What it takes to become a Chess Master












(1) Rubinstein - Tarrasch
Carlsbad, 1923
[Soltis]

White has a big positional - sorry, a big 'non-material' - edge because of his superiority on light squares. A master sitting in White's chair will try shifting his pieces around and around because it's so hard for black to defend h7 and g8, He doesn't have to calculate long variations to determine whether there is a forced win. He feels there is a likely win. As long as he can keep making creditable threats, that's enough for him to continue with confidence. White began with 1.Qd5 He threatens 2.Qxe5, of course. But his main idea is 2.Qf7! followed by a decisive check (or a mate) on the eigth rank. 1...Qc7 [Black's difficulties are illustrated by 1...Qf6 This natural move meets both threats but leaves the knight unprotected. White would reply 2.Qb5! with two new threats, 2.Qxb8 and 2.Qe8+. Black could meet one of them with 2...Qe6+ but then comes This leaves 3.g4 (The attacked knight is lost after 3.g4 Nd7 (3...Na6 4.Bf5 Qf6 (or 4...Qd6 allow 5.Qe8+ ) ) 4.Bf5 ) 3...Qc8 abandoning a pawn 4.Qxe5 White would then be close to a forced win and can finish off immediately after 4...Nd7? (4...Nc6? 5.Qc5 ) 5.Qf5 ] The text protects the knight and e-pawn, but leaves the kingside vulnerable to 2.Qe6-g6-h7 mate. 2.Bf5 ##he needs to do this because the immediate 2.Qe6 allows 2. ....Qd7+/- trading queens and fleeing into a likely draw. Black found a defence in 2...Nc6 Diagram his idea is to meet 3.Qe6 with 3. . But with such a ghuge positional edge - those light squares! - White should be able to make progress with simple threats. The one he chose was 3.Qc4! He threatens to win the knight with Be4 (once he rules out ...Qd7+ with 4.g4. Black would be winning after the waeakenng 3....h5 because of 4.Qe6 Ne7 5.Qf7 and Qxh5+ or Qf8+. Black tried 3...Qd6 but then came 4.Qf7! Black could have reigned in view of 4....Qf6 5.Qe8 or 4...Ne7 Qf8+. But he waited until after 4...Qd8 5.Qg6 *













(2) Kasparov - Anand
Linares, 1994
[Soltis]

Knowing the priyome allows White to play his next half dozen moves with confidence. He begins with 1.g4 If allowed, he will continue 2.g5 followed by 3.Bg2, to free his rook at f1. Then comes 4.Rf3 and 5.Rh3, targetting h7. He follows up by getting his queen to the h-file and threatenig Qxh7 mate. The plan is so strong that if Black doesn't take emergency action - say with 1. ...d5!? 2.exd5 Rd8 - he can be overrun. In fact the priyome begun by 1.g4 has won hundreds of games, in similar positions. Often Black has to do all the hard thinking - because White is being guided by the priyome. This game illustrated this when it continued 1...Rb8? 2.g5 Nd7 3.Bg2! Re8 4.Rf3 Nc5? 5.Rh3 To stop 6.Qh5, Black played 5...g6 White replied 6.Qg4 Diagram The script goes much further. Black cannot stop Qh4. But he has a trick defense to it in ....h5, since gxh6 would lose the queen to ...Bxh4. Nevertheless White will win if he is allowed to play Bf3xh5! That's what happened here: 6...Nb4? 7.Qh4 h5 8.Bf3! Bf8 9.Bxh5 Diagram The script goes much further. Black cannot stop Qh4. But he has a trick defense to it in ....h5, since gxh6 would lose the queen to ...Bxh4. Nevertheless White will win if he is allowed to play Bf3xh5! That's what happened here: 9...gxh5 10.Qxh5 Bg7 and now 11.Bd4! e5 12.f5! [12.f5 exd4 13.Qh7+ Kf8 14.f6 ] 1-0



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