Meeting every MONDAY night 6pm to 9:30pm at the Hartland Senior Center, Room 53 or 54 at 9525 East Highland Rd (M-59),just west of US-23, Howell, Michigan. We have our own beautiful PRIVATE room in the HSC. Use the entrance at the far West end of the building. Stop by and ask for Mike, Ken or Vince. We offer free instructions and lessons to beginners. Contact the LCCC by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, June 20, 2013
The Amateur’s Mind – Part 1
This is a re-print of an article by IM Jeremy
Silman (JS) that appeared in Chess Life in January 1993. I think it is a great
article that looks at the fascinating differences between how the different
level of player evaluates the same position. We will watch a grandmaster
(2400+) work, then see how a 1500, a 1700, an 1800 and a 2100 see it.- MN
Starting position - White to move.
JS: “All examples will start from the following
this position from a game between Alehkine – Marshall (editor’s note:
uh…neither one a wood pusher), Baden-Baden,
1925 to various students and asked them to figure out what was going on. Once
that was done, we would finish the game with them playing White and me playing
first see how Alehkine took care of business:
move. White prepares to make use of his king-side majority with f4. He also now
has the option of castling queenside.
A very fine
idea. Black is prevented from castling queenside (a-pawn would be hanging) and
the Black queen is kept out of the d4 square (restricting Black’s play). Keep
that square in mind as we look at how the amateurs handled this position.
decides to castle king-side, but it is rarely a good idea to castle into your
opponent’s strength (pawn majority side). Better was 2. ….Qa5, then 3. ….O-O-O.
king safely tucked away on the queen-side of the board, White can now advance
his kingside pawns without safety concerns.
over the initiative because his advancing pawns gain tempos by attacking
Black’s pieces. White’s assault is in full swing, while Black’s counter-attack
has not even started.
9. f6 Qf8
After 10. Bc4!
From this point on every move is a hammer blow.
Alekhine doesn’t give his opponent a moment’s respite.
10 ……. Nxc3
12. fxg7! …..
Taking advantage of the fact that the Black
queen is the only defender of the rook on d8.
The “automatic” 13. Bxa2 would give Black a
saving check at c5.
13 ….. Qe8
Of course 15. Kxa2??? Allows 15. ….. Qa4
. …… f5
White wins in boring fashion after 15. ….. fxe6, 16. Bxe6+
Qxe6, 17. Qxd8 Kxg7, 18. Qd4+ followed by the capture of Black’s bishop.
resigns as it is mate in two moves.
powerful performance by the legendary Alekhine was accomplished due to his
insight into the possibilities of his opponent. He didn’t just note that his
kingside majority was strong. He also looked into consideration the weaknesses
that it’s advance would leave him with.
up these weaknesses before he advanced his pawns, he was able to force the
Black army back into a passive stance.”
In the next post, we will look at how mere
mortals handled this same position against an IM.