National Premier Chess Championship 2015 Round 6 Highlights

National Premier Chess Championship 2015 Round 6 Highlights


Hello, this is International Master Valeri
Lilov talking. And, I’d like to annotate now some very instructive that were played in
the sixth round of the Indian National Premier Championship. Now, essentially we will begin
with the game that was played between the Grandmasters, Venkatesh and Kunte that was
pretty instructive. That was probably one of the most exciting games of the round and
it started with the moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6….now this line of the Scotch Opening is known to
be highly tactical and fairly complicated in case White chooses to play e5. However,
White picked the move of Qe2 which although is not popular in the theory, it has good
ideas. For example, White involves the queen and the support of the e4-pawn. And potentially,
the idea of advancing pawn to e5 at a later time. So this interesting and important. After
Qe2, basically Black could not play d5 because that leads to a discovered check. So he plays
d6 and then Be7. When Black played Be7, White continued with Be3, 0-0 and 0-0-0. Now, for
most people who look at this variation, they will basically say that this doesn’t like….it
doesn’t fit well with White’s strategy. I mean he is not supposed to be making those
kind of moves in the position. He is not supposed to be doing moves that just force all those
pieces to stay back. And in a way, that would be correct. Important thing, however, I’d
like to mention, is White controls the CENTRE. And when you’re controlling the centre, you
have a lot of great flexibility and support amongst your pieces. And that’s exactly what
White was relying on. He knew that this is more important than anything else. And so
that centre, activity should guarantee him very good prospects. Now as a result of this
move, Black played Ng4. His intention is to jump in and attack, possibly, even arrange
that knight towards the e5-square. So that’s a good line to follow, pretty solid control.
So what happened in the game was White played Bd2, f5, and h3. I believe that this is the
moment where Black simply overestimated many of his possibilities. It is not that Ng4 idea
was basically wrong, it was a fine idea. The problem that came was that Black just followed
through with a quick opening of the position. It simply was not right. When somebody is
going to open up the position, that someone must absolutely certain that he has got the
position, possibilities, and the preparation to deliver that. without any risk. And that
is a problem now. Because, really, there is nothing that Black could actually get to back
it up with. And so after h3, Black played Ne5. And essentially, next move was exf5,
Bxf5 and then f4. Pretty strong looking move – just pushing the opponent’s knight out of
the way – that looks great. And so as a result of f4, Black played Ng6. In fact, whoever
controls the centre, usually has GREAT amount of flexibility and control. So that essentially,
his opponent has to trying to stay away from opening the position. This is exactly what
Black did not avoid and this is where everything goes wrong for Black. When the Black knight
comes back to g6-square, now this is a good moment for White to challenge. And yes, he
does that very quickly. His next move was g4 which fell really strong in the moment,
it’s a good move, very good looking idea. And we can understand, most of Black’s pieces
are pretty badly set. When the move happened, Black played Bd7, f5. Could the pawn structure
be the reason why this position is actually kind of bad for Black? Could it be a really
solid reason? Yes, it could. The fact that most of Black’s pieces are so much behind
and not as good, is exactly, and I’d say the only reason, why this position stands so bad
at the moment. After f5, we could see that the Black knight has to move away. And then
White can do different things to take advantage. So there is Ne5, Ne4, d5 and then Bc3, brings
the bishop into play. It’s a perfect looking move and it’s beautiful too. Now, we see the
real problem. That knight has to go back, the bishops have to remain down and there
is really no good way on how he can move along, plan anything in terms of counter-play on
the queenside. This is just too difficult. So let’s see. Nc4, h4. It’s impressive to
see White’s consistency. White could have gone with many moves like Kb1, b3 or some
other move but he doesn’t want to do that. Because he knows that the most valuable is
to be consistent with YOUR PLAN. Whatever plan you’re going with, you need to be very
clear with that and just go along the way. White knows that now by bringing this pawn
on the h4, and moving along with the idea of g5, he could very easily make a move of
f6 or something similar and that will do exactly everything we’re looking for on that side
of the board. It’s great, consistent, pretty powerful and good to follow! So after that
Black had to play Rb8..Qf2 and Qd4. It’s interesting to see that White is taking all that time
to do it. Most people who actually have think about such a position would not really get
to use so many different moves. And that mainly comes from the fact that most chess players
will be looking at a quick way to attack the opponent, and that’s not good. What you need
to do is to remember – that in those positions, speed always depends on what your opponent
can do. That means if the opponent isn’t actually in condition to deliver any huge threats or
anything dangerous on the opposite side, you don’t have to worry about going too fast.
You can just go at a normal speed and things are going to go well. Why? Because, you will
be good to go. You have many different ideas. And so that’s exactly what happens, Black
plays Rf7. And essentially after continuing with Ng5, Bxg5, hxg5, there is an open file
directly on the h-file. After Qg5+, Bd2. I can guess that there was the possibility to
play with Rd2 in this position, so we can step out of the danger. I mean at least in
my opinion, it would have been a decent idea. But then after Bd2 anyway Black played Qf6,
Be4, Na4. Probably, this was a slight mistake by White. I’m not a great fan of backward
moves. But one thing I want to say which is pretty important is as much as possible, a
player must try to maintain his valuable pieces on STRONG positions. I mean as much as possible.
A move like Rd2 would have been much better. In this case, if Black played, Qf6, Qxf6,
gxf6, and now Rh6 just shows the value, strength of that bishop. So the bishop would have remained
on a very POWERFUL diagonal. It would have maintained the pressure with Black’s position
and it have a lot to worry about – that’s a very good idea. So speaking of which after
Bd2, Black got a little bit of chance. I’m saying “little bit” because even what happened
in the game was not enough. And yet, here came a mistake – g5. Remember, looking at
this game for the first time and I was like “What would be White’s best shot in this position?”
so he can consolidate his position and make everything work. And then, it strikes me.
Okay what’s the best thing that White could do in this position? Of course, the most important
move to be played is b3! Often in such position, the easiest way for you to get an advantageous
position is if you play something SIMPLE that will help you to stay out of trouble and will
guarantee a good protection on all the key points. With a move like this, what would
have happened is that pawn would actually get out of the danger. Then we could force
the opponent’s knight to move back and after exchange of queens, Bd4 – everything is resolved.
g5 was way too fast, that was probably played out of the White’s intention to quickly just
engage more threats and carry on the attack against Black. But that actually, as you would
see, works in an opposite way – in a very good way for the opponent. So as a result,
Black just got the possibility to exchange the queens, and there is all these complications
taking place which was just not good. Let’s put it that way. After Nxb2, g6, there were
a couple of moves….which was followed by Bxg7+ – a really fantastic tactic. The Black
king is very exposed in the moment so we can see the real danger. If the king takes, there
is going to be h8=Q+ and all those things happening… So that was okay. Rxh8, Rg1+..
and so Black made the last mistake. What was it? In complexed or challenging positions,
a player must NEVER EVER look for a way on how he complicates. The problem was that Black
complicated by playing c5 and sort of sacrificing the pawn. He should have just played a different
move. Maybe like Rf7 or even Nc4 could have been played as well. That would have been
better. But a move like c5 just allowed White to capture the pawn, and enjoy the other pawn
on a7, that’s BIG! Black pieces were backward, and the problems are just happening. So you
have to remember, stability is probably the most important thing in such a position and
when it’s not kept, it’s actually destroys ones’ position. Perhaps it was just a little
tired that Black had forced him to loose here, the pawn on g7 after which things were pretty
bad as they happened. But, it’s kind of valuable, nevertheless, to remember the principles and
yes after c5, Bxg7+…..White won the rook, he made some exchanges and the game was over.
So that was the first and most interesting game for the day. I’d also like to tell you
a little bit about this next game that was played between Sethuraman and Rathnakaran.
If I’m not pronouncing names well, I’m sorry about that. Anyway, it was an incredible example
of the Benoni Opening going wrong for White. Some people believe that this line is going
to help White to stay out of the Benoni and the development goes easy, and there is known
of the main line happening. To a certain extent, this is true. The problem is White risks a
lot in getting into a very very bad position and this is just so dangerous. What actually
comes in the next moves is the move of d5, sacrifices a pawn but on another hand, it
instantly helps Black to open up his pieces and he can really get that development and
turn it into an incredible attack against the White king. It’s a pretty powerful idea.
What happens next? After Bc5, obviously, White’s king is just not perfect. So he played N5c3
to defend the pawn eventually and to consolidate. So it made sense to have that move happened.
Black played 0-0…and Qb6. Now, it’s really hard to find any immediate threats coming
out of this position. Okay, White is definitely protecting everything and he will rely on
that to maintain a good game. He would probably go for move like Bg2, 0-0, and similar moves.
However, Black has a lot of POTENTIAL. And the potential is basically everything you’re
looking for! Now Bg4, Black made an exchange was a really bad decision to trade the bishops
in this moment. We know that if we want to make the attack successful, more pieces must
be maintained and kept on the board. So, an exchange doesn’t really make so much sense.
Yet after the trade, we could see the real intention of Black. The pieces are now coming
closer towards the middle and they will arrange themselves on some very powerful places, quickly
towards kingside. So, it’s a good start and it begins very nicely. After Nbd7, White played
b4….after which Black played Qc7. I have to admit that Qc7 was perhaps not one of the
best moves to be played. Because, at the end of the day, it was a bit of a backward move.
And so we want to avoid, as much as possible, playing backward moves. Perhaps a move like
Rc8 would have been better. Anyway Black played Qc7 and after Rd1…there was Kg2. Anybody
who looks at this position is going to say “How is Black going to lead up the attack?”
And what most people by attack, is the way on how they could really breakthrough or destroy
the opponent’s position. And that’s not what attack means. The attack has 3 stages – 1.
Having a good target – something you basically target against. Presently, a good target we
could say is White king. At the end of the day, that is the one thing we would like to
go against. So having a good target is the first part. 2. You need to think about having
a good potential, good amount of pieces that you could go with in. In this position, we
can see that Black definitely has a pretty solid potential with his pieces. And then
there are threats. Sometimes, threats don’t actually get to happen so quickly, so it takes
a while until things go as good as we expect. After that Black played Rac8. He was still
building up. The amount of potential that we sometimes, need in order to make the attack
work, it could be quite long. So brace yourself because a lot of times, it’s not going to
work in a way as book suggests or as you learn by the different examples like here, Black
knows that the only thing he needs for the attack, is more potential and more potential,
until the moment where there is good enough control and possibilities to attack. So after
Ne5, which really helped Black to get a very strong knight available. Things starts looking
great. And then there is the move Nf3! Very beautiful, I got to say that this was really
interesting because at the end of the day, with so many pieces out there and such a strong
potential, yes there is got to be something we do! And Nh4+…..this is White’s major
mistake perhaps, I would say. His major mistake was that he did not estimate well what Black
could do with his pieces. Now what do you do when your opponent comes with such great
pieces against your position? Do you jump in, attack, defend, improve? The truth is,
it is hard to suggest anything. It is hard to find anything great. The right answer,
however, is you must try to neutralize any of his pieces that could potentially cause
enough trouble or lot of threats – they have to be forced or pushed away, moved out so
that they don’t stay out there. The important thing is White should have played a move like
Rd4, so that he could fight against rook. I mean at least f3, would fight that rook
away. But the move he played was just Bxf6, that was really not that good. Because, well
now, there was an incredible move that Black found that simply destroyed White’s position
completely! You can take a moment here to think about it, but let’s just see. Black
has got a great looking rook on e4, a nice queen on f5 and perhaps, what he needs is
something little more to make this attack most successful. This one little detail is
all that he needs to find out. And the question is HOW? What do we need? To answer that question,
Black should just need to think about the remaining pieces that are really not in the
battle. And the remaining pieces, is just actually the remaining piece, is just one.
It’s that c8-rook. That’s pretty far away from where it really needs to be. The rook
is away, it’s out of the attack, it’s not in the battle. And what we need is to get
it there. So Black just played Rc2 – an incredible move that would actually come out, and White
resigns because after Rc2, he can’t do anything! Qxc2 is met by Rg4+ and checkmate…And if
Qf3, Rg4+ also kills the White queen. Even the move like Qd3, there would still be Rg4+
and Qf3. It’s interesting to see how this game really worked for Black because he was
relying on the one key concept that matters the most when it comes down to attacking.
And that is who has more POTENTIAL? If you can make more potential than your opponent,
you will be extremely successful with whatever you tactics you begin with. So, a little idea,
but it helps a lot when we think about it. I hope this makes sense but in case, there
is anything more interesting, I’ll be showing in the next rounds. So stay tuned for my next
comments on the Indian National Premier Championship 2015, which is by the way, an incredible tournament
so far!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *