11 November 2013

Lesson of the Week

Tactics from the World Championship

This week's lesson consists of three positions have not occurred in the World Championship match currently taking place in Chennai, India. These positions were discussed in YouTube videos about the second match game (GM Daniel King's analysis is particularly useful to young players). Both the champion Viswanathan Anand and the challenger Magnus Carlsen appreciate the dangers in such positions. Chess masters see nearly everything. They calculate possible lines quickly and accurately.

There was never any real possibility that Carlsen would snatch what at first glance appears to be a free pawn with 9...Qxd4. The first diagram was a theoretical possibility in game 2 of the World Championship match, a possibility that Carlsen's predictably avoided. However, it did occur in Opocensky -- Dobias, Prague 1933 and in a handful of games played by weaker players since then. It probably appears in youth games.

White to move

How does White exploit the error of Black's move? Opocensky found the correct reply.

After Carlsen's surprising 17...Qd5, Anand had a chance to complicate the game with 18.Qg4. Had he done so, Carlsen would have rejected 18...Qxa2.

White to move

What opportunity would Black create with 18...Qxa2?

Just before the sequence of moves that led to a draw by repetition, Black might have prematurely pushed his counterattack with 22...b4?

White to move

How should White respond?

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