Part II: Miniatures in Black

  • GM BryanSmith
  • | Sep 27, 2012

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.


  • 3 years ago


    I got everything but the last move in the second puzzle. I was surprised I was getting everything correct first try, but then that last move stumped me. I suppose this means that i understand the basics of playing positionally, such as what to take advantage of, but i didn't understand enough about the position at hand to know exactly what nimzowich was trying to accomplish. i was still focused on the knights and what they could do for that last move.

  • 4 years ago


    Very nice games - thank you

  • 4 years ago


    GOOD game5

  • 4 years ago


    GooD GameS.

  • 4 years ago


    Bryan,Your games is always interesting-You are very sharp player !Wink

  • 4 years ago


    how ignorant of me, the same ignorance that is the bane of my chess strategies.  thankyou dan910712

  • 4 years ago


    eddyojb, Bryan has noted there if 13.cxd4 Qxc1+ followed by Qx h1 and says the position has a drawish nature (just read the above comments).

  • 4 years ago


    Great games there

  • 4 years ago


    Great games, thanks. Good info.

  • 4 years ago


    For the first game, Rodzinski vs Alekhine, can anyone see a way of black winning if on 12. Nd4 and 13. cxd4?  

    I feel like white was playing sloppy with victory in mind playing d3.

    A very interesting/kamikaze game of chess none the less 

  • 4 years ago


    Good games! ...

    And that's the way 'I' see it! ...

Back to Top

Post your reply: