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     Volume 4 Issue 56 |July 29, 2005 |

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Time Out

A good move                Chess

What is a good move? Well, it depends on the level of the game. Beginners applaud even a harmless check or a futile attack on the queen. What they enjoy most is knight fork that the helpless defender may find extremely unpleasant. Add to this, all the tactical weapons like discovered check or double discovered check. These are really crude, lethal weapons.

Move a little up the ladder. You find players who play a bit more refined chess. They seldom overlook mate in one or two; so early queen sorties do not help much. But these players are also basically playing on tactics. They can work out short sacrificial combinations and are usually very fond of direct attacks on the enemy king.

Move a little further, you meet players who care about structural soundness of a position. They avoid doubled, isolated or backward pawns that may turn out to be a permanent weakness. At times they are overcautious because of their bitter experience with hasty attacks. Obviously, when your opponent is familiar with the basics of defence a premature attack is very likely to backfire. And an abortive attack often means loss of the full point.

You move along the line and meet experts for the first time in your life. These players take a lot of things into consideration before making a move. So far you have seen play based on pure tactics. But experts try to analyse the positional factors. A move may look tactically strong , but it may actually be very anti-positional. This is often true about pawns as these tiny things cannot move back. So any pawn move has a great positional impact. Experts may not be good in any particular department, but they often play 'total chess'.

Then come the masters. These players are not only familiar with the basic principles of the game , but they also know how to apply them over the board. They assess a position more accurately than their non-master counterparts and that really helps them find the right path through the great complications of chess.

Let's enjoy a real tactical skirmish today.

White-Mikhail Chigorin
Black-Wilhem Steinitz [C52]
World Championship
Havana 1892

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.00 d6 7.d4 Bg4 8.Bb5 exd4 9.cxd4 Bd7 10.Bb2Nce7?! 11.Bxd7+ Qxd7 12.Na3! Nh6 13.Nc4 Bb6 14.a4! c6? 15.e5! d5 16.Nd6+ Kf8 17.Ba3 Kg8 18.Rb1! Nhf5? 19.Nxf7! Kxf7 20.e6+ Kxe6 21.Ne5 Qc8 22.Re1 Kf6 23.Qh5g6 24.Bxe7+ Kxe7 25.Nxg6+ Kf6 26.Nxh8 Bxd4 27.Rb3 Qd7 28.Rf3 Rxh8 29.g4 Rg8 30.Qh6+ Rg6 31.Rxf5+ 1-0

Position after 19.Nxf7!


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