The Art of Converting Winning Positions

The Art of Converting Winning Positions

| 46 | Middlegame

The most difficult thing in chess it is to win a winning position
--Emmanuel Lasker, 2nd World Chess Champion

All of us have faced a situation when we had a totally winning position and didn't win it for one reason or the other. This can be quite painful and leave you with a taste of dissatisfaction with your own play. Therefore, it is crucial to work on your technique and make sure you lose as few points as possible.

I knew a master who boasted he could “win a position with an extra pawn in just one minute against anybody”. Not completely true, of course, but genuine to some extent.


Natalia Pogonina, Tatiana Kosintseva, Nadezhda Kosintseva

Playing for the Russian Chess Team, all 2500+ FIDE

Generally speaking, there are two main ways to convert a won position: an aggressive one (employed when you have a critical advantage) and the calm one (outmaneuver the opponent, make him lose the thread of the game and blunder in time trouble). If your advantage is not large enough to win by sacrificing pieces and launching a direct attack, trading into a won endgame, etc., then you have to opt for the second way. This is what I love doing. Smile

However, even this approach requires some concentration; otherwise you may still end up missing the victory. The following game (a continuation of my articles on the Russian Superfinal-09) from round 5 against IM Nadezhda Kosintseva (2518) is an illustration of what may happen in this case:

WGM Natalia Pogonina (2501) - IM Nadezhda Kosintseva (2518)


Don't follow in my footsteps: may all your winning games end the way they should! Wink

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