Analysing My Own Games: You Have to Give to Get

Analysing My Own Games: You Have to Give to Get

Feb 13, 2016, 7:25 AM |

GM Bojkov reviwed my loss on the Black side of a Grob defence, which I annotated in the following link.


He shared many great insights which can be summarised as:

* Look to fix opponent's weakness (the idea of ... h5)

* ... Nf4 rather than ... Nh4, which frees the e5 square for a Knight and can open the h-file on Black's terms

* See model game of Karajkin-Adams Wijk Jan Zee 2015 for how to attack in a closed position

* When to open the game. Get your pieces on their best square for attack and defence (... Kc8). Be patient. Open the game on your terms.

How best to exploit the holes in White's position


In the above position, I played 5. ... d4, reasoning that this would reduce the scope of White's light squared Bishop. This is too slow.

Instead, Black should target the holes at f4 and d4. 

More in the spirit would have been 5. ... h5, placing immediate pressure at g4 and threateing ... hg, hg Rxh1, Bxh1 Qh4 attacking h1 and g4 simultaneously.

White can't play 6. ed cd 7. Bxd5 due to 7. ... Bb4+ 8. c3 Qxd5 where the h1 Rook is hanging.

If White plays 6. g5, this gives my Knight an invitation to get to f4 via 6. ... Ne7 followed by Ng6

If White plays 6. gh then 6. ... Nf6 7. h6 gh 8. Ne2 Rg8 9. Ng3 h5 10. Kf1 Be6 and White has compromised his Kingside greatly

Another alternative was 5. ... de where 6. Bxe4 would be meet with 6. ... Nf6 and 7. ... Nd5. Thus 6. dxe4 Na6 heading for c7-e6 and the Ng8-e7-g6 both heading for f4

This lesson taught me that I shouldn't be so "rigid" and "inflexible" in opening play.

By playing 5. ... d4, my opponent had a hole there, and I closed it

Good Knight vs Bad Bishop


In the game I played the rather lazy 9. ... Rc8 in order to meet 10. Nb5 with ... Bb8. I had also considered 9. ... Qd7.

However, Black's priority is to get control over f4 as soon as possible. Ultimately, he must discourage f4.

Hence 9. ... Ne7 10. 0-0 Ng6 11. f4 Nxf4 12. Nxf4 ef 13. Bxf4 Bxf4 14. Rxf4 Ne5


This arising position would have been a great example of strong Knight on e5 vs bad Bishop on g2.

You Have to Give To Get: Looking for the Proper Moment


Here I played 17. ... Nh4 wanting to exchange the Knight for the Bishop and weaken the light squares around White's King.

I never even considered 17. ... Nf4 threatening d3, as I didn't want to have White exchange his Knight at e2 (and thus keep his light square Bishop).

But this gives Black so much. After 17. ... Nf4 18. Nxf4 ef


This is such a great position for Black. He can play ... Ne5, g5 locking the Kingside, then Kf7, double Rooks at his leisure (whilst White doesn't have the space to do so).

Most importantly, it's a position where Black shouldn't rush since he is under no pressure. He should pick the moment he sacrifices on g4 to suit him, where his pieces can then infiltrate.

I have learnt from this that whilst I lose something, I may have gained much more. I can't be one sided in my view points of not wanting to give away anything.

Bee Gees and Stayin' Alive

Here a very good suggestion for Black was to play the mandatory 25. ... Kc8 to remove the King from any checks along dark squares in final preparation for the assault at g4. 

It's important to realise that Black is in "no hurry", but should get his pieces to their optimum both in attack and defence.

Model Game by Michael Adams in attacking in a closed positon

Observe Black's 17. ... b4 which would follow with ... a5 to open lines
Special is 22. ... f5
Tactics flow from a superior position. See 31. ... Rxd2