates the resulting position after his strong maneuver this way: Now White is practically down a Bishop, so Black starts his attack on the Queen's Side.  The result of such an attack on the Queen's side is pretty obvious - Black should win easily with his extra Bishop.

Indeed the rest of the game is simple, at least for Capablanca. But look at the next diagram and you'll see a dead Bg3, except it doesn't know yet that it is dead!



The only thing you should remember if you'll try to trap your opponent's Bishop the same way (by playing g2-g4 or g7-g5) is that in many cases the sacrifice on the g4 (g5) square can be very painful.  For example see the game Salwe-Chigorin that I analyzed here:
In Capablanca's game White couldn't take advantage of Black's g7-g5 move and that's why Capablanca's idea was so strong.
Here is how modern Grandmaster's create 'dead pieces' for their opponents:
In the next game Black had not just one but two 'dead pieces". It is funny that at the moment of resignation Black had an extra pawn. But of course he was completely paralyzed and helpless against the coming attack on the King's Side (starting with g3-g4 move for example).
But you shouldn't think that once you "see dead pieces", the rest is simple.  In the next game it took me almost 60 moves to convert my positional advantage. Still despite her stubborn defense, the US Women Champion was unable to revive her dead Bb8.
  In this long game I succeeded to implement the Capablanca's idea: when you have trapped your opponent's piece on one side of the board, open up the position on the opposite side of the board.  At the end Anna was forced to give up her Bb8 to prevent me from moving my King to her camp  through the King's Side. 
In conclusion I hope you will treat your pieces better than the Deep Blue computer (who self trapped his Rook and the Bishop).  And if you managed to successfully lock your opponent's pieces, then follow the Capablanca's method to convert your advantage.
Good luck!
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