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Lacking the Master Touch (2)

December 29, 2013

This posting continues my occasional commenting on games in Wolfgang Heidenfeld's Lacking the Master Touch. The only reason for blogging about certain games or positions is because they interest me. In fact, what better reason is there is blog?

I hope my readers also find them of interest.

Comments on game 8

Bob Wade- Wolfgang Heidenfeld, Paignton 1951

This was a must win game for Bob, the last of a four game match. Only one position intrigued me:


Black has played Qc5-c4: what should white play? Bear in mind it is a must-win game,




Firstly, Stockfish tells me that 31…Qc4 was a mistake, and that 31…Bb3! should have been played. The reason is that the Qh6 is hitting the LPDO bishop on e6, which either has to be moved, or defended, unless there is a greater threat, which there isn't, partly because Qe6 would be check.

So, and I can only say this now I have spent some time on this position, it was completely foreign to be before, Bb3 is best for two reasons: firstly it stops Rd1, and secondly it keeps the Q free to do other more useful things, like threaten g2.

White played the move I would have played 32 Rd1. Heidenfeld comments:

After Wade's subsequent recommendation, 32 Rg1, Bg4! the winning chances would be with Black.

Fair enough, and Stockfish says the position is dead level, 0.0, whatever that means. But after 32 Rd1 black played very strongly, 32…Bd7 33 e6! Be6! and it was drawn after 34 Rd8+ Kf7 35 Qh5+ 1/2.

However, Stockfish says instead that 32 Re1! wins. Crazy, but it seems to be true. I have played a few lines, with plausible defences for black, but none succeed: the pawns advance, and the Qc4 is misplaced. White has an important tempo after 32 Re1 because the black queen can't (e.g.) play Qc2 hitting g2 because it is tied to defending the Be6. It seems that 32 Re1 is more a gain of time move than putting it behind the advancing phalanx of pawns. It is defensive, defending the e4 pawn, and prophylactic, preventing Qe2: but once black has moved his bishop, he can then play Qc2, and the rook must then retreat to g1: so in all, Re1 gains a tempo over Wade's 32 Rg1. But the tempo seems to be all important.

So, a better defence Bb3 stops a move, Rd1, which white doesn't want to play against weaker defence. And Wade and Heidenfeld clearly missed the move entirely, as I did.

Chess is indeed a complicated game.



From → Chess

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