Part II: Miniatures in Black
Last week we learned about miniatures – short games where one player heads home early. It is much more common for the player having white to win a miniature; and we normally imagine that miniatures are sharp, attacking games with a lot of tactics and fireworks before the defender resigns. But at the same time, there are quite a few games where the white player tries over-aggressively to force the issue and either falls on his face or faces a vicious counterattack. Now we will look at some such games.
First, here is a boomerang game played early on in the career of the fourth world champion, Alexander Alekhine. In the following position, although he is down a rook and a knight, Black found a crushing move.
Now let’s see the whole game:
Here is another game from P.H. Clarke’s 100 Soviet Chess Miniatures, a fierce tactical battle from start to finish.
The following is rather unique. Unlike most miniatures, this one is purely positional, with White’s position collapsing not due to some tactic, but rather because he is positionally outplayed. Find a strong sequence here for Black, to develop a crushing advantage;
Now let’s see the whole game, a very thematic game for the Nimzo-indian defense and Aron Nimzowitsch’s conception of chess in general:
And finally, here is a game played by myself, in a tournament long ago in Moscow. I was a student in Russia at the time, and came to the tournament the day before it began to register. The organizers told me I was too late. During the third round I came by again just to watch the games, and one of the tournament directors came up to me and told me that they should have let me enter the tournament, since they accepted many people on the next day. Eventually, I ended up playing, but started from the fourth round! In this game my opponent tried a bit to hard to take advantage of some temporary tactics, which led to a sudden reverse.