OVERLOOKING THE THREAT
Tata Steel GpB 2016.1.18 GM Dreev,A– WGM (2391) Haast,A. Position after Black’s 15th move (15…a6). Tournament psychology is a curious animal. In this tournament the WGM player Anne Haast is the lowest rated player, and as such everyone is out to beat her. Probably not used to such a situation, Haast has had a miserable start, playing much lower than her normal level.
IN THE POSITION above, what did Haast overlook?
Tata Steel GpB 2016.1.17 WGM Haast,A– GM Antipov,M. Position after 16 moves. The opening has been somewhat poorly played by White, who finds herself a pawn down for very little. Probably best for White is to complete her development starting with 17.Be2 and 18.Rhe1, awaiting to see how Black sorts out the problem of where to keep his King (‘To castle, or not to castle’-Shakespeare). A pawn down or a pawn up in these Sicilians–it seems to this writer–the middlegames are always full of mutual chances!
INSTEAD, Haaste continued to play in the same overly optimistic style:
Perhaps Haast is not used to playing round after round against experienced grandmasters, in which case this tournament is going to serve to teach her that she can NOT play in the same way as she does against weaker players…BUT, saying this, there is some logic in her last move: if now either 17…PxP or 17…Nxa4 can be met by 18.c4 with a messy position difficult to evaluate properly.
HOWEVER, in the above position Black dropped a BOMB on Anne’s position. Do you see it?
BLACK TO PLAY AND CRUSH!