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They miss, you hit

Aug 8, 2014
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Hi everyone!

Today, on round 6 of the Olympiad I offer three exercises.  I invite the readers to imagine themselves in the shoes of someone above 2600 and try to find the best move in accordance with the instructions given below the diagram.  The solutions will be given at the end.

And don't beat yourself up if you don't get them right! The players didn't find them as well!

Good luck!

BD_27015_190_0.pngDiagram #1

1.Black had 18 minutes remaining at this stage for 8 moves.  How soon can you find the tactic that black missed?

BD_27015_190_2.pngDiagram #2

2.White has a big strategic advantage. Black's pieces are all cooped up on the queenside with not enough space and has backrank weakness.  Which is the best square for the white queen to retreat?

BD_27015_190_6.pngDiagram #3

3.And to conclude, just for fun, in this scenario, white is completely better.  Qd1, the move played in the game is one of the simplest ways to convert.  Try to find something stronger though, that leads to win quicker.

1.Aitbayev, Aslam - Ortiz Suarez, Isan Reynaldo

41st Olympiad Tromso 2014.08.08



2.Kb1 ( 2.Rxd3 ( 2.cxd3 Rxd3)2... Rxc2+ 3.Rxc2 Qxc2+ 4.Ka3 Qc1+ 5.Kb4 Ne5 -+ )

2... e5 3.Qxc3

sacrificing the queen and holding fort is probably white's best option

( 3.Qg1 Nb4 leads to a passive position and it'll only be a matter of time before black breaks through 4.Qc1 Nh4 -+ )

3... Qxc3 4.Rxd3 Qc5 -/+

white has some compensation, but it is clearly not enough to compensate for the material lost. Some of white's problems are: 1.Two knights competing for not enough squares 2.Bad bishop on g2 3.Too many strategic holes like f4, h4, c3 that black knight can opportunisticly occupy

2.Kasimdzhanov, Rustam - Kramnik, Vladimir

41st Olympiad Tromso 2014.08.08



white threatens Rc7 and Qe7 and suddenly it's very hard to defend against this obvious threat

( 1.Qd4 was played in the game1... Qd6 2.f4 and this gave black an opportunity to make things easier with2... Rc8 3.Rxc8+ Rxc8 4.Rxc8+ Bxc8 5.b4 Bb7 +/= And this is also strategically clearly better for white, but the mainline is much more convincing)

1... Nf6 2.Qe7 ( 2.Rc7 Bc6 3.Qe7 Be8 and black manages to defend)

2... Ne8 3.b4


black is completely paralysed and black's best option is to try and exchange pieces and go into the endgame, in which case the outside passed pawn on the queenside will prove to be extremely important

3... Qd6 4.Qxd6 Nxd6


5.Nd4 Kf8 6.f4 +/-

with a complete strategic domination

3.Mamedyarov, Shahriyar - Jobava, Baadur

41st Olympiad Tromso 2014.08.08


1... Qb7 (1... Kxc7 2.axb6+ Kb7 3.Qc6+ Kb8 4.bxa7+ +- )



eventually black will either get mated or lose the queen

2... axb6 3.Na6+ Kc8 4.c5 +-

Stay tuned for more #positionsfromtromso



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