01 February 2013

Lesson of the Week

We continued our holiday from the Beginning Tactics series. The position on the demonstration board came from a game in Seigbert Tarrasch, Three Hundred Chess Games, trans. Sol Schwartz (1999). Students were asked to find Tarrasch's move from that position (the first diagram), and a couple of other positions as we went through the moves of the game from that point.

Von Scheve,Theodor - Tarrasch,Seigbert [C30]
Breslau, 1879

1.e4 e5 2.f4 Bc5 3.Nf3 d6 4.c3 Bg4 5.d4 exd4 6.cxd4 Bxf3 7.gxf3 Qh4+ 8.Ke2 Bb6 9.Nc3 Nc6 10.Be3 Nf6 11.Na4 Nh5 12.Nxb6 axb6 13.d5 Ne7 14.Kd2 Nxf4 15.Qc2 0–0 16.Qxc7

Black to move

16...Nfxd5 17.exd5 Nxd5 18.Qc4

Because Black sacrificed material, White wants to trade queens.


Most students were able to identify how Black protected the knight.

19.Bd3 Qxb2+ 20.Qc2 Qb4+ 21.Ke2 Rfe8 

White to move

Black has a pin along the e-file that will recover the sacrificed material, and render the White king even more vulnerable than before.

22.Bxh7+ Kh8 23.Be4 Nxe3 24.Kxe3 d5 25.Rhb1 Qe7 26.Rxb6 dxe4 27.f4

We looked at how Tarrasch would have met 27.fxe4 with Rac8. We also talked about using an opponent's pawn to shield our own king. This idea is less effective in this instance, but capturing the pawn is just as bad.

27...Rac8 28.Qb2 Qc5+ 29.Qd4 Qh5 30.Rf1

Black to move

30...Rc2 0–1

30...Qh3 was suggested by several students. It is as good, if not better, than Tarrasch's move. The idea behind Tarrasch's move--cutting off the escape--is difficult for many young players to comprehend.

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