Paralysis resulting from multiple blockades, preceding a king march

Aug 8, 2010, 7:44 PM |

This is an unusual game, possibly even singular in my playing experience. The game was played in FICS, a teamleague game with me playing white. I open with my favorite formation in the English symmetrical, which, while appearing rather innocuous on the surface, seems to be quite insidious. The game illustrates a few themes- pawn sac for square control, blockades to render the position static, which propitiate conditions for an aggressive kingmarch akin to an endgame.

Black decides to weaken squares in the opening by playing e6 (which in itself is probably alright) and Bb4, with the intention of stirring up complications and gaining a pawn (later, b6 is also weakened by playing a6). However, after some thought, I decided that the best course was to give up the pawn for square control (shades of the Mikenas-Carls Nei gambit). Black is then induced to exchange queens, after which white occupies holes on b6 and d6, inducing a state of paralysis-one is referred to the development of black's queenside pieces, particularly the Bc8. The assessment is probably that white's slight material deficit is more than compensated for by square control.

It may seem that the game is decided at this point. However, white decides to wait around for infiltration opportunities (although, it is possible that a kingside opening might also have been engineered), hoping to do a kingmarch to b6 and c7, for which black needed to create an opening on b5 by playing a5 (which he falls in line with, and plays, allowing the king infiltration). Furthermore, white closes up the kingside only after the infiltration scheme materializes, which I thought was rather interesting. The position is, in a sense, completely frozen, with none of black's pieces being able to move. This sets the stage for the kingmarch whereby the king could assist in throttling the black position- almost reminescent of an endgame, with several pieces on board.The king infiltration is completed with it settling on c7. After this, some fairly routine combinatorial devices are used, finally resulting in mate. Notably, black never gains any activity for his pieces right until the very end.