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Panic on the 2nd Move

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Today, a position for a game played in Moscow in 1961. White (Muchnik) to move.The Black side was played by Estrin. Sharpen your combinative skills. Solution after text.


Basically, there are many types of correspondence chess (CC) players. We have those who prefer concentrate upon a few games, those who prefer having many games in progress, those who keep a balanced profile concerning the matter, those who prefer unrated friendly games, those who play for rating and norms, etc. And concerning the opening we try to play always the same openings or those who like testing new openings, trying new possibilities, and so on. If you like playing many games sometimes you may find it boring to have twenty-five 1. e4 -games or twenty Sicilians/ QGD, for example. So you decide to play 1. d4 in a bunch of games and the Grünfeld or the QID in another bunch of them. I have always thought this is very good: you have to study new openings, you find different fresh positions, you are widening your Chess knowledge.

The problem begins when in serious games you do the same and one day you realize that if the first move sets up the pace of the game ,the second move -mainly as Black-  may be a source of doubts! : 

“My opponent has played 1. e4. I will play my Sicilian: 1. e4 , c5/ 2.Nf3 :to your desperation your doubts start: 2. …d6, 2…e6 or 2…Nc6? .The type of game these three moves may lead to you are absolutely different! Suddenly you remember you have lost your last three Najdorfs, so 2…, e6 -but do I want to play a Paulsen???. And if 2…Nc6 I may land in a Paulsen, a Taimanov, a Scheveningen or a Sveshnikov …

My opponent has played 1. d4. OK. If I play 1…d5 it is clear my idea is far from trying Indian systems. If I play 1…Nf6/ and he plays 1.c4 I can play : Indian systems, QGA, QGD, even irregular set-ups.. So: 1. d4, Nf6/ 2. c4 and by the time this move reach you you-have-doubts-because-you-have-won-or-lost-with-this-or that-defence-so-you-.idea-was-to-test-a-Grünfeld-but-perhaps-it-is-better-that-Orthodox-you-have-played-so-many-times-and so on. So you don’t know what to play whether 2…,e6 or 2…g6 , you leave this game for the week-end but what usually happen is that in the week-end you still don’t know what to do because you are trying to convince yourself  -with rational arguments- of what may be a matter of taste… In friendly games this is not a problem: you try new openings and that’s all. But in ICCF games with ratings at stake…beware: a CC game may last many months (not an afternoon and tomorrow I will play a different opponent, etc). If you choose “the wrong option”, you may be compelled to play positions you do not like for many months, and eventually you may lose that game. And during those months, every time you set up the damned position to choose your move, an odd feeling of stupidity may be hovering over your head…

In Chess every move matters: the first, the second, even the third move (yes, the third one too: 1. d4, Nf6/2.c4, e6/3.Nf3 and now you have a lot of options again leading to completely different types of game: from a Bogoindian to a  Benoni or a wild Volga Gambit ), may decide the fate of the game not because they are bad, but because a wrong decision may keep you feeling uneasy with the game for months.

W.:  Tal (1)

B.: Pasman (0)

Riga 1953

1. e4, c5 /2. Nf3, d6/ 3. d4, cxd4/ 4. Nxd4, Nf6/ 5. Nc3, a6/ 6. f4, e5/ 7. Nf3, Nbd7/ 8. Bd3, Bd7/ 9. 0-0, 0-0 / 10. Kh1, b5/ 11. a3, Qc7 / 12. fxe5, dxe5/ 13. Nh4, Nc5/ 14. Bg5, Qd8/ 15. Nf5, Bxf5/ 16. Rxf5, Nfd7/ 17. Bxe7, Qxe7/ 18. Nd5, Qd6/ 19. Qg4, g6/ 20. Raf1, g6/ 21. h4!, Kh8/ 22. R5f3, f5/ 23. exf5!?, Qxd5/ 24. fxg6, Rxf3/ 25. g7, Kg8/ 26. Bxh7, Kxh7/ 27. Rxf3,Ne4!/ 28. h5, N7f6/ 29. Qg6, Kg8/ 30. h6 Ra7?!   (30…, Nh7-Koblentz)/  31. Kh2!, Re7/ 32. Rh3!, Nh7/ 33. Rd3, Qa8/ 34. Qxe4!, Qxe4/ 35. Rd8, Kf7/ 36. g8Q, Kf6/ 37. Rd6, Kf5/ 38. Qg6, Kf4/ 39. g3, Ke3/ 40. Rd3, Qxd3/41. Qxd3 Black resigned. 

The solution to the above position is:  1. Rb3, Qa1/ 2 f6, Bxf6/ 3. Bxg7!, Bxg7/ 4. Bh7, Kh8/ 5. Rxa1, Bxa1/ 6. Be4!, Bg7/ 7. Rh3 winning




Written by QChess

October 18, 2013 at 1:58 pm

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