Thursday, March 17, 2011

Chess960: The sublime and the ridiculous

Check this ridiculous tactical situation from one of my Chess960 games the other day and independently verified by Rybka-4 960. Black is fighting to survive and the lesson of this variation is don't give up!:

SP130: Black to move and retain the only fighting chance!
Black is down a pawn, his king is being harassed and his pieces are badly coordinated and trapped. A move like ...g6 doesn't work because after Qh3 white get's a nasty combination of attacks including the a1-h8 long diagonal. What does black do?
  1. ....... Qxf4!! Black's only chance
  2. Qh3 Qxe5!! Black must accept an exchange sacrifice
  3. Qxc8 Bc6!! The only move. Black tries to trap the white queen with ...Bd7
  4. Qh3 d4!!     Clears the long light diagonal and forces white to respond
  5. Nd1 Qa5!!  Black's queen attacks white's weakest point d2
  6. Bxc4....       White takes material and begins to target the f7 square

Intermediate diagram: Black to play with the only fighting chance:
  1. .......b5!! Black encourages an attack on the f7 square
  2. Bb3?! Qxd2
  3. O-O O-O A forced mutual castle showing how vulnerable both sides are!
  4. Rb1 dxe3
  5. Nxe3 Bc5
  6. Rfe1 Nf6 and black's diagonal bishop attack compensates for being an exchange down
There are many many other incredible tactical motifs in this position including mating lines on white's king along the a7-g1 diagonal. The position is definitely a relic from the odd starting position of SP130. There is some bizarre stuff going on in Chess960 and occasionally the position explodes into dozens of complex tactical lines. This is one of those positions. Although I did not find these lines on my own, it's really enjoyable just to ponder them in retrospect.

No comments:

Post a Comment