24 January 2013

Lesson of the Week

Tarrasch -- Mieses, Berlin 1916

This week's lesson features a whole game, rather than one or two positions extracted from a game. For the first time in three months, students were not presented with a worksheet consisting of relatively simple tactical problems. The worksheet scheduled for this week will be presented as a contest at Saturday's scholastic chess tournament. At the start of the awards, a sheet will be drawn from a box. If all nine answers are correct, the player whose name is on the sheet wins the prize. If any answers are wrong, another entry is drawn from the box.

Two of Tarrasch's moves from this model game were presented as problems to solve.

The game itself and some of the analysis offered to the young players can be found in Irving Chernev, Logical Chess: Move by Move (1998 [1957]), which I reviewed earlier this week.

Tarrasch,Siegbert - Mieses,Jacques [C10]
Berlin 1916

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Bd3 Be7 7.0–0 Nxe4 8.Bxe4 Nf6 9.Bd3 b6?

White to move

Black's should have castled. 9...b6 is an error that gives White a clear advantage. It is shocking how often in online games I have been in the resulting position after this error. Even more shocking is that my opponents have never played the correct refutation. All of them could have benefited from study of Chernev's Logical Chess.

10.Ne5 0–0 11.Nc6 Qd6 12.Qf3

White's move prevents Bb7, Black's reason for playing 9...b6. It also threatens the rook on a8. White also threatens to move the queen to e4, where a trade of queens is bad for Black because White picks up an extra piece. The tactics here a worth home study for the players following this blog.

12...Bd7 13.Nxe7+ Qxe7 14.Bg5 Rac8 15.Rfe1 Rfe8 16.Qh3 Qd6 17.Bxf6 gxf6

White to move

Tarrasch made the strongest move here, but it is not obvious. Players in my clubs are asked to play guess the move here with a prize of a chess pencil to the first correct answer. The same gift is offered for correctly guessing the last move of the game.

18.Qh6 f5 19.Re3 Qxd4 20.c3 1–0

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