Chess Highways

After a couple of theoretical DVDs, it is time now to present a product which I believe I can do better- a study course on the general understanding of the game. The idea of my new DVD is to teach how to use better our line pieces (queens, rooks and bishops). It also offers tips how to seize the important diagonals and files on which these pieces are operating best. You probably all remember the famous game Karpov-Unzicker (it is in the DVD as well), and the following game saw a similar approach, this time thanks to the useful help of the knight.

Bojkov,Dejan (2474) - Van den Doel,E (2581) [C90]
Zwolle Zwolle (6.4), 11.03.2007
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 Be7 5.0–0 0–0 6.Re1 d6 7.c3 Na5 8.Bb5 a6 9.Ba4 b5 10.Bc2 c5 11.Nbd2 Nc6 12.Nf1 Re8 13.Bg5 h6 [13...Be6] 14.Bxf6 Bxf6 15.Ne3 g6 16.Bb3 Rb8 17.a4 b4 18.Bd5 Ne7 19.Bc4 Rf8 20.Nd5 Nxd5 21.Bxd5 Bg7 [Better is 21...Bg4 22.h3 (‹22.a5 Bg5 …23.h3 Bxf3 24.Qxf3 Bd2) 22...Bxf3 23.Qxf3 with slight advantage for White] 22.Nd2 Kh7 [22...a5 was needed] 23.a5 Be6 24.Bxe6 fxe6 25.Nc4±

Although Fritz 9 (the strongest engine by the time that the game was played) evaluated that this position is in favour of Black (!) I am inclined to think that White is strategically winning. My plan is simple-to put the knight on b6, after which he has or to stay at one place when I exchange on b4 and later win this pawn, or exchange on c3, after which I double the rooks on the b file under the knight protection and penetrate with the them in the proper moment.25...Rb5?! This loses a couple of tempos. Better is:[25...Rf7 26.Nb6 bxc3 27.bxc3 Qh4 28.Qe2 h5 29.Rab1 Rbf8 (29...Rfb7 30.Rb3 (30.Rb2 Bh6 31.Reb1) 30...g5) 30.Rf1, although here too, White conducts easily his plan.] 26.Qe2 Bf6 27.Reb1 Rb7 28.Nb6 bxc3 29.bxc3 Rbf7 30.Rf1 Bh4 31.g3 Bg5 32.Nc4 Qd7 [32...Rb7 33.Rab1] 33.Rab1 Bd8 34.Rb8 h5“ 35.Kg2?! I started to feel quite nervous in his own time trouble, and missed the clear win: [35.Rfb1!

35...Rxf2 36.Qxf2 Rxf2 37.Kxf2 Kh6 38.R1b7 Bc7 39.Rh8+ Kg7 (39...Kg5 40.h4+ Kg4 41.Kg2) 40.Ra8 Kf6 41.h4+– The rooks enjoy their files greatly. For some reason I thought that somewhere in this lines he can come with his queen on a4 and find some perpetual.] 35...Bc7 36.Rxf8 Rxf8 37.Rb1 Rb8 38.Rxb8 Bxb8 39.Qb2 Qb5 [Somewhat more tenacious is 39...Ba7 40.h4±] 40.Qxb5 axb5 41.Na3 b4 42.Nb5

Now it is under control again, though Fritz evaluates for quite a long time that it is slightly better for Black (!).42...Kg7 [42...d5 43.Kf3 b3 44.Ke2 b2 45.Na3 c4 46.dxc4 Bd6 47.Nb1 dxe4 48.Ke3+–] 43.a6 b3 44.Kf3 Kf6 [44...b2 45.Na3 Ba7 (45...c4 only chance 46.dxc4 Ba7 47.Ke2 Bc5 48.Nb1 Kf7 49.Kd3 Bxf2 50.Na3 Ke7 51.Kc2 Kd7 52.Nb5 Kc6 53.a7 Kb7 54.Nxd6+ Kxa7±) 46.c4+–] 45.Ke2 b2 46.Na3 Ke7 [46...d5 47.c4] 47.Kd2 Kd7 48.Kc2 Kc6 49.Nc4 d5

50.a7 Bxa7 51.Nxe5+ Kd6 52.Nxg6 dxe4 53.dxe4 c4 54.f3 e5 55.Nh4 Ke6 56.Nf5 Bg1 57.h4 1–0


Why Not?

My second chessbase DVD was recently published. It is about the Sicilian Kalashnikov, and starts with the following masterpiece:
McDonnell,Alexander - De Labourdonnais,Louis Charles Mahe [B32]
London m4 London (16), 1834
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5

One of the first time that this line was played. Black seizes the center immediately. 5.Nxc6?! bxc6 6.Bc4 Nf6 [6...Ba6! 7.Bxa6 Qa5+ 8.Bd2 Qxa6і Harvits-Berd, London 1851.] 7.Bg5 [7.0–0 d5 8.exd5 cxd5 9.Bb5+ Bd7 10.Bxd7+ Qxd7 11.Re1 Bd6 12.Nc3 e4 13.Bg5 Ng4 14.Qxd5 Bxh2+ 15.Kh1 Qxd5 16.Nxd5 Morphy-Levental, London 1858] 7...Be7 8.Qe2 [8.Nc3 which controls the center was suggested by Mikhail Chigorin later.] 8...d5 [Better was 8...0–0 Sveshnikov] 9.Bxf6 Bxf6 10.Bb3 0–0 11.0–0 a5

The outcome of the opening is a huge success for Black. He owes all the gold nuggets-the center, and the bishop pair. 12.exd5 cxd5 13.Rd1 d4 14.c4 [14.Nd2 is more to the point] 14...Qb6 15.Bc2 Bb7 [15...Qxb2?? 16.Bxh7+] 16.Nd2 Rae8 [16...Qxb2!? 17.Qd3 g6 18.Rab1 e4! Sveshnikov.] 17.Ne4 Bd8 18.c5 Qc6 19.f3 Be7 20.Rac1 f5

Black sacrifices material, just to make sure that his gorgeous centre will come into motion! 21.Qc4+ Kh8 22.Ba4 Qh6 23.Bxe8 fxe4 24.c6 exf3 25.Rc2 [25.cxb7 Qe3+ 26.Kh1 fxg2+ 27.Kxg2 Rf2+ 28.Kh1 Qf3+ 29.Kg1 Qg2#; 25.gxf3 Qe3+ 26.Kg2 Qxf3+ 27.Kg1 Rf5 is also a forced mate.] 25...Qe3+ 26.Kh1? [The best defense would have been-26.Rf2 Bc8 27.Bd7] 26...Bc8 27.Bd7 f2 28.Rf1 [28.Qf1 Ba6! 29.Qxa6 Qe1+ (29...d3! Sveshnikov.) 30.Qf1 Qxd1 is simpler.] 28...d3 29.Rc3 Bxd7 30.cxd7 e4 31.Qc8 Bd8 32.Qc4 Qe1 33.Rc1 d2 34.Qc5 Rg8 35.Rd1 e3 36.Qc3 Qxd1 37.Rxd1 e2

The Chess Player's Chronicle 1843, p. 265 0–1
Despite the mistakes, the final position only is good enough to make this game one of the greatest ever played.