“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer”
A quick reminder how it works:
- Have a look at the position for 1 minute (watch the clock)
- Think about the choices in front of you and pick the one you feel it is right
- Verify it in your mind the best you can
- Compare it with the solution
Today’s challenge is two-fold: first decide which way would have you defended against the check. Secondly figure out how white should win after either response by Black.
I was analyzing this game (see it at the end of the article) with one of my students and the abrupt end of it took us a bit by surprise. Our first reaction was to play the alternate 41… Kh8 because it felt to be the better choice. In the same time why would Black play 41… Bg7 and resign? How about at least see how this was going to end? Playing a few more moves until the position would have been clearly lost, could have made more sense. The main inconvenience for black in the game line (41… Bg7) was not being able to use the bishop.
In the alternate line (41… Kh8) the queen had to defend the light squares, while the bishop apparently had more freedom to defend the dark ones. The truth is the bishop would have not been able to find any active squares to put up a fight. Also Kh8 stuck in the corner would be the element White could take advantage of. In the end probably neither choice was better. See below how the game could have continued in both cases and compare with your idea.
The game is worth analyzing in greater detail. In our opinion White got total domination in the center out of the opening. The attack on the king side almost played itself out. There was no moment in the game where black was anywhere near an equal position, a good example how quickly the game can get away from you if you are not careful in the opening. Enjoy the game!