Psychology of defense in chess

GM_Igor_Smirnov
GM GM_Igor_Smirnov
Jan 5, 2017, 3:27 AM |
0

As I said earlier, defense is a very important chess skill. At least in about 50% of a chess game, we need to defend. Many players struggle to get out of hard positions, and crumble under pressure. If you study this course carefully, you will be able to defend correctly against all level of players.

 

Even someone like YOU, an RCA student, has admitted this truth in the comments section of our previous article:
RCA studentLet me emphasize the statement with a practical example – the third game between Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin in the recent World Chess Championship match.

 

Carlsen – Karjakin

 

Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-3

Black to play

 

Carlsen is a pawn up, and he played 66.Ng4+, trying to win the Black’s e7-bishop. White has a clear advantage, but Black can generate counter-play with the h-pawn, and his King may run to the queenside. If Black King or Rook manages to capture the White’s b3-pawn, then the game will end in a draw.

 

Can you find a way for Black to save the game? Can you think like Karjakin – the ‘minister of defense’? :)

 

The game continued as follows: 66…Kf7 67.Re6 Rxh3 68.Ne5+ Kg7 69.Rxe7+ Kf6 70.Nc6 Kxf5


Carlsen vs Karjakin Game-3

White to play

 

Karjakin gave up his bishop and got an outside passed pawn for compensation. As said above, Black’s main goal is to capture the b3-pawn and draw the game with a great satisfaction. However, White still has chances to win the game. Yes, Carlsen missed a golden opportunity to win the game here. Can you find it? :)

 

Yes, the World Champion missed the winning move 71.Re1! We can clearly understand that sometimes, the PERFECT DEFENSE is what all we need to stay alive in the game, escape with a draw from tough positions.

 

Note: you can see the complete analysis of Game-3 here.

 

Karjakin’s defense would have definitely impacted Carlsen’s psychology and winning confidence, as the latter failed to find the winning move. Thus, we can see that even though our defense does not directly save us from the game, the process is ‘indirect’ – breaking our opponent’s confidence to win. :)

 

You can learn everything about the psychology of defense, active defense and counterattack, simplification in chess, how to consolidate and save lost position, and lots more from our course “Defending Champion”.


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