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Chess for Thought

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In 1931 Nimzowistch said -of the following game- that it was “A good game which shows just how difficult it is to win at the present high level of Chess.”:

W.: Spielmann(0)

B.: Nimzowitsch (1)

Bled, 1931

1. e4  c6  2. Nf3  d5  3. Nc3  de4  4. Ne4: Nf6  5. Nb3  c5 6. Bc4  a6  7. a4  Nc6  8. d3  g6  9. Be3  Bg7  10. 0-0  b6  11. c3  0-0  12. h3  Bb7  13. Qe2  Na5  14. Ba2  Bd5  15. Nd2  Ba2:  16. Ra2:  Nd5  17. Nc4  Nc6  18. a5!  b5  19. Nb6!  Nb6:  20. ab6  Qb6:  21. Ne4  Qc7  22. Nc5:  a5  23. d4  Rfb8 (planning a minority attack)  24. f4? (24. Qf3!) ,… e6  25. Ra-a1  Ne7  26. g4  Nd5  27. Rf3  a4  28. Bd2  Qc6  29. Ne4  b4  30. f5?!  ef5  31. gf5  a3!  32. ba3  bc3  33. f6  cd2!  34. fg7  Re8!  35. Qd3  Re4:  36. Qe4:  Re8  37. Qh4  Nc3  38. R3-f1  Qd5  39. White resigns.

Belfort 1988, Karpov and Kasparov plays the 129th (!)  game between themselves. After a fantastic struggle, many  people , several  GMs included , declared that both were above the rest and that games like this one could only be understood by the two “K’s”:

W.: Karpov (1)

B.: Kasparov (0)

Belfort, 1988

1. d4  Nf6  2. c4  g6  3. Nc3  d5   4. cd5  Nd5:  5. e4  Nc3: 6.  bc3  Bg7  7. Bc4  c5  8. Ne2  Nc6  9. Be3  0-0  10. 0-0  Bg4  11. f3  Na5  12. Bf7:  Rf7:  13. fg4  Rf1:  14. Kf1: Qd6  15. e5  Qd5  16. Bf2   Rd8  17. Qa4   b6  18. Qc2  Rf8  19. Kg1  Qc4  20. Qd2  Qe6  21. h3  Nc4  22. Qg5   h6  23. Qc1  Qf7  24. Bg3  g5   25. Qc2  Qd5  26. Bf2 (Please note how all Karpov’s moves have a goal: to pose small threats so as to force Kasparov to weaken his position. Try to see the threats posed by the White Queen going to and fro, here and there.)

26. …, b5 27. Ng3  Rf7  28. Re1  b4  29. Qg6  Kf8  30. Ne4  Rf2:  31. Kf2:  bc3  32. Qf5 Kg8  33. Qc8  Kh7  34. Qc5:  Qf7  35. Kg1  c2  36. Ng3  Bf8  37. Nf5  Kg8  38. Rc1  and Kasparov resigned. A strategical masterpiece with the White Queen assuming a decisive role.

The next game belongs to the match in which World Champion Kasparov smashed GM A. Miles. The outcome of the match made Miles exclaim that Kasparov was “a monster with a thousand eyes”. High class Chess:

W.: Kasparov (1)

B.: A. Miles (0)

Basel (Match) 1986

1. d4  Nf6  2. c4  c5  3. d5  e5  4. Nc3  d6  5. e4  Be7  6. Nf3  0-0  7. h3  Nbd7  8. g4  Ne8  9. Bd3  a6  10. a4  Rb8  11. Rg1  Nc7  12. b3  Re8  13. h4 b5  14. g5  Nf8  15. h5  Bd7  16. Nh2  bc4  17. Bc4: f5  18. ef5  Bf5:  19. Nf1  Qd7  20. Ne3  e4  21. Bb2 Bd8  22. Ne2  Qf7  23. Nf4  Bc8  24. Rg4  Qe7  25. Rg3  Qf7  26. Nfg2  Na8  27. a5  Nc7  28. Nh4  Nb5  29. g6  hg6  30. Ng6:  Bf6  31. Bb5:  Rb5:  32. Qc2  Bb2  33. Qb2:  Ng6:  34. Rg6:  Re5  35. 0-0-0  Rh5:  36. Rdg1  Rh7  37. Nc4  38. Kb1  Rb7  39. Nd6:  Bf5  40. Rf6  Qh2  41. Rg3  Qh1  42. Ka2  and Black resigned.

Our next game was a sensation at the time it was played. Bobby Fischer playing the great Soviet GM Leonid Stein at Sousse Interzonal (yes, the one Bobby abandoned after  a few rounds after a lot of  comings and goings, discusions, threats and the like, so spoiling the chance of playing Petrosian in 1969 (had he managed to  qualify and win the Candidates’ Matches…)

W.: Fischer (1)

B.. Stein (0)

Sousse (Itz) 1967

1. e4  e5  2. Nf3  Nc6  3. Bb5  a6  4. Ba4  Nf6  5. 0-0  Be7  6. Re1  b5  7.  Bb3  d6  8. c3  0-0  9. h3  Bb7  10. d4  Na5  11. Bc2  Nc4  12.  b3  Nb6  13. Nbd2  Nbd7  14.  b4  ed4  15.  cd4  a5  16. ba5  c5  17. e5  de5  18. de5  Nd5  19. Ne4  Nb4  20. Bb1  Ra5  21. Qe2  Nb6  22. Nfg5  Be4  23. Qe4  g6  24. Qh4  h5  25.  Qg3  Nc4  26.  Nf3  Kg7  27. Qf4  Rh8  28. e6  f5  29. Bf5  Qf8  30. Be4  Qf4  31. Bf4  Re8  32.  Rad1  Ra6  33. Rd7  Re6  34. Ng5  Rf6  35.  Bf3  Rf4  36. Ne6  Kf6  37. Nf4  Ne5  38.Rb7  Bd6  39. Kf1  Nc2  40.  Re4  Nd4  41. Rb6  Rd8  42. Nd5  Kf5  43. Ne3  Ke6  44. Be2  Kd7  45. Bb5  Nb5  46. Rb5  Kc6  47. a4  Bc7  48.Ke2  g5  49. g3  Ra8  50. Rb2  Rf8  51. f4  gf4  52. gf4  Nf7  53. Re6  Nd6  54. f5  Ra8  55. Rd2  Ra4  56. f6  and Black resigned.

Starting around 1980 I began to fill up notebooks with notes to games. As I said before, I devoted those never-ending years to Botvinnik, Karpov, Spassky and Fischer. Now, from time to time , I like playing through those games trying to compare those notes with the ideas I now see in the same  games . I suppose that by doing so one can see if his approach to Chess has changed and if his/her knowledge of the game has improved. In Chess, you have to do your own work. Unless you find collection of games very deeply analysed, most  of the games in most of the books and newspapers are only very superficially annotated. Today’s players pay too much attention to the opening stage. This is not bad. But one should investigate the middlegame and the engame. The Soviet chessplayers became what they became because they were forced to study Chess as a whole. Once you have reached  a certain level, you may devote most of the time to the opening. Chess is more than hundreds of memorised opening variations. Every minute you spend studying Chess is useful . The main problem comes when, in spite of years of studying, you lose… I have no a recipe for this and everyone must learn to cope with that odd feeling. In any case, keep on studying and thinking about Chess. And keep on playing too.



Written by QChess

September 25, 2012 at 6:44 am

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