Fritz Analysis of 'The Modern Openings in Theory and Practice' by AP Sokolsky

Jan 5, 2014, 1:14 PM |

The third game in the Sokolsky book illustrating the importance of the d5 square is a corker.

Petrosian takes control of this square on move 7 and dances on it with a pawn, knight, queen, bishop and rook.  He maintains this advantage throughout the game.

How did he win ? The key factor was the pawn structure 3 v 4 on the queenside but blacks majority is crippled because of whites control of d5 and 3 v 2 on the king side. So white pushes the kingside pawns to create a passed pawn.

So the trick is keep control of the e4 and d5, blockade with pieces and move the king across the board.

Would I find this winning strategy ?  Certainly not.  I may have the awareness to seize control of d5, but what to do next ? I would want to try to find tricks to snatch a queenside pawn. An important lesson, occupying key squares is only the first step - you need to use this square to exploit the resulting pawn structure.

Below if the game with Sokolsky's comments.

So what does Fritz make of this game ?

It agrees - 4)...b6 is a mistake allowing white to gain control of d5.

It also agrees that 7)...Be7 (+0.70) would have been an improvement over 7)..Bxd5 (+0.80) (although there is not much in really misses his white squared bishop for the rest of the game)

It also agrees that 9)...Qxb2 is not possible

12) c3 would have been better than the move played 12) Rd2 because black can get the queenside pawns moving with 12)...a6 as 13)...Nb4 is possible

White has a healthy advantage after 15) ...Qxd5 (+1.22) compared with 15)....d6 (+1.01).

Whites push 20) e4 is premature - this should be prepared by 20) Re1

Blacks selection of 26) ...Bf8 (+1.7) is a major mistake 26)....Bf6 was better (+1.15).

Despite Sokolsky giving 27) Bd5 (+1.2) an exclaimation mark -  27) Nh3 (+1.75) aiming for 28) Ng5 is a much better plan