Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lasker’s Law

Playing a good move is such a rush that players sometimes don’t look for two things: 1) is there a counter possible and 2) is there a BETTER one?

The great world champion Emanuel Lasker always said, ‘When you see a good move, don’t play it! Look for a better one.” Sage advice.

White: Miagmasuren Black: Martens, Leningrad, 1960 - Sicilian Defense
1. e4 c5
2. Nf3 e6
3. d4 cd
4. Nxd4 Nf6
5. Nc3 d6
6. Bg5 Be7
7. Qf3 Nbd7
8. O-O-O a6
9. Kb1 Qc7
10. Qg3 Nb6
11. f4 h6
12. Bxf6 Bxf6
13. Ndb5 ab
14. Nxb5 Qb8
15. e5 de
16. Nd6+ Kf8
17. fe Qa7
18. a3 Be7
19. Be2 Nb5
20. Rhf1 Bxd6
21. Rxf7+!? …..

Down two pieces, this move is no surprise, but 21. Rxd5 ! wins quickly. 21…ed, 22. Qg6 f5, 23. Bh5 and it is over.

21. ….. Kxf7
22. Bh5+ Kg8
23. Rf1 Nc3+

Setting a weak trap hoping for 24. bc Qxa3, but…

24. Qxc3 Rh7
25. Qf3!?

Correct is 25. ed Bd7, 26. Bg6 and it is over.

25. ….. g5?

If g6 instead, 26. ed Bd7 and it is a drawn position. Black is playing like the game was over. Well now, it is.

26. ed Bd7
27. Bf7+ Kh8
28. Qf6+ Rg7
29. Qxh6+ Rh7
30. Qf6+ Rg7
31. h4 Qa4
32. Rh1 Resigns

Let’s review:
White made a mistake at move 21, missing the crusher.

Black made the reverse error by becoming discouraged and playing the desperate 23. …Nc3+, instead of g5.

White played the strong 25. Qf3, instead of the stronger 25. ed.

And finally Black plays the automatic 25…..g5, for space instead of looking to see if 25….g6 is any better. That was the difference between a loss and a draw.

The final mistake is always the worst.

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