Voodoo Pins and Counter Pins
"The pin is by far the most frequently used tactical them. It may be defined as an attack on a piece which screens a second piece from attack. The unit attacked in this way is said to be pinned. If attacked with enough force and ingenuity, it can often be won or completely disabled." - Fred Reinfeld
So starts Chapter 1. Pinning from Reinfeld's exceptional book "1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations". This was the first Chess book I ever purchased, and I'd go so far as to say the most valuable to me. The tactical themes from this book are timeless, and one should revisit them again and again till they are second nature.
Such was my shock in a recent game I played on the White side of an Alekhine's Defence. I believe the game is a good illustration of playing against hanging pawns, in provoking one of them to advance and thus weaken the newly created backward pawn as well as create a weak square.
This game also highlights not only the power of a PIN, but also the counterpin that I missed in analysis. It's Voodoo (Pin)!
Missing a Counter Pin
Black has just played 21. ... b5 and I felt this was a critical moment in the game.
I was drawn to the idea of 22. c5 thinking that 22. ... Nxc5 was simply not possible for Black due to 23. Nxc5 dxc5 24. Rd7 forking Black's Queen and Bishop.
But what did I miss in my analysis?
I calculated up to here, believing Black to be lost (hence 22. ... Nxc5 was not possible). However, I missed 24. ... Qc8 pinning my Rook given 25. Rxe7 is not possible due to 25. ... Qxh3 (as White's g-pawn is pinned).
After 25. Rfd1 Qf8 I don't know if I would have been calm enough to assess this position.
White would have control of the d-file and play against the isolated black e-pawn, however Black can create a Queenside pawn majority. Not clear.
My Game Annotations and Analysis (No Computer used)
Questions I have from this game are:
6. What model games would you recommend in understanding the Alekhine's defence (which I don't have much experience in the main lines for White or Black