Sunday, July 26, 2015


ROUND 4: Steve Stepak vs Ed Chiu
Oh, the joys of realizing that:
1. you found the first move to the
brilliancy; and
2. you are not quite brilliant enough
to find the follow-up moves.
My aim in publishing games is always to
share knowledge and the essence of chess.
Let us learn together.
I used many sources for this analysis
including Uncle Houdini.
Let's discover together what looks like a good plan.
Stepak v Chiu, BCC 4SS Round 4, July 25, 2015 B18 (Caro Kann)
1.e4 c6; 2.d4 d5; 3.Nc3 de4; 4.Ne4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6; 6.h4 h6; 7.Nf3 e6;  8. h5 Bh7; 
9.Bd3 Bd3; 10.Qd3 Nf6 = 11.Bf4 Be7; 12. 0-0-0 Nbd7; 13. Kb1 0-0; 14.Ne5 Nd5=
15.Be3 Rfe8 [15. . . . Ne5 16.de5 Qc7 =] 16.Nf7 ! [Uncle Houdini actually took 10
seconds to find this move. I saw it right away. It sorta popped out in my mind.
Like, the black king is not being guarded sufficiently by his troops. Well, it just
looked inviting. So I did it!] 16. . . . Kf7 17.Qg6 Kf8; [17. . . . Kg8; 18.Bh6 Bf6; 19.Bc1 Nf8;
20.Qg4 Re7; 21.Ne4 with the idea of h6. Yet! Truth be told, this brings just a slight edge! [Note: after 21. . . . Rf7; 22.h6 g6!; 23.c4 Nb6; 24.Qe2 Be7; White enjoys just a small advantage which cannot create any winning chances! {I always wondered what the value of the move "h5" in the
Caro Kann was: some kind of "bind." But what?  Now I'm beginning to understand the
nature of this resource. So I thought if I could capture black's h and g pawns I could shove my
h-pawn down the file to queening. Yes? Well it felt like a plan. So . . . Actually, if black
had played 17. . . . Kg8, as I anticipated he might, I probably would have gained nothing but equality for my sacrifice. But as the great Mikhail Tal, the Magician of Riga, master of the sacrifice noted, the the very act of sacrificing is more than chess. It disrupts the equilibrium of the opponent. It jars
the sensibility and upsets the channels of concentration. Somehow shell-shock sets in.} With
equality in hand, I proceeded to advance my cause in the wake of my opponent's confusion.]
18.Bh6 Bf6; [Maybe 18 . . . gh6 19.Qh6 Kf7 20.Qg6 Kf8 with a perpetual check draw! The only hope for me to chessicly justify my sack on f7 is to play on with 21.c4! Nb6; 22.h6 Bf6;23. Ne4 Nc4;
24.Ng5 Nd6; 25.Rhe1 Qa5; 26.d5 cd5 27.h7 Qb4; 28.Qf6 Nf6; 29.h8=Q Ng8; 30.Qh5 Rac8;
31.Qf3 Kg7; 32.Ne6 Re6; 33.Re6 Nf7; 34.a3 Qc5; 35. Ree1 Qc2; 36.Ka1 Nf6 37.Re6 Ne4;
38.Re7 Ned6 39.Qd5 Kf8; 40.Ree1 Qf5; 41.Qf5 Nf5; 42.g4! N5d6; 43.g5 Ne8; 44.Rd7 Nfd6;
45.g6! a5; 46.f4 Rc7; 47.Rd8 Kg7; 48.Re6 Rc1; 49.Ka2 Rf1; 50.Rd7 Kg8; 51.Rdd6! Nd6;
52 Rd6 Kg7 53.Rb6 [trading down to a won rook and pawn ending] Rf4; 54.Rb7 Kg6;
55.Rb6 Kf5; (55. . . . Kf7; 56.Rb5 +-) 56.Rb5 +-!]
19.Bg7 ? Bg7 
[Here I had to be patient and find the move: 19.Bc1!!  Withdraw the bishop so
that it might live to fight again! For example: 19.Bc1 Kg8; 20.h6 Nf8;
21.Qg4 g6; 22.Ne4 with a slight edge in a sea of complexity!!]  20.h6  . . .  
20. . . . Nc3?? [It was unnecessary to give up a knight; the move
simply loses, objectively. But who knows what was going in in my opponent's heart.
Was he upset, put off balance by the sack?  Seem's so. Maybe 20. . . . Bh8!! (which my
opponent found 2 moves later) and 21.Qh7 Bf6 22.Ne4 Rd7! 23.Qg6 Qe8 24.Qg3 Rh7!!
and white can show no compensation for the sacked piece and is probably
stuck with a lost position. Neither side was in time pressure so: who knows?]    
21.bc3 Qb6+ 22.Ka1 22. . . . Bh8; 23.Ne4! 
[Now this move binds together both defensively and offensively
white's game.] 23. . . . Ne5?? [23. . . . Ke7; 24. Rb1 Qc7; 25.Ng5!! puts Black's
backfield in disarray. But what else?] 24.de5 Be5 25.Rd7! Rad8; [25. . . . Re7; 26.h7!
(fulfilling my imagined plan of queening the h-pawn!)
26. . . . Rd7; (26. . . . Rh7; 27. Rhh7 and #) 27. h8=Q Bh8; 28.Rh8 Ke7; 29.Qf6#]  
To me, the best lesson of this game is what "emanates" from the chess position as a
potential plan. It is a combination of a picture/brain image, a sense of the possibilities
and also the concrete calculations to test the plan. In this case: get rid of black's h and g
pawns and shoot my h-pawn down the h-file, supported by a rook on h1. Black's king is
blocked in by his own pieces. This I could see.  I just got sloppy in not saving my bishop
(19.Bc1) when given the chance.  What else is clear from this game is that in order to gain
any enduring advantage from a sacrifice, you have to get all your remaining pieces
moving at optimum speed, placing them on the most powerful squares. No laggards
in this scenario. I also learned that once the sack is made and the plan begins to
unfold, one has to be very patient not to rush into things too quickly. Preparation
is the key, now that the piece has been sacked.  Slowly, slowly!
Below is a game which contains all the ideas which I conceived in my game above,
played from the same opening by grandmasters, the final outcome of which
was a draw.
Slavojub Marjanovic (2565) v Daniel Campora (2550)
Bor, Yugoslavia 1983 
B18 Caro Kan Defense
1.e4 c6; 2.d4 d5; 3.Nc3 de4; 4.Ne4 Bf5; 5.Ng3 Bg6; 6.h4 h6; 7.h5 Bh7; 8.Bd3 Bd3; 9.Qd3 e6;
10.Nf3 Nf6; 11.Bf4 Bd6!;12.Bd6 Qd6=; 13.0-0-0 Nbd7; 14.Kb1 0-0; 15.Ne4 Ne4; 16.Qe4 Rfd8;
17.Qe2 Nf6; 18.Ne5 c5; 19.dc5 Qc5; 20.g4 Rac8; 21.c4 a6; 22.f3 Qc7; 23.Rhe1 Rd1; 24.Rd1 Rd8
25.f4 Ne4; 26.a3 f5 27.gf5 ef5; 28.c5 Kh7; 29.Rg1 Qe7; 30.Qg2 Nc5; 31.Qg6 Kg8; 32.Qf5 Qe6;
33.Qc2 Qd5; 34.Rg7 Kg7; 35.Qg6 Kf8; 36.Qh6 Ke8; 37.Qg6 Ke7; 38.Qg5 1/2 1/2
Notice that Black's h and g pawns have disappeared and White has the h-pawn, passed and
ready to queen (just like in my conceived plan). The difference is that Black has equal and compelling counterplay to keep White on the defense; 
so White must be content with a draw by perpetual check!
I found another example of this characteristic king-side attack which I thought
of in my game with Ed Chiu, this time in the Sicilian Defense B90: capture Black's g and h pawns 
and thrust White's h-pawn down the h-file to queening.   Adorjan-Ribli, Budapest, 1979, m=4:

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