Master Level Child's Play

NM CoachJKane
Feb 6, 2016, 5:49 AM |

Hi Chess Friends,

Seeing lots of kids play chess, by far the most popular opening is the so called Canal variation. Both players develop all of their minor pieces, but since the knights block the c and f pawns, it's difficult for either side to play in the center. The main source of play for either side typically comes from the pin on the f3 or f6 knights.

Since beginners are often better at making threats than defending against them, lots of games end with the pin leading to a damaged kingside and a quick mate like this one.

However, despite the simplicity of the setup, the Canal Variation can lead to extremely sharp play. See if you can work your way through the complications that a couple of masters worked through in the following game.

How can black defend this position?


How if black tries to counterattack, how can white hold on to the material advantage.

Here's the full game: