Initiative in Chess by IM Boroljub Zlatanovic

Initiative in Chess by IM Boroljub Zlatanovic

Hello all! Today, we’ll analyze a game between Alexander Delchev and Vladimir Kostic. Bulgarian GM Delchev played with White pieces against Serbian GM Kostic at Serbian Cup Final in 2011. I was witnessed that game, I watched that game live and I remember that game made very strong
impressions. White started with c4. Black continues c6, Nf3, d5, g3 and dxc4. Some kind of Catalan Defense was played and White continued, of course, with Bg2. Later, White will care about capturing Black pawn on c4. g6 and Na3 – simply intending to place knight on a very comfortable square – c4 and gain material back. Of course, it’s not so good for Black to play b5. Because White can answer Nxb5 and after cxb5, after removing the White’s knight somewhere, the rook on a8 is lost. If Black defends pawn on c4 with Be6, White can answer Ng5, for instance, attacking the bishop and threatening to double Black’s pawns. So, Bd5 then will be followed by White’s e4-move with much better position for White. Black continues with Qd5, intending, for any price, to defend that pawn on c4. White continues Qc2. renewing threat and of course Be6. Well, what can we see? White activated all his pieces, setting some threats while same time Black played only with 2 pieces. And let’s what White can do. Black has an extra pawn but White is almost fully
mobilized and now it’s time for White to fight for some initiative. Many players of
course automatically will do some move like that. Castling but not that will not be so precise move because after Bg7, White f3-knight will not have some efficient jumps. Nd4-Ne5-Ng5.. all that moves are forbidden. Nh4 and Ne1 of course will not satisfy White. So what can White do in that position? Perfect move was played – Qc3! Excellent. Well, if opponent played some extraordinary moves, perhaps you should also play some extraordinary move in order to punish opponent or neglecting the open pieces. Qc3, what’s the idea? Of course, Rook on h8 is under attack and that move also prevents Black’s Bg7. Black must play Nf6. But now after castling, and Bg7, White can jump with knight somewhere. Nd4 and Ne5 are options now. Well simply by changing move order, not castling and then Qc3 but Qc3 and then castling. White has possibility to attack Black queen. Ne5 can be played in order to attack queen and collect c4-pawn. But Nd4 was even stronger move. What can Black do? Black can play Qd7, Nxe6, Qxe6… after that position, it’s clearly better
for White but Black has also stable position and Black has enough space also. So Black will finish development, setting pawn on e6 with typical Caro Kann scheme. So Black light squared bishop is exchanged. Black plans to set pawns on White squares and those pawns will harmoniously cooperate with Bg7 which will control dark squares. White is better but Black can resist for a longer time. In the game, something differently happened. Something completely crazy while Alexander Delchev is very well-known as an inventive player and Black decided to play Ne4. That move is risky itself but especially risky if you play it against Alexander Delchev. And now for a moment, I suggest you to pause the video and try to find a good possibility for White. You will probably find the first move but there will be problem with the second move. Well, what happened in that game? Let’s see now. d4-knight is under attack, queen is under attack. So White is almost forced to take Nxe6 and Black of course takes Nxc3 and now dailamo for White. What to do? Black is a quuen up so many players will go for that. But for instance Black can go there and if White takes queen….Black can take there and now there is a threat to take d5-knight and Bxb2 attacking both rook and knight and Black will be better. Maybe, dxc3 is an option. Now queen is attacked twice. But Black is now forced to move queen. After that Rd1-Bf4 and Nxa8 of course with initiative for White. Black can simply take there and White will soon probably gain pawn back. Now there is threat. Nb4-Ne3. White has compensation for pawn and probably game will be balanced. But in that position White played completely brilliantly. Just see that. Nxg7+, king has to go f8 and dxc3. Not bxc3 because b-file will bring nothing to White. Just dxc3. And once again, Black queen is under attack. What can Black do now? There are many space for queen. Black decided to place queen in the center. What else? Bh6 – very natural move! Intending some discovered checks. Let’s see how all four White’s minor pieces are very active and creates very annoying and very dangerous threats. While all Black pieces especially rooks are just closed in the
corners. Simply, Black is already lost. There is queen and pawn in Black’s camp for 3 minor pieces and rook. It looks like g7-knight is paralyzed and without space, without good moves but g7-knight is locked but h8-rook is even worse! Kg8 happened, avoiding some tactics. There are so many good moves – Rad1, Rfd1 and Nc4. White went for Rfd1. Threatening mate in one. Na6, Nc4. Queen is under attack and Qc7. Maybe Black will plan to exchange pair of rooks but that will not be in his favor because still White can now even double rooks and still d-file will be under Whites control. But White also has
another possibility. For instance, b4 just keeping knight out of play. But, it’s time for more direct measures. And White simply played actively. If you have initiative, you should play actively in order not to lose initiative at all. Bh3 – perfect move! Simply intending Rd7 which will force Black queen to go to 8th rank. f5 is not an option because that will just weaken e6-square so White knight can immediately go back. Also after f5, White can answer e4. Black cannot take because of mate after Be6. So Black must allow White Rd7. Of course, Rd8 in that position can be replied with Ne6 – amazing move! Black cannot take because of mate and after that, White will win the game easily after Rd8. After Bh3, Black answered b5. White could play Rd7 with penetration after doubling rooks which is also winning. But in the game, what happened is absolutely beautiful. Ne6, once again! Queen is under attack Black cannot give queen for 2 knights
because White will be a piece up. Qc8, almost forced and now Ne5! Just look at white’s beautiful knights and bishops. Same time, all Black pieces are inside. King is closed and rook on h8 desparately bad. Black tries with Nc5 in order to activate pieces. If Nxc5, Qxh3 but now White simply gets material and Nxc6. Threat is Nxe7 – mate in one. After Re8, b4 with idea of Bd7 in the next move. Black plays Ne6 and White has many possibilities to win the game. Rd1 is one of them, Na7 another one but that is probably the most
beautiful. Just after Ne5, White knight cooperates with h6-bishop locking Black’s king and rook for a long time. Black is completely paralyzed and White easily
won the game because even Black rook cannot be activated because of persistent threats/ Rd1 and Rd8 is mating. That was the end of that amazing game. Hope you are delighted watching that game same as I was when watched that live in the tournament playing hall. Well, what is the point of that game? In that moment, after Qc3 Black faced huge problems. If Black already took c4-pawn, he should allow White to gain it back because Qd5 and Be6 was very risky. Black did not finish development, going for some complications and that was bad option. With very inventive play from White, qc3, 0-0 and Nd4 sacrificing queen, White got decisive initiative and decisive advantage. Once again, I hope you enjoyed that video. And, I’ll see you soon with a new material. 🙂 Bye-bye

6 thoughts on “Initiative in Chess by IM Boroljub Zlatanovic

  1. Thank you for this excellent and instructive game! Very well taught. You have a gift for explaining difficult chess ideas.

  2. In, if you go to Smirnov's chess profile, it says he doesnt have a rating.
    Why is this?

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