The Unsung Heroes. Part Two.

The Unsung Heroes. Part Two.

Gserper
GM Gserper
Aug 9, 2009, 12:00 AM |
23 | Tactics

Today we will continue our discussion about the hidden power of little soldiers of chess.  But first I would like to remind you of a very useful feature of the chess applets used by chess. com to replay the games. If you click "Solution" and then "Move List" you will be able to see annotations for the game you are analysing. In many cases the annotations will answer your questions. (I decided to mention this nice feature because a number of readers of the first part of the article asked a question which was actually answered in the annotations to the game!)

Today you will have another chance to practice your tactical skills by solving more puzzles.  This time the puzzles are going to be even more challenging than last week. But even if you fail to solve all of them (and believe me it is quite possible, since the puzzles towards the end of the article are really tough to solve), the most important thing is to understand the typical tactical ideas featured in these games.

The next game again underlines the fact that a pawn on the seventh rank (or the second rank for Black ) is so strong, that you might want to sacrifice almost everything to take advantage of such a pawn's power. 

 

 

The combination in the next game was played by Tal in a simul, but as you'll see, most of chess players would be very proud to play it even in a regular tournament game.
The next famous game shows that sometime even a mere presence of a pawn on the seventh rank and just a threat of promotion can decide the outcome of the battle. ( Most of the annotations are taken from a brilliant Kasparov's book "My great predecessors")
The last game-puzzle is a piece of mystery. It is not quite clear if the game is even real! The story goes that it was played by a famous philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau in 1759, but there is no clear historical proof, so it can be just an elaborate myth. But regardless of the real source of the game, it is not everyday you can see how both sides promote their pawns in an opening!
The moral of the story is pretty simple and can be summarized by just 7 letters: R-E-S-P-E-C-T! When your opponent has a pawn dangerously close to the promotion square, please respect this little pawn, be careful and remember about all the catastrophes we analysed.  And if you are lucky enough to have your own pawn on the seventh rank, try to use it's nuclear power to the full extent!
Good luck! 
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