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Progressing in Chess can be painful. Today you have access to tons of information and most of it in real time. You study openings, you have a look at recent games (most of which may follow theory up to move 30 or even more…) , you ask Houdini, Fritz, etc what to do, you realise the old way of studying Chess is now out of fashion (you don’t know why, but …), you dream to meet any GM and beat him/her in a briliant game in which you have managed to follow theory up to the 35th move, etc. My question is: “Do they (today’s GMs) play Chess“. Rather they and (we) simply play opening variations. Where have all those beautiful strategical plans gone?. You may say today’s Chess is different from the Chess played in the past. Yeah. And more because today everybody wants to live on Chess. Money has attracted quantity. I’m afraid “quality” has been left behind in some forgotten place…Of course this is only a personal opinion, but some voices have been raised concerning all this. One may say that this may be true for super-professionals, and that the situation is quite different on other levels. The state of Chess today  is rather messy: people under suspicion of cheating who is searched, people caught cheating directly, young boys who only want to earn money and that at 18 has played more games than Fischer or Capablanca in their entire lives, parents -as in any other sport- trying to make a profit out on their chessplaying children (the younger, the better, the earlier, the better, no matter if the boy/girl has to abandon his/her studies and start wandering from playing hall to playing hall since he/she is 8 years old…). You may say this is not really so, and that cases like these are exceptions, but I agree to differ…  I prefer playing Chess but also thinking that I am making an effort to understand the richness of the millenary game. I prefer seeing Chess like the great GMs: as a way of life, as a philosophy of life.

“ZWISCHENZUG” : German word to describe an “intermediate move”, which can be defined as an unexpected move made in the middle of a sequence of moves and which forces the opponent to take immediate action against the immediate threat that poses so altering what seemed the logical development of the line in question. An intermediate move decoys an enemy’s piece, forces to defend immediate mate, attacks hanging pieces, checks to win a tempo, brings one piece into play provoking a threat, etc. You all know all this. Every GM uses them in their plans and calculations. But did you know this device has been the hallmark of Capablanca and Fischer, whose games are full of intermediate moves to implement their attacking plans, to entice their opponents into active ,even apparently winning, plans simply to smash them out of a sudden, to force their opponents into making mistakes or to create tactical whirlwinds and complicate the game to the utmost?. And I can even say a bit more: Fischer’s extreme ability rested  on the fact that he was able to find every intermediate move in any possible line.

Well, in this post I propose the reader a field day in a rather classical style. First of all, solve the following tactical exercises from actual games (the solutions are at the end of the post). Then analyse, in depth, the game I include trying to understand the moves and finding all the “intermediate” moves it contains. Do it with board and pieces.

Tactical exercise 1:

Fische-Mednis White to move.

Tactical exercise 2:

Bisguier-Fischer (Position from the Black side): Black to move.

Tactical exercise 3:

Fischer-Dely White to move.

Tactical exercise 4:

Fischer-Schweber White to move.

Tactical exercise 5:

Minic-Fischer   Black to move (position from the Black side)


W.: ????

B.: ????

???????????????????     (Do you know who played this game?

1. c4, c5 / 2. Nf3, g6/ 3. d4, cxd4/ 4. Nxd4, Nc6/ 5. e4, Nf6/  7. Be2, Nxd4/ 8. Qxd4/ 9. Bg5, h6/ 10. Be3, 0-0/ 11. Qd2, Kh7/ 12. 0-0, Be6/  13.f4 (from now on, you should try to guess Black’s move before making them), …, Rac8/ 14. b3, Qa5/ 15. a3, a6/ 16. f5, Bd7/ 17. b4, Qe5!/ 18. Rae1, Bc6!/ 19.Bf4!, Nxe4/ 20. Nxe4, Qxe4/ 21. Bd3, Qd4/ 22. Kh1, Rce8!/ 23. Be3!,Qc3!/ 24. Bxh6, Qxd2/ 25. Bxd2, Be5/ 26. Bf4, Bxf4/ 27. Rxf4, gf5/ 28. Rxf5, Kg7/ 29. Rg5, Kh6/ 30. h4, e6/ 31. Rf1, f5/ 32. Rb1, Rf7/ 33. b5, ab5/ 34. cb5, Bd7/ 35. g4, Ra8!/ 36. gf5, ef5/ 37. Bc4? , Ra4/ 38. Rc1, Bxb5/ 39. Bxf7, Rxh4/ 40. Kg2, Kxg5/ 41. Bd5, Ba6/ 42. Rd1, Ra4/ 43. Bf3, Rxa3/ 44.Rxd6, Ra2/ 45. Kg1, Kf4/ 46. Bg2, Rb2/ 47. Rd7, b6/ 48. Rd8, Be2/ 49. Bh3, Bg4/ 50. Bf1, Bf3/ 51. Rb8, Be4/ 52. Ba6, Ke3/ 53. Rbc8, Rb1/ 54. Kh2, Kf4/ White resigned.  (The game belongs to the Fischer-Larsen 1971 Candidates’ match held in Denver, USA)

Solution to the problems:

1.- :  32. Rxe6!, Ba3 / 33. Na3, Ke6/ 34. Qg4, Ke7/ 35. Rf2, Re8/ 36. Qg5, Kd7/ 37. Rf7, Kc8/ 38. Qf5, Kb8/ 39. Qd7, 1-0.

2.- :  38. …, g4!!/ 39. Qxg4, Qxg4/ 40. hxg4, Kg7! / 41. Rf5, Rxh1! / 0-1 (42. Kxh1, Rc1/ 43. Kh2, Bxg3/ 44.Kh3, Rh1 #)

3.- :  15. Bxe6, fxe6/ 16. Rxf8!!, Qxf8/ 17. Qa4, 1-0

4.-:   23. Rxe4!! (if you have found this move and the idea behind you have solved the problem),  Qxg3/ 24. Rxd4!, Qg4/25. Rxg4, Bxg4/ 26. Bxg6, Rhg8/ 27. Bh7, Rh8/ 28. Bd3, Rde8/29. f7 and White won on move 47th.

5.- : 27. …, Nc3!/ 28. Kc1, Na4!/ 29. Kb1, Rxb2!!/ 30. Rxb2, Nc3/ 31. Kc1 , Qa3! 32. Bd3, Qa1 / 33. Kd2, Qxb2/ 34. Ke1, Ne4/ White resigned.

(All these positions are from Bobby Fischer’s games)



Written by QChess

January 24, 2013 at 7:53 am

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