“What Say You?” The 1 Minute Challenge (49)

“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer”
Bruce Lee

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

Our students have began warming up for the upcoming fall tournaments. It is an interesting time for those who have not played many games during the summer. In games like the one below, converting a won position into a win proves to be tougher than it should be. Would you play the same as White like in the game? Annotations are by the White player except the last one.

First, let’s ignore white’s blunder at move 49. It should never happen plain and simple. This gives us a series of 16 moves to look at. Despite the overwhelming material advantage, that game sequence looks rather good for Black. This is never a good sign in fast games (10 minutes per). Probably most of you agree by now that White should have a much easier time winning the game.

Here are a few aspects we have identified together while looking at the game together post mortem:

  • The overwhelming material advantage should lead to a quick, indisputable win
  • The strong points of White’s position are in the center: both rooks nicely placed and the 2 central pawns with the d-pawn passed and protected
  • The king is for the moment well protected; however if white desires to advance the f-pawn, care must be taken to ensure it will not be exposed to queen checks
  • White’s queen must be involved; if your variation does not take it into the account, you should continue searching until you find a way for it to happen
  • Black’s back rank looks well protected but sometimes looks are deceiving

Once we have identified the above, it was easy to determine how to prepare the final assault and where to play it. That would work even at the cost of a queenside pawn and would offer Black not a single chance for counter play. Not sure how your plan and proposed line looks like; however it cannot be too far from our choice below. Enjoy!

Eugen Demian

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Valer Eugen Demian

Author: Valer Eugen Demian

The player – my first serious chess tournament was back in 1974, a little bit late for today’s standards. Over the years I have had the opportunity to play all forms of chess from OTB to postal, email and server chess. The journey as a player brought me a lot of experience and a few titles along the way: FIDE CM (2012), ICCF IM (2001) and one ICCF SIM norm (2004). The instructor – my career as a chess teacher and coach started in 1994 and continues strong. I have been awarded the FIDE Instructor title (2007) for my work and have been blessed with great students reaching the highest levels (CYCC, NAYCCC, Pan-Am, WYCC). I am very proud of them! See my website for more information. I have developed my own chess curriculum on 6 levels based on my overall chess knowledge and hands-on experience. A glimpse of it can be seen in my first chess app:
I can help you learn chess the proper way if this is what you seek! View all posts by Valer Eugen Demian

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