Learning Classic Games

Feb 26, 2017, 2:48 AM |

I had a rather strange game in a county match yesterday:

At first, the game does not seem that odd. The opening trap is very famous, and after that it is a relatively simple conversion into a win. What is strange, however, is how a fairly strong player can fall for such a famous trap. Later, I overheard that he did know the Fischer - Reshevsky game. So why did he still make a move like 8...Na5?

To me, there are two explanations. For one thing, 8...d6 9.h3 Na5 is a line, with 168 games and a pretty good score for Black. Perhaps my opponent simply forgot to insert 8...d6 before ...Na5. This, however, does not seem to explain this particular game. My opponent spent a long time on the opening (by the time of 8...Na5 he was about ten minutes behind on the clock due to playing really slowly for the first few moves {he spent 2 minutes on 1...c5}, and he spent a good deal of time on 8...Na5) and it seems odd that he would forget to play a move if he spent so much time on move 8.

The other, in my opinion, more credible explanation is much more educational. The Fischer - Reshevsky game is invariably given in almost every single book as being from White's perspective. Thus while it was easy for me to remember the trap, it was much less so for him to spot if he only looked at the diagram in a book in which the trap takes place. This example shows that it is important when going through classic games and opening traps to view the game from both sides, not just from that of the victor.