Grandmaster Chess Tactics #3: Can you spot the line?

Grandmaster Chess Tactics #3: Can you spot the line?


Hello everybody it is jrobi again with another
Grandmaster Chess Tactics video that I wanted to post. And it is from a recent match actually.
It was played in 2007. Anand, the current World Chess Champion now was playing white
in this position and Morozevich was playing black. At the time of the match Anand was
rated 2779 and Morozevich was rated 2741. I selected this particular match and the line
that follows simply because it really highlights the fundamental tactical principle that’s
very important in any chess game to always be kind of on the lookout for. So we’re
going to get into it here. If you want, go ahead and pause the video and see if you can
come up with the best move for white and I am going to get into what Anand played in
this position. So what Anand came up with in this position you will probably have noticed
already that black is down a pawn. And I should say at this point that at Grandmaster level
play this usually ends being a win for the opposing player. But GM’s don’t usually
resign after going down one Pawn simply because I think that, you know, there’s always an
opportunity for tactical line, sharp tactical attacks either mating attacks or attacks that
are going to lead to a nice material gain. So Morozevich, although he was a Pawn down
in this position as black, was still fighting on trying to find that opportunity. But Anand
came up with something very nice here and it is using a basic tactical principle. And
we will get into the principle in a little bit. But Anand came up with Knight to F4.
And you will notice two things right off the bat. First of all Knight to F4 is attacking
the Rook here on E6. But also the Knight on E3 is attacking the Pawn on C4. So Morozevich
plays the most logical looking move on the surface. He swings his Rook over to C6 to
defend that Pawn. But now Anand has just a beautiful move. He can just come in now and
take that Pawn because what it is doing is it is taking away the defender of that Knight.
So if we go back a move here, you will notice that this Pawn is playing a very important
role for black right now and that is the defense of this Knight on B3. So Anand comes in and
basically removes the defender of that Knight. Morozevich captures the Knight and Anand captures
the Knight and from that line Anand gets another Pawn up on his opponent. So basically he was
able to win a Pawn by removing the defender on that Knight. And shortly thereafter Morozevich
resigned. So I thought it was a really interesting line that Anand had come up with in that position.
Now I’m going to go back a couple moves here, to where Anand first played Knight to
F4. Now you might have thought of some different options for black but as it turns out Anand’s
line there is really nothing that black can do that is going to stop it from going down
a Pawn. And we will take a look at a couple of different options here. So let’s take
a look at Rook down to E4 for example. So Rook to E4 with maybe the goal of playing
something like a Knight to C1. Attacking the Rook here on E2. Or even maybe a plan of bringing
the Rook over here to E7 to support. Well as it turns out in the position Anand can
still come in and capture the Pawn because once the Pawn is captured the defender again
is removed on the Knight on B3 and there’s really not a lot the black can do in this
position. Like, for example, if it just takes the Knight we get back to the same position
that we were at anyway from the original line. Or if we go back from this position, if Morozevich
comes in and takes the Rook delivering check, we can still capture the Rook and Anand is
still one extra Pawn ahead. So two Pawns of material ahead. And then from here Morozevich
could play something like Knight to C5 because it is being defended. But he still drops a
pawn in this position. So I thought it was a really good move that Anand came up with.
It was a subtle move but it was very strong. And think it was a really good example of
removing the defender which is a really important tactical concept to get comfortable with.
So I’m definitely looking forward to your feedback on that. I am interested to see if
you caught the line right away or if you have any different ideas that you got from the
position. So take care, hope you enjoyed the video, and we will see you next time!

100 thoughts on “Grandmaster Chess Tactics #3: Can you spot the line?

  1. nice "petite combinaison" by Anand… however, the picture tagged to that video pretty much gives away the solution of the puzzle… anyway, keep up the good work.

  2. The end result is the same, but if you know for absolute sure that you stand no chance of winning, or drawing, or reaching a stalemate, it's considered good form to resign. That being said, if you stand any chance whatsoever of drawing or getting a stalemate (and who knows – maybe even winning) fighting on is a great idea plus you get the benefit of extra end-game practice. Thanks for checking out the video!

  3. This is the first time I've ever looked at any grandmaster games. I now truly understand and appreciate the minds of these people.

  4. What if black moved the rook on D7 to D2. Then white has to take the rook or be placed in check. If white decides to take the rook with his rook on E2 then the black knight can just take the rook. Interested on your feed back.

  5. Totally agree – they definitely work hard to get to where they are – especially nowadays with the level of competition out there.

  6. actually the best move you should have got would be checkmate, unless you haven't won yet. πŸ™‚

  7. Black knight to E1? Probably still works out to the lost pawn, but black may end up in a better position after the exchange.

  8. Not sure I am following the kind of position you are talking about. I would need to see the remaining material on the board and the position – maybe there was something tactical on the board that was a forced mate or white traded its queen for both of black's rooks? I have seen that before in GM games.

  9. Chess is on the verge of becomming an Olympic event. Hopefully that will happen within the next few years – I think it would be a great addition!

  10. No.
    D7-D2 (pins white rook)
    E3xC4 (attacks black rook on D2)

    So black either exchanges rooks on E2 or exchanges knights on C4. It's basically the same thing because the white rook on E2 is protected by the knight on F4.

    Your suggestion only leads to more material exchange opportunities, but the end result stays the same: white has a 2 pawns advantage over black.

  11. I don't think chess should be an Olympic event… they're already stretching it by having table tennis and ribbon gymnastics, but the Olympics are supposed to be athletic- thats where the word "Olympian" is derived from.

  12. Good comment – black still goes down a pawn with the following though: …Nc1, NxE6, NxE2, NxF8, KxF8, NxC4 still getting that pawn (it would be really bad for the king not to take the knight after NxF8).

  13. okay, is there any value in black moving the knight to d4 to be captured there and split white's pawns?

  14. ^^
    But, if Black move H6 to H5.
    White will make what?
    I think, probably G4 to H5.
    So, after, you have the choice.
    Maybe G6 to H5 for continue that,
    or put F8 to H6.
    so the Horse can be killed (hum, im not an english man so i dont know all word, i will use this one xD) by Your H6.
    Sure, white turn, but what he will make?
    I dont know, the guy see he cant make a lot, so maybe move F2 to F1. Black Knight into D4 and white will be have a problem, no?

  15. rook to E4???? no…
    black rook to E3…
    white rook to e3
    black rook to D2

    always potential for slauaghter, never give in…
    no mercy… black wins.

  16. i would have played white rook to b8 and then pawn to g4 with the possibility of bringing the knight in for check

  17. I did not spot the the line that it mentioned. However, I spotted a different line. First you move pawn to g5. If he takes you can take back and then next turn you will have the crushing move knight to f6.

  18. If he declines the pawn offer just go on with the plan i mentioned. if he takes and you take back, its the other players turn. he can't really do anything. if he spots your plan and moves bishop g7 you can do what the grandmaster did. It's only a slight interference, but it the opponent doesn't see it, you'll have a really happy ending.

  19. Great Video! It also goes to show that sometimes two knights are more effective than a Knight and Bishop. It seems at this position that the black biship is limited to basically defense and not closer to the center where he would be more effective.

  20. I didn't spot the brilliant line, but I came up with a line that might have been good. It was just at a quick glance, though.

    ..g5 – hxg5 Even if he didn't take it would work the same.
    hxg5 – (A move, many possibilities)
    Nf6+ Forking the king and rook, moves the king, takes rook attacks bishop…
    Followed by rook b8 and yea…

    Anyone wanna criticize? ^_^
    I'm sure there are alot of moves that are better, but that's the move I would've done most likely unless I noticed the line that happened/

  21. at the beggining the white horse instead could have check the black and eat the rock (tower) of the black :S !! i dont think this is a gm game

  22. Glad to hear you're getting a club up and running eddiewalthorn! Keep me posted on how things go and thanks for checking out the vid!

  23. Sometimes I find the subtle yet decisive ones just as interesting as the flashy tactics, especially when the players involved rank among the best in the world. Thanks for checking out the vid!

  24. G5 h6xg5, h4xg5 Kg7, knight f6 (threat to rook) rc7, knight f5 + g6xf5, rxre6 f7x e5,
    Knight to e8 + and captures other black rook.
    sorry for the notations.

  25. i'm not too good with chess formations overall, but moving b3 to c1 doesn't look so bad. or is there some kind of complicated reason why this would be bad?

  26. Don't judge somebody because someone says Tower instead of Rook. In other languages this piece in fact is called Tower.

  27. First time I reply to one of your videos, jrobi… I think. Although I've already seen many of them.
    So.. first of all, congratulations for the excellent work you've been making πŸ˜‰

    In the 2 first videos I saw the lines.. well in the 2nd (the one about B. Ficher game) I didn't see all the variations, but I came up with BxN and after black captures with the pawn, B.h7

    In this one I didn't see N.f4. I was thinking in capturing the pawn on c4 too, but something like:

  28. (…) Something like:

    R.f2

    threatening X1. N.f6+, RxN – X2. RxR
    or X1. Nf6+, K.g7 – X2 NxR, RxN

    winning the quality

    Black could defend R.f2 with something like:
    K.g7, B.g7, Rd.d6

    but then, Nxc4 winning the pawn

    Maybe something is missing me, however N.f4 is better.

  29. I'm guessing when you are 2 or even 1 pawn down, and playing against a GM, a loss is inevitable, but in this case, he got out of it.

  30. My first impulse was knight to b6–going after the rook and pawn. It's out of the way there, though, and allows a lot of control to black on file D. Don't know where this takes things, though.

  31. I have had a move 2 weeks ago at my chess club, we have weekly tournaments of 10 min blitz and I was play the club leader him being white and it was just so beautiful move that had to sac the knight then winning it right back 2/3 moves later giving me a pawn afterward and it was with rooks and knights.

  32. White plays Rxd2.

    If Nxd2, white plays Nxe6 and wins the exchange.

    If Rxe3, white plays Re2 and wins the exchange.

  33. Let me know if you see a flaw in the strat I saw. 1st move having whites rook on e2 move to f2. then the knight on d5 moving to f6. forking the blacks rook on d7 and the king. At that point you can still capture blacks pond on c4, and black is down a rook. please let me kow what you think!

  34. Can you please explain why the knight on D5 couldn't move to F6 to fork the rook and the king? Even after that, the knight can take the pawn again. Very nice vid;keep up the good work πŸ˜€

  35. I thought the best move was to advance the g4 pawn to g5.
    If black captures with hxg5, then hxg5. Then black would either be forced to move his king out of g8 in order to prevent a fork with kf5 (so black would have to play Kh8 or Kg7, but Kh8 is more logical since it won't block the bishop) or play bg7.
    It would be bad to then play bg7 otherwise white plays rb8+.

    Am I the only one who sees this?

  36. 1. Kf6 Rxf6
    2. Kxc4
    and at this point the black knight eventually falls. That was what I came up with. But now I see that I miscalculated since
    2. Kxc4 Kc1
    3. Re1 Kd3
    Ah well. πŸ™‚

  37. The last examples I saw was aggressive moves going after the king, so naturally I was looking for some big tactic, not just a single pawn, even though that is a winning advantage too πŸ˜›

  38. @paxpacis2 indeed… in spanish there called ""Torres" .. translates to towers…. also happens to be my last name….
    "

  39. @paxpacis2 Really? Cos it was a chess world championship match or something….Talk the talk….bet you dont walk the walk

  40. @DelCristo41 so? just because you've seen the move in a grandmaster's game, doesn't mean normal chess players won't see it. Tell me why a mediocre chess player with about 1500 Elo wouldn't see that move. I guess every person I know who plays chess would find it

  41. @paxpacis2 I would love to see that. I consider myself mediocre. I'm 1827 right now and I saw a different line I that may be as good with material odds difference.

    1. Nxd4 Rxd2 2. Nf6+ Kg7 3. Nxd7… and black has to move his knight on the next move t to a1 or c1. also the material is better inclined in this position for white. The position in the video showed 18/16 materialistic odds for white. The position I just explained shows 13/11 materialistic odds which favors white more than 18/16.

  42. @ledzeppeman I don't know what you're talking about, because you can't play this moves, but if you meant
    1. Nxc4 Rxe2 2. Nf6+ and so on, that doesn't work because Rxe2 sets you on check.
    So it goes 1. Nxc4 Rxe2+ 2. Kf3 Re6 3. Rxb3 and you traded a rook against a knight

  43. He could of moved that knight and placed tension on the opposing rook, I don't understand why they resign with so many pieces.

  44. To SirWreckNTexan: They resign, because in Master level chess, 2 pawns up is pretty much a guaranteed win in the endgame. Even a club level player, with solid endgame training, can win easily with 2 pawns up in the endgame (all major pieces off the board). The player with the two extra pawns should seek to trade off all of the pieces and then march his passed pawns down the board, in order to promote them. Not sure if this is always true if both of the extra pawns are doubled pawns though.

  45. I was looking at the possible knight fork on Nf6, after preparing it with Rf2. Rf2 was my candidate move here, since it removes the pin on the e3 knight, allowing Nxc4, while also supporting the Nf6 fork. Now black has two problems. So, isn't Rf2 just as good as Anand's move?

  46. I was able to find the variations which won a pawn, but givwen that his is a tactical puzzle I expected a more significant gain of material, thus I spent a long time trying to remove the rook off of the e file so I could fork the king and rook

  47. I don't understand why he chose to mess with material on the other side of the board.Β  I thought of Kf4 followed by black rook to c6 and then a pawn push to g5, since my opponent has kindly given me ownership of the 5th rank.Β  From there, it's just guarding g5 with the rook while you march your pieces into the kings face.Β  It seems like everything from file c –> a can largely be ignored.

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