"If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster"

"If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster"

May 20, 2016, 9:28 PM |

After 30 moves of suffering through a worse middlegame, I finally received my first sliver of counterplay by playing 49. Qg5.

Here White is threatening Qd8+ followed by Qh4+ with perpetual check. In my mind I was thinking that any move Black plays (provided it's not guarding the back rank), and I'll follow up with a perpetual check and escape with a draw.


"If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster 
And treat those two impostors just the same" - Rudyard Kipling

Black has just played 49. ... e3 and I rushed with 50. Qe8+ offering a draw. This was a premidatated offer, not even considering what my opponent played.

It wasn't till after the game that Fritz pointed out that I missed a consequence of 49. ... e3??

White to Move

What was the consequence of Black's ... e3?

This was a valuable lesson in psychological factors in Chess. I believe I didn't even consider the possibility for White because

1. I had been worse the entire game, and was happy to have the possibility of a draw.

2. I had premediated my move, thus not thinking objectively. I wasn't flexible to other ideas beside a perpetual check.

3. Materially I'm down, and am happy to salvage a half point. Thinking too materialistically. 


Being objective ... the greatest chess quality to strive for.

Transition from Opening to Middlegame

Emerging from the opening, the time has come for White to formulate a plan. I came up with 14. Qb3 with the idea of doubling Rooks on the e-file.

The game showed I achieved nothing from this. Black's pawn structure actually resembles as Hedgehog system.

I think a better plan may have been 14. c4 with the idea of b4 gaining Queenside space. A follow up game is Kamsky-Tiviakov, Montreal 2007 1-0

Seizing the Initiative in the Centre

I had just played 18. Qa3 thinking this would induce d5. However, I failed to account that Black could advance with 18. ... e5 and take over the centre. Black's play impressed me here. 

Passive versus Active

Here I thought my priority was to ease pressure on the a-file by playing 40. Qb3 intending Qb2 and Ra1. I missed dynamic possibilities of exploiting the pin along the e-file.

This is typical of a flaw in my Chess thinking where I become too passive in defensive situations. The first step is recognising it.

My Game Annotations and Analysis

Model Game: Illustration of c4 space control

Observe how Kamsky controls the c-file with Rc2 and Qc1, then the manouevre Nb5-a7-c6

Model Game: Illustration of weak b6 point, Principle of Two Weaknesses

Observe Kramnik's plan of Nc4 once Black weakens control of b6. Then provoking with a5. Impressive is the d5 thrust resulting in an isolated d-pawn. 

Two pawn weaknesses are exploited in the endgame in instructive fashion.