How energetic is your Chess?
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How energetic is your Chess?

GM Illingworth
Jan 25, 2018, 3:56 AM |
Do you want to know the key to turning a better position into a win?
Essentially, converting an advantage is all about keeping control of the position
To do that, we need to have the initiative. What is the initiative?
The initiative is when you have a series of threats that cannot be ignored.
In the example below, from Round 2 of Gibraltar, you'll have the opportunity to play out White's favourable position, and see if you can place Black under durable pressure. 
Of course, you will have to calculate some variations too!
From this example, we've learned the value of being able to play several attacking moves in a row - when our threats can't be ignored, our opponent's options are limited, and they are often forced back, or have to make other concessions. In the game, Black lost a pawn as a direct result of failing to develop his pieces efficiently in the initial phase. 
Eagle-eyed readers will notice that the game was a Tarrasch French - an opening where GM Michael Adams is one of the world's leading experts. You might remember his nice win from last year's Gibraltar Masters:
Which line do you prefer for White, the 5.dxc5 of the second game (recommended by IM Castellanos in his recent repertoire database), or 5.Ngf3 as in our first game? Or perhaps you like 4.Ngf3 instead? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!