Today’s winning 5-second tactics

Marcel Duchamp’s hands, New York City, 1959-60/ Alexander Liberman /sc

”Time discovers truth.”

Lucias Seneca 5BC-65AD

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im  Nakar, Eylon  (2463)

1

gm  Short,Nigel

PokerStars Isle of Man Masters  Douglas  2015.10.4  Position after 19 moves.  Black’s last move (19…a5) intends, after the natural 20.b5, to gang up on the White c-pawn: 20…Ne7 followed by …Nd7 and …Rac8.  Such logical positional play is why the French Defence is a popular tournament weapon. HOWEVER, Short will now demonstrate why more players do NOT play the French …

WHITE TO PLAY AND CRUSH!

FINE

SHORT

”I was very pleased!”

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fm  Zisman, Philip  (2305)

2

gm  Greenfeld, Alon

PokerStars IoM Masters  Douglas  2015.10.3  Position after 20 moves of play. Black has not placed castling on his list of priorities, and is about to pay the price.

WHITE TO PLAY AND CRUSH!

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giphy

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THE ‘DESPERADO’ THEME

gm  Vishnu Prasanna, V

4

gm  Harikrishna, Pentala

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Photo of Harikrishn vs Vishnu several moves before the diagram position above. (Photo by organizers on its FACEBOOK)

PokerStars IoM Masters  Douglas  2015.10.4  Position after 22 moves. FASCINATING! Black appears to have caught White in a trap. Even though a piece up at the moment, White has several pieces attacked, and especially his Bishop is pinned along the e-file. Several variations to show the pickle that White is in: If 23.Ng3 Qxa5 with advantage; if 23.Nh6+ Kf8!, once more with edge, which is also the case with 23.Nd4 d5!. It appears that White has little better than 24.Bxh7+ Kxh7! (not 24… Kf8? 25.Rxe8+ Kxe8 26.Nab3! winning –Franz Bisping) 25.RxR QxR with a roughly level position.

23.Nc4!  

5

The first of two very surprising moves! Now if 23…d5? White wins with 24.Nh6+! Kf8 25.Ba3+ etc. So Black’s play is forced…

23…QxN

3

Again, with his Bishop pinned to his Rook, and it very much seems as though White will lose atleast a pawn.  The reader can verify for himself that neither 24.Nh6+ nor 24.Ne7+ work, nor does the defensive 24.Ng3!? have a satisfactory reply after the clever 24…Re6!

WHITE TO PLAY AND CRUSH!

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fm  Berry, Neil  (2355)

6

gm  Jones, Gawain

PokerStars IoM Masters  Douglas  2015.10.3  Position after 35 moves.  Black has played in a reasonably solid manner against his much higher rated opponent, and now seems to have the draw well in hand, not so much because of the opposite colour Bishops, but because all of White’s entry points into Black’s position are under Black’s control.  Or so it seems…

36.g5!

7

Unexpected, but it seems more bluff than real at first sight. White threatens to  open up the Kingside, thus Black’s next move is forced.  Note that passive defence loses: 36…Qe8 37.gxh6 gxh6 38.Qf6! Kh7 39.Bf4! Nd8 40.Bxh6! Kxh6 41.Nf8+ and mate must not be far off..

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Grandmaster Gwain Jones , age 27, is one of England’s top players, and is a feared attacker.

36…PxP 37.h6!

8

Now if 37…gxh6 38.Qf6! Qb2+ 39.Kh3 g4+ 40.Kh4 and Black must resign.

37…Qe8!

9

Now White must be careful!  Tempting, but wrong, is 38.PxP Qf7!! when the advantage would change sides!

38.Qf8+!!

10

The whole point of White’s combination started at move 36.  After 38…Qxf8 39.h7+ Kxh7 40.Nxf8+  Black resigned as he loses a piece  1-0. So, going back to the position given above after 35 moves, the game is not equal at all: White has a number of small, but clear advantages: better Bishop, powerfully placed Knight, absolute control of the f-file.  Jones’ found the plan that exploited his advantages (which is not so surprising, considering how strong he is) but what is quite remarkable is how HELPLESS Black was to stop it.

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giphy (4)

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PokerStars IoM Masters  Douglas  2015.10.4 Short, Nigel–Nakar, Eylon: 20.Bxh7+! Kxh7 21.Ng5+ Kg8 22.Qd3 Kf8 ( or if 22…g6 23.Qh3 changes verey little ) 23.Qh7 Ne7 ( There is little better: 23…g6 24.Nxe6+ or 23…Ra7 24.Qh8+ Ke7 25.Qxg7 Rf8 26.Nxe6 )24.Qh8+ Ng8 25.f5 Qxe5 26.Rae1 1-0  After  the Queen retreats somewhere White opens the f-file and puts a quick end to the Black monarch’s reign.

PokerStars IoM Masters  Douglas  2015.10.3  Greenfeld, Alon–Zisman, Philip:  21.Rxc6! bxc6 22.Nd6+! cxd6 23.Bxc6+  1-0  A bit premature, but perfectly understandable: after 23… Kf8 24.exd6! is crushing and if instead 23…Kd8 24.Qxd6+ Kc8 25.Rc1!

PokerStars IoM Masters  Douglas  2015.10.4  Harikrishna, Pentala–Vishnu Prasanna, V: 24.Nxd6!! The ‘desperado’ concept was coined by the great champion Emanuel Lasker. 24… cxd6 ( 24…Rxe4 25.Nxe4 ) 25.Bxh7+! Kf8 26.Rxe8+ Kxe8 27.Qxa8 with a clear advantage  which White quickly converted to a whole point: 27… Qb5 28.Bc2 Ke7 29.Qa7+ Kf8 30.Qc7 Nc6 31.Qxd6+ Kg8 32.Qd7 g6 33.Be4 Qe2 34.Qxc6 Qe1+ 35.Kh2 Qxf2 36.Qe8+ Kg7 37.Bd5 Bxc3 38.Bxf7 1-0 BRILLIANT!  Both players deserve credit for their creation…in the end it is the fact that Black’s Bishop on a8 and Rook on e8 are not directly defended that allows White to escape Black’s design…

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