23 February 2016

Build Pressure

Finding myself in this position in a recent game, I considered capturing the rook.

White to move

There is no question that White regains material in excess of the pawn that had been sacrificed by playing 14.Bxa7. On the other hand, I have been criticizing hasty exchanges in the play of one of my young students. Sometimes it is better to build up more pressure. In this case, there is no hurry to capture the rook as it has no escape from the bishops.

Stressing efforts to build up more pressure in the games of my student has cultivated self-reflection. Sometimes I exchange to hastily when it wins material, but can wait.


Then, Black collapsed.


Had Black played 14...f6, then 15.Bxa7 Qxa7 16.Nf3 and White has the better game.

After 14...Re8, 15.Qa3 applies pressure along two lines: the a3-f8 diagonal and the a-file. In addition, 14.Qc1 prepared Rfd1.

After the move played in the game, the bishop has better prospects that would have been squandered by 14.Bxa7.

15.Bxe7 Nxe5 16.Bxf8 Kxf8 17.dxe5 Qxe5 18.Qa3+

Black to move

Black capitulated a few moves later.

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