12 February 2013

Lesson of the Week

Where did Black err?

This week's lesson differs from the norm. Young chess players will be handed a game score with instructions to identify Black's key errors. For each major error, they are to explain why it is bad, and to suggest a better move.

Those who access this blog will have an advantage, for here I present the game score with the winning player's annotations. The annotations appear in Siegbert Tarrasch, Three Hundred Chess Games, trans. Sol Schwarz (1999), a translation of Dreihundert Scachpartien (1896).

Tarrasch,Siegbert -- Mannheimer,Nathan [C56]
Breslau, 1879

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4 Nxe4

This will cause a loss of several tempi.

5.dxe5 Nc5

The threat was 6.Qd5

6.Be3 Ne6

This is necessary on account of the threat 7.Bc5 followed by 8.Bxf7+ and 9.Qd5

7.0–0 Be7

Better was 7...d6

8.Nc3 0–0 9.Qe2 f6

White to move

White has developed* all of his pieces very fast and this move gives him a chance for direct threats.

10.Rad1 Qe8 11.Nd5 Bd8 12.exf6 gxf6 13.Bh6 Rf7 14.Rfe1 Ne7

Black can hardly move.

15.Nf4 Nf5 16.Qd2 Nd6

On  16...Nxh6 White plays 17.Nxe6 Even so this was preferable.

17.Bb3 a5 18.Nd4 Re7 19.Ndxe6 dxe6

White to move

20.Nxe6 Bxe6 21.Rxe6 Rxe6 22.Re1 Kh8 23.Rxe6 Qg6

The pawn win has decided the game, but the final phase of the game is quite interesting.


This threatens 25.Rg3. Of course the Bh6 is immune from capture because of 25.Re8 winning the queen and or mate with 26.Rg8#.


White to move
25.Qd7 Nxe3

Better was 25...Be7

26.Bg7+ Qxg7 27.Qe8+ 1–0

Mate comes on the next move.

*The notion that one should first develop all of his or her pieces, and only then attack seems common sense today, but it was a new idea when Tarrasch was a young chess player.

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