Chess - Play & Learn


FREE - In Google Play

FREE - in Win Phone Store

An Unlikely Pair

An Unlikely Pair

Oct 4, 2016, 10:30 AM 0
In this post, I am going to present two games.  The first is one where I got paired with someone around 200 points lower.  In a lot of ways, it was a routine win, where I get a slight edge, and then he chose an incorrect plan, leaving the game strategically won at about move 20.  My technique was fairly good, and the game never slipped into anything close to drawish.
I wondered what things would look like if I found a game where two much stronger players played the same early middle game.  I found a game that was quite similar at move 10.  Significantly, Black played ..Ne5 and white got a tangible edge.  By move 25, White had strategically won the game.  but encountered some difficulty in converting his position.
Let's compare the two games side by side.
If you bring both games up to White's move 15, the positions are almost identical, with the exception of Black's Rook placement and the Bishop on c6.  White's setup is the same. In both cases, white has an edge because he occupies more space in the center, and the movement of Black's army is restricted.

If we bring both games forward 10 moves to White's 25th, it's a different story.  In my game, Black is stripped of his Queenside pawns, and White has a strong initiative to boot.  It's a decisive advantage.
In the game between two masters, things took quite a different path. Black tried to create some options on the Kingside, but the idea was slow. White had time to push his queenside Pawns and shut down that side of the board. As a result, White is clearly better, probably winning, but things aren't clarified yet.

If we go forward another 10 moves, in my game, white has converted his advantages to an extra piece, and the outcome is clear. 
In the game between two masters, Black sought complications by sacrificing an Exchange.  While that alone wasn't enough to turn the tide, White faltered in his technique as the game approached move 40. I see this in a lot of master games, and I attribute it to the "Error Alley" phenomenon, where players have the least time to find the most difficult moves. In the end, Black made the last error, and white won.

So, what am I to take away from this?  I guess I have an adequate sense of how to handle this setup, but I'd do well to look at more games and see how others handle their positions from about move 15.   I'd also do well to consider different plans with a Maroczy Bind setup, perhaps with an early f4 instead of f3 and a B on d3 instead of e2. 

Online Now