Winning when you are up an Exchange (or two!)

NM linlaoda
Oct 23, 2014, 12:00 AM |
5 | For Beginners

This is part of my column Move by Move: Chess Improvement. To get your game analyzed, join the group:

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I would like to thank Ala_ for posting this game. I chose this game because it featured some tactical fireworks, and I hope you enjoy them too.

Opening puzzle

Black would like to develop some more pieces (it's still the opening, after all). What should he play next?


Black instead chose a different path to development:

Opening puzzle:
White would like to play Nc4 and harass the queen. How should Black play?

However, Black neglected the center and played a routine move:

What happens if Black accepts the knight? (try to think about it for a moment before moving on to the answer below)

Thus, Black can not capture the "greek" gift. Thus White gains a large advantage:

Black has just played a strong positional move and White needs to play precisely to maintain his advantage:


Did you find the zwischenzug? Nc7! is a useful "In-between" move that makes Bxd6 even stronger. White missed this idea and suddenly Black is in the game:

How can White diffuse the attack?

Did you find the idea to give back the exchange? A useful tip to remember is that when you are ahead in material but your opponent has a dangerous and strong attack, it may be wise to return some of the material if it can neutralize your opponent's threats.

However, White did not find this idea, and suddenly Black built up a monstrous attack. The rest of the game is given because the finish was pretty:

What did we learn from this game?

Castling should only come when the situation in the center is stable.

When you gain the advantage, don't stop thinking brilliantly!

Find a way to return material to diffuse the attack.

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