“If you don’t hunt it down and kill it, it will hunt you down and kill you.”― Flannery O’Connor
One of the most remarkable grandmasters of his generation, 83-year old Evgeni Vasiukov is still quite active and sports a rating over 2400. The winner of numerous international tournaments, at his peak he could beat any player in the world, regardless of colour. I often play over his games, which are a constant source of inspiration to me. The reader can find numerous examples of his play on my blog.
Today I present a few more positions from his games. Enjoy!
GM Vasiukov,V–GM Barcza,Gedeon. Moscow 1962. Position after 22 moves. Black has sacrificed a pawn, trying to disrupt White’s normal development. Unfortunately for Black, his concept is about to completely refuted…
An unpleasant surprise for Black. Taking the Knight would allow either 24.Bh6 and 25.Rg4+ or 24.Rg4+ and then 25.Bh6, when even giving up the Black Queen will not long save the game. So the King must move, but where? If 23… Kf8 24. Bh6! (I love this idea!) 24… Qxa1 25. Qd4! and the tactics against g7 assure a forced mate in 6 moves, as the reader can easily verify.
So Black tried the other King move, hoping for better luck…
Brutal! The Rook on a1 is attacking the Queen…
There is nothing better…
Threatening mate two ways….
Resigns. After 26…RxB 27.Re8+ is soon mate.
Match ‘URS-Yugoslavia Belgrade 1961 GM Vasiukov,Evgeni —IM Karaklajic, Nikola. Position after 16 moves. Black, a famous attacking player in his own right, has played a sharp (and somewhat dubious) line of the Marshall, hoping to catch his Russian colleague by surprise.
WHITE TO PLAY AND WIN!