National Premier Chess Championship 2015 Round 8 Highlights

National Premier Chess Championship 2015 Round 8 Highlights

In this 8th round, there were some pretty
amazing games played. So we will start with the one played between 2 GMs with an actual
equal rating of 2651, which is awesome! And, the game was incredibly feisty, and I’d like
to give you my thoughts on that. And hopefully, you will enjoy it and like it as much as I
did. It was indeed, a very beautiful game. It started with 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5….so White
got to support the centre. This is one of the main lines that is supposed to follow,
it’s a good variation, I have to say. And, it looked nice. So, White, after the move
of f4, just as it was, of course, Black played c5 in order to shift some challenge or attack
against the centre, it makes sense. So after Nc3, Black played Nc6…and we’re starting
to get a really interesting game, especially after Black’s latest move which was 0-0. Now,
what’s going on after that? This is really interesting. Once 0-0 has been played, what
we could see is that ultimately, White played dxc5 right away. And now, that was awesome!
dxc5 was a quick move, it seems to set up the activity and prepare us for some powerful
sequences to follow against Black’s position. Now that doesn’t mean that this is a very
great variation, but it means that it’s a good start. And indeed, it actually is, a
fairly good start. After Nxc5, White plays 0-0-0. Right after that, Black played a6.
So he was clear on one thing. Black just wanted to get this easy development as quickly as
possible. And that would help him to avoid any major complications or anything too big
from happening. It was a good start. a6 was a nice move. So, what’s happening in the game
is that White played h4 – pretty good move. We could easily get to understand why the
move is played. It is all about the h5-idea which would further on help with the plan
of h6. It was very well played. Black played Qa5 after which White played Kb1. Yes, the
king looks extremely at this moment, so we don’t have to worry about him being able to
come anywhere close or starting with anything dangerous. So I have to admit that it felt
alright. Now, Black plays b5. What can I say about that move? I don’t want to say that
it is a move to fear. Because, it’s really not that much of a dangerous move. This is
a move to look into and then basically, say to ourselves, it’s not like that scary. It’s
just a normal attacking type of variation. However, Black hopes to get this quick initiative
going. Now usually, we are very aware of the fact that opening the position is going to
have some very devastating effect. If it is not done well, if it is hurried, rushed or
any thing of that regard, that is sort of similar to what’s about to happen. However,
there is something important that takes place here. White plays Bd3 and I don’t believe
that this was a really good move. Now, don’t get me wrong. I do not wish to say that it
was a bad move or it was like a really terrible idea. Not at all. I think it is fine. But
what was the actual problem of the move Bd3? The problem of Bd3, in my opinion, was that
with that move, the main issue is that, while developing the bishop fairly nice around the
Black king, preparing it for further activities and action out there, he kind of didn’t follow
the most important – is to block the centre and move along with the attack. I think that
this was probably the major thing that was actually missing in this position. Because,
White really had to do it. He had to take on the possibility and really arrange the
activity with Nd4. Most likely, if he did play Nd4, things would have gone very differently
because, Black would not have had the chance to play so well. In case of Nd4, Nxd4, there
is even Nxd5! that actually kills the possibility for Black to look for anything as good.And
we could see the danger, really appearing of those moves. It’s a pretty solid continuation,
hardly anything good can happen for Black. That would have been very, very good. And
seriously, that’s important. Bd3 offers Black, on a plate, to take that bishop and this is
not a good idea. You have to understand that it is extremely important to preserve pieces
like this bishop, because the bishop as it was right there, is incredibly valuable! It
is a piece that we would like to keep to get better, avoid exchanging. And now it’s quite
the opposite. We’re offering him the ability to take on that bishop after which, it’s just
getting ugly. After all, after Ne2, Black ultimately exchanged the bishop. It does feel
like he is having a quite a bit of an advantage out there with this trade. It’s just not great
to see this position, but it’s happening nevertheless. After that exchange, Qxd3, there was Qb5.
Naturally, Black is going for the trade of the queens. He would like to play a5 slightly
and it does look good. At the end of the day, White has to move the queen back. But then,
without the bishop, the main difficulty really is that there is no way to prove anything.
There is no attacking opportunities, no real challenge. Black is going forward with that
pawn on the line and we just have to suffer as he is coming forward and is ready to apply
extra pressure. It’s not a very convenient position. As a result, when the pawn arrives
on a5, there are way too many difficulties. His bishop is going to come into a6 next move.
It’s just getting ugly. After Nd4, Nxd4…I believe that Black made a little bit of mistake
on his own by playing the move of f6. He was not supposed to do that sort of move.This
move really seems to weaken the position in front of the kingside and gives White an opportunity
to get back in the game. It was not a really nice continuation. I don’t that it was such
a good move for him to play. It was good when White gets in the game. exf6, Bxf6, h5….The
game continues to be extremely complexed. Black is advancing on the queenside in a hope
that perhaps, he will get ready to advance to attack quickly out there. And while it
does make a lot of sense whatever he is doing in that side of the board, White on the other
hand, advancing on the opposite area which is towards the kingside in a hope to quickly
get ready and challenge, shift sme threats towards that side. It’s a pretty beautiful
position from both perspectives. After Bd7, Bf2…I do not wish to say that the move of
Nf3 was good though in this type of position because, Nf3 was going backward which is not
exactly one of the things that I suppose, wanted. But he was sort of necessarily does
it and then when he did, Black played b3. Why does White go backward? A lot of people
who look at this position are just going to tell themselves “Ahh…I don’t know. I mean
this really doesn’t look like a good option.” White is retreating, moving backward, he is
not doing good…Why? Why would somebody wish to do something like this? It’s a weird move.
It doesn’t look like it’s proper. In a way, that is true. It does not look like it’s the
really proper move. So why does he go like this all in a first place? And the reason
is very simple. White needed to improve his worst-placed piece. I often see so many people
really forget completely of the idea to improve the worst-placed piece. And I’d like to say
that, don’t forget it!Seriously, this is one of the most important things that you should
never forget. Just don’t! Think about this – what is my worst-placed piece? And give
your best to really fix that. Because if you don’t fix that, it’s going to be difficult.
That is the one problem we’re having in this position. I mean if that bishop could be moved
away and then things would have gone very well. But it’s not possible that easy. So
that’s what’s really happening in the position. Always think, what is my worst-placed piece?
Every time when you think about what is the worst-placed piece, and you discover it, this
is the first thing that you have go to improve! White knew, very well, that the first thing
that needs to be improved right now is basically, to get that bishop into the battle. And it’s
pretty clear that it has to happen now, quickly and in time! This is very, very necessary
to be there. So with the move of Nf3, as in the game, b3, Bd4, e5….we could actually
get to see what’s going on in the moment. White is able to take on that pawn quickly.
He is forcing the Black bishop to come back in the position. Actually, it does look really
good. Because, without that, Black is not given that much of a possibility to challenge
or counter or do anything that good. He played Bxg4…and I think is was probably the mistake.
Black left his piece hanging and that’s not a very good option for him. Now what I believe
Black had to do, was most likely a move like Qxc2 or even Bd8 would have been actually
a fine idea to backward. It would helped him to consolidate the position and for the most
part just keep everything together. Was it going to be perfect? Certainly, not. But,
at least, it would have guaranteed him some solidity in the position. And that matters
a lot in positions like these..making sure everything is more or less solid, connected.
So, it’s good. What happened is Black played Bxg4 and that really does not work good. Why?
Well, that move just helps us to take exf6 which is great, ultimately. There is f7+ to
take place very quickly and then second reason is – what is Black supposed to do now? There
is a very significant problem of f7+, Ng5 is going to take place quickly and the majority
of Black’s pieces are just bad looking. It’s everything that attack of this kind could
be like. It’s a very difficult situation for Black..bxc2, Qxc2 and now we can get to understand
why that’s a problematic position. After that, there is Bf5, Qxf5. I believe that this is
more or less the move, that most likely, Black missed. It’s not a move that is easy to expect
really. I mean a queen sacrifice – who would expect that happening? And yet, it is a brilliant
candidate because that move is by itself, simply completely wipes out whatever Black
had in mind in order to get the game going. It is beautiful, it’s effective it really
takes him down. That is awesome! Other things that you want to be able to discover about
such positions is sort of ask yourself “What do I need?”. In these positions, what do I
need to do and then suddenly, we realized that the only thing that we need to do is
just to take that piece down and open up more lines. Opening up more files is essential.
Because when you are able to open up more lies against your opponent usually, that guarantees
a huge attack coming against your opponent and it’s actually happening. It does get to
happen shortly. gxf5, Rg1+…and yes, of course, now we’re at a perfect position to continue
with the move that is most necessary – Ng5! It’s kind of important because Black cannot
hold his position together. There is this knight coming down. The other pieces in line
with the attack and there is basically after Re2, Nxh7+…White’s advantage was clear.
What I would say though that White needed to perhaps just to make sure his advantage
making more certain was possibly Ng5. With the move like this, White would have guaranteed
an incredibly strong position for his pawn like f7+ as we could see it’s gonna be a killer,
pretty big killer. And then in case Black goes away, we have f7 on the line..and even
in case of Qxd4, there is Ne6+ (fork). Otherwise, there is a checkmate coming down there which
is pretty big. To be honest, I would love to be in a position like that. I’d love to
have a situation like this. It’s fairly clear why that gets pretty bad for Black. It’s good
for White to make it work. One of the things you don’t want to forget is how coordination
can work. Often the forcing themselves are great. But they are not the ones that guarantee
us the advantage. What often guarantees us, the advantage is the follow up. The actual
set up that we’re able to build. Bg5, Re2…led to this and now Black got out. Really, it’s
hard to believe but he really got out. He doesn’t have to worry anymore about serious
tactics or big threats. He is presently challenging the pawn out there that we have. And it is
almost unbelievable how quickly this game starts becoming so bad just in a few moves
time. 1-2–and that’s just awful. Yes that’s what’s happening. Then we had Ka1, Rb3….a
little check to make his king retreat but once it goes back, it is more or less the
end of it. There is no more advantage, no chance to attack him anymore..Even in case
of Nf6+, he is just going to escape and it’s incredible but really, this is the end. White
made a big mistake here. What was that – Ka1. I love quite moves. I think that quite moves
are essential and in many times when we get to play them, they are good to follow, nice
to be played. It’s good to have these moves. Now what is that I hate about that move here?
It’s just that we don’t want to choose those moves. What you want to do is to think about
moves that help you to keep the attack ON against your opponent, make it good. But you
don’t want to choose and slow down. Because slowing down by itself is what your opponent
would expect you to do in order to take advantage. You don’t want to be in position to challenge.
After Ka1, White spent an important tempo that’s just brilliant for Black to move in,
go inside the White’s position and territory and start causing plenty of problems while
we get nothing to do on around. That is not cool. But there was not a whole lot to do
really. It’s just this is very valuable. Think about that. You need to be able to create
threats. What did White have to do so that he could avoid getting into that? Well, there
are plenty of moves, I believe, but to me, what would have been better was Rc1. And in
case of Qxd4, we have Rg8+ which will be winning…If Black doesn’t move the queen and plays Qd3+,
there is Ka1 and again, the important thing here is that we will be setting up threats.
We will be causing problem and make it more difficult for our opponent to manage. So this
is why I’d often like to say that creating a threat is the really big deal. Because when
you are able to do that, that will help you to get the advantage – it was very valuable
to find that out. This is why ultimately, the game is going bad for White. To spend
an incredibly important tempo on a retreating move is something that wasn’t supposed to
be done at all….we can easily realize that White is not good. It’s like Black is running
away – he has got a very nice retreating square. He does not have to worry about any tactical
things or complications or whatever…So then Nf6+ with the idea of Rg8…Black gets the
two rooks moving together and we have not got really a whole lot to do on around. So
Black’s just keep checking checking…..This is why you MUST be super-careful! I think
White made the huge mistake here but this was probably the most interesting games…I’d
like to mention the key points again. 1) What was critical is White started a good attack.
He slowed down which was necessary but he gave away the light-squared bishop…one of
the most relevant pieces.. Letting it go is a pretty big disadvantage by itself. You don’t
want to do that except you don’t feel like you really need to do so. And that was a problem.
This is important! 2) Down the line after Bd3…there were a couple of exchanges….all
of these moves were more or less okay. Black’s major mistake was to hurry. I think he rushed
a little bit and he allowed White to take over the advantage. But what white missed
was the ABILITY to continue. People don’t get to continue veyy often. They do a variety
of different things but they don’t get to continue and what is extremely important is
that you always think about how do I get to hold the pressure? How do I keep the attack
on line? How do I make it work? It was a very valuable idea to now deliver the move of Ng5!
Because with the move like Ng5, we can see the real reason why it would have been an
excellent candidate, strong idea to play and f7 – it was good. Was it perfect? I don’t
know but it was good nevertheless and is sure would have been awesome idea to come forward
with. 3) I want to say one more thing which is ultimately, for Rg1, what helped White
to get the attack going was the attack and the INITIATIVE. The problem was however the
moment the moves a3 and Ka1 happened, White lost the ‘steam’ and he could no longer continue
or hold on to the idea of attacking. WHY? Because, he had to go backward. And going
backward is never good. When you go backward, you retreat – you basically push yourself
on a bad looking position and that’s not something you want to do. Those were just a few little
things that really mattered in this game. I hope it makes sense. But in case, you have
any questions or something else, you can comment below and I’ll be glad to give an answer because
this was such a highly instructive game!

2 thoughts on “National Premier Chess Championship 2015 Round 8 Highlights

  1. Hey IM Lilov, nice annotation there, but the subtitles on a black background covers a2-h2 completely, and prevents us from getting us a clear view of the board when pieces are completely blocked. Hope you can fix this thanks 🙂

  2. An example of that was that when Black pushed his pawn to b3, we can't have visualise the purpose of the move as we can't see White's pawn on c2. Hope you get the idea, and this problem can be improved. Otherwise, it was a splendid game and a nice video.

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