Tuesday, February 20, 2007

My Kingdom for a Horse!
This is from one of my blitz games at the Internet Chess Club. The final position was reached after I played 38... r8f2#. It is displayed here for no other reason than its peculiarity with the four rooks forming a wall around the white king. The black pawns act like a hedge against the white knight. The black king is isolated and vulnerable. You can deduce that it was a slam bang affair, but I got to my opponent before he could get to me.

Linares - Morelia
Ivanchuk -Topalov

Here we are in Round 2 where the last-minute sub for Radjabov, Ivanchuk, was white against Topalov. With black to move, Topalov played 40...Qf7. It looks like a logical move. However, Ivanchuk came back with 41. Qc4! and Topalov resigned.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Linares, 2005
Topalov - Kasparov

This is the final position of Kasparov's final official game. He retired after this game, and I miss following his games ever since. Topalov played 30. Kg4 and that was it. Why did Kasparov resign here? Let's look at a few continuations:
30... g5 31.hg+ hg 32. kh5 g4 33. kg4 and white is looking pretty good. Another way would be to give a check like 30... h5+ 31.kf4 ke7 the king gives way 32. ke5 a6 33. ed ed 34. kd5 kf6 35. ke4 g5 36. d5 g4 37. d4 and black has to give way. Finally, black could spend a tempo by 30... a6 31.h5 g5 32. a3 de4 33. de4 ke7 34. kf3 kd6 35. ke3 kc6 36. d5+ ed 37. kd4 de 38. ke4 kd6 39. kf5 kd5 40. kg6 and white penetrates into the kingside.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Two Ways to Draw
It's bad enough to miss a draw but worse when you miss two ways to draw. On my turn to move, I played 51...Rh3. I could have drawn the game with 51... Nd4+ 52. Ke1 Nc2+ 53. Ke2 Nd4+. The same goes if I have gone 51... Nf4+ 52. Ke1 Ng2+ 53. Ke2 Nf4+. It's an intriguing position since it contains two ways to draw, using the same piece, and the same drawing technique.