Nethanya (Israel) 1971 Position before Black’s 32nd move. A hard fought game between two of America’s most competitive champions! White stands a bit better; probably Black should either play a waiting game or try to undermine the White e-pawn with the sharp 32…c4!?. Probably over confident (as usual!), Reshevsky rushed things
The same idea of undermining the e-pawn, but with a fatal flaw. Do you see it?
WHITE TO PLAY AND CRUSH!
Lone Pine 1979. Position after White’s 16th move (16.Be3). Yasser (who was not yet a grandmaster) thought that Browne had overlooked his last move. He had calculated that after both 16…Rb4(17.b3!) or 16…Rxb2(17.Bxd4) White would come out on top…
BLACK TO PLAY AND CRUSH!
Chita, Russian Ch 11-08-2015 Position after 2o moves. A sharp game that has seen White make a speculative sacrifice of a piece in order to open up the King position of his opponent. In the position above Black seems to have everything under control. Both 21.Rd3 and 21.Ne4 can be confidently answered with 21…Be7. It is not clear how White should make meaningful progress…
A brilliant concept that appears to win by force! If now 21…cxd4 22.Qxe6+ Kg7 23.Nd5! Bh2+ ( 23…Nxd5 24.Bxd8 Rxd8 25.Qg4+ Kf7 26.Qxd4 is crushing ) 24.Kh1 Qxd5 25.Bxf6+ Kg6 26.Qxd5
A clever idea that Black is hoping White had not considered before embarking on his attack…
Retreating moves are the most difficult moves to find. Here Black will find it impossible to prevent this piece enter the attack…
24…Qb2 25.Qe7+ Kg6
Black will emerge in great shape if White now proceeds with the immediate check of the Knight: 26.Nf4+ KxB and the defence will be victorious
Note that had Black played earlier 24…Qa1 (instead of 24…Qb2) then 26.Bd2!! would have also forced Black’s resignation. Black resigned in the game because there is no defence to the coming Nf4+, as the reader can easily verify.
It is not often that we witness an attack where the two star moves are retreating moves!
Paltaya,Thailand 14-03-2015 Position after 19 moves. White has a crushing position, having sacrificed an exchange to leave Black’s King position exposed along the long diagonal. Black’s last move (19…Bd7) hopes to stop the bleeding by pushing White back as well as play …Bg6.
In the position above, White can win with 20.Rxe4!: after 20… fxe4 21.Bxe4 there is no defence to the Bishop pair slicing thru the Black defences: 21… Be6 22.Bxh7+ Kf8 23.Bg6 etc. However, Gustafsson prefers another (and equally effective) line of attack:
Declining this sacrifice offers no chance of survival: 20…Be8 21.Bd5+! Rxd5 22.Rxe7 Bxh5 23.Rg7+ Kf8 24.cxd5 etc and Black will lose all of his pieces.