Friday 13 December 2013

The Hedgehog

I decided to publish my best game from Västerås.
I played against player who had a very successful season, winning Swedish B Championship and qualifying for the main group in 2014.
During the same week, Tommy Andersson won Swedish Blitz Championship.
In the previous season he won the game in the match against Eksjö S.K. (against GM Jacek Gdanski), so this time it was the time for revenge.
The quality of the game was very high as I think that he didn´t made any obvious mistakes.

The game will be published in game viewer, and as always I will ask the readers couple of questions and challenge them before they look at the game.

This is the position from the introduction. White wants to play e4-e5 and later on Rxd7 followed by Bxe7.
His last move was 20. f4.
The move is anti-positional because it weakened many squares.
However, chess in concrete game and if I can not find something against e4-e5 then I would be in the trouble.
When I entered this position (or the position one more before this) I didn´t calculated with f4. My intuition tells me that this move can not be good and it pushed me to immerse deeper in the position. Now when I explained everything, you should find the best continuations.

Now if you found the solution in the previous diagram, you should reach the position on this diagram.
White is on move, and he is clear exchange up.
The forcing sequence is over, and when I calculated my 20th move I was forced to stop here (White simply has to much options and to go deeper would be unpractical) and to estimate my chances.
You can do the same.
Give the right estimation of the position.
Hint: Look at the quality of remaining pieces, not on their estimated values.

Black is on move.
This position is all about tactics.
White is under heavy pressure and he would be happy to exchange some pieces.
The first thing is that he wants to put the question mark on the strong knight on f4 with g2-g3.
I am sure that there are several wins for Black in this position, but try to find that one that stops g2-g3 and that keeps all the options open (this kind of play is very useful in practise).
After Black´s next move, you can easily see that White can not do anything.

The solutions can be found in the commentary.


  1. Great move, ...h6. That means ...Rc5 is simply brilliant ;-) And you're honest enough to admit you overlooked f4. But this idea of trusting the position and fighting to find a solution is important, it's something players my level (2000) regularly fail to do when we're under unexpected threat.

    Looking back it feels White was playing too much in a "sicilian" mode and forget the particularities of the position, namely the rook on c5... and the knight on f2!
    Though during the game he didn't have a green light on the rook ! helps finding ...h6 ;-)

    Interesting comments too on moves 25 and 29. All in all, the kind of analysis that makes this blog wonderful.

    Thank you very much!
    And Merry Christmas!

  2. Thanks Thomas.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New year.