12 September 2018

Slight Advantage?

Sometimes the variations in published analysis sends me off in pursuit of an idea. Such was the case today while reading through annotations to Akobian,V. -- Shankland,S., St. Louis 2018, one of Shankland's victories enroute to winning the US Championship (Chess Informant 136). To Akobian's ordinary looking twelfth move, placing his bishop on the diagonal to oppose Black's, Danilo Milanovic gives the evaluation ?!, suggesting instead an intermediate attack on Black's queen. There are three options offered for Black with the longest line going another ten moves to reach this position.

Black to move

Milanovic states that White has a slight advantage? Why? Control of the c-file? The bishop's greater mobility over the knight?

Surely such an ordinary looking position has occurred in countless games. This exact position cannot be found in the database, but searching for games where both sides have two rooks, there is a bishop versus knight imbalance, and 4-6 pawns each, turns up hundreds of games.

I searched the database of my online games and found many entertaining blunders in seemingly routine positions. For example, I lost this game three days ago because I was oblivious to the creation of exploitable weaknesses.

Black to move

Play continued from this position 22...Rd1+ 23.Re1 Rad8 24.Kg1 b4 25.cxb4 Bxb2 26.Kf2 Rxe1 27.Rxe1 Bc3 28.Re4 Bd4+ 29.Kf3 Bb6

White to move

Perhaps White has a slight advantage with the queenside pawn majority and a more active king. But, an active king can be a vulnerable king, too. Inexplicably, I played 30.a4??

Black wasted no time pointing out the error and I resigned four moves later.

No comments:

Post a Comment