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GM L Eas

IM Jeremy Sia
F Ken Smt
Copyright 194 Chess Digest, Inc.
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ISBN: 0-87568-213-8
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Authors: Lar Evans, Jeremy Silman, Ken Smith
Editor: John Hal
Computr Typsettng: Elaine Smith
Cover: Elaine Smith
Final Proof: Sid Pickard
Final Prparaton& Diagrams: Elaine Smith
Publisher: Chess Digest, Inc. 1601 Tantor (P.O. Box
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Table of Contnt 3
Wit tee authors, who wote what?
GM Larry Evans wrote the shor Intouction bfore each lesson and the
"Opening to Midlegame".
IM Jeremy Silman wrote "White's Midlegame Plan" and "Black's Midle
game Plan". He fnished up with "What Happened To White's and Blck's
Midlegame Plan?"
F Ken Smith wrote te bo k's Intoucton, the lesson's ttle and anno
tated te games with notes explaining every White ad Black move.
4 Table of Content
The Long Diagonal In The Middlegame
Noro-March, Wasal 1 992
Middlegame: Atcking O Oppsite Wings
Korcbnoi-Tian, Brssels 1 991 2nd Match Gae
Sacrifcia Shok To Enter The Middlegame
Seirawan-Timman, Hilversum 1990
The Middlegame Stas, Whose King Is Safer?
Kv-Yususov, USSR Chapionship 1988
The Middlegae Is Up For Grabs
Maanvik-Ivanchuk, USSR Championship 1 988
Deadening Scope Of The Black King's Bishop In The Middle game
Kv-Kapaov, Belford 1988
A Fighting Defense St In The Middlegame
Beliavsky-Kaspaov, Belford 1 988
A Uncted King Gets Middlegame Punishment
Vladimirov-Episin, USSR' 1 987
Table of Content 5
A Middlegae Stok Sacrifce
Nunn-Marin, Sziak Interonal l 987
The Long Diagonal In The Middlegame
Gligoric-Shor, Belgrade 1987
The Middlegame Leaves The Back Rank Wea
Hjarson-Ljubojevic, Belgrade 1987
Middlegae Perseverance And Grit
Seirawan-Kaspaov, Dubai Olympiad 1 986
Middlegame Steamroller
Kasparov-Tian, Hit versum 1 985
A Caeless Move Means Middlegame Rom
Ribli-Kouatly, Lucere 1985
Stealing The Initiative In The Ealy Middlegae
Pougaevsky-Ljubojevic, Linares 1985
Building A Brilliant Defense In The Ealy Middlegame
Panczuk-Yusupov, Warsaw 1985
A Shocking Middlegae Interpolation
Hubner-Kasparov, Hamburg 1985, 1 st Match Game
Jockeying For Position In The Middlegae
Portisch-Tim man, Montpllier (Candidates) 1985
6 Table of Content
Te Go Bishop In The Late Middlegae, Ealy Endgame
Gavrikov-Kupreichik, USSR Championship 1985
Te Go Knight In The Late Middlegame, Ealy Endgame
Kasparov-Karv, Leningrad 1986-22nd Match Gae
Middlegae: Attack O Oppsite Wings
Kv-Korchnoi, London 1984
Blending The Opning, Middlegame and Endgame
Karpv-Hubner, Tilburg 1 982
Middlegame Pin Cushion
Psakhis-Geller, Erevan 1 982
Middlegae: Drastic Penalty For A Caeless Move
Taiaov-Psakhis, USSR 1 981
A Stupndous Middlegame Strggle
Tal-Flesh, Lvov 1981
Mayb The Middlegame Will Unslay The Dragon
Ljubjevic-Miles, Malta Olympiade 1980
Introduction: Moern Mlddleam Lsn 7
Upn seeing a well conducted gae btween two Master stengt
players, many "club stength" players are provoked to ask "How do they
play the midle game so well, so consistently?" D these Maters pssss a
divine rare gift of intuitive insight which gives tem a magic key to te
requirements of any position? Well, it is te that many Masters have a
go aptitude for chess, but we blieve tat a very imprant aspect of te
Master's ability is a meto of well-ordered disciplined thought; in short a
logical approach to the requirement of any position. Some might respnd
to this hyptheses: "Of course they play with iron logic- that's what makes
them so much better than me". However, we blieve that is a pessimistc
ad essentially incorect view. We blieve in the opinion expressed by te
incomparable Emanuel Lasker - that "logic" in chess is not really supr
sophisticated, to raefed for ordinar mortals; in fact he stted that
comon sese (in other words comon sense logic) is all tat is necessa
to play goo chess. Of course it should b understo that a go player
must have a torough acquaintance wit all of the basic factors of te
middlegame (Not to mention a go grap of tcticl motifs). What are the
main factors of middlegame sttegy? A basic list of tes factors would
include: center control (by use of pieces and/or pawns), creation ad
exploitation of open fles, us of the Bishop pair, King safety, changes in
the pawn structure (with special regard for weak pawns - isolanis or
doubled pawns), utilization of outpsts, development. and so on. If you are
defcient in these basics, you must get te best bok in print A
Contemporar Approach To The Midle Game by GM Aleksic Suetin.
For tose that have the baics, we ak you to go over the gaes in
this bok moe b mo. The student will then b able to see how the
Master is thinking in a logica, consistent manner troughout te game and
how it relates to the middlegae. The Master is well awae of all of te
positiona tenets and loks for "signpst" in te position which can be
evaluated towad the goal of finding the right move.
It should be kept in mind tat in a given psition tere can be
more tha one good move; this implies te quality of style in a player.
When te late Mi1ail Tal wa given a psition in which tere ae two
good moves - one quiet or positiona and one that is an attcking move -
you can be sure he would chose te Iauer, whereas a Petrosian would
almost invariably choose the forer.
8 Moer Mlddlegame Lesons: Introduction
We now give a hypothetical, stream of consciousness version of
how the Master might think while pndering his next move: Well, I have
developd my minor pieces and mayb the King is safely casted. The
opning is over ad the middlegame stas.
Can I get a opn fle for my Roks by a tmely pawn exchange?
My oppnent has a backward, isolated pawn which I can maneuver
aganst. tying his pieces down to it defense. Then my pieces should then
have an opprunity to (if necess) switch suddenly to a new sector -
tang advantage of the passively psted defender's inability to follow this
quick tu of events. I see nothing tctical at the moment, but I know to
always remain aleri for lurking combinations or threats. All in all my
psition is excellent - pssibly winning - though it may take may moves
to achieve this.
We implore the reader to understand tat this evaluation is just
plan old fashioned common sense reasoning coupled with the necessa
knowledge of middle gae factors.
You to can fnd Master moves by practicing this sort of thought
as you read the explanations given to every move and keeping in mind the
middlegame plas we give you.
At frst you may notce only slight improvement; but take heart,
by going over these gaes you are both consciously and unconsciously
programming your mind to play more and more Master moves in your
gaes. Remembr, chess is a move-by-move decision making game. The
more go moves you fnd, the better you will play.
The purpose of this book is to provide you wit instruction,
middlegame plans and great enjoyent through carefully chosen Master
We close this Introduction with a quote from one of America's
most distinguished chess authors, the late Irving Chemev: "Each game you
play through will be an exciting adventure in chess in which courage, wit,
imagination, and ingenuity reap their just reward. It is by appreciating
and absorbing what they teach so pleasurably that we can best lear to
play Ll Ces Mv bv My"
By leaing abut middlegame plans ad seaching for a
combination at ever move, you ae on your way to mastership.
Ken Smit
Dallas, Texas
Modern Mlddlegame Lessons: Lesson One 9
The Long Diagonal In The Middlegame
Much has been written about the long diagonal (al-h8 or hl-a8)
but seldom do we see such a dramatic illustration of it efficacy. In this
King's Indian Reversed, both sides, Norwod-March, Walsall 192, ca
tle on opposite wings, which often gives ris to sharp play. The question
then becomes whose attack will come frst. Here Black simply never gets
l g3
A tre Hypenodem move!
1 ... d5
Black clearly adheres to the Classical Schol by placing a pawn
in the center immediately.
2 Nf
Developing and preventing eS.
2 ... Nf6
Natural development. Also feasible were 2 ...c5, 2 ... c6, 2 .. g6 or
even 2 ... Nc6.
3 Bg2
Continuing development.
3 ... e
Again a Classical move to develop the KB and support the dS
White's first four moves have ben designated the Bacza System
after the strong veteran GM of that nae. It's man virtue is fexibility
with regard to the center pawns. It will bcome the King's Indian Attack.
4... B7
Another good system is 4 ... b6 and S ... Bb7.
5 d3
Finaly White commits a center pawn. The text enters the King's
India Attack - a toroughly modem, psitiona system which can often
lead to an attack on the opponent's King.
5 ... c5
10 Modem Mlddlegme Lesn
5 .. 0-0 frst is more circumspct. However, as it transpires, Black
is planning a sha stup involving casting Queenside.
6 Nbd2
Continuing with the standard King's Indian patter. An interesting
aterative is 6 Nc3.
6 ...
The best square for this Knight.
7 e
The e-pawn plays a vital role in the K.I.A. Often, as in this game,
it rshes to establish itself on eS from which it exers an unpleasant
cramping influence on Black's positon.
White's basic pla consists of playing his e-pawn to eS where it
will crap Black's psition and force the f6 Knight to retreat. Once this
pawn advances, White will make a point of overprotecting it via Ret,
Qe2, ad a later Bf4. Why protect this pawn again and again, even if it is
adequately defended? The reason is that White likes this pawn and the job
it is doing; bcause of this, he dosn't want to allow Black the chance of
trading it for a less valuable fot soldier. By placing his Roks and Queen
on the e-fle and his Bishop on f4, Black will no longer be tempted by
... f.f6 (trading the pawn) bcause that would allow (afer exf) the previ
ously bloked White Quen, Roks, and Bishop to gain enorous activity
due to the newly opned e-fle and the newly opned h2-b8 diagonal. In
other words, Black doesn't like White's pawn on eS, but it's removal would
lead to even more unpleasant pssibilities. Thus te Nimzovichian concept
Modern Mlddlegame Lessons: Lesson One 11
of overprotection actually gos hand in hand wil Nimzovich's olher con
cept of prophylaxis - you prevent lhe oppnent from doing somelhing that
he might olerise b tempted to do.
If all lhat seems like a lot, it is actually just le frst pa of
White's schemes! By advancing his pawn to eS, White forces a Kingside
defender (le f Knight) away from its pst, gains space, and closes the
center. By closing le center White shows his interest in staring an attack
on lhe wing - following le rule lat a wing attack is only desirable if the
center is under your contol or loked. All lis means lat White (if Black
castles short) intends to attack le Kingside wilh eS, Ret, Nn, Bf4, h4
Nlh2, Ng4, hS, etc.
As an experienced player, Black immediately sees what his opp
nent is up to. He must now decide wheler to allow White his Kingside
aspirations and ty a counter demonstration on le opposite wing by ... 0-0,
... bS, ... aS, ... b4, ... Ba6, etc., or to seek a safer haven for his King on te
Queenside. Of course, White could still go after Black's King there also
(tat closed center allows for wing play on either side), but now Black
would have the opton of launching his own king-hunt wil ... h6 and ...gS.
The choice of lese two plans is largely a matter of taste, though
most strong players prefer to calmly castle Kingside and map out their
own teritory on te opposite wing.
7 b6
12 Modem Mlddleame Lesons
Tis system has ben tried may times, but results have tended to
favor White. Theoretcally crcial is 7 0-0 followed by 8 ..b5 with com
plex play ad only slightly better chances for White.
8 e
Estblishing the aforementioned beachhead.
8... Nd7
A necessary reteat, but at least there is some pressure exered on
9 Re1
Poteting te imprt outost.
9 .
More pressure on e.
10 Qe2
More defense; this is not a pasive defense bcause the object is
to maintin te aggressive e pawn, which effectively cuts Black's posi-
tion in to.
10 Bb7
Completing his minor piee development.
1 1 h4!
An imprtant move which restrains g7-g5 - an integral part of
Black's plan of attack against White's Kingside.
11... 0-0-0
Now it is clea that Black is "going for broke". Whoever can seize
te initiative against the oppnent's King will gain excellent chances for
12 a
Peparing to opn lines against Black's King by b2-b4.
12... h6
Black indicates a desire to opn lines by playing for g7-g5. Note
tat this whole attck is bad on Queenside castling since playing g7-g5
after castling Kingside would be suicidal.
13 hS!
Cramping Black's style.
13 Rdg8
Massig his heavy pieces on te Kingside wit te idea of opn
ing te g-fle by g7-g6.
14 c4!
Modem Mlddlegame Lesson: Lesson One 13
Attacking te center to induce dS-d4 which gives White's Bg2
increased scop on the long diagonal. This factor will play a key role in
te White attck.
14 d4
Note that this move aso concedes e to White's pieces.
15 b!
A stndard paw offer in such psitions. Remembr its the player
who get tere "frrstest with the mostest" who generaly wins.
15... g6
Taking the pawn would b playing into White's hads, so he cor
rectly pursues his own goas.
16 bxcS!
The b-file is a pwerful avenue of attck. A serous error would
b 16 bS? since ten it would b fa more diffcult to open lines against
Black's fortifcations on the Queenside.
Allowing the complete opning of the b fle will have dire cons
quences. The only decent reply was 16 BxcS though White would still b
btter ayway.
14 Modem Mlddlegame Lessons
Opening To Middlegame
In te middlegae Black makes te mistake of allowing White to
utilize te opn b-fle atr 16 ..bxc5 instead of the prdent 16 ..Bxc5.
Retribution is swift. White shores up his Kingside and snaes a pawn on
the 21st move, which is decisive in itself. But White is not content to grind
out a long endgae and proeeds to knok out the lone defender of the
light squaes, then aligns his Queen and Bishop along the long diagonal.
The fnal King hunt is elegaty timed, concluding with a Queen sacrifce
followed by nine checks.
17 hxg6
Oterise Black could play gxhS and h4.
The only consistent move; 17 ..fxg6? would stife the activity of
te heavy pieces on te g-file.
18 Rb1
White's Rook bears down ominously against the b7 square.
Clealy aiming for h4.
19 Ne!
Dynaically played. White centralizes (remember 14 . . . d4 gave
access to e4) for bt offensive ad defensive reaons. The offer of the e
pawn is aso chaacteristic. For example, if now 19 ... Ncxe5 ten 20 NxeS,
NxeS (20 . . . Qxe5 21 Bf4 is devastating) 21 Rxb7!, Kxb7 (2l. . . Qxb7 22
Nd6ch, B:6 23 Bxb7ch, Kb7 24 Bf4!,.f 25 Bxe5, Bxe5 26 Qe4cl and 27
Modem Mlddlegame Lesons: Leson One 15
Qxg6) 22 Nd6 Kb8 (22 .. . Ka6 23 Bb7ch.' wins quickly) 23
QxeS wins.
19 ... h4
Black, realizing the danger, stives desperately to open up lines
against White's King.
2 Bg5!
A nice obstuctng move which also clears the back rak (the
value of this will be shown later).
Not 20 ... Bxg5 bcaus of 21 Nd6ch!
21 Nxh4
Now Black's line opner (the h-pawn) has been curtly removed
from acton.
Black elected to coss up White's noral plan of a Kingside at
tck by castling Queenside. However, tis led to a race in which each side
rushed to get to the enemies' King frst. In such races, a small materia in
vestment is usualy safe ad good - speed ad initiative is what's impor
tant, not a tiny pawn. In the present exaple White played with more en
ergy and, aided by a couple of inaccurate moves by his opponent, was able
to overrun te enemy position.
Rule to b lerned: When attacking each other's King, ever
move must be full of energy an venom. Te frst person to "fall asleep"
for a move or two will usually lose the game.
A sor reteat.
16 Modem Mlddlegame Lesn
22 Nf
Having snappd off the h-pawn, the sted returs to play.
22... Rh7
Harbring hops on the h-fle.
23 Nd6h!
This is a paw offer Black can't refuse!
23... Bxd6
24 exd6
The pint of the paw sac is to opn diagonals for both White
24 Qxd6
A bitter meal.
25 Bf4
Immediately seizing the f4-b diagonal.
25... Qe7
25 ... e5 is hardly go: 26 NxeS, N7xe5 27 Rxb7!, Kxb7 28 BxeS
and Black is crshed.
2 Rxb7!
A direct result of the complete opning of the b file.
No choice here.
2... Kxb7
27 Qe4
Lining up on the long diagonal.
27... f
Obviously Black has overloked White's next shot.
2 Qxc6h!
A spectacular King hunt sacifce.
2 Kxc6
His majesty bcomes a reluctnt traveler.
29 Nd4
The rest is brisk ad brtal.
30 Rblch
That b file again (see also note to White's 20th).
Modern Mlddlegame Lessons: Leson One
O 30 ... Ka5 31 Bd2ch mates as in the main line.
31 Bb7ch
Again the b7 square is used to effect.
32 Bd2ch
Drawing the King forad into a fat rendezvous.
32... Ka4
33 Bc6h
Please tke my a-pawn!
33... Kxa3
34 Bclch
Black's forces must watch in idle horor as their leader is swept
into the corer.
3 ... Ka2
35 Rb2ch
Now the Rok takes over for the Bishops.
35... Kat
Completing a remakable jourey from a6 to at.
36 Nc2 mate 1-0
The Knight insists on delivering the fnal blow.
18 Modem Mlddlegame Lsm
Middlegame: Attacking On Opposite Wings
The prospct for a sharp stggle is always enhanced when bt
sides castle on oppsite wings. Here ater only a dozen moves, the battle
lines ae clealy drawn: White will attack on the K-side and Black will
attack on the Q-side. Whose attck comes frst? That is the question. That
is always the question. Here is one answer in Korchnol-Tlmman, Brus
sels 191, 2nd Match Game.
1 c4
The English Opening has for many years been a staple opening
for leading interational players.
1 . Nf6
Developing while not yet committing the centa pawns.
2 Nc3
Other choices ae 2 g3, 2 Nf or even 2 d4 (transposing into a
Queen's Pawn Opning)
2 e
Contesting the central White squaes. Alterative possibilities are
2 g6, 2 ... cS, 2 . eS, among others.
3 e4
A sharp choice. A more solid approach would be 3 Nf or 3 d4.
3... d5
The idea is to contest White's contol of the light squares and gain
some central space.
4 e5
Now White sticks a dark-squared "thor" in Black's position.
4... Ne4
Fearlessly stiding into te critical central zone.
5 Nf
Resuming natural developing moves.
5... B7?!
A questonable decision despite its natural appearance. To be
considered is S ... Nc6.
6 Qc2!
Modem Mlddlegame Lesons: Les on Two 19
Challenging Black's e4 outpost and intending to capture 7 dxc3 in
the cae of 6 ... N xc3.
6 ... NgS
Atifcial. Better seems 6 .. Nc6 and after 7 d4, fS 8 exf6 e.p.,
Bxf6 9 Be3 White has only a slight plus.
7 Nxg5
The most eficient reply, gaining time.
7... BxgS
Black had no doubt hopd the tade of a pair of minor pieces
would ease his gae.
8 cxd5
This trade creates a 4 to 3 Kingside pawn majority, a potentially
useful instment for attack aganst Black's Kingside.
8... exdS
From Black's point of view, te pawn trade has allowed his QB
more scope.
9 d4
Consolidating his center and allowing te QB to deploy.
9... Be7
9 ... Bxcl 10 Rxcl would only advance White's development,
though the text loses time.
10 Be3
White eschews Kingside development since he wats to castle
Queenside - the sharpest and best course if followed up properly.
Seeking safety for the King ad reserving other options.
11 0-0-0
Now White's strategy will b to ston Black's Kingside utilizing
his Kingside pawn majority (4-f5) combined wit active pieces.
20 Modern Mlddlegame Lesons
Oc this move was played, the middlegame no longer held any
secrets for either player. As is so common in situatons where each side
castles on the opposite wing, sting an attack against the enemy King
becomes the paramount consideraton. At the same time, ting the initia
tive is also critical since the defending side will not be able to pursue his
own dreams aganst the oppsite monach - he will be too busy stopping
the opponent's threats.
Korchnoi castled long ad willingly went into the race for each
others' King because he felt his attack was more real. His Bishop will
come to d3 ad if Black defends his h-pawn by .g7-g6, White will be
able to blast opn a fle by h4-h5. If the pawn is defended by ... h7-h6,
White will advace his pawns by f4-f5-f6. If this is somehow prevented,
then ideas like g4-g5 (against ... h7-h6) also come into consideration. The
pint is this: White knows that whoever opens files to the enemy King frst
will be te victor; after assessing the position, Korchnoi decides that he
will be the first to do so.
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Les on Two 21
Black got an inferior psition out of te opning and was not able
to dictate te type of plan that would as in te subsequent middle game -
that was someting that Korchnoi did. However, Black can't be too upset
since the kind of play tat follows will definitely allow him a good degree
of counterplay - instead of bing forced into passivity, he will be able to
land some blows also.
Of course, Black also realizes that White's possibilities are pref
erable, but who plays mistake free chess? Since one error can tum te tide
in sharp attacking situations, Black will not hesitate to open lines to the
White King in ay way he ca. A later ...c7-c5 (opning the c-fle) is one
possibility, and ...b5-b4 aso suggests itself, especially if White can be
goaded into playing a2-a3, since ten ...b5-b4 would force te opening of
te b-fle
One last thought: neiter side should be too concered about
losing a pawn or two if they get open lines in retum. This means tat if
one side strts grabbing pawns and ignoring his own attack, the opponent
will get several free moves to develop dangerous treats against te enemy
King. This should give him a stong initiative to compensate for any loss
of material.
11 ... Nc6
To hinder Bd3 e.g., 12 Bd3, Nb4! 13 Bxh7ch, Kh8 14 Qb1, g6
15 Bxg6, fxg6 16 Qxg6, BgS and Black has good counterchances.
12 a
Preventing Nb4.
12 ... Na
22 Modern Mlddlegame Lessons
Heading for a forard post at c4 in some caes and preparing
counterplay based on an ulta-shap pawn sacrifce.
13 Bd3
Developing with a gain of tempo (14 Bxh7ch threatens).
13... h6
13 ... g6 would only invite h4-h5.
14 Qe2?!
Inconsistent. Corect was 14 f4! (with the idea ofj5) and if 14 ... f5
then 15 h3 followed by g4 opns up lines for attack. White would have
excellent chances here.
Opening To Middlegame
White seems to be gaining te initiative until move 14, when he
suddenly re-deploys his Queen to e2 instead of rolling ahead with 14 f4.
This slip enables Black to develop counterplay along the b-fle with an
audacious pawn sacrifice (14 ... b5) that is rejected. White misses several
chances to prosecute his attack more effectvely before settling for mate
rial gain on move 23. But by then Black's King is secure and his counterat
tack is in full swing. Korchnoi manages to survive by entering the end
game a piece down, but fnally succumbs on move 52.
14... bS! ?
An audacious pawn ofer. Now if 15 BxbS ten 1S ... Rb8 and te
open b-flle gives Black god counter chances.
15 Bc2
Korchnoi rarely refuses such pawn offers, but evidently he feels
taing it would be unfavorable.
Modem Mlddlegame Leons: Lesson Two
15 . Rb8
Prepang to blast opn lines wit b5-b4.
16 Qd3
To force Black to make another weakening pawn move.
16... g6
17 Bxh6
Everthing loks very god for White at frst glance: an extra
pawn ad the threat to the R.
But Timman forsees tat the initiative is all important in such
situations, and so he dosn't hesitate to sacrifice more material.
18 axb4
Forced (otherwise bxa3).
But now Black has the use of the b-fle against White's King
(Note White cannot match this accomplishment).
19 Qg3
Threatening to demolish Black by 20 Bxg6!.
19... Bh4
The only way to defend.
20 Qf4
Still hovering nea Black's King, waiting for opportunity.
20... c6!
A fine move enabling Qb to further pressure down te b-fle.
21 Rde1?!
Korchnoi falters. Necessary was 21 e6!, Bxe6 22 Rhel (to answer
22 . . . Be7 wit 23 Rxe6!, fxe6 24 Qg4 and an ongoing attack) 22 ... Qf6
(Best. After 22 . . . Nb3ch 23 Kbl, Qa5 24 Na2, RfB [Threat: 25 ... Qxa2ch!]
25 Bxg6!, Nd2ch 26 Rxd2, Rxb2ch 27 Rxb2, Qxelch 28 Ncl, Rxb2ch 29
Kb2 ad White is on top).
21... Be6
Now e6 is firly blockaded.
22 Re3
With the idea of 23 Rg3 (Since 23 . . . Bxg3 would be more tan
risky after 24 hxg3 - te open h-fle and dak-squared domination would
b tenifc).
22 ... cS
24 Moder Mlddlegame Lesn
Countering in the center (The tie-honored metho of meeting a
fank attack) and opning more lines.
23 Bxf
Finally he decides to snatch the Exchange.
An effective interpolation. Now if 24 Bxc5?! ten 24 ... Bxr4 25
Bxb4, Nc4 26 Ndl, Nxe5! is ver much in Black's favor.
24 Qg3
Nonetheless he should have ted 24 Bxc5 since now matters be
come even worse.
24 .. Kx
Black's King will now be safe while White's King is subject to
Black's marauding pieces.
25 h4
Hoping for the materialistic 25 .. Bxe3? 26 fxe3.
But Timman cleverly drops back to retin control of the impor
tant dark squaes.
Tring to pry open the h-file.
Bloking. Anoter sharr course was 26 ... cxd4 27 hxg6, Qg5 28
Qh2, dxe3 29 Qxh6h, Qxh6 30 Rxh6, exf 31 Rhl (31 Bd3, Nb3ch 32
Kdl, Bg4!) 3t ... Rg4 32 Rn, Rxg2 and Black is winning.
27 Na2
Better was 27 Ndl but Korchnoi was in serious time pressure.
Planing on Qb.
28 dxc5
If 28 Rdl then 28 . Qb6 would be strong.
28... g4?!
Not best. Very stong was 28 .. d4.
29 Kbl
Getting off the cl-h6 diagonal.
29... Nc4
Hammering White's fortifcatons.
30 Rb3
There's nothing better.
Moder Mlddlegame Lessons: Lesson Two
30 Nd2ch
Regaining the Exchange with a clealy won gae.
31 Kal
Of course not 32 Kcl?, Ne
31... Nxb3ch
Now Black is two pawns down, but in full control of the game.
32 Bxb3
White can only persevere.
32... QaS
Moving up the "heavy atillery" and threatening to regain a pawn
by Qxc5.
33 Rdl?!
Better was 33 c6 though even so 33 Qb would b pwerful.
33... Qb5
Now the Bb3 cannot move due to Qxb2 mate.
34 Rd3
Forced, since 3 Net allows 3 ..Bxcl.
Not falling into 34 .. d4 35 c6!, Bxb3 3 c7! and White would
seize te advantge.
35 Rxd5
O 35 Rc3, d4 wins.
35 ... Qxb3
Good enough, but 35 ... Be6 loks even stronger.
Modem Mlddlegme Lesons
Instead of attcking wit his pawns via f4-f5 (the corect method
in psitions wit loked centers), White got hypnotized by the pssibility
of winning te Black h-paw. He succeeded in this, but lost the initiative
as a direct result of his greed. White stll had chances to wrest the initia
tive back, but he bga to play wit a lack of energy in a position tat
cried out for dynamic, imaginative choices. Once Black's King found per
manent safety, White's advantge in material proved to be less impornt
than Black's attack on te other wing. As is so common in these situations,
White had to throw all his ill-gotten gains away to stave off immediate
disaster. Eventually he sufferng through a hopeless piece down endgame.
Rule to b lerne: In mutual attacking situations the initiative
is ofen more important than minor material considerations.
36 Qxb3
36 ... Rxb3
White has three pawns for te piece, but Black's active Bishops
ad White's pasive Knight make the issue clear.
37 c6
The only chance.
37 Rd3
Forcing simplifcation sice 38 Rc4 fails to 38 ... Rdlch.
38 Nb4
To activate the Knight.
38 RxdS
Moern Mlddlegame Lessons: Le on Two
39 NxdS
White could resign, but he decides to play it out.
Moving over to neutaize te c-pawn.
40 Nf6h
Doing the bst he can.
Going after the c-pawn.
41 f
Still ting.
4l ... g3 is also god.
Now White plans on ting t push te h-pawn.
Not 42 ... Kc7 43 NdSch since 43 ... Kxc6 alows 4 Ne7ch.
43 Ng8
To bump the blokader.
43... Bf4
Now the e-pawn falls.
44 h6
44 BxeS
Happily munching.
4S h7
If only he could get to h8.
45... Kc7
Prepang to annex the c-pawn.
46 f4
Rather obvious - if 4 ... Bxf4?? ten 47 h8=Q.
No thaks!
46... Bg7
47 Nh6
Another joke"- 47 ... Bxh6?? 48 h8=Q.
47... Kxc6
48 fS
Moder Mlddlegame Lesson
Never say die.
Aong others.
49 Kb1
One last gasp effor.
49 ...
To clea up the Kingside situation.
S0 Ng4
With te idea of St .. .Be4h.
51 Nh6
Back again.
Now the f-pawn comes under attack.
52 Kc2
One more move.
And White gave it up.
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Leson Three 29
Sacrifcial Shock To Enter The Middlegame
They say that the hadest thing is to win a won game. Getting a
won gae ain't eay either, and Seirawan dos bth in grad style. In this
gae, Selrawan-Timman, Hllverum 19, a climax is ealy.
1 d4
GM Seirawan, one of te bst psitional players in the world,
prefers the closed opnings in which stategy is paamount.
A non-committed developing move.
2 c4
This aggressive use of the c-paw is characteristic of d-pawn sys-
2 ... e
Now if 3 Nc3 Black might essy the Nimzo (3 .. . Bb4) or the solid
3 ... d5; even the supr shar Benoni with 3 .. c5 could be ted.
3 Nf
Avoiding the Nimzo.
3 ... b6
Entering the Queen's Indian - a ppular choice of many leading
GMs. Of course also feasible is 3 .d5.
4 Nc3
Developing ad battling for control of e4.
4... Bb4
White intended to play e4, but this excellent developing - pinning
move forestlls.
5 Qb3
Attcking the Bishop and prepang to recapture on c3 with the
Queen if Black tried Bxc3.
s ... cS
Potecting the Bb while pressuring d4.
"Putting the question to the Bishop" - Nimzovitch.
Pulling back and retining the option of Bxc3 for later.
Modem Mlddlegame Lessons
7 BgS
Rapid development while indirectly fighting for control of e4 and
7 ...
To b considered is 7 . h6.
The most aggressive. White seeks to overn Black by develop
ment foused on central control.
So that if 9 Qxc3, Ne4!. But Seirawa has another idea.
Instead of the routine 9 Qxc3, he stves for sharp complications.
Opening To Middlegame
White plays 9 dS! This shot clealy tok Black by surprise, and
he suffers from a for of what D. Tarrasch called "sacrificial shock."
Black missed the bst defense either by 9 .. Be5 (as pointed out in the notes
blow) or by 9 .Bxb2+ 10 Qxb2, NaS forcing White to justify the pawn
sac. If you're going to suffer, at least have a pawn to show for it!
The defense Timman choses allows White to sustn te initia
tive by setting up a deadly pin. Black fnally manages to castle, but it's to
late to untangle on the d-file. White exploits the pin with deadly accuracy,
forcing one of the world's bst players to resign as son as move 26.
9... exdS?
A poor choice. Best was 9 ... Be5! and after 10 dxc6, Bc7! 11
cxd7ch, Bxd7 12 g3, Qe7 1 3 Bg2, Rd8 Timman claims equality.
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Leson Three
10 cxdS
White's c-pawn gladly "converts" into "another" d pawn.
10... BS
Now tis retreat will b found lacking.
1 1 dxc6
Regaining his piece, but te main pint is the surging initiative
White now has.
White has a lead in development and the enemy King is still in
the center. When a master obtins these plusses he will always switch to
overdrive and try to blow his oppnent off the bard. The reason for
White's haste is tat these advantages are temporary - Black will eventu
ally catch up in development and the Black King will son castle to safety.
Thus, if White wishes to capitalize on what has been given him, he must
play actively and try to take immediate advantage of his oppnent's short
32 Moder Mlddlegame Lesons
Strangely enough, Black has no real stategic plan in mind at all!
First and foremost is the pssibility of getting routed and he is thinking
mor in ters of damage control than anything else. Of course, he is
awae that he has a Queenside majority that might one day prove useful in
an endgae; but what go is such a consideration if he dosn't make it
that far? He is aso dreaing of the chance for an eventual counterattack
aganst White's king; but how can you attack if your pieces aren't devel
So how could one of the world's fnest players allow such a state
of affars to come abut ater only eleven moves? Simple: White played
an opning that Black was not completely familiar with and Black fell
under White's control when he missed his oppnent's surprising nint
move (9 d5!).
1 1 ..
Defending e and getting off the dangerous d-file.
12 cxd7ch
White opens lines to take advatage of Black's laggard King.
Clearly forced.
12... Bxd7
13 e3
Now threatening 14 Rxd7!, Kxd7 15 NxeS, QxeS 16 Qxfch,
Kc6 (16 . . . Qe7 1 7 Bb5ch, Kd6 18 Rdlch wins) 17 Bf4 and Black is
13 Rd8
Alteratives are not go:
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Leson Three 33
1) 13 ... Bc6 14 Bb5!, Rc8 15 Bxc6ch, Rxc6 16 Qa4 with an over
whelming position.
2) 13 . .. 0-0-0? 14 Ba6ch, Kb8 15 Nxe5, Qxe5 16 Bf4 "pinning and
3) 13 . .. 0-0? 14 Nxe5, Qxe5 15 Bxf6, Qxf6 16 Rxd7.
4) 13 ... h6 14 Rxd7!, Kxd7 15 Nxe5ch, Qxe5 16 Qxf7ch, Kc6
(16 . . . Qe7 1 7 Bb5ch and 18 Rdlch wins) 17 Bf4- an "echo" of the note to
White's main line 13t move.
14 Rxd7!
Despite Black's reinforcment of d7 by Rd8, the blow still falls
14 Rxd7
Not 14 ... Kxd7 bcaus of 15 Qa4ch, Ke6 (15 . . . Kc7 16 NXE5,
QXE5 1 7 BF4 or 15 . . . Kc8 16 Ba6ch, Kf 1 7 Qc2ch, Kg4 18 h3ch, Kh5 19
g4ch and Black must resign.
15 Bb5
Bringing out his last minor piece and preventing 15 ... 0-0 since
then 16 Bxd7 wins (16 . . . Qx7 1 7 Nxe5).
Getting the Bishop out of the range of te Nf and tying to blok
te d fle.
16 Rd1
Now every White piece is bearing down on Black's position.
16... 0-0
Tring to escap te stor.
17 Bxd7
Now some crisp forcing tctics follow.
17... Qxd7
18 Bf4!
But not 18 Bxf6, gxf6 19 Qd5, Rd8 20 Nh4, Qe8 21 Nf5, Bc7
and White is repulsed.
18 ... c4
The only try; after 18 ... Ne8 19 Qd5 wins, while 18 ... Ne4 is met
by 19 Qd5, Qa4 (19 . . . Nxj 20 Bx6, Nxdl 21 Ne5, QdB 22 Ji with a
won game) 20 Bxd6, Rd8 21 Ne5, Nxd6 22 Nc4 and te pin on the d fle
tiumphs- 22 ... Nb7 23 Qxd8ch!.
19 Qc2
Of course not 19 Qxc4, ReS.
3 Modem Mlddlegame Lesson
19 Ne8
The only move.
20 NgS!
Threatening mate and Ne4.
21 Qxc4ch
Now its clear Black is busted.
By going ater Black with every bit of energy he could muster,
White never gave his oppnent a chace to recover. By the time Black
was able to castle, a pwerful pin materialized and White forced a deci
sive gain in material ad retained the initiative.
As for Black, his worst nightmares were realized. He was abused
toughout the game, never got a chace to mae even one threat, and
fnally was forced to face the sad reality of materal inferiority.
Rule to b learne: A lead in development and an enemy King in
the center should have the same efect on you as a waving red fag does to
a bull. When you see this situation, go crazy and rip open the center in an
efon to immediately take the fght to the opponent.
22 Bxd6
Note how te d fle is used.
22... Nxd6
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Leson Three 35
No choice.
23 Qd5
Piling up on the pinned piece.
2 . Rd8
O 23 ... Rf6 24 Qa8cb, Qe8 25 Qxeh, Nxe8 26 Rd8, Rf 27
Ra8 with a winning game or 23 ..Rc8h 2 Kbl, Rc6 25 Ntch!, Qxt 26
Qxc6. Finally is 23 ... Qc7ch ten 24 Kbl and Black cannot stop both 25
Qxd6 and 25 Ne6.
24 Ne6!
A last chance to go wrong was the fahy 24 Qxd6 expcting
24 ... Qxd6 25 Rxd6, Rxd6 26 Ntch and 27 Nxd6, but Black plays
2 .. Qc8! instead and ater 25 Kbl, Rxd6 26 Rxd6 (Threatening 27
Rd8ch and 28 Nfch) 26 Kg8! Black would tum the tbles.
24... Qc8h
O 24 ... Rc8ch 25 Kbl, Rc6 te piquant 26 Nd8! dos te tck.
25 Kbl
Waiting for Black next.
There is no oter defense, but . . ...
2 Qxd6!
And Black resigned since 26 . Rxd6 27 Rxd6 followed by 28
Rd8ch leaves White a piece ahead.
3 Modern Mlddlegame Lesson
The Middlegame Starts,
Whose King Is Safer?
A year after this encounter Kav defeated the same solid opp
nent na owly by 4.5 to 3.5 in a semi-fnal candidates match leading to the
world championship.
Here in Karpov-Yusupov, USSR Championship 1988 Black
choses an unusual opning variation which requires him to move his
King as ealy as move 7. In te ensuing complications White also forfeit
the privilege of catling. The question then bcomes, "Whose King is
safer?" The aswer is, "T side with the initiative. " Kav declines a
Queen swap i order to exploit his attcking prospct.
1 c4
The English is one of White's best positional debuts.
1... e
A solid reply, challenging White's control of d5.
2 Nc3
White has several playable alteratives such as 2 Nf, 2 g3, 3 d4
or even 3 b3.
2 ... dS
Establishing a solid pawn base in the center.
3 d4
Transposing into a Queen's Gambit.
3... B7
A waiting move originally investigated by Charousek. The main
idea is to t to disallow White the pssibility of developing his KN on e2
in the Exchage Vaiation. For exaple, after the more usual 3 ... Nf6 4
Bg5, Be7 5 cxd5, exd5 6 e, 0-0 White could play 7 Nge2!? (originally a
recommendation of Alekhine).
4 Nf
Also feasible is 4 g3 tansposing into the Catalan Opning.
4... Nf6
An unusual possibility is 4 .. . f5 tanspsing into a Dutch Stone
wall, though this is not for everyone's style.
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Leson Four 37
S cxdS
The Exchange Variation, long a favorite of such greats a
Reshevsky, Botvinnik Smyslov and Petosia. Te main idea here is to fx
the pawn structure with te long ter pssibility of a minority atack.
5... exdS
Possible is S . NxdS tough White obtains a fne pawn center
after 6 e, Nxc3 7 bxc3.
6 Bg5
The most aggressive pst for the Bishop though 6 Bf4 is also
quite playable.
6 .. c6
Reliably protecting the imprtnt d-pawn in preparation for the
development of the Queen's Bishop. The immediate 6 ... Bf5 fails to 7
Bxf6, Bxf6 8 Qb3! and the simultaneous attack on b7 ad dS wins a pawn.
7 Qc2
Temporarily restraining BfS.
7 g6
But Black is insistent, intending to use the g-paw as a prop for
8 e4
White bgins sharp play in the center. After the sedate 8 e3, BfS 9
Bd3, Bxd3 10 Qxd3 Black has no spcial problems.
8... Nxe
A new attempt. Previously 8 .dxe4 has ben played.
9 Bxe7
Forcing Black's King to retake since 9 . Qxe7 would allow the
shot 10 NxdS! with a winning psition for White.
9... Kxe7
Now Black must proeed with alerness since his King might be
subject to tactical blows.
10 Nxe4
White's task is t opn up play against Black's exposed monarch.
10... dxe4
But not lO ... BfS? since the reply 1 1 QcSch leaves White a piece
11 Qxe4h
With a forcing check.
11. B
3 Modem Mlddlegame Leson
Trying to develop whie keeping a eye on e - a potential strong
pint for Black's pieces since no White pawn can att
ck it.
12 Bc4
Developing while threatening to leave Black with a vulnerable
isolated pawn on e6 after 13 Bxe6.
Hoping t fnesse White's Knight to a less active position on d2.
13 K!
A "counter fnesse". White retains his Knight on its active pst.
13... Qf5
Offerng to trade Queens which would prevent White from
building a attack against Black's King.
14 Qe3
Naturaly, White declines.
14... Nd7
More development. Inferor is 14 . Kf 15 Bxe6, Qxe6 16
Qh6h, Kg8 17 gJ (To castle by hand) 17 ... Nd7 18 Kg2 with excellent
attcking chances for White. Also if 14 ... Kf6 White proeeds dynamically
with 15 d5! since 15 ... Bxd5 16 BdJ, Qe6 (16 . . . Qc8? allows /7 Qe 5 mate)
17 Qd4ch, Ke6 18 Qxh8 (or 18 Re1) wins for Wite.
15 Re1
Piling te pressure on e6.
15... Rae8
Hoping to blster e6. After 15 ... Kf6 16 Bxe6, fxe6 (of course not
16 . . . Qxe6 1 7 Qg5ch and 18 Rxe6) 17 h4! with the idea of Qh6 followed
by RhJ and Ng5, White retains excellent atcking prospects.
16 d5!
A key move, opning up lines for a stong initiative. A mistken
plan would b 16 Bxe6, fxe6 17 QaJh, Kf6 18 Qxa7?, Qb5ch 19 Kg1,
Ra8 trapping White's Quen. Also, after 16 QaJch, Kf6 17 BdJ, Qd5 18
Qxa7, Bg4 Black's initiative is unpleast.
Moder Mlddlegame Lessons: Lesson Four 39
Opening To Middlegame
White's stunning 16 dS! is akin to a clearance maneuver in a
composed problem. Karpv gives up a pawn witout appaent compens
tion to pursue the relentless King hunt. Black always seems to b within
one move of reaching a safe haven, but Karpv always fnds one more
way to notch up te pressure. One of Black's man problems is that he
canot bring his Queen to an effective pst - not how it is driven to h6
where it remains a helpless bystander to the action on the oter wing. By
move 35 Yusupov could have resigned with dignity.
40 Modem Mlddlegame Lessons
Wite's Middlegame Plan
At te moment te Black King is more vulnerable tan White's.
Because of tis White decides to scrifce a pawn; the sacrifce dos to
tings: 1) It frees te d4 squae for the Kight. 2) It opns the c-h8 di
agonal ad alows checking pssibilities if the Black King ever runs to f6.
White's plan is keep Black praently off balance by creating
constnt threats against his King and Queen. By doing tis White knows
that his oppnent will b in no psition to create threatening gestures of
his own. In oter words; White has a fr hold on the initiative and he will
only give it up for a long lasting material or positiona gain.
Black's Middlegame Plan
Before the paw sacrifice, Black had hopd to consolidate his
psition by .. Kf ad . Kg7 when he might have ben able to eventually
put pressure on White's isolated d-pawn. Now - after te pawn sacrifice -
Black still dreams of consolidation. If he can place his King on the secure
g7 squae (or fnd any safe haven) he will finally be in a position to think
abut making use of his extra paw.
Obviously forced.
16... cxdS
17 BbS!
The aggressive 17 Nd4 is well met by 17 . Qe5!, e. g. , 18 Qa3h,
Qd6 with equal play.
17 a6
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Leson Four 4t
This seems dubious. A better defense was t7 ... d4!? though White
would still retain an edge.
18 Qa3ch
Taking advatage of Black's expsed King psiton.
Forced. O t8 ... Kf6 White has t9 Bxd7, Bxd7 20 Qc3ch win
ning materal.
19 QaSch
Pursuing the main trget.
19... Ke7
After t9 .. Kc8 20 Retch, Kb8 2t Qc7ch, Ka8 22 Nd4, Qf6 (O
22 . . . Qe5 23 Qx5, Nxe5 24 BxeB) 23 Bxa6!, Rb8 (23 . . . bxa6 24 Nc6 and 25
Qa7 mate is to much to handle) 24 Qa5, Qxd4 25 Bxb7, Kxb7
26 Rc7 mate.
20 Qbch
The Queen marauds on the weakened dark squares.
After 20 ... Kd8 White gains a pwerful attck with 2t Nd4, Qf6
22 Bxa6!, bxa6 23 Ret! , RegS 24 Rc6! (Threatening Rxa6 followed by
Ra8) 24 ... Qe5 25 Rxe6! (25 .. .x6 26 Nc6ch and 27 Nxe5).
21 Qd4ch
If 2t Bxd7 (Hoping for 21. . . B:7 22 Qd4ch) then Black has the
interplation 21. .. Qd3ch! - preventing Qd4ch.
21... Ke7
22 Bd3
Regrouping with a gain of temp.
22... QhS
A large part of White's initiative is bing based on te continued
harassment of Black's King and Queen.
23 h4!
Peparing a base on g5 for White's Knight.
Black stggles to cordinate his forces.
A ver aggressive pst.
2 Rhf
Modem Mlddlegame Lessons
Bringing the Rok to the defense of r (For example, White was
threatening 25 Be2, Qh6 26 Bf! threatening bth 27 Bx5 and 27 Rxe6!,
fe6 28 Nxjch).
25 Be2
The Queen is again a target for White's maneuvers.
25... Qh6
Now White bars down on Black's fragile cental barricades.
2... Re7
If Black's King tries to rn to the Queenside with 26 ... Kc8 ten
White has 27 Retch, Kd8 (O 27 . . . Kb8 28 Q4ch, Ka8 29 Nxe6 wins a
piece) 28 Bx5, Bx5 29 Qx5 with a clearly winning position.
27 Qb4
Much btter tan the immediate 27 BxdS - White pins te Be6
while obsering various weak pints.
Tring to defend bth b7 and dS.
28 Qd6ch
Still using the drk squares.
2 . Rd7
Of cours 28 .. Kc8 is met decisively by 29 Retch.
29 Qf4
Now the "loose" Nf6 is targeted and 30 Nxe6h followed by 31
Qxh6 teatens.
The only defense to both threats. 29 ... Qg7 fails after 30 Rxe6,
fxe6 31 Nxe6h and 32 Nxg7.
30 Bg4!
Taking advantage of the fact that 30 ... Bxg4 is impossible because
of 31 QbS mate.
30 Kc8
Tring to rn.
31 Bxe
Now the weak e6 pint will allow White to win material.
Black must sit ad watch his position crumble.
32 Rclch
Modern Mlddlegame Lessons: Lesson Four
Chasing the King back to d8.
There's no choice.
33 Nxeh
"Cashing in" on e.
33 .
33 ... Ke8 is met by the crshing blow 3 ReSh.
34 Qxfh
Winning the Exchange.
As hard as Black tied, he was never able to find a resting place
for his King. This meant that he was occupied wit thoughts of defense for
te whole game ad was never able to create threats of his own. The lux
ury of not having to worr about any kind of Black counterattack enabled
White to pursue his own attack with single-minded devotion. Finally
Black's resistance snappd and White won materia and taded off into a
winning endgame.
In te end White's initiative proved to stong to stop, while
Black's long ter advantage of a exta pawn never played a role in the
Rule to b lerne: An opponent without pressure or threats is a
helpless opponent. Getting such a situation for the tiny price of a pawn is
like money in the bank.
34 .. Qx
Black plays on under momentum.
4 Moder Mlddlegame Lesn
35 Nx
The rest is easy for a super technician like Karpv.
35... Kx
Hoping for a miracle?
36 Rh3
The dorant King Rok now rshes into play.
36... Ne7
Bringing the Knight back into play.
37 h5
Softening up Black's Kingside pawns.
37... Kg7
Tring to reinforc.
38 h6ch
Bloking te h7 pawn a a tget for White's roaing Rooks.
Black must await.
39 Rfch
Now White fnishes matters quickly.
39... Ke6
If 39 ... Kg5, then 4 Rl! followed by 41 Ret wins te Knight.
40 Retch
White's Rooks rn amok.
4 Kd6
The only move.
41 Rf6ch
Driving the King.
41. . Kc7
O 41.-KcS 42 Rl wins the h7 pawns.
42 g4
Limitng the Knight's scop.
42... Nc6
Not 42 . Ng8 43 Retch, Kd8 4 Rfcb winning the Knight.
43 Re8
And Black resigned in view of the hopless nature of his psition.
Modem Mlddleame Lesons: Le on Five
The Middlegae Is Up For Grabs
Teenager Vassily Ivachuk burst into the limelight by winning
the New York Opn in 1988, the frst time a lage Soviet wave of grand
maters ever landed en mas on thes shores. This gae, Malanluk-lv
anchuk, USSR Championhip 198, offers a glimps of his enterrising
style as he lurches forad with a Knight on move 8, violating the injunc
tion aganst moving the same piece twice in the opning.
1 d4
A favorite opning for solid psitiona players, but a we shall
see, it ca lead to great complicatons.
1 Nf6
A noncommitt replay which prevent 2 e.
2 c4
Gaining a fothold on d5.
2 e
Allowing Black t anchor a pawn in the center with d5.
3 Nc3
Allowing the Nizo-Indian. Often 3 Nf is played to avoid tis
3 Bb4
The Nizo is prhaps the most highly regarded of Black's de
fenses against the Queen Pawn Opning.
4 f
A sharp continuation which intends to monopolize te center wit
4 dS
Peventing White's intended 5 e4.
S a
Chalenging Black to tspse into the Saisch Variation of te
Nimzo wit 5 ... Bxc3ch 6 bxc3.
s ... B7
But Black declines, preferng to retin te Bishop pair.
Modem Mlddlegame Lesn
6 e
Whit continues most sharply.
6 dxe4
Black's tk is to counter punch the abitious center pawns.
7 fxe4
Of cours not 7 Nxe4 since White wats to for a massive pawn
7 e!
Hoping for 8 dxeS, Qxd1cb 9 Kxd1, Ng4 followed by 10 ... Nxe5
with a clearly better ending for Black.
8 d5
Continuing to acquire more space, but Black intends to brad
White's center a overextended.
Beginning a shar tctcal stggle. This move is suprior to
8 .. Bc5 9 NO, Bg4 10 b3, BbS 1 1 g4, Bg6 12 b, Be7 wit a plus for
9 Nf?!
But this is dubious. White should have tried 9 b4 ad if 9 . Bg5
(To b considered is 9 . . .. a5 10 NO, Bxcl 1 1 Qxct, 0-0 12 Bd3, aS 13
Rb1, axb 14 axb, Qe7 15 0-0 White's Queenside spatial plus and
ptential break with c4-c5 gives him a smal plus.
9... BS
Black begins threats on the a7-g1 diagonal.
10 b4
White intends to show Black's tactics ae unsound.
10... Bfh
Unseatig the White King.
1 1 Ke2
Now White threatens 12 b3 and if 1 1. ..Bb6 then 12 cS wins.
1 1... c!!
A terfc move which gives Black a driving attack.
12 Nb5
The move 12 b3 is smarly answered by 12 ... Bd4!
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Lesson Five 47
Opening To Middlegame
White quickly gos astay in the ealy middlegame complica
tions. Better is 12 dxc6 aiming to get te Queens off the bad as son a
pssible, but he tries to mix it up by moving his Knight for the second
time on move 12. Who ca blame hi since he is a full Rok ahead by
move 16?
A few moves later Black also gos astray and once again the
game is up for grabs. At move 25 Ivanchuk spus a drawing line and te
battle fares anew. But apparently exhausted by his prolonged defensive
task, White makes a decisive eror on move 28. Suddenly te game is no
longer up for grabs.
12 .
Peparing anoter surprise.
13 Qa4
Pinning te a-pawn.
13 ...
Anoter tremendous move.
14 Qxa8
Obviously he must accept.
14... Bd4!
Black is the Exchange down, but he has pwerful play based on
White's fatfoted King and uncoordinated forces.
15 Nxd4
Modem Mlddlegame Leson
More resistnt was 15 Ral though after 1S ...Nd7 Black is in con-
15 cxd4
Black is offering a full Rok for the atck.
16 Qxb8
He might as well have a Rok for his troubles.
Now we have a clasic illustation of the value of suprior devel
opment overwhelming suprior material. White's exposed King is a key
factor here.
Wite's Middlegame Plan
As in the Kav-Yusupv game, we have a example of initia
tive versus material gain, but this is clealy a more extreme case! White is
up a whole Rok ad has the move, but his defense is not at all easy. This
is due to his centlly placed King ad lack of development. Noting these
problems, White knows that, due to his lage advantage in material, if he
can get his ay out he should b able to win the game. One bonus tat
such a large material edge brings is the ability to sacrifice something back
to break the enemy initiative, and still b up a pawn or more, or, at the
ver least, end up with some other typ of advantage.
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Lesson Fhe 49
Black's Middlegame Plan
Black has bured his bridges bhind him ad is now committed to
a do or die attack. He intends to pnetate into te hostile position with his
Queen (tis is pssible bcaus te White Queen is out of play on bB) and
either mate the White King or win huge aounts of material back.
Both sides ae awae that the one of the two following scenarios
will most likely come to pass: 1) White won't b able to deal with his op
ponent's threats ad he will ultimately b blown off the board. 2) White
will consolidate and win the game.
17 Ke1
Trying to escape the attack. After 17 h3 Black plays 17 ... Qh4!.
17... Qh4ch
18 g3
Forced. After 18 Kd2, Nf 19 Rg1 , Qxh2 Black recovers his
material remaining with an overhelming attack.
Threatening 19 ... Qfch 20 Kd1, Qf3ch (aong others).
19 Bf4!?
The best try. After 19 Ra2, Qf 20 Bg2, Qc3ch 21 Bd2, Qb3
Black is winning.
19... gS?
A crucial error which gives White a chace. Correct was 19 ... d3! !
and if 20 Bxd3 then 20 ... exf4 is powerful since White's QR is attacked
while 20 Rc1, exf4 21 Qxf4, Qd4! with the pwerful follow up 22 ... d2ch
followed by 23 Qxdl, Qxe4ch is also winning for Black.
Moder Mlddlegame Lessons
20 c5!
A excellent retor: the main idea is to supprt the Queen at d6.
Now Black is "only" the Exchange down.
21 Qd6
Brnging the Queen back into play greatly enhances White's pros-
21. Qg7
Of course Black retains the Quens to maintain his chances.
22 Bd3
Getting this "sleeping" pieces into play.
22... Ne5!?
Using the strong outpst. Aftr 22 rs White bypasses with 23 eS!
ad on 23 . Nxe5 24 Kd2 with unclea play and mutual chances.
23 Kd2
Protecting the Bishop while clearing the back rank for his Roks.
23... f
Also pssible was 23 . f5 2 gxf4, Nxd3 25 Kxd3, Bxe4ch 26
Kxe4, Rf4ch 27 Qxf4!, gxf4 28 Ragl, Bg4 29 h3 with murky play.
2 BxbS
Grabbing a pawn and hoping to assist the d-pawn advance to d7
in the future.
2 g4
Opening a line for the Queen on the cl-h6 diagonal.
25 Qe7
Now after 25 . Qh6 26 Kc2, Qe3 27 QxeS, Qc3ch 28 Kb3,
Qb3h, it a draw by prpetual.
25... Ng6
But Black wants to try for more.
26 Qg5
Better was 26 Qd6! and now if 26 ... Qh6ch 27 Kc2, Qe3 then 28
Bd3! stops Black's Queen from further checking, while 26 ... Ne5 can be
aswered by 27 QeS repeating the psition.
26... h6
Forcing te Quen to hS.
27 Qh5
There is no choice.
27 d3!
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Leson Five
Oning up more lines and setting a trap for White.
2 Bxd3?
The losing move. Necessary was 28 eS! keeping the "e" line un
der control.
2 Re!
Now White's Queen is unable void being trappd by ReS.
29 h3
Tring to break fre.
29 ... ReS
But it is too late.
It appas tat Black's initiatve should have won out but an error
allowed White to claw his way back into te game. White was defending
successfully, but tis typ of "haging on by one's fingertips" effort is tr
ing. Black spumed chances of a draw by prtual and kept introducing
complicatons. Eventually White cracked from the pressure and missed a
hidden treat to his Queen.
As in our last two games, the initiative proved to be more impor
tant tha a material advatge.
Rule to b lerne: A strong initiative ofen transcends material
considerations. In this game the White Queen was out of play on b8. In
efect, in this game Blck had a temporar material advantage!
30 hxg4
Tring to get as much material as pssible for te Queen.
30... RxhS
Modem Mlddlegame Lesson
But it is not enough.
31 gxhS
O 31 RxhS, Qxal.
Returing to its fne central post.
32 Rael
Trying to defend, but its a hopeless cause.
Moving in for the win.
33 Kc2
Of course not 33 Re3, Ng4.
33... f
Now the paw plays its par.
34 Rdl
Nothing works here.
Threatening 3S ... Nxd3 3 Rxd3, Qe2ch 37 Rd2, n=Q. Seeing
tis, White resigns.
Moem Mlddleame Leon: Leon Six
Deadening The Scope Of The Black
King's Bishop In The Middlegame
This is the only gae Kv ever won against Kasparov outside
of their tite matches. Coming after their fourt but in Seville 1987,
which ended in a 1 2- 1 2 tie, tis Karpov-Kasparov, Belfort 198 match
must have been espcially gratifying to the fallen title holder. In a sens it
is a continuation of their "debate" over the merits of the Exchage Vari
ation of the Gruenfeld Defense, which wa tested repeatedly in K-K Match
# without arriving at a fnal conclusion.
1 d4
Although Karov's preference is norally 1 e4, he has ben suc
cessful with 1 d4 in recent years.
1... Nf6
The most fexible.
2 c4
Gaining infuence on te cental dS.
2... g6
Heading for te Genfeld, a sharp variation contested several
times between Karpv and Kasparov in their World Chapionship match
3 Nc3
Other playable choices ae 3 Nf and 3 g3.
3... d5
Entering the Gruenfeld instead of the King's Indian (3 ... d6 or
Benoni (3 . . . c5)
4 cxd5
Karpov proceeds with maximum vigor. Quieter choices are 4 BgS
and 4 Nf.
4 Nxd5
Black hops to use te newly opned d-fle in conjunction with
the al -h8 diagonal to exert pressure on White's center.
S e
54 Moder Mlddlegame Lessons
Consistent. Possible was the solid 5 Nf or 5 g3.
5... Nxc
To not lost time, though S . Nb6 is playable.
6 bxc3
Now White's d-pawn has some needed protection.
From here the KB focuses pressure on White's center pawns.
7 Bc4
The most active pst for the KB. Another line is 7 Nf followed
by Be2.
7 .. c
The c-paw plays a vital role in pressing on White's d4 while al
lowing the option of cxd4, opning the c-fle ad giving Black a useful
two to one Queenside pawn majority.
8 Ne2
To avoid a pin by Bg4.
8 ...
Reinforcing pressure on d4.
9 Be3
Countering the pressure and, in some instances, allowing a later
maeuver of Qd2 and Bh6, removing Black's dynamic KB.
9... 0-0
Completing Kingside development.
10 0-0
10 ... Bg4
Povoking a stor of intricate tactical and psitional motifs.
ll f
Necessar to defend d4. 11 eS is premature since dS is serously
weakened without compensaton.
1 1... Na!?
Challenging the Bishop's contol of the a2-g3 diagonal - but at the
cost of a pawn.
12 Bxch
The critical line, already contested several times between tese
super GMs in their World Championship match games.
Moder Mlddlegame Lesons: Lesson Six 55
White's Middlegame Plan
By capturing on f White defines te future play for both sides.
While winning a pawn, 12 Bxf+ also gives up the c4 square (which will
be a great squae for the Black Knight) and allows Black a large choice of
attacking options. Ultimately White hops to bat off any Black initiative,
use his massive center to restrict Black's pieces, and trade down to a sup
rior endgame.
Black's Middlegame Plan
Black is not overly woried about te loss of a pawn since it is
doubled and very hard to use. The real fght will revolve around the White
center: will it prove to be a liability tat is riddled with holes, or will it be
5 Modern Mlddlegame Lessons
shown as a concrete wall that is impossible to tea dow? Black must play
actively if he wat the answers to b favorable for him.
Black hops the f-fle and pressure on te light squaes
(especially c4 and d5) will give him goo counter chaces.
13 fxg4
O the other hand, Karpv blieves in his extra pawn and central
pawn majority to cary the day.
13... Rxch
Inducing White to recapture wit either Queen or King - in each
case Black will have the option of bringing his QR into action on the f-fle
with a tempo gain.
14 Kx
White captures with the King since he is already planning his
1 7th move.
14 ... Qd6
Clearing the back rak while attacking the h-pawn.
15 eS
Canceling the h-pawn attack with a tempo gainer.
Opening To Middlegame
White's plan is not so much to gain a pawn as to deaden the scope
of Black's Bishop on g. This subtle strategy is getting harder to meet, and
Kasparov's inability to fnd adequate counterplay here cats doubt on the
whole variaton for Black. Simplicity is the hallmak of te ast, and
Karpov makes it al lok so eay as he ttes some sweet revenge here.
Modem Mlddleame Leons: Leon Six
15 QdS
Gladly reloating on the weakened dS.
16 Bf
Getting out of the way of a coming Nc4.
Augmentng the pressure on the d-pawn.
17 Qa4!
An imprtant innovation. Peviously Kv had tried 17 Qe1
and 17 Qc2.
17 b6
O 17 ... Nc6 White respnds pwerully with 18 Qb3!.
18 Qc2!
After fnessing the weakening 17 ... b6 the Queen returs.
18... R
Since d4 is now well protected, te Rok shifts to the f-fle.
18 ... Qc4 would be well answered by the centralizing 19 Qe4.
19 Kg1
Getting off the dangerous line.
19... Qc4
Invading on c4 and planing to play cxd4 when the prefered
recapture cxd4 is impossible due to te pin.
20 Qd2
Unpinning while restraining Bh6.
After 20 ... Bh6!? 21 Qxh6, Qxe2 22 Qe2 White retns the edge,
while 20 ... Qf is answered by 21 Ng3 with the idea of centalizing the
Knight via e4.
21 h3
Protecting g4 and giving the King an escap squae on h2, just in
21 ... Nc4
The Knight is brought back from the "far side".
22 QgS!
A fine maeuver, envisioning 23 Bh4 or 23 Nf4 with pressure.
22... h6
The Queen's strong psiton must b challenged, but now the
Black KB is still more obstructed.
23 Qcl
Moder Mlddlegame Leson
Having induced the weakening 22 ... h6, the Queen retires to
23 .
After 2J ... Qd5 24 Qc2! (attacking g6) is go. Probably best.
however, is 2J ... h5!?.
2 Bg3
Planning to play Nf4.
2... gS?!
A positional error leading to a lost psition. Black had to try his
luck in the vaiations after 2 ... Qd5!? 25 Nf4, Qe4 26 Ne6 and now: a)
26 . . . Rc8 27 Qbl ! and if 27 ... Qe3ch then 28 Bt, Qxc3 29 Qxg6, Qxal ch
30 Kh2 and Black cannot prevent mate on g7, or b) 26 . . . Ne3 27 Qd2 (the
only move - 27 Nf allows simply 27 . . . Rxf4) 27 . . . Nc4 (O if 27 . . . exd4 2B
ex4, ReB 29 Rei, Re2 30 Rxe3, Qe6 3i d5 ad wins) 28 Qel , Ne3 29
Qe2, cxd4 30 Nxf! (This time 30 exd4 loses to 30 . . . ReB since after 3i
Rei, Re2 White cannot capture on e3 due to mate on g2) 30 . . . Bxf8 (Or
30 . . . d3 3i Q) 31 cxd4, Qxd4 32 Rei and Black is losing, or, fnally c)
26 . . . cxd4! ? 27 Nxf8 (27cx4 is stongly answered by 27 . . . Ne3, e.g., 2B
Qd2, Ne4 29 Qei, Ne3 30 Qe2, ReB 3i Rdi, Re2 32 Rd2, Rclcl! and White
is in trouble) 27 . . . Ne3 28 Qd2, dxc3 29 Qe2 and now on 29 . . . Bxf 30 Qf3
is stong for White.
25 Qc2
Threatening to centralize effectively with 26 Qe4.
25... QdS
Peventing Qe4 and threatening NeJ.
Modem Mlddlegame Leons: Leon Six
Preventing 26 ... Ne3 and preparing te strong regrouping Ng3,
tgeting fS ad hS and e4.
2 b5
Black desprately tries for counterplay on te Queenside.
27 Ng3
A pwerful range is opned for the Kight from here.
27... R
After 27 ... b4 there follows 28 NfS, Rl 29 e6!, Qxe6 3 Ret,
Qd7 3t cxb4 and White wins easily.
Also good is 28 Ret, but te text threatens e6 in some contin
2 b4
Trying to undenine White's cental pawn chain.
29 Qg6
Invading the White squaes in Black's Kingside with strong at
tacking pssibilities.
29 . K
After 29 ... bxc3 30 NfS, Kf 3t e6, Rxrs 32 gxfS, Nd6 33 dxcS
White wins.
30 Ne
Also stong is 30 NfS.
30 .
A desperate sacific.
31 Kx
The Knight belongs on the aggressive cental e4.
6 Modem Mlddleame Lsn
Quite simply, Black's stategy of pressuring the White center and
using the holes there to make his pieces more actve than their White
counterpars failed badly. Why? The aswer is that White was able to get
all his pieces to go squaes and sfeguad his center. White played
calmly and logically and Black was not able to fnd a way to use his in
itiative to prevent White from improving his psition. When Black real
ized this was happning, he panicked and created weaknesses in his
Kngside that White was able to use. This passing of the initiative signaled
the beginning of the end.
Rule to b lerne: T initiative is a temporar, dynamic ad
vantage, while things like material, space, and a strong center are long
term, static avantages. Either has the capacit to rule the day, though the
side with the initiative usually has more pressure on him to prove that his
concept was justied.
31. bxc3
Black's idea with 3 ... Rxf was to assail d4, but it is to late.
32 QfSch
Commencing a mop up opration.
Of cours 32 Qt is hopless to.
33 Qc8ch
Winning te c-pawn.
33 .
34 QxcS
Moem Mlddlegame Leon: Leon Six
Now 34 ... Qxc5 35 dxc5 wins eaily.
34... Qtch
Keeping !he Queens on was forced but hopless.
35 Kgl
"Wea" would b 35 Kg3??, Qf4 mate.
35... c2
Hoping to Queen somehow.
36 Ng3
Heading for f5.
36 .
Protecting !he e-paw.
37 Nf5
Treatening 3 e and 39 Qxc4.
37... Kg8
Nolhing works.
38 Rcl
Winning !he c-pawn.
Black Resigns
Modem Mlddleame Lesn
A Fighting Defense Starts
I The Middlegame
Ksparov's name is often linked with Alekline - both whippd up
attcks seemingly out of the blue, ad bth hated to defend passive posi
tions. But this dos not mean that eiter one of tem lacked the ability to
defend. This is BeUavsky-Kasparov, Belford 198.
1 d4
Beliavsky is a viruoso of the d-pawn opnings.
Less committ than t ... d5.
2 c4
Controlling d5.
2 . g6
Going for the Grenfeld Defense, one of Black's most mercurial
choices ad well suited to Kaparov's dynamic style.
3 Nc3
The most usual. Aso playable are 3 Nf or 3 g3.
3... dS
Other Kaspaov choices are 3 ... Bg7 and ... d6 (King's Indian) or
3 ... c (Benoni).
4 Nf
A favorite move of Botvinnik's. The shast, however, was the
Exchange Variation - 4 cxd5, Nxd5 5 e4.
Aother pssibility was 4 ... c6 leading to the solid Schleeter
variation; but Kasparov prefers te dynamic choices to te solid ones.
S Qb3
Pessuring d5 to make Black commit himself.
5... dxc4
The most active soluton opning the d-fle in order to put pres
sure on White's d-paw.
Moem Mlddlegme Leon: Leon Sven 63
6 Qxc4
Now White has a central pawn majority though his Queen might
bcome exposed to harassment by Black's pieces.
6... 0-0
Completing his Kingside development. Note that White is lagging
in this respect.
7 e
Foring a clasicl pawn center. The whole theory of the Gren
feld revolves around White's efforts to use his pawn center effectvely
while Black, in the fnest Hyperoer spirit, hopes to prove it to b a
target for his swaing pieces.
7 Na6
Most Knights on the rm ae po rly placed, but the one is well
motivated since it prepares to strike at White's center with cS.
8 Be2
Better than 8 Bd3 which only bloks the d-fle ad hence would
hampr White from protecting his d-pawn wit a Rok on dl.
8... c
The fight for the center bgins in eaest.
Gaining more space and treatening e4-e5.
9... e
In order to trade off half of White's proud pawn center and opn
ing the e-fle as well.
lO BgS
Completing his minor piece development and threatening to win
material with 11 eS.
10 .. exdS
Per plan.
11 NxdS
Usual is 11 exdS but Beliavsky wats to keep the d-file opn.
11... B
Completing development and contesting dS.
12 0-0-0
Beliavsky purs on te stea; obviously neither player is loking
for a draw.
12 .. BxdS
Modem Mlddlegame Lesn
Getting rid of the "visiting" Knight.
13 Rd5
Consistently trying to utiliz the d-file for his heavy pieces.
13... Qb6
Teatening to take on dS.
14 Bx6
White would rather retain the Bishop pair, but the alterative wa
to reteat to d2 - in sharp psitions like this retreating moves usualy lose
the initiative.
14 ...
With an obvious threat to b2.
15 e5
Bloking the dgerous long diagonal with a gain of time.
15... QfS!
A new move in this psition. Te idea is to play 16 .. Bh6h { 17
Kdl, Qblch wins, or i f 1 7 Nd2, Qxj).
16 Bd3
Giving the King a escap square on bl.
Another reasonable move was 16 ..Qe6 and on 17 Rd6, Qe7 with
unclea play in a complex psition.
Moern Mlddleame Leon: Leon Sven
White's Middlegame Plan
White is hoping to ocupy the center wit his pieces. He will
double Roks on the d-fle and prhaps place his Bishop on e4. Then
teat will appa like Rd7, when Black could easily find himself losing
Black's Middlegame Plan
To get his present central situation White had to mae two impor
tnt concessions. The frst was to castle Queenside; his King is fa from
secure on this side of the bard ad Black will consttly b loking for
ways to blast opn lines ad get to it. The second concession was parng
6 Modem Mlddlegame Lesn
with his dark-squared Bishop. Aside from pssibilites of ... Bh6ch, White
must constntly watch his e-pawn, for if it was taken or was forced to ad
vace, the dark-squared Bishop could easily hurt White on the h8-a1 di
So what we have here is a fight between White's psitional pres
sure in the center versus Black's tactcal chances against White's King
17 Rd1?
A serious inaccuracy. White should have gone for 17 Rd6! and if
17 . Nb4 then 18 Be4, Rb (Not 18 . . . b5 19 Qe2, Rb8 20 a3 winning ma
terial) 19 aJ, Nc6 20 Bxc6, bxc6 with murky complications (If 21 Qxc5
then 21 . . . Qg4 gives Black strong counterplay). Another line after 17 Rd6!
is the immediate thrst 17 . b5 and now: a) 1 8 Qxb5 (?), N 1 9 Qc4 (But
not 19 Bc4, Q5!) 19 . . . Nxd3ch 20 Rxd3, Rb8 21 a, Rb6 and Black's pres
sure down the b-fle gives hi go compnstion for the sacrifced pawn;
or b) 1 8 Qh4! , c4 19 Be4, Nc5! (sacrificing the Exchange in retur for a
mighty post for the Knight on d3) 20 Bxa8, Nd3ch 21 Kb1 , Qxa8 22 Rd1 ,
Qc8 (After 22 . . . Nxe5 23 Nxe5, Bxe5 White should play 24 R6-d5! with a
slight plus - not 24 Rd8? bcause of 24 . . . Qxg2) 23 R6xd3 (Weak is 23
Qd4, Q!) 23 . . . cxd3 24 Rxd3, Qf5 with Black having good counter
17 . bS!
Now this thrust gives Black a stong attck.
18 Qh4
O 18 QxbS simply 18 . Nc7! wins material.
18... Nb4
Gaining an imprtnt temp - another reason why 17 Rd6! wa
19 Bxg6?!
A tempting shot, but Black has foreseen a brilliant refuttion.
Better was 19 Rd6 though ater 19 . c4 20 Be4 (On 20 Bb1 strong is
20 ... Nd3ch!) 20 . c3! 21 a (Forced), c2 22 axb4, cxd1=Qch 23 Kxd1,
Rb8 Black has a clea advantage.
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Leon Seven 67
Opening To Middlegame
Kasparov, ever alert for tactical shots, is often at his best when
pinned to the rops - as he appars to b here after 19 Bxg6 aimed directly
at his King. He is called upon to refute a very dangerous piece sacrifice
which might very well have kayod lesser morls. Furiously and despr
ately throwing punches, Kasparov staves off mate while keeping his eye
on the weak spot in Beliavsky's camp - an undefended back rank. White
heaves all his forces into a Kingside attack, but he suddenly discovers
noting is left to guad his own monarch. Black launches a powerful
counterattack beginning with 20 ... Qe8! When te smoke clears, White's
overextended forces ae no match for the deadly advance of Black's extra
pawn to b3.
Forced. After 19 ... hxg6 White wins with 20 Ng5, Re8 21 Rd7.
20 Rd7
Threatening 21 Qe7 with a mating attck.
Stopping 21 Qe7 and envisioning a dep counterattack.
21 Re7
After 21 a3, Nc6 22 e6!? Black has 22 ... Rxf! and if 23 gxf then
23 ... Qxe6 24 Qxe4, Qr6! is decisive, while after 23 Rxg7ch, Kxg7 24
Rd7ch, Qxd7! 25 exd7, Rr6 Black material supriority must win.
21... Bh6h!
Now if 22 Qxh6 then simply 22 ... Qxe7.
22 Kb1
6 Moder Mlddlegame Lesons
Now Kasparov reveas another surpris move.
Taking advantage of White's weakened back rak (23 Rxe8? ?,
Rl mate).
23 Rd6
O 23 Ret, g5! wins.
23 ...
Now 24 Rxc6 again allows mate on the back rank.
An eror by White allowed Black to immediately stt his
Queenside counterattack, thereby putting all of White's plans on te back
buer. Seeing that Black was tng charge, White sacrfced a piece in
an effort to regan the initiative. However, Black was able to put White
away by mixing defense with his own mating aspirations.
Rule to b lerne: In general central play is preferable to play
on the wings. However, an insecure King always gives the opponent
chances for counterlay and great care must be used to prevent what
transpired in this exampl.
After 24 Qxh6 Black mates with 24 .. Qe4ch 25 Kat, Nc2ch 26
Kbt, Na3 27 Kat, Qbtch.
2 Rxd6
The rest is relatvely simple.
Moem Mlddlegame Leons: Leon Sven
25 exd6
25 .
Again threatening mate on dl.
2 axb4
O 26 Ret, Qd3ch wins.

Now a pawn up with a strong attacking psition, Kasparov wins
27 Qe
White continues to hop.
27... b3
Threatening mate. Now 28 Qe6ch, Qxe6 29 Rxe6, ReS (Threat
30 . . . Rcl mate) 30 Ret, Rc2 wins easily. Also after 28 Nd4, Rf4 29
Qa8ch, Bf White is mashed.
White Resigns
70 Moder Mlddlegame Lessons
An Uncastled King Gets
Middlegame Punishment
Evgeny Vladimirov was a membr of Kasparov's team in the K-K
matches until he was abrptly f1red during the third tilt in 1 986. Chages
were made that he passed on inforation to te enemy cap. Whether
te or not, Vladimirov, hithero an unknown Soviet, ganed some un
wanted notoriety. Since then the world has leaed that Vladimirov is a
very strong player in his own right a his opponent found out in this fne
game, Vadlmlrov-Eplsln, USSR 1989.
l e
Considered t be White's most aggressive choice.
1... c
Black's most aggressive respnse.
2 Nf
More sedate (but not without bite) is the Closed Sicilia 2 Nc3
followed by g3 and Bg2. More aggressive is 2 d4 (te Smit-Mora
Gambit) ad if 2 .. cxd4 then 3 c3.
2 ... d6
Peparing to play Nf6 witout having to wory abut e4-e5.
3 d4
Seizing more contol of the d4 square.
3... cxd4
In retur Black obtins a two to one central pawn majority.
4 Nxd4
Possible is 4 Qxd4, answering 4 ... Nc6 with 5 Bb5; but the text is
by far the most common.
4 ... Nf6
Stiking at the e-pawn to make White commit ealy. After 4 . .. Nc6
White would have te option of 5 c4, creating the Maroczy bind.
5 Nc3
Rare but playable are both 5 Bd3 and 5 f.
s... e
Modern Mlddleme Leon: Leon Eight 71
Entering the Scheveningen Vaiation, a favorite of World Cha-
pion Garri Kasparov.
6 g4
The Kere's attck, White's most gressive choice here ad a fa
vorite of Ex World Champion Anatoly Karv.
To secure the Nf6 from bing chased by g4-g5.
7 h
Gaining more Kingside space.
7 B7
Also playable ae 7 ... Nc6 and 7 .6.
8 g5
Continuing his space acquiring plicy.
8... hxg5
Now Black has some use of te h-fle.
9 Bxg5
Now White will son castle Queenside, hoping to build some
pressure on Black's slighty resticted deployment.
9... Nc6
O 9 .. a6 frst and then Nc6.
10 Qd2
Now after Queenside castling, White will have good pressure
down the d-file.
10... a6
An interesting alterative is 10 Qb6 tough after 1 1 Nb3
(Avoiding exchanges) 1 1 . .. a6 12 0-0-0, Qc7 13 Bg, Bd7 14 f4, 0-0-0 15
White's greatr space contol gives a slight plus.
11 0-0-0
With White's development almost complete, Black must hurry to
complete his.
Also reasonable is 1 1 Qc7.
12 f4
More space gaining, controlling eS and loking to the possible
advance f4-f5 pressuring Black's e6 (If Black responds tof4-f5 with e6-e5,
then dS is serously weaened).
12... Nxd4?!
Modem Mlddlegame Lesson
This is slightly dubious since it brings White's Queen to a more
active, centralized psiton. More solid was 12 ... Qc7 and 13 ... 0-0-0.
Opening To Middlegame
Black's problems will stem from an uncastled King, allowing
Vladimirov a chance to scrfice a piece to keep the King stranded in the
center. Episin, however, refuss to collapse and offers a forceful defense.
Black seems to extricate himself. Sacrifcing the
hite Queen is one of
those surrising, deadly twists that makes this game wory of the an
13 Qxd4
From here the Queen radiates power in all directions.
13... B6
Hoping to pressure White's e4.
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Leson Eight
Wite' s Middlegame Plan
At the moment both sides are engaged in a fght for te initiative
and no clear plan of action can b pinted to. However, te pssibilities
for bth sides are obvious and a general outline is also easy to provide:
White enjoys more space on the Kingside and in the center; this means
that he must t to create a breathrough in one of those areas. But which
one and how? Fortunately for White, he has a lot of choices. He can t
h4-h5-h6; he can play on te g-fle with Rgl ; he can blast the center open
wit e4-e5; and fnally he can mix central action with his Kngside hops
by f4-f5. The question is: which of these plans is the most attactve
against the set-up that Black has chosen? The aswer must b the plan
based on f4-f5 since it simultaneously fres the Bishop on gS and treatens
to weaken Black on the Kingside and in the center with fxe6. If Black
were to answer f4-f5 wit e6-e5, then White could make use of the
newly created hole on dS by an eventual Bc4, Bxf6, and NdS. Note that
Black's last move, 13 .. Bc6, takes a defender away from e6 and makes the
eventual f4-f5 advance all te stronger.
74 Moder Mlddlegame Lessons
Black's Middlegame Plan
Black's pssibilities encompass te whole board. He is placing
pressure on the White e-pawn; he might attack in the center with . d6-d5;
at some pint he can eye te isolated White h-pawn by g7-g6 followed
by .Rh7 and (after an earlier . . . 0-0-0) Rdh8; ad, or course, he can
make use of the tried and tre Sicilian ideal of a counterattck on te
Queenside via ..b7-b5-b4, ..QaS, .ReS, etc.
ing e.
14 Rg1
Not bad, but more straight forward was 14 Bh3 and 15 fS, attack-
14... Qa5
Possible was 14 . Qc7, but Black feels this is more aggressive.
15 Bh3
To supprt f4-f5.
15... QcS
Hoping to trade Queen's and thus reduce White's attacking poten-
16 Qd3
But White rightly declines.
16... bS
Threatening to win the e-pawn after b5-b4.
17 fS!
But White sees a means of maintaining the initiative by tactical
play. After 17 a3, Rb8 followed by b5-b4 Black would gain counterplay
on the b-fle.
17... b4
Moem Mlddlegame Leson: Leon Eight
Continuing to force te issue.
18 Be3
Preparing some intricate tactics.
18... Q
At first sight tings lok bad for White since if the QN moves
both a2 and e4 are under attack.
19 Qc4!
A fne maneuver.
19 Bb7
After 19 .. BbS 20 NxbS, axbS (O 20 ... Qxb5 21 Qb3, Rxh4 22
Bg5, Rxe4 23 fxe6 White is much btter) 21 Qc6h, Kf 22 fxe6 White
has a clea advantge.
20 fxe!
Now White begins a combinational attck.
20... bxc3
He might as well have a piece for his toubles.
21 Rxg7!!
From here the Rook exerts great pressure.
White has already broken trough in te center, now he rips te
Black Kingside as well. With 21 Rxg7 he announces that he has te inita
tive firly in his hands and that his threats ae much more dgerous than
the opponent's. Why did White's plans prove to be more real than Black's?
The reason can most likely b found in Black's 1 2th move eror,
t2 ... Nxd4?. This gave White's Queen a strong cental home and tis fact
76 Modem Mlddlegame Lesons
provided just enough exta aillery to make White's threats more danger
ous than Black's.
Rule to b lerne: Black's mistaken 12 . .. Nxd4? did nothing for
his own position and brought the White Queen to a strong attacking
square. Never play a move unless it has some positive impact on the plan
tht needs to be implemented. Before you do anything ask, "What wonder
ful thing does this move do for my position?" I you can't answer this
question, then don't play the move!
After 21. .. Bxe4 22 exfch, Kf 23 Rg8ch, Rxg8 24 fxg8=Qch,
Nxg8 25 Rflch, Bf6 26 Rf6ch! , Nxf6 27 Bh6ch, Ke7 28 Qe6ch, Kd8 29
Qxd6ch, Ke8 3 Qf is mate. Note the role of 21 Rxg7! ! in tis attack.
22 Qb3
But not 22 exdS as after 22 BxdS White's attck is repulsed.
22... cxb2ch
Corectly striving for counterlay.
23 Kbl
Not 23 Qxb2, Ba3 or 23 Kxb2, Qb4.
23... Qb5
Tring to break the force of White's attack by trading Queens. If
Black had tied 23 . .Nxe4 then White proeeds with 24 Bd4, Nd2ch 25
Rxd2, Qxd2 26 Qa4h!, Kf 27 Rfch, Kg8 28 Rf! (Threatening 29
Qd7 or 29 Rglch) 28 . Rh7 29 Rglch, Kl 3 BfS ad White's attck is
decisive (30 . . . Rh5 31 Bg7ch, Kg8 32 Bc3 dis. ch. wins handily).
2 exch
Hemming in the King.
2 K
Of course not 24 . Kd8 bcause of 25 Bb6h ad mate next.
25 Rdgl!
Drawing a bead on the Black King.
25... Qxb3
O 2S .NhS White has 26 Qc3! and if 26 ... Bf6, ten 27 BeSch
2 Bh6!!
A beautiful fnal twist.
2... Ng4
The only try. It is mate after 26 ... Rxh6 27 Rg8ch, Kxf 30 R/1-
27 Rh7
Modern Mlddlegame Leons: Leon Eight
Now White forces play into a won ending.
2 Rxh8h
Gathering up materia.
28 Kx
No choice.
29 Rh7ch
Now ater 29 .. Kf 30 axb3 Black's psition is hopless, e.g., if
30 ... Ng8 ten 31 Be, Nf6 32 Rh8h and mate next.
Black Resigns
78 Modem Mlddlegame Lesn
A Middlegame Stock Sacrifce
For many years one of White's stndd weapons against the Si
cilian has ben a well-timed incursion of his QN to d5. This scrifice ha
become almost automatic in a variety of positons, yet it is always surris
ing to see how effective it is with each new twist in a slightly different
setting. Nunn-Marln, Szlrak Interzonal 1987.
l e
Considered White's most incisive frst move.
1... c
The Sicilian is stll Black's most ppular retort to 1 e4, since it
has ptential for aggressive counterplay.
2 Nf
Preparing to seize control of the central d4 square via d2-d4.
2... d6
Restraining the pssibility of a later space-gaining e4-e5.
3 d4
Now after the capture 3 . cxd4 4 Nxd4, White's Knight ocupies
the fne cental square d4.
3 ... cxd4
Otherwise White's clasicl two pawn center would dominate too
much central teritory.
4 Nxd4
From this fne pst the Knight radiates influence on several
squares in Black's psition.
4 . Nf6
Forcing White to immediately decide how to defend his e-pawn.
5 Nc3
The usual ad bst meas of defending the e-pawn. Playable is 5
Bd3 or even 5 f, these being raely seen.
s ... a6
This od loking move creates the Najdorf Variation of le Sicil
ia Defense. The main purpose of 5 ... a6 is to allow a later . . . b7-b5,
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons:Leson Nine 79
gaining space for Queenside counter action and allowing te QB access to
6 Be3
White has many playable moves here. Sharst is 6 BgS or 6 Bc4
(An old favorite of Bobby Fischer) or even 6 f4. Solid is 6 Be2 (Karpov's
6 . e
Preparing to develop te KB to e7, while providing contol of te
imporant dS square.
7 Qd2
Clearing te back rank for Queenside castling. This is a ver ag
gressive course of action, typica for White in many Sicilian psitions.
7... bS
Expanding on te Queenside wit a treat to te e-pawn, since a
subsequent b5-b4 would chase away te guadian Nc3.
8 f
Giving te e-pawn reliable protecton while providing a prop for a
later Kingside demonstation via g2-g4.
8 ... Nbd7
The most fexible deployment for te QN allowing access to eS,
cS, b6 or even f6 in later contngencies.
9 g4
Serving notice that Black's Kingside will b facing a rapid on
slaught should Black castle Kingside.
9 ... h6
Preventing, at least for a while, te annoying g4-g5 which would
unseat te important Nf6.
10 0-0-0
White continues a policy of rapid development.
A fne location for te QB from which it surveys te important
cental dS and e4 squares.
11 Bd3
Completing minor piece development while lending exta suppr
to e4 (This could be importat if White plays/4 later).
1 1...
With ideas of ReS followed by Nc4 counterattacking down the c
fle, or, in some cases allowing simplifying exchanges wit Nxd3.
8 Modem Mlddlegame Lessons
12 Rhe1
Since Black has alowed his King to reman in the center, White
mases all forces in the center. White will now strive to opn lines to al
low his impsing force to get a the laggad Black King.
12... Nfd7!?
Black hops to entrench his defenders to ward off White's im
pnding attck, but this move is not the right way. The better choice wa
12 ..Rc8. A game btween Ye jlangchuan-Xu Jon, Chinee Champion
ship 1937, continued 13 Kb1, Be7 14 h4, b 15 Na4, QaS 16 b3, Nfd7 17
gS and now, instead of the actually played 17 .. Nc5, Black should have
tried 17 ...g6 with btter chances to hold his own in an complex stuggle.
13 f4!
White puts the finger on te weak spot in Black's defense with
this very sharp pawn sacrifce.
White's Middlegame Plan
White was preparing for a Kingside attack, but noted Lhat Black
had left his King in the center. Since masters are well aware that you must
blast the position opn if the enemy King is still in te middle, Nunn
wastes no tme in doing this. White will now do everything in his power to
destroy te pawn cover surounding the Black King.
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons:Leson Nine 81
Black's Middlegame Plan
Black had originally hopd to eiter generate play on te Queen
side or initiate central counterplay wit an eventual ...d6-dS (after castling
Kingside). Unfortunately, White was te frst to attck and now Black
must make an unsavory choice: Should he tke te offered material and
hop to surive te assault or should he counterattck ad ty to trow his
oppnent off his stride? In te present situation either decision will ulti
mately fail since White's lead in development is to great; any hand to
hand fghting must favor te side who has his ay out.
13... b4
Black attempts to counterattck. Tis is understandable in view of
the alterative 13 ...Nxg4 14 eS!? and now:
(a) 14 . . . Nxe3 15 Nxe6! , Qb (Of course not 15 .. .xe6 allowing
mate after 16 Bg6ch, Ke7 1 7 Qxd6 mate) 16 Rxe3, fxe6 1 7 Bg6ch, Kd8 1 8
exd6, Bxd6 (Trying to get rid of te terrible pawn on d6, but 18 . . . Nc5 is no
better after 19 f5. with a foridable attack) 1 9 Rxe6, Bxf4 20 Rxb6, Bxd2
21 Rxd2 with a winning game for White.
(b) 14 . . . b 15 Nxe6 (Typically White proeeds with sacrifces)
1 5 . . . bxc3 16 Qxc3, Qc8 1 7 Qb3, Nxe3 (O 17 .. .xe6 18 Qxe6ch, KdB 19
Qxg4 and White's position is cushing) 1 8 Rxe3, fxe6 1 9 Qxe6ch, Kd8 20
exd6, Nf6 21 Qe5, a (To stop Qa5 - e.g. if 21 . . . Qc6 ten White wins wit
22 Qa5ch, KcB 23 d7ch. since on 23 . . . Qx7 24 Bf5 or 23 . . . Nx7 24 Bf5)
22 Bb5 (Threatening mate in two with 23 QeBch) 22 . . . Bc6 23 Rc3, Nd7 24
Qe2 and Black's position is hopless. Despite these losing lines for Black,
tere is a btter line in "c".
82 Modem Mlddlegame Lessons
(c) 14 . . . Nc5! 1 5 Nxe6, Nxe6 1 6 f5, Nxe3 1 7 Rxe3, Be7 with
murky complications. However, White ca "get the lat word in" with 1 4
Bg1 (Instead of 14 e5 1 4 . . . Be7 1 5 h3, Ngf6 1 6 e5, dxe5 1 7 fxe5, Nd5 1 8
Nxe6! (That scrifce agan! ) ad Black has no good defense.
14 NdS!
Opening to Middlegame
An exprienced defender must keep a eye out for Nd5 and guard
aganst it whenever pssible, espcially bfore castling with his King still
on e8. Here is another example of what happns when Black caelessly
prits the sacrifce ad then fails to offer any tough resistance. Slaughter.
A typica ad strong sacrifce in this typ of position.
14... Nxd3ch
After the obvious 14 .. exd5 there follows 15 fxe5, dxe4 16 exd6,
Bxd6 17 Nf5 Black is in dire straits, or if 14 .. Nxg4 then 15 Qxb4, Rb8 16
Qa4 ad again BLack's stranded King cannot be protected from the
concered asault of White's centralized forces.
15 Qxd3
Not 15 cxd3 which would block White's strong pressure down the
15 ... exd5
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons:Lesson Nine 83
The Knight on dS is to strongly psted so Black must relucttly
accept the sacrifce.
16 exd5
Now the e-file is fully open, directly trgeting the hapless Black
16 Be7
To blok the e-fle and get castled. After 16 ... Nc5 17 Qc4 Black
would have to try the bizarre march 17 .. Kd7 since 17 .. Be7 is fattened by
the simple 18 NfS. After 17 .Kd7 White draws a bad on the fleeing
royalty with 18 Qxb4, Qc7 19 Nc6 with a winning position.
17 Nc6!
Forcing Black to capture.
Otherwise te tctical pressure on the Be7 is to great.
18 dxc6
White is a piece down for a pawn, but with bth central files
open, Black's psition becomes ever more serious.
A btter defense was 18 . Nf tough ater 19 fS! (With the idea
20 Bb6!, Qxb6 21 Rxelch!, Ke7 22 Qx6 mate) 19 ... Rb8 20 Bd4, f6 (O
if 20 . . . Rg8 then White breaks through with 21 Bxg7!, Rxg7 22 j 21 Qxa6
and Black is hoplessly tied up.
19 Bb!
A nice "decoy" tctic.
If Black defers with 19 .. Qb8 then White plays 20 Qd4 with the
terrible threat 21 c7 fol lowed by 22 Rxe7ch and 23 Qxd6h.
20 Rxe7ch
Crashing through.
20 .. K
It is mate after 20 .. Kxe7 21 Qxd6ch, Ke8 22 Retch.
21 Qxd6
Threatening 22 ReS, Kxe8 23 Re1ch ad mat soon.
8 Modem Mlddlegame Lesson
How Te Player's Respectve Plans Worked Out
After 13 f4! Black was well aware that he was in trouble, but he
did his best to fght his way out of it. Sadly enough (from Black's point of
view), White refused to b distacted by Black's counter-demonstration;
instead he forged staght aead ad burst the center open. After that Black
was facing an attck with the fur of a huricae; he eventually got blown
Rule to b lered: Don't leave your King in the center an don't
fall way behind in development!
The only move.
22 gS
The g-pawn now happily joins the crsh toward the fleeing King.
Hoping the h-fle will be of some use.
23 fxgS
Now the f-file is another plus for White.
23... Rc8
After 23 .. Ng4 White utilizes the f-file to blast trough on 1 - 24
QdS, Rf 25 g6, Nh6 26 Rn ad wins.
24 c7!
White allows simplifcation a piece down since te advanced c
pawn will b pised to Queen son.
2 ... Qxd6
Modem Mlddlegame Lessons:Lesson Nine
There is no real choice.
25 Rxd6
White will operate with threats of Rd8.
25... Ng4
After 25 ... Kf 26 gxf6, gxf6 27 Rdd7 White wins - 27 ... Rh7 28
Re3, Kg7 29 Rg3ch, Kh6 30 Rd4, Kh5 31 Rd8, Rxc7 32 Rh3ch, Kg6 33
Rg8ch and Black loses a Rok.
2 Rd8h
Avoiding the tempting 26 ReSch?, Rxe8 27 Rd8, Kh7 ad Black
is stll kicking.
26 ... Kh7
27 Red7!
Now the threat 28 Rxh8ch, K or Rxh8 29 Rd8 with a win so . . .
Black Resigns.
Modem Mlddlegame Lesons
The Long Diagonal In The Middlegame
The French Defens rquires patient maneuvering bhind closed
lines and a willingness to endure a prolonge cramp untl White's initiative
subsides. When a youtful player like Shor adopts it against a expr
enced veteran like Gligorc, it is interesting to watch what happns. Who
will rn out of patience frst? GUgorlc-Short Belgrade 1987.
1 d4
A favorite of most of the top touraent players today.
1... e
Ofering a tansposition to the French after 2 e4.
2 e
Offer accepted. If White wished to stay in the d-pawn opnings
he could play 2 c4 or 2 Nf.
2 d5
Challenging White's e4 center pawn.
3 Nc3
Also go is te immediate space gaining 3 e5, a favorite of
F.I.D.E. Master Ken Smith.
3 .. Bb4
Intoucing the well known Winawer Variation.
4 e
The e-pawn was under attck so White advances it wit a gain of
4 c
To underine the suppr of the e spahead.
5 a
Making Black decide what to do with his Bb.
5... Bxc3ch
Weakening White's pawn strcture, but conceding the Bishop
6 bxc3
Though White's c-pawns ae doubled, te c3 pawn gives exta
suppr t the imporant d-pawn.
Moder Mlddleame Leon: Leon Ten 87
6 .. Ne7
The only go square for the KN since Nh6 would alow Bxh6
rining Black's Kingside pawn structure.
7 a4
Intending to pst the QB on a3.
7 .. Nb6
Pressuring d4 ad resering the later opton of maneuvering Na5-
c4, taing advantage of the weaened c4 square.
8 Nf
Developing and reinforcing d4 and e.
8... Q
Threatening 9 ... cxd4 with effect.
9 Qd2
Breaking te pin on the c3 pawn.
9 ... Bd7
Now 9 ... cxd4 has no effect since 10 cxd4 leaves White's center in
fine shap.
10 Bd3
The most active place for the KB.
10 ... c4
Chasing the KB off the fne d3-h7 diagonal, but relieving the
pressure on te d4 pawn and expsing te a3-f diagonal to more pressure
by the White QB when it aives on a3.
11 Be2
Wort a thought is 1 1 Bfl wit the idea of g3 and Bh3.
1 1... 0-0
More usual is 1 1. .. f6 to challenge White's center.
12 0-0
White's greater space contol plus the Bishop pair give him a
slight positional plus.
12 ...
To open the f-fle for counterplay.
13 Ba
The QB has excellent scop from here.
After 13 .. Rt (To get out of te pin) 14 R! , Qc7 15 Bd6, Qc8
16 exf6 White would retn pressure.
8 Modern Mlddlegame Lessons
14 Bd6!
Leaping into an even better post.
White's Middlegame Plan
White enjoys more space in te cenLer and Lwo Bishops. How
ever, while the Bishop on d6 is doing a gol job, the guy n e2 is jusl in the
way. White would like Lo overprotect eS (thereby keeping Black crampd)
ad find an actve diagonal for his lighL-squared Bishop.
One dream for White would be if Black answered exf6 wit
. Rxf6. Then Black would have a weak backward pawn on e6 and While
could use the hole on eS. However, Black will always answer exf6 with
... gxf6, keeping control of eS.
Moern Mlddlegame Leons: Lesson Ten 89
Black's Middlegame Plan
Black will pst his Knight on te fne fS squae and eventualy
play ... fxeS; but he will only do this if White h to recapture on eS with a
pawn. Oc White's d-pawn has ben coaed to eS, Black will always
treaten to play ... d5-d4, gaining counterplay in the center and blasting
open the a8-h1 diagonal for a Bishop that has previously been bad, but
would ten burst into activity.
Black can also eye te weak pawn on a4, though play in the
middle is always preferable to pawn grbbing on the wings.
14... R
Getting out of the annoying pin.
15 g3?
The right course was 15 exf6, gxf6 16 Nh4, Ng6 17 Nxg6, hxg6
18 f4 followed by a general advance of the Kingside pawns - g4, h4.
Modem Mlddlegame Lesom
Opening To Middlegame
Gligoric bgins t go wrong with 15 g3 by weakening his
Kngside unnecessarily. This small slip seems haless, yet in due course
it alows Black to fous his latent counterplay on the h1-a8 diagonal.
Black's thematic scrfce on move 26 to blast opn this diagonal for his
QB gives this gae its special character. Another surprising development
is 27 . g5! blasting opn more lines to White's King, which loked so snug
just a few moves ago. Finally the sacrifice of yet a third paw (28 . . . h5)
adds a piquant touch to Black's conduct of the attack. An impressive pr
15 . NfS
Encouraging the Bd6 to reteat while improving te KN position.
16 Bb4
Aso pssible was 16 Ba3 with roughly equal chances.
Renewing pressure on eS.
17 Rfe1
Giving indirect tactica protection to eS.
Nibbling away at te White center.
18 dxeS
The exchanges after 18 NxeS, NxeS 19 dxeS alow Black to snap
off the a-pawn with 19 ... a5 20 Ba3, Bxa4
18... Nxb4
Another plan was 18 ... h6 followed by ... gS.
Moer Mlddleame Leon: Leon Ten 91
19 cxb4
Tre, White's pawns ae undoubted; but now tat the QB is re
moved, f is available for Black's Roks.
Wit tis doubling up on te f-file, Black bgins to work on the
weakened f.
20 Ng5
Trying to disrpt Black's plans.
21 Bg4
Potecting e5 ad activating te KB.
21... B8
With some tctcal pint.
22 c3
To increase contol of d4 - otheris d5-d4 would b strong
soner or later. The tactica pint of Be8 is revealed on 22 Nf, Nh6 win-
ning a piece.
22 aS!
Probing White's expsed Queenside pawns for tactical and
strategical purposes.
23 bxaS?
Now the a4 pawns will b ver vulnerable. Relatively btter was
23 b5 though after 23 ... Qb6 2 Kg2, Nh6 25 Bdl, Bg6 Black is still bet-
23 ... QxaS
Wit the idea of pressurng a4 and treatening d5-d4.
24 Qb2
Getting out of the pin on the el-a5 diagonal.
2... B6!
Portending action on the c6-hl diagonal.
2S f4
Attempting to baricade Black's pressure on the f-file.
25... h6
Planning a dynaic breaktough with g7-g5.
26 Nf
Nh3 only misplaces the Knight.
9 Modem Mlddlegame Lesons
2 d4!
A fne pawn sacrifice to exploit the air condition of White's
27 cxd4
After 27 Nxd4, Nxd4 28 cxd4, g5! (with the idea of Qd5 soon) is
very strong.
27 . gS!
Blasting open more lines for te attck.
28 fxg5
White has little choice.
28 hS
Another tactical fnesse.
29 BxhS!
The best try. After 29 Bxf5, Rxf5 3 Nh4, Qd5! 31 Nxf5 (After
31 Ng2, c3! is strong) 31. .Rf! (Not the hasty 3l . . . Qhlch 32 Kj, Qxh2ch
33 Ke3, Qxb2 34 Nxe7ch, Kg7 35 Nxc6 wit unclea play) 32 Nb6ch, Kg7
33 Nxf, c3 3 Qe2 (34 Qa2 fails to 34 . . . Qhlch 35 Kj, Qg2ch 36 Ke3,
Q mate) 3 ... Qhlch 35 Kf, Qxh2ch 3 Kn, Qhlch 37 Kf, Qxg2ch
33 Ke3, Qxg3ch and Black wins.
Another shot!
29... Nxg3!
30 hxg3
There is nothing els.
30... Bx
Though Black is stll two pawns down, his powerful initiative is
31 Qa3
After 31 Bxf, Rxf3 32 Qg2, Qc3! White is helpless.
31... QdS
Maneuvering towad te Kingside via the center.
32 Radl?
Better was 32 Re3! , Bhl 33 Ra2, Rh7 3 Bg6 (Not 34 Rh2,
Rxh5! or 34 Bg4, Rhf winning in either case) 3 ... Rh3! (Better than
34 . . . Rg7 35 Rh2!, Rxg6 36 Rh8ch with a drawn position) 35 Qd6, c3! (Not
35 . . . Bf 36 Rh2!) 3 Rc2, Bf 37 Rh2, Rxh2 38 Kxh2, Qxa2 and Black
32 ... Rh7
Modern Mlddlegame Leons: Lesson Ten 93
Switching to te h-fle with great effect.
How Te Player's Respectve Plans Worked Out
White never got anything going, but Black wa able to break
through in the center. As a direct consequence of te horble 15 g3?,
Black was also able to rip te White Kingside apart. White lost tis game
because he never followed a clear plan; he ended up reacting to his oppo
nent's ideas ad treats.
Rule to b lerned: Always fnd a plan that strives to improve
your position. You must realize that chess is a battle of ideas - one plan
against the other. The frst person who strays fom the path that his plan
has mapped out (be it fom ignorance or laziness) will usually be badly
punished for his transgression.
33 g4
Desperation since 33 Bxf, Rxf is cushing.
33... Bxdl
Winning material in addition to te winning attack.
34 Rxdl
There is noting else to do.
34... R
Now after 35 Qa2, Rg3ch 3 Kh2, Rxg4 White is son mated.
White Resigns
Modem Mlddleame Leson
The Middlegame Leaves
The Back Rank Weak
It is interestng to watch how players react once they let the in
itiative slip fom their grasp. In this opning White gains a spatial adva
tge, but cannot make much headway against Black's fastidious defens.
As so often happns, however, the attcker is unwilling to concede that his
attack has failed ad continues to pusue the drea of mate. This error of
judgment c have disstous consquences, a sen here in Hartrson
Ljubjevlc, Belgrade 1987.
1 d4
Athough the d-pawn opning is regaded as a slower buildup
than the te honored 1 e, it nonetheless is fuUy as vit.
1... Nf6
Peventing 2 e and leaving opn most options.
2 c4
To contest dS.
2 . e
Allowing the K to develop and preparing to establish a pawn on
3 Nf
The bst square for te KN in most openings.
3... dS
Establishing pawn control of the center.
4 Nc3
The most actve squae, contestng dS and e4.
4... c6
Reinforcing the "achor" on dS ad creating te chaacterstc
Slav Defense pawn foration.
S e3
Also quite feasible is S BgS, though White must ten reckon with
S ... dxc4 with great complications after 6 e4, bS 7 eS, h6 8 Bh4, gS 9
NxgS, hxgS 10 BxgS.
Moder Mlddlegme Lesons: Leson Eleven
s ...
Clearly the bst place.
6 Bd3
White intends to play a later e4 t gain more cntral teritor.
6... Be7
Also go is 6 . Bd6.
7 0-0
Now with the King saely tucked away, White is ready for action.
7... 0-0
Black wisely follows suit.
8 e4
The action intensifes with the awaited cental push.
8... dxe4
Other 9 eS would follow with to much caping effect.
9 Nxe4
Inferior would b 9 Bxe4 allowing 9 ... Nxe4, removing White's
long-ranging K.
9 ...
To bring te QB into play on b7.
10 b3
White aso wishes to fachetto his QB. A reasonable alteration
is 10 Bf4.
10 ... cS
Challenging the d-pawn, which controls cS and eS.
1 1 Bb2
Wisely avoiding 1 1 dxcS after which there would follow
1 1 ... Bb7! and if 12 Nd6 then 12 ... BxD 13 Qxf, NxcS and Black wins a
1 1 ... Bb7
Completing minor piece development while theatening the well
posted Ne4.
12 Qe2
Reinforcing e4 while clearing the back rank for later jokeying of
the Roks.
12 ... cxd4
By removing the d-pawn Black obtains access to cS ad eS.
13 Nxd4
Also pssible was 13 Bxd4.
13... NcS
9 Moder Mlddlegame Lesn
Forcing some desirable simplifcaton to reduce White's attacking
14 NxcS
The obsteprous Knight must b liquidated.
Also reaonable was 14 .. bxc5 though this would split up Black's
Queenside pawns.
15 Nf
After 15 Rad1 (Indiretly protectng the Nd4 since 15 ... Bxd4 16
Bx4, Qx4? allows 17 Bxh7ch) Black simply continues 15 ... Qc7 and if
16 NbS ten 16 ..Qc6 is fne for Black.
15... Qc7
The best place for te Queen, clearing the d-fle for a Rok.
16 Ne5
Ocupying a fne forard pst. The exchange 16 Bxf6, gxf6 is
quite satsfactory for Black as his Kingside is easy to defend.
Logically going for control of the d-file.
17 Rad1
White must contest te d-fle.
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Leson Eleven 9
White's Middlegame Plan
White enjoys a Queenside majority of pawns, active pieces, and
more Queenside and central territory. To make use of these advantages
tough, will prove to b no eay matter. White would not mind tading
pieces ad eventually creatng a passd Queenside pawn, but though an
endgame would give White a pleasant psition (all oter factors being
equal. Of course, an endgame could favor Black if he gains some other
advatage - like contol of the opn d-fle), a corect defense should en
able Black to hold on.
The other area where White can consider tying to make headway
is on the Kingside, since most of White's pieces aim in that direction.
However, great care must be used when initiating any side action with an
open center since wing attacks pull pieces from the middle and leave that
sector available for enemy counterattacks.
Modem Mlddlegame Lessons
Black's Middlegame Plan
Black's pieces stand on active psts and he has a psition that is
free from ay stctural weakness. Unforunately, he has less space tan
the oppnent so exchanges and a pssible draw ae all that Black can hop
for if White dosn't get to impulsive. Black will fist double Roks on the
d-fle. This should force a exchange of Roks and make Black's defen
sive tsk easier since fewer pieces on te board make less territory easier
to live with.
17 ...
Preparing to double up Rooks.
18 Ng4
White proceeds aggressively, tough the simple 18 Bc2 is wiser.
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Leson Eleven 9
Opening To Middlegae
Instead of adjustng to a new situation, White's mistakes are mo
tvated by his desire to win at all cost instead of setting for simplifc
tions. The complications will revolve around back rank weaknesses - for
bth sides. Black stumbles in prosecuting his counterattck ad must
wor about the safety of his own Kng in the midst of the ensuing stor.
White in tum goes astray and, although a Rok ahead, fnds himslf on the
wrong end of the matng attack that he had hopd to deliver to his opp-
18... Nxg4
Black simplifes again to reduce White's attckng unit.
19 Qxg4
With a defnite threat.
19... f6
Note this is pssible bcuse the Rd6 defends te e-pawn.
20 Bc2
To challenge the Stwar Rd6.
20... Qe7
Defending f6 to free the R from that duty (the g-paw is
21 Rd6
Otherise 2l. .. Rfd8 is go.
21... Bxd6
The Bishop recaptures t allow the Queen to retin guad of f6.
Modern Mlddlegame Lessons
22 Ret
Hoping to prove the e-pawn a weakness.
22... eS
Stopping the threat to e ad building a pawn barier against the
23 h4
Intending to use the h-pawn a a battering ram to loosen up
Black's pawn strcture (e.g. h5-h6 or h5 followed by Q5 forcing h7-h6).
23... Rd8
Activatng te K.
24 h5
Per plan.
24 ... Bb
Opning up play down the d-file to counter White's evident
Kngside pressure.
25 Re2?!
This is questionable. White should have tried 25 Rdl, Rxdlch 26
Qxdl with even chances.
25... Qd7
Offering a Queen tade, since tis would defnitely end White's
Kingside attacking intentions.
26 BfS?
Understdably trying to avoid the Queen trade, but now Black
can strike wit effect. A lesser evil was 26 Qxd7 wit a slightly better
ending for Black.
26 ... Qdlch
Play begins to assume a complex tactical character.
27 Kh2
Obviously forced.
27 ... Bd2
Preventing h5-h6 and allowing an aggressive repositioning of the
Bishop via f4.
28 Be6ch
This is not so much an attcking move as a defensive one. Clearly
it is Black who is in contol of the initiatve.
2... Kh8
Of course not 28 ... Kf8? because of 29 Ba3ch.
29 Bd5
To blok the foridable Bb7.
Modern Mlddleame Lesons: Leson Eleven 101
29 ... Bf4ch!
The most incisive. However also quite good would have been
29 ... Bxd5 30 cxdS, Bh6 with a clea advantage for Black.
30 g3
Naturally not 30 Kh3 bcause of 30 .Qh1 mate.
30... rs
Black proceeds with great vigor, typical of the Yugoslav Grad
mater's style.
How The Player's Respective Plans Worked Out
White chose to attck the Kingside, but became a bit overeaous
in his pursuit of the win. When Black bgan his counterplay in the middle,
White should have accepted a mass tade of Roks which would also have
ended any attacking aspiratons. Instead White lost touch with reality and
gave up the d-fle for a attck that was not really there. Since contol of
the center is almost always more imprtt than control of a wing, Black
son gained a grip on the psition. White's King was the one that
eventualy fell.
Rule to b lerne: Never give up control of the center unless
the reward is clearly obtainable. One must also be careful to avoid the
lack of objectivity that ofen comes with an overpowering desire to win at
any cost.
31 Qh4
Of course not 31 QxfS, Qxe2. Also, on 31 Qf Black has
31. .. Rxd5! 32 cxdS (The attempt 32 Qxf4 loses brilliatly to 32 . . . Qhlch!!
33 Kxhl, Rdl dis. 34 Kh2, Rhl mate) 32 .. Bxd5 with a quick win.
102 Modem Mlddleame Lesn
A unfortnate slip. Corect was 31 Rd7 32 gxf4, Bxd5 33
cxd5, Qxe2 34 BxeS, Rxd5 35 h6, Kg8! 3 Bxg7, Qe4 ad Black is
clealy winning.
32 Kxg3
Forced since bth 32 Qxg3, Qxe2 ad 32 fxg3, Qxe2ch are unac
32 . Rxd5
Black scrifces a whole Rok to maintain an attcking psture.
However, with accurte play White will b able to defend.
33 cxd5
White must accept.
Treatening 34 . Q2 mate.
Giving the King a fight squae at h4 and threatening 35 Qfch,
Qg8 3 Qxg8ch with an eay win. Howeve, as will b seen, Black has a
win (again) after this move. Coret was 3 Re4!, f4h 35 Kh3! (Not 35
Kh2 since Black replies 35 . . . h6 36 j, Qd2ch followed by Bxe4 ad Qxb2)
35 h6 3 f, Q1.
3... Qfh
Again missing a win: 34 .. f4! !ch 35 Kh4, Qh1ch 3 Kg5, h6ch
37 Kf5 (37 Kg6 ?, Qc6ch wins) 37 .Qxh5ch 38 Ke6, BeSch 39 Kd5 (O
39 Kd6, Qxe2 wins) 39 . Qfch 4 Ke4, Qf5ch 41 Kd5, Bb7ch 42 Kc4,
Ba6h 43 Kd5, Bxe2 4 BxeS, Bfch! wins.
35 Kh4
35 ...
White threatened 3 Qf mate.
3 Re3?
White also ers ad this time it is fatl. Necessary was 3 Bxe5,
Qblch 37 Kg3, Qg2ch 38 Kh4, Qg5ch 39 Kh3, Qxh5ch 40 Qh4!, Qf3ch
41 Qg3, Qh1ch 42 Qh2ch, Qfch with a draw.
Now Black's forcs cordinate smothly.
37 Rg3
37 .
Gaining time on the clok.
Moder Mlddlegame Lesons: Lesn Eleven 1 03
38 Rh3
38 .
Returing to the sme positon.
39 Rg3
39 ...
White teatened 40 Qfch ad 41 Qxg7 mate.
40 Kh3
O 40 BxeS, Qh2ch 41 Rh3, QxeS.
40... Qnch
Maeuvering in for the fnal attack.
41 Kh4
O 41 Kh2, Qh1 is mate.
41 ...
The noos tightens.
42 Rh3
42 ...
Threatening 43 ... Q5 mate.
43 Rg3
Qg1 !
O 43 Qd2 there follows 43 ... Qg4 mate.
43... Qh2ch
Winning te Bb2.
4... Qxb2
Now, with Bishop plus three pawns for te Rok, Black wins in a
45 Qc3
45... Qlch
Now on 4 Rg3, Qh2 47 Rh3, Qf4 is mate, or 4 Qg3, Qd4ch
ad mate next.
White Resigns.
10 Modem Mlddleame Lesn
Middlegame Perseverance And Grit
Yasser Seirawan is the only Amercan who ever defeated two
world chapions during their actual reigns: Karv ad Kaspaov. This is
a "great" gae only in the snse that White keeps hanging on despite all
attempt by the mighty Kaspaov to cah in on a slight advantage. Foiled
and bloked from achieving anything in the opning, Seirawan remains on
the defensive throughout most of the batte, which resolves itself into a
duel of Rok after the Queens disppar from the Board. Slrawan
Kasparov, Dubal Olympiad 198.
1 d4
The QP opnings lead to solid psitional games more often tan
1 ... Nf6
Peventing 2 e and retning options with his center pawns.
2 c4
Helping to contol dS. Also if Black plays a later dS, then White
might opn the c-fle wit cxdS.
3 ... dS
2 ... g6
Showing aggressive tendencies. More solid is 2 ... e followed by
3 Nc3
Controlling e and dS. Also possible was 3 Nf.
3... d5
Initiatng the Gruenfeld Defense, one of Black's most active de-
4 Nf
Solid. The most crcial line is the Exchange Variation - 4 cxd5,
NxdS S e4, Nxc3 6 bxc3 - after which White has an impressive classical
pawn center; but Black has good counterplay by exering pressure on te
centr wit his pieces and pawns.
4... Bg7
This pwerfully posted Bishop is a mainstay of Black's counter-
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Leson Twelve 105
Threatening 6 Bxf6, Bxf6 7 NxdS.
5... Ne
A well known counter to 5 Bg5.
6 cxdS
Not 6 Nxd5? because of 6 ... Nxg5 7 NxgS, e6! winning a piece.
6... NxgS
Obtning the two Bishops and preparing to regain the pawn.
7 NxgS
White relies on his solid development and Queenside prospects -
thanks largely to the c-file.
7 . e
Interesting but unsound is the shar 7 . c6?!, e.g., 8 eJ!, cxd5 9
Qf, f6 10 NhJ, BxhJ (O 10 . . . e6 11 Nf4, Nc6 12 h4! White retns stong
pressure) 1 1 QxhJ, fS 12 g4, 0-0 13 gxf5, gxf5 14 Rg1 and White has a
stong initiatve, Malanluk-Jandemlrov, Kostroma 1985.
8 Nf
The most sound; pssible is 8 NhJ, e 9 Nf4.
8... exdS
Now bcause of the pawn strcture, White's stategy will be to
begin a minority attack. Basically this entals b2-b-b5 after which Black
cannot avoid a weakening of his pawn strcture (Black will have played
c7-c6 as cxbS isolates Black's d-pawn, while if Black defers, then White
plays bxc6 leaving Black with a backward c-pawn on the open file.
9 b4
White loses no time stating the Minority attack.
9... Qd6
To force White to commit himself.
10 a3
On 10 b5, a6! is ver convenient for Black. The text is solid
while 10 QbJ hoping for 10 ... c6 is met instead with 10 ... Nc6! attacking
both b4 and d4. Hence there was argument in favor of 9 eJ (to reinforce
d4) and only then b2-b4.
10 .. 0-0
Completing Kingside development before committing the
Queenside pieces.
11 e3
10 Modem Mlddleame Lesn
White hurries to get his King into saety.
11... c6
Giving solid suppr to his d-pawn.
12 Be2
The bst pst for the K. O 12 Bd3 Black might pin effectively
with 12 ... Bg4.
12 ... BfS!?
A more active deployment than the usual 12 . . Be6 (Siilar to the
play in the note to White's l Oth move.)
13 0-0
Now White has al of his minor pieces out ad a sae King.
13... Nd7
Black has in mind Nb-c4 after b7-b5. This would block the c
fle, thus shielding the backwad c-paw.
14 Na4
Heading for an outpst on cS.
14... a!
Black's plan is to blok or neutalize White's Queenside play and
then resume a buildup on the Kingside and center.
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Leson Twelve 107
Opening To Middlegae
Seirawan is reduced to marking te, holding on for a draw, a
Kasparov keeps pressing for the win. Yet Kaspaov continues to scor an
eay draw ad takes more risks in quest of that elusive victory. In a excit
ing fnae, bth sides race thei pawns for a new Queen. Seirawan gets
tere frst - a tibute to his prsverac ad grit.
15 Qb3
No better is 15 NcS, b 16 Nxd7, Bxd7 with a slight plus for
15 bS
In order to create a stong point on c4, as mentioned ealier.
16 Nc5
Going for the outpst.
16 .. a4!
Preventing White from ever opening more Queenside lines wit
108 Modem Mlddleame Lesson
White's Middlegame Plan
White did not want to see the Queenside closed as he had hoped
to opn lines there by advancing his b-pawn. He had aso hopd to create
an attackable weakness on c6 with b4-b5 and bxc6. This plan is now un
available to White but he still intends to place a Knight on te fne cS
outpst ad, if possible, to break in the center by e3-e4, thereby activating
the Roks.
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Leson Twelve 10
Black's Middlegame Plan
Black stopped all of White's Queenside play by closing up that
aea with pawns. Black ses that he has given up the cS squae, but he
realizes that te c4 post is even more vauable since a Knight there would
attack the pawn on a3 (compared to a Knight on c5 which attcks noth
ing). That's why Black played 16 .. .4!--it fixed a weakness on a3.
With the Queenside dead, Black now looks to White's final active
possibility - the central brea with e3-e4. Black will spend the nexl few
moves preventing this once ad for all. Oc that is done, White will b
unable to generate counterlay and Black will be able to entertain designs
against White's King.
17 Qc3
White now has no Queenside play and must pay attention to
Black's attempts to gain the initiative in the center ad Kingside.
Heading for c4.
17... Nb6
18 Nd2
White wants to regroup the Bishop to f while the Knight guards
18 Rae8
Now, with the Queenside blocked, Black piles up on te e-file.
19 Re1
In some cases White might play for e3-e4 later.
19... Re7
1 10 Modem Mlddlegame Lesn
Methoically increaing the pressure on te e-file.
20 Bf
White probably was hoping for a chance to play f-f4 followed by
NO-, but Black's pressure on the e-fle dissuades him.
Now it is clea Black ha the preferable position - all of his pieces
ae active.
21 g3
White has tus "bake into" a fachetto.
21... Bh3
Immediately ocupying the newly weakened h3.
22 Bg2
White wants to trade off the unwelcome intrder.
22... Bxg2
Removing a ptential defender.
23 Kxg2
White relies on his dark squaed paw strcture to limit te ac
tions of Black's K.
23 f
This natural loking move is actually a subte positonal error,
giving up control of eS. Black should have played 23 ... g5! followed by
Qg6 with go attacking chaces.
24 h4
Peventing gS.
24 Nc4
Gettng te Knight into more active play.
25 Nf
White want to retain this piece for defense of te Kingside.
Black continues to play aggressively, envisaging te advance of
the g-paw.
26 Re2
A btter defense was 26 Nd3 and 27 Racl.
26... Rg7
To effect .. . g6-g5 (after ... h7-h6.
27 R1
Modem Mlddlegame Lesons: Leson Twelve Ill
White indicates that ater Black breas wit gS, he will control
the h-file ater hxgS; a useful meto of restraining Black's intentions.
27... Qe7
Taking abut and alowing the pssibility of Nd6-e4 in some
2 Rel
Protectng the Rok - just in ca.
2 h6
Now White must consttly b watching for g6-g5.
29 Qd3
Pressurng te f-pawn to help restrain g6-g5.
29... R
Indirectly countering White's pressure.
30 Nd2
To get rid of te well psted Knight.
30... Qe8
Black maneuvers his heavy pieces, he retins only a microscopic
31 Nxc4
Getting rid of Black's stong Knight.
31... dxc4
But not 3l. . bxc4? leving the a-pawn to weak.
32 Qdl
To reloate on the more active square D.
32... Re7
Black forestalls the possibility of e3-e4 ad prevents 33 Qr b
cause of 33 ... Bxd4.
33 Ref
Getting out of the e-fle pin so a to b able to play QD.
In order to centalize the Queen on dS.
34 Qf
Threatening the c-paw.
Just in time.
34... QdS
35 QxdS
This leads to a even ending.
1 12 Moder Mlddlegame Lesons
35... cxdS
If White could maneuver his N to c3 where it would pressure bS
and dS, he would have the advatge; but there is no way to get to c3 b
cuse of Black's pawn contol of key maneuvering squaes.
36 Kf
Activating the King and clearing the g-fle (g3-g4 is a possibility)
36... Bg7
Black hops to get in f5-f4 by tactical means.
37 Rd1
Overprotecting d4 to lesson the underining effect of f5-f4.
37... R
Clearing f to regroup the K.
38 Rd2
White continues to play safe, solid moves.
Clearing the f-c5 diagonal for the KB.
39 Rdd1
White shows he is just making time awaiting a draw.
39... Bf
It is son apparent that the KB has no future here - but no har is
done as the psiton is still even.
40 Rdg1
Feinting at g3-g4.
Back again!
41 Rd1
Reinforcing d4 again.
41 ...
To bring te King into active play.
42 Rd2
More harless maneuvering.
42... Ke7
Black's King will reinforce his Queenside pawns.
42 Rdd1
White is clealy satsfed with a draw, but Black is more stubbor.
Modem Mlddlegme Lesons: Leson Twelve 1 13
Black prepaes to play Bf and BxcS by frst supprting his d-
More marking tie.
4 Kc6
Clearing the f-c5 diagonal for Bf.
45 Rhhl
White waits.
45 Bf
Having achieved noting in the minor piece endings, Black pre
pares lo enter a Rok and pawn ending.
More "stonewalling".
Hesitating for the moment.
47 Rddl
Show me.
47 .
Finally settling for a Rok ending tough il is even more drawish
ten before.
4 dxc5
Not 48 bxcS? because of 4 ... b4 49 axb4, Rb8 and Black regains
his pawn with excellent chances due to his two passed pawns and open
48 Re
Contolling d4 and hoping to brea with d5-d4 at an opporune
1 14
Modem Mlddlegame Leson
How The Player's Respective Plans Worked Out
Black successfully stoppd White's cental dreas of e3-e4 and
this left the frst player with nothing to do but defend. However, an inac
curate move by Black also stoppd his own aspiratons against White's
Kng. Son a psition was reached where Black enjoyed the more com
forable setup, but there was no way to break through.
The fact that Black refuss to accept reality, pushes too hard for
the win ad eventually fnds a way to lose has nothing to do with the
middlegame plans. Instead it shows what happens when a player forgets he
is playing chess ad instead imagines he is having a go at a gae of
chance. Quite simply: if you want to gamble - go to a casino!
Rule to b lerne: Don't let fustration lead to emotional deci
sions. If your opponent defends well and earns the draw, then so be it.
Illogical and unjustied attempts at victor usually lead to the opposite
49 Rhel
White continues to wait.
49... Rd7
Threatening 50 ..d4. But some observers think 49 .. d4 was a
promising pawn scrifice instead of alowing White to establish a blok
ade on d4.
50 Rd4
The only way to stop it.
SO... gS
Moder Mlddlegame Lesons: Leson Twelve 1 15
Gaining more space with te pssibility of g5-g4 or gxh5 at the
right moment.
51 hxg5 hxg5
Black has a mild initiative, but the psition is still drawn.
52 Rel
Maintaining the blokade of d4.
Black exchanges in order to free his Rd7 for the h-file.
53 Rxd4
Maintaining a post on d4.
53... Rh7
Hoping to invade White back rak in order to attack te a3 paw.
54 Ke2
To meet 54 ... Rh1 (Intending 55 .. . Ra1 ) wit 55 Rdl.
54... R3
Black now get in difculties due to his over anxious attempts to
make something out of nothing. Go for an eay draw was simply
54 ... Rhl 55 Rd1, Rdl, etc.
55 g4
To isolate Black's Kingside pawns.
55... f4
This loses. Necessary was 55 ... fxg4 56 Rxg4, Rhl.
56 ex4
White proves his Kingside passed pawns ae stronger tha Black's
Queenside pawns.
56 . Ra3?
A further error. Necessa was 56 ... gxf4 57 Rxf4, Rxa3.
57 fxg5
White's g-pawn proves to be a winner.
57... Rah
Clearing the path for his a-pawn.
58 Kf
Now White wins by simply pushing his g-pawn.
58... c3??
This loses quickly. Black had to play 58 ... Ra3ch!, e.g., 59 Kg2,
Ra2 (Not 59 . . . Ra1 60 g6, Re 1 61 /4, c3 62 Rd1! !, ReB 63 f, d4 64 . , c2
116 Modem Mlddlegame Lessons
65 Rfl, d3 66 j and White wins.) 6 g6, Re2 61 Rf4, ReS ad Black
should b able to draw.
59 Rdl
Forced to stop the c-pawn.
59... d4
Black throws in his last resourc.
Black can't ctch this one.
6 . d3
Threatening 61. .. c2 62 Ret, d2 and Black wins.
61 Ke3
Now on 61 ... c2 62 Ret Black ca't play 62 ... d2.
61... Rx
A desperate move, but on 61 ... d2 62 g7, c2 63 Kxd2!, cxdl ~
Qch 64 Kxdl and the g-paw Queens.
62 g7
Winning, a 62 ... c2 63 Rhl is decisive.
Black Resigns.
Moern Mlddleame Lesn: Lesn Tiren 1 17
Middlegame Steamroller
A ver pleaing game, Kparov-Tlnan Hllverum 1985,
leaves one with the impression that Black must fnd an improvement in the
opning to make this vaiation work.
1 d4
Occupying a center square with a pawn.
Black develops his King's Knight contolling the White squaes in
the center; in paicula, Black prevents te creton of a "clasical" pawn
center via 2 e4.
2 c4
White contols te centr dS squae while gaining more space on
the Queeside.
2 ... e
Providing an outlet for the KB while infuencing the dS square.
3 Nf
Whit foregos 3 Nc3, probably t avoid te Nimzo-Indian
(3 . . . Bb4), considered by many GMs t b Black's bst defense t te QP
3 ... b
Black opts for the Queen's Indian, which is a close relative of te
Nimzo-India strategiclly. Both systems aim t control the important e4
square, thus preventing White from foring a big pawn center wit e4.
4 Nc3
A solid developing move, helping to contol te e4 squae. 4 g3 is
a common alterative in order to counter Black's fanchettod QB.
4... Bb4
Black plays a "Nimzo" move, pinning White's QN in order to re
duce its control of e4.
5 BgS
White returs the favor by pinning Black's KN - again infuencing
control of e4.
5 ... Bb7
Continuing the stuggle for te center squaes.
6 e3
1 18 Moern Mlddleme Lesn
Peparing t bring out the KB. Note that 5 e frst would have
bloked in White's QB.
6 . h6
The great theoretician Aron Nimovitch (for whom te Nimzo
India is naed), cale tis t of move "putting the question" t the
Bishop. Black intends to make White decide whether to exchange or retreat
his Bishop.
7 Bh4
Maintning the pin.
7... gS
A sharp move, breaking the pin though at te cost of losening
the Kingside pawn stcture.
8 Bg3
White's QB still ha go scop from here.
8... Ne
Black takes advatage of the broken pin by advancing his Knight
onto the critical e square.
9 Qc2
White protects cJ while contesting e.
9... Bxc3h
Black takes te opprunity t double White's pawns, hoping to
later exploit this wekened pawn stctre.
10 bxc3
In compnstion for the weakened pawns, White gains reinforce
ment of his d4 central paw as well as a opn fle and te two Bishops.
10... d6
Pepaing t develop the QN on d7 and blunting te diagonal of
Wite's QB.
l l Bd3
Developing ad attacking e.
1 1... f
Reinforcing his outpst Kight.
12 d5
White bgins to strive for te initiative in the center.
Moern Mlddlegame Leson: Leson Tiren 119
Wte' s Middlegame Plan
White played a sharp opning where he wa willing t take on
some structural weakesss on the Quenside for two Bishops ad play
against weakesses in Black's Kingside foration. With 12 dS! White
opns the psiton fo his Bishops and gives his Knight a great squae on
d4 where it eyes the weakened fS and e pint. White is staing a i
mediate attack bcuse he is ahed in development. If Black wa allowed t
consolidate with ... Qf6, ... Nd7, and .. 0-0-0, then White's developent
would disappa and Black's advace pawns on the Kingside would b
loked upon as space gainers rather than ptential weaknesses.
Moern Mlddleame Lessons
Black's Mddlegame Plan
Black must b ver creful that e and f5 don't fall . If he ca
somehow defend aganst White's immediate threats and fnd a safe haven
fo his King, ten the long range weakness of White's Queenside pawns
and the nice c5 outpst (prfet for one of the Black Knight's) will even
tualy swing the batte in Black's favor.
12... Nc
Black repsts his N on c5 made pssible by White's last move.
13 h4!
Forcing Black to furer weaken his Kingside pawns.
13... g4
Black must not alow White to opn the h-fle.
14 Nd4
White happiy rns into the center.
Potectng e.
14... Qf6
15 0-0
White tucks his King away and helps protect te g-pawn in view
of Black's QB control of the long diagonal.
15... Nxd3
Black decides to remove White's stong KB.
16 Qxd3
Note White is somewhat ahead in development and, in particular,
contol of central squaes.
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Leson Thireen 121
Peventing 17 Nxe and hoping for 17 NbS after which 17 ... Qi
protects c7, leaving White's QN out on a limb.
17 Nxf
This seems obvious, but White has a profound idea in mind.
Black is counting on 18 e after which 18 ... Bxf5 19 exfS, Nd7
gives Black an edge bcause of White's very weak pawns and hemmed in
18 Nd4!
A brilliant conception. White sacrifces a piece to obtain a te
mendous mass of pawns in the center.
Opening To Middlegame
A "stearoller" is a mass of cental pawns inexorably flowing like
molten lava and fattening everything in its path. Kaspaov sacrifces a
piece for two pawns in order to achieve this liquid pawn foration. Tim
man does not panic like those who fee from an erpting volcao, and he
bravely offers staunch resistnce. But he is as helpless as any of us in the
face of natural disaster.
18 ...
Black must accept the challenge.
19 cxd4
Not 19 exd4 as White wants to be able to advance e4 and eS at the
proper moment.
19 ...
122 Moern Mlddleame Le on
Black cleverly offer to trade Queens, hoping to greatly reduce
White's attacking chances.
Naturaly Wite declines.
20... Qg6
Pinning te e-pawn to restrain its further advance.
21 Qc3
Also pssible is 21 Qa3.
21... 0-0
Getting out of the center before it's to late.
22 Rfel
Black was threatening 22 ... Qxe4 now that his King is out of te
center. Inaccurate is te immediate 22 eS which allows Black QB to deploy
with 22 ... Bf5!.
22 ... Nd7
Black must hurr to ctch up in development.
23 e5
Preventing ... Nf6.
23 ... Bb7
The Bishop redevelops ad allows the QR into play.
24 Re3
Building up more pressure.
24... b5
Black worsens his position with this attempt to underine White's
centa pawn mess. There is just no way t stop White from getting a third
pawn for the piece since on 24 ... Rae8 25 exd6, cxd6 26 Qa3 creates a
double treat aganst d6 and a7.
25 Qa!
A sharp riposte that Black most likely overloked.
25... Nb6
Black realizes that after 25 ... dxe5 26 QxbS, Nb6 27 RxeS, c6 28
Qxb4, cxdS 29 cS, Nc4 30 Qxb7, NxeS 31 BxeS, Qf 32 Qb2 White's
Bishop ad two pawns for the Rok plus excellent chances against Black's
drafty Kingside, give White a won position.
26 Qxb5
Now White has a third pawn for the piece.
26... Qc2
Black desprately ties to stay in the game by counterattacking.
27 exd6
Moern Mlddlegame Leson: Leson Thireen 123
White proceeds in a staight forard manner.
27... cxd6
On the more obvious 27 ... Qxc4 White has 28 Qb1, R 29 Re7!,
Qd5 30 Qg6, Kf 31 Qh6, Kg8 32 Qg6, Kf 33 Rxl, Qxl 3 Qxg4,
Qd5 35 Be5 with a winning psition.
2 Re7!
But not the tempting 2 c5? bcause of 2 ... Qxc4! 29 Qb1, Qd5
30 Qg6ch, Kh8 31 Qh6ch, Kg8 32 Qg6ch, Kh8 and Black can hold on.
2... R
Trying to bold everything together.
29 R
Aso worth consideration is 29 Rael! ? and if 29 ... Qxc4 then 3
29 ... K
Note how Black's King is very open to attack.
30 c5
Pursuing the attack.
30... Qc4
Naturally Black would love to exchange Queens.
31 Qbl
Shifting back toward the exposed King.
Defending te QB against the threat of Qh7ch and threatening
32 Qh7ch
Moving in.
32 ... K6
No better is 32 ... Ke8 as after 33 Retch, Kd8 3 Qe7ch, Kc8 35
Qfch, Kd7 3 Re7ch, Kc6 37 Qg7 and White wins easily.
33 Qxh6h
Winning a pawn and continuing the attack.
33... K
Black can only run for his life!
34 Qf4ch
Picking up more material.
On 34 ... K to te e-fle White's best is Retch.
35 Qxg4ch
White is now mopping up.
12 Moern Mlddleame Leon
How The Player's Respctive Plans Worked Out
White playe very actively and kept the initiative right till the end
of the game. By scrifcing a piece for a strong, mobile pawn center, White
wa able t kep Black's forcs of balce. Eventually Black lost bcause
he was never able to fnd te safe King hiding place that was mentioned
Rule t b lerne: I you have a lead in development, you must
use it before the opponent catches up and nullifes your advantage.
Black continues on.
36 Bf4
Defending against the mate threat and activating the Bishop.
36... Bc8
On 3 ... dxc5 37 Rel is to strong.
37 Qg3
On 37 Qe2, Bb7 tes White down due to te mate treat.
On 37 . Nc4 38 hS!, BfS (On 38 ... Qxh5 39 Rel ! is strong since
Black dosn't have the Queen ad Bishop on te long diagonal) 39 Qg5,
ReS 40 cxd6 White wins quickly.
38 Rel
Brnging aoter hevy piece into te attack.
To stop Re7ch.
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Leson Thireen 125
39 Qg5
Renewing the threat.
Stopping it.
The end is near.
39 ... Nd5
4 Qh6h
On 40 ... Kh8 41 BeSch decides

41 ReS
The threat of 42 RgSch is to much to meet.
Black Resigns.
126 Modem Mlddlegame Leson
A Careless Move Means
Middlegame Doom
We all know the feeling. After a careless move, tere is simply no
hop of redemption. We just have to sit back and awat our dom. This
gae, Rlbii-Kouatly, Lucerne 1985, is a particulaly instructive case of
faulty judgment bcuse the punishment for an opning tansgression is by
no means so swift or obvious.
1 Nf
This has ben tered the prfect "hyproer" frst move as it
prevents Blacks l. .. e while bing totly uncommitted regarding White's
cental pawns.
1 ... Nf6
If it's go for White, it's go for Black.
2 c4
Pressuring the iport dS center squae.
2... c5
Again Black feels the sae.
3 g3
This places the KB on a fne long diagonal which cosses two
vital central squaes, e4 ad dS.
3... b6
A good idea. Black no longer is copying White's every move,
which can be dangerous if cared to far. Black intends to neutalize the
effect of White's fianchettoed KB.
4 Bg2
White dosn't want to commit any oter pieces or pawns until
4 ... Bb7
Black must counter the already strong presence of White's K.
5 0-0
Getting his King into safety and protecting the KB.
s... g6
Modern Mlddlegame Leson: Leson Fourten 127
Black decides his K also deserves "it" long diagonal
6 Nc3
Reinforcing the c-pawn's pressure on dS.
6... Bg7
Black continues his development.
7 d4
White decides to t to seize more space in te vital cental zone.
Also quite playable was 7 d3 wit a quieter deployment.
7... cxd4
Otherwise White plays d4-d5 wit a strong cental pawn wedge
which would muffe Black's fanchettod QB.
8 Qxd4
White loses some tme tis way bcause of Black's obvious temp
gaining developing move, but in retur White avoids te simplifcaton
that would result after 8 Nxd4, Bxg 9 Kxg2.
8... Nc6
The QN naturally welcomes the chace to develop wit a gain of
9 Qf4
A pculiar loking move, but it has it pints. It prevents te de
velopment of te Black Q to c7 and keeps the d-file unobstcted (O 9
Qd3 or 9 Qd2 the d-fle is blocked by te Queen - White wants one of his
Rooks to exert veiled tactical pressure against Black's Queen in some
9 ReS
Preparing to put pressure on te White c-pawn.
10 Rd1
Preventing Black from freeing himself wit ... dS and reinforcing
the control of dS.
10 d6
Freeing the d7 square for piece maneuver (such as . . . Ndl ad
placing a bulwak against a possible White thrust e4-e5.
11 b3!
A ticky move which at first sight looks tactically wea.
128 Moder Mlddlegame Lessons
White's Middlegame Plan
By defending his one vulnerable pint. White leaves Black with a
solid but somewhat passive psiton bcause Black has nothing to attack.
White intends to place his Bishop on b2 or h6 (after Qh4) followed by
either a cental advace with a eventual e2-e4-e5, or a plan based on the
thematic NdS. When the Kight comes to this square, Black will b
tempted to chop it off with a Knight or a Bishop. However, a subsequent
recapture with his c-pawn gives White more territory and allows him to
work on the weakened c6 square via Racl and Nd4-c6. White could also
play e2-e4 and then NdS. The idea here is to recapture on dS with his e
pawn. This would still allow White to work on the c6 square but also gives
White the open e-fle. He would place his Rooks on tis fle and put pres
sure on Black's backwad e-pawn.
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Leson Fourteen 129
Black's Middlegame Plan
Black must get castled and chop away at the bind tat White ha
placed on him. Trading pieces always makes a position with little space
easier to tolerate, and a pawn advance based on ...a7-a6 followed by ... b6-
b5 (after some preparation) would break opn the c-fle and give Black
plenty of active play.
11... Ne
Better 1 t. .. 0-0 but then White can begin operations against
Black's Kingside wit 12 Qh4 followed by 13 Bh6, exchanging off Black's
strong KB.
130 Modem Mlddlegame Lessons
Opening To Middlegame
In this game Black fals into a trap of his own making with the
hasty l l ... Ne4, allowing White to sacrifice the Exchange for a tremendous
attack. With a semingly endless a ay of tctical threats, Ribli finds one
brilliant move after another to prosecute his attack. Although Kouatly
fghts on against hopless ods with two pieces for a Queen, he is lost
bfore move 20. What caused Black to violate principle by moving the
sae piece twice in the opning instead of castling on move 1 1 ? Quite
clearly, he was in a rush t ease his camp - loking for an eay way out of
a position that required prolonged and patient defense.
12 Nxe!
Black was expcting 12 Qxe4, Bxc3 13 Rb1, Bg7 though after 14
Be3 White still retains a slight pull. The text is a deep, dynamic Exchange
sacrifce which gives White a tremendous attack.
The only move.
12... Bxa1
13 Ba3
Por is 13 NfgS bcause after 13 .. . f5! Black would have much
better defensive chances.
O 13 .. Be5 14 NxeS, NxeS 15 Nxd6ch, exd6 16 Bxb7 White has
a tremendous position.
14 NfgS
This semingly crude threat is the "second wave" of te attack.
Modern Mlddlegame Lessons: Leson Fourten 131
14 0-0
Black hurries to get his King out of the center, but he son fnds
that there is no safety here, to. Black can't defend with the obvious
14 ... Ne5 since after 15 Nxd6h, exd6 16 Bxb7, Rc7 17 Rxd6, Rd7 18
Ne6! the house falls in.
15 Nxh7!
Another shot.
15 Kxh7
Again Black has litte choice.
16 Ng5ch
Moving in with his "resere" Kight.
17 Qh4
Threatening mate in one.
The only defense - for the moment.
18 Bh3! !
The brlliant fnal pint. The rest i s (almost) routine.
The King runs for higher ground. Other moves are insufficient: on
18 ... e5 White crashes through with 19 Rxd6, Qe7 20 Qh7ch, Kf 21 Rf6!,
Nd8 22 Rxf!, Nxf 23 Ne6 mate! , or 18 . e6 19 Rxd6, Qe7 20 Qh7, Kf
21 Nxe6ch!, fxe6 22 Bxe6 wins, or even 21 Rxd7! (2J ... Qxa3 22 Rxj
19 Ne6ch!
White seems to have a endless fund of tactical twists - giving
Black not a moment's respite.
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons
How The Player's Respective Plans Worked Out
Black tred to tactically exchange pieces and give himself a bit
more rom with the tempting 1 1. Ne4. However, White did not comply
wit Black's plans and instead sacrifced material in order to start an at
tack. All the psitional considerations went out the window when this
happned and Black bcae concered wit consolidating and winning
with his extra wo. White, on the other hand, played actively to take
advantage of Black's uncastled King-the undefended Bishops on at and b7
gave White tactical possibilities that led to a further gain of time. Soon
White's forces overa te enemy psition bfore poor Black could even
star to play te gae!
Rule to b lered: It is rarely good to initiate a tactical line of
play (even i the goal - a trae of piece to relieve cramp - is positionally
justied) i your King is still in the center.
Forced. O 19 ... fxe6 20 Bxe6 (Threatening 21 Qh7 and Qg8
mate.) 20 . Ne5 21 Qh7, Nf 22 Bb2! ad mate is forced.
20 Ng5
White is gaining tme on the clok as he can force the previous
20 ... K
As we noted, there is no alterative.
21 Ne6ch
Back to the original position after 19 Ne6ch!

rn Mlddlegame Lesson: Leson Fourteen 133

Again Black must follow suit.
22 Nxd8
Now White's material advantge wins easily.
Black has to retae this way to prevent 23 Bxc8.
23 Bg2
With no furter use on the h3-c8 diagonal, te Bishop returs to
its original diagonal.
23 Bf6
Black is lost, but must do something.
24 Qh6
White's Queen burows further into the Black King's fortress.
24... e
Hoping to tempt White to take the d-pawn after which Black
would get tctical counterplay e.g., 25 Rxd6, Rxd6 26 Bxd6, Rd8 27 Ba3,
Rdlch 28 Bn, Nd4! with dngerous threat.
2S h4!
But White dosn't fall for it, instead continuing wit his attack.
25... dS
Black struggles desprately to create counterplay with tis cental
2 hS
But White is intent on breaking down the pawn wall in front of
Black's Kingside.
26 Bg7
Otherise the g-pawn will fall.
27 Qg5
Maintaining pressure on the g-pawn.
27... dxc4
Opning te d-fle to obtan "counterplay".
2 Rxd8
White doesn't mind simplifying.
2 .
Black is lost but still stuggling.
29 bxc4
White plays simply.
Modern Mlddleame Lesn
O 29 . Kh7, 3 hxg6+, fxg6 31 Be4 decides quickly.
30 Bb2
With the obvious threat of mate in one.
30... e
31 BdS
Since 3 . e weakened dS, the Bishop gladly takes up a new pst
to join in the attack.
31 .
Trying to defend everthing.
32 QxhS
Threatening f.
O 32 . Rf6 33 Bxe.
33 QfS
Threatening the Rok and if 33 .. Rc7 then 3 f4 ad if 34 ... exf4
then 35 QgS is to much to hadle.
iodem lidd\am Lesns: Ls n Ffe 13
Stealing The Initiative In
The Early Middlegame
Larry Evans' law states that White must make two slips to lose a
game, whereas one slip for Black is usually fatl . Therein lies the advan
tge of the first move which, like the sere in tennis, confers the initiative.
White's frst minor mistake generally loses only the initiative, but not the
game. Polugaevsky-Ljubojevlc, Linare, 1985.
1 d4
Soviet super GM Polugaevsky has a preference for the closed
openings of which the d-pawn is the most promising.
1... Nf6
Preventing 2 e4 while not yet committing his center pawns.
2 c4
Infuencing dS and if Black later plays d7-d5 to occupy te cen
ter, ten White has the option of cxdS opning up the c-file.
Allowing the KB an egress.
3 Nf
After 3 Nc3, Bb4 (the Nimzo-Indian) was probably Black's in-
3 ... b6
Entering te Queen's Indian - one of Black's most ppular and re
spected defense after 3 Nf. Also quite feasible was 3 .. d5 transposing into
a Queen's Gambit, or 3 .. c5 inviting White into a Benoni.
4 Nc3
White prefers classical development. A peculiar line is 4 a3 pre
venting 4 .. Bb4 in response to Nc3.
4 ... Bb4
Developing while indirectly controlling the e4 square.
5 Qb3
Preventing Black from doubling the c-pawns and forcing Black to
do something to protect his Bishop.
5 ...
13 Modern Mlddlegame Lessons
Defending the Bishop this way has the stategic beneft of re
stning White from a later space gaining pawn assault on te Queenside
wit b2-b. After S . Qe7 play could proceed with 6 g3, Bb7 7 Bg2, Nc6 8
0-0, NaS 9 Qc2, Nxc4 10 NbS, dS 1 1 Nxc7!, Qxc7 12 Qa4ch with a clea
advatage for White.
6 g3
Opening To Middlegame
While one might hesitate to label 6 g3 a eror, it dos set the
stage for problems that ocur later when Black advanced his pawn to a4.
Undoubtedly Nimzovich would have "put te question to the Bishop" im
mediately by 6 a3 forcing Black to declare his intentions either by swap
ping with 6 .8xc3 or by retreating the Bishop to e7.
What was White's second slip? Probably his failure to grab mate
rial by 9 NeS, Nxd4 10 Qd3, NfS 1 1 Bxa8, Qxa8 12 0-0. This may be
unclea, but at least White gets to castle - which never happened in the
game. As in many of our other illustatons where the King got stuck in te
center, this ultiately caused White's downfall here.
In te game, Black already stole the initiative at move 1 0 by
hammering away at the pawn on c4. In te complications tat follow,
White seems to get an attack. But this is only an illusion, and his own
King turs out to be the trget. The fna phase is an impressive demon
station of the power of te Queen against the Rok and Bishop.
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Leson Fifeen 137
More usual is 6 ... Bb7 followed by later developing the QN to a6
or d7 (after d7-d6.
7 Bg2
Expediting his Kingside development.
7... a4
Note this is made possible by Black's QN protecting the Bb4.
8 Qc2
Again enabling White to avoid doubled c-pawns - on Bxc3 White
plays Qxc3.
8 ... Ba6!
A novel way to exploit the vulnerable c4 pawn.
White' s Middlegame Plan
White is hoping to acquire the two Bishops (after Black plays
. . . Bxc3), after which he will attempt to activate his Bishops while keeping
te enemy Knights bottled up. He will also fght for control of e4 and, if
possible, advance his pawn to that square wit a lage advantage in space.
White also anticipates central counter thrusts by Black: A ... c7-c5
break would open up the cental lines and maes the White Bishops
strong. A ... d7-d5 advance will open up the c-fle and allow White to gen
erate pressure against Black's c7 pawn.
13 Modem Mlddlegame Lesons
Black's Middlegame Plan
As promising as White's ideas ae, Black has staed to gain im
mediate pressure on the White c-paw. Black will add to this pressure with
. NaS, ad, if necessar, . d7-d5. His a-pawn's jourey to a4 helps mae
this pawn hard to defend since b2-b3 is no longer pssible.
9 a
O 9 b3, Ne4 is go as 10 Qxe4? allows 10 ... Bxc3ch. An inter
esting possibility is 9 NeS and after 9 .. Nxd4!? 10 Qd3, NfS 1 1 Bxa8,
Qxa8 12 0-0 Black has god compnsaton for the Exchange in an unclear
psition. (Evans).
9 Bxc3ch
Now Black concentates on White's Queenside pawns. Note that
with Black's pawn on a4, White can't reply on b3 to supprt his c4 pawn.
10 Qxc3
10 NaS
Immediately going after the c-pawn.
1 1 NeS?!
This leads to trouble for White, but after the better 11 Nd2, dS 12
cxdS, NxdS 13 Qc2, Black stll has a fne gae.
11... dS
Consistently pressuring c4.
12 cxd?!
Probably btter was 12 cS!?.
Modem Mlddlegame Lesons: Leson Fifteen 139
Gaining time by attcking the Queen while centralizing te
13 Qc2
The only go retet - not 13 Qd2, Nb3.
13... Nb3
Black forces play by tis double attack on White's a1 and d4.
14 Qc6h
To prevent Black from castling.
14 K
Better than 14 ... Ke7 15 Bxd5, exd5 16 Qxa4 threatening 17
Qxb3 and 17 Nc6ch.
in K.
15 Bg5
Finessefully developing the QB as 15 ... Qxg5 allows 16 Qxa8ch,
15 ...
Not 15 ... f6 becuse of 16 Qxe6 threatening 17 Qf mate.
16 Nd7ch
A alterative is 16 Rd1 protecting the d-pawn.
Now it might seem that Black is in difficulty because of his shut
17 e4
After 17 Rd1, Na5! 18 Qxa4, Bc4 threatening 19 ... Bb3 is very
17 ... Nxd4!!
Black seizes the initiative with a deep tctical conception.
18 Qxa4
Counter attcking Black's d4 Knight.
18... c5!
Now White's d7 Knight is left in hock.
19 exd5
The only way to not lose a piece.
19... Bb5
Forcing back the Queen.
20 Qd1
The only safe square.
20 ... Qxd7
140 Moder Mlddlegame Lesons
Now Black has a winning psition due to White's exposed King
ad Black's extremely active minor pieces.
21 Be3
Hoping to chase off te terrible Knight.
21... B2!
An excellent follow up.
22 dxe6
O 22 Qd2, Bf! is stong.
Now White's expsed King and dishannonious pieces allow
Black a winning initiative.
23 Qxe2
The only chance, on 23 Qbl , BO! 24 0-0, Qh3!! Black wins a
25 Bxh3 allows 25 .e2 mate.
23... Nxe2
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Lesson Fifteen 141
How Te Player's Respectve Plans Worked Out
All of White's lofty goals were never realized since he was to
busy reacting to Black threats against the c-pawn. The game tured to
Black's favor when White refused to win te Exchange on the ninth move.
Instead White lashed out aggressively and, since the side with the inita
tive usualy gans from a loking of hors, he found his King tapped in
te middle surrounded by enemy pieces.
Rule to be lerned: If you have problems to solve, take most
sacrifces. You might as well have some wood for your trouble, and the
ability to give material back and not be down anything is an excellent
defensive resource. One other thing: when you have a material advantage
you place pressure on the enemy to justi his play. Ifmaterial is even then
the attackrs life is an eas one since trades are not necessarily damaging
to him.
2 Bxa8
White has only a Bishop ad Rook for the Queen - not nearly
enough considering his poorly placed King.
24... Qc4
Invading the Queenside.
25 Rdl
White can't legally castle as te Knight contols gl.
25... Nd4
Still preventing White from casting and treatening mate in one.
26 Bxd4
Modem Mlddlegame Lesn
Gettng rid of the Knight, but the simplifcation is also go rr
2 . cxd4
Now the passed d-pawn is another asset for Black.
27 Be4
Returing to blok the d-pawn with Bd3 and then castle.
Getting ready to bring the Rok into play.
28 Bd3
Now White can fnally castle.
To pick off White's weak Queenside pawns.
29 Rb1
O 27 Rd2, Qalcb forces the win of the b-pawn.
29... Qb3
Peventing White from castling.
30 Kd2
There is nothing better.
30... Kg7
Bringing the Rok into play.
31 Rhcl
White does the best he c with what he's got.
Ganing control of the e-fle.
32 Rc7
Hoping to attack f with Bc4.
Povoking White into Be4.
33 Rd7
White avoids 33 Bc4 as after 33 .. Qf3! 34 Bxe6, Qxfch Black
wins on 35 Kd3, Qe3cb or 35 Kcl, Qelcb 36 Kc2, d3ch
33... Qa4
Holding the d-pawn.
34 Rd5
Preventing Qa5cb.
34 ... Rf6
Making furher inroads.
35 f
.-:: ; :: ; ': m - :'r-- .'m: tt
Oll h .-.. : . -
at e3.
Retuing to the e-ftle in order to pnetrte on the new weake
36 Rcl
White must keep his defenders as active as pssible.
36... Re3
With sacrifcial pssibilities.
37 Rc4
Walking into it, but tere is no go defense anyway.
Exploiting White's under protected Roks.
38 Kxd3
38 ... Qdlch
Entering upon a forced sequence to win material.
39 Ke4
39 ...
The point son becomes apparent.
40 Ke5
Again forced.
Black will soon "suround" one of White's Rooks.
41 Kxd4
Otherise the Rc4 gos.
41. ..
Now the end is clear.
42 Kc3
42 ...
Now te win is elementay.
White Resigns.
14 Modem Mlddlegame Lessons
Building A Brilliant Defense
In The Early Middlegame
Unforunately, the word "brilliancy" is generally used in chess to
describe only successful attacking effors. This superlative is rarely ap
plied to the efforts of those unsung heros of the defense like Korchnoi
and Petosian - to which must now be added the nae of Yusupov after
this brilliant holding acton in Panczyk-Yusupov, Warsaw 1985.
1 d4
2 c4
In order to meet 2 ... d5 with 3 cxdS giving White a two to one
cental pawn majority.
2 ... e
Preparing to enter the Nimzo Indian.
3 Nc3
White accepts the invitation. For tose who do not want to play
against the Nimzo, 3 Nf can be played - leaving Black with no Knight to
pin on c3.
3 ... Bb4
By pinning the QN Black gains influence over the important e4
and dS center squaes.
4 e3
A solid approach favored by most of the top GMs.
4... c5
Black puts pressure on d4 to hinder White's usual policy of cen
tal expasion.
5 Bd3 Nc6
More pressure on d4.
6 Nge2
From e2 the KN helps reinforce c3 while having the option of
Nf4 or Ng3 a needed.
6 ... cxd4
Black exchanges pawns to create somewhat exposed pawns which
might exploited.
\ioer \llddlem L n: L n Sbe 1-5
7 exd4
7 Nxd4? would b po r sttegy a White needs a pa\1 on d4 to
control cS and eS a well as free te QB's diagonal.
7... d5
Now Black c tade dxc4 and thereby isolate White's d-pa\1.
8 0-0 dxc4
9 Bxc4
Now White has an isolated d-pawn, but his QB now has more
scop for development.
9 ... 0-0
Black decides to whisk his King into safety before making any
other development decisions.
10 a
To make te Black KB decide what it wats to do.
Black tades so as to not lose time reteating. Also on 11 bxc3 (a
played) te c pawn might b pressured by te open c-file.
11 bxc3
Forced. 1 1 Nxc3 drops te d-pawn.
An importt move. Since Black has taded off his KB in order to
loosen White's pawns, te move ... Be7 is not available to neutalize a po
tential pin on his imprnt Nf6 by BgS. For tis reason Black plays
l l ... h6 to prevent te annoying BgS.
12 Nf4?!
This bloks the QB somewhat; btter would have been 12 Bf4.
Clearing the c-fle for oprations on te White c-pawn. Por is
te cental break 12 ... e5 as White replies 13 Ng6! wit considerable ad
13 Ba2
White sees te Black Rok about to occupy te c-fle, so he gets
his unprotected Bishop to safer territory.
Now Black is ready to clap down on White's pawn weaknesses.
14 Moder Mlddlegame Lessons
White's Middlegame Plan
White has the two Bishops and chances for a Kingside attack
based on moves like Rel-e3-g3 and Bbl followed by Qd3. Other possi
bilities include simplifcation with d4-d5-though that would leave White
wit a weak pawn on c3-or the creation of a passed pawn by c3-c4 and
only ten d4-d5.
Most players tend to play for te Kingside attack in tese situ-
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Lesson Sixteen 147
Black's Middlegame Plan
Black must mix caution on the Kingside with pressure against
White's weanesses on a3, c3 ad d4 (if te c3 ever moves). Ideal would
b Nc6-a5-c4 or even ... Nc6-a5 followed by ... Bd7-b5-c4. Over all,
Black would like to trade off some minor pieces (since exchages would
dissolve White's chances on the Kingside), establish a fr grip on the c4
and d5 squaes (fxing the c-pawn on it vulnerable square ad giving
Black use of c4 and dS for his own pieces), ad create pressure against the
weaknesses on c3 and a3.
One oter idea for Black is te cental break ... e6-e5. This would
free his light-squaed Bishop and create immediate countcrplay in te
center which would hopefully distact White from his dreams of mate. The
only problem wit this idea is that it opns the a2-g8 diagona for te en
emy Bishop, so cae must b used when implementing this plan.
14 Re1
This otherwise logical loking move does not meet te needs of
the position. In view of Black's growing play, White should go in for 14
d5, exd5 15 Nxd5 with abut even chances a te White Bishops in the
open position counterbalance his weakened Queenside pawns.
Centralizing the Rok with an eye on te e6-e5 break.
15 Re3?!
White is to optimistc about his Kingside attacking chances.
Better was 15 Qf3 ad on 15 ... Qa5 16 Bb2.
148 Moder Mlddlegame Lessons
Opening To Middlegame
White's premature 15 Re3 might work against a lesser player, but
Yusupov keeps his col and refutes it brilliantly. His startling 17 ... Bg4! !
initiates a deep scrifice to repulse what loks like a very dangerous at
tck. Black only get two pawns for the piece, but his advanced soldier on
c3 combined with deadly back rank threats keeps White pinned down.
Another unexpcted blast 21...Rxe3! ! simplifes into a winning ending. All
in al, a game flled with lovely surprises.
Black meets White's ill conceived Kingside gesture with the best
strategical respnse - counterattack in the center.
16 Nh5
The best chance for White to create a Kingside diversion is to
remove Black's strong defender on f6.
16... exd4
But not 16 ..Ng4? as after 17 Rg3, Qh4 18 h3! White gets a pow
erful attack.
17 Rg3
Now White's threats seem very real indeed.
Bg4! !
An excellent tctical solution to te problem. On te oter hand,
ver poor would have been 17 ... Nxh5 because of 18 Bxfch!, Kh8 (On
18 . . . Kxf 19 Qxh5ch, Kg8 20 Rxg7ch! crashes through - 20 . . . Kxg7 21
Modern Mlddlegame Lessons: Lesson Sixteen 149
Bxh6ch. O if 19 . . . Kj 20 Bxh6! is to much to handle. ) 19 Bxh5 with a
big advantage for White.
18 Nx6h
Not 18 Rxg4, Nxg4 and White can't play 19 Qxg4 in view of
19 ... Re1 mate.
18 ... Qx6
It loks like Black is simply going to lose a piece, but the depth
of Black's insight is son apparent.
19 Rxg4
All seems good for White for te moment.
19... dxc3
The frst threat appears 20 c2 winning material because of the
unprotected White QR.
20 Be3
O 20 Rf4, c2! 21 Rxf6, cxdl ~ Q mate.
20... c2
This little pawn ties up most of White's forces.
21 Qf
This is not the bst defense tough White is in diffculties in any
event. For example: 21 Qel, RedS! (Threatening 22 . . . Qxal! 23 Qxal,
Rdlch and mate next) 22 Bb3 (22 Rcl is answered strongly by 22 . .. Qb2)
22 .. Qb2 23 Ba4, b5 traps the Bishop.
Another dynamic tactical shot.
150 Moder Mlddlegame Lessons
How The Player's Respective Plans Worked Out
White prematurely went all out for a mating attack, but ran into
cental counterplay that culminated in tactcal ideas based on the weakness
of White's back rank. As is so typical, once the central counterattck b
ga, the wing attack instantly ended.
Rule to b lerne: Only begin a Kingside attack wizen your
pieces are developed, your back rank is defended, and possibilities for an
enemy central counterattack are held at bay.
22 fxe3
Otherise he is simply two pawns down.
22... Qxlch
Removing te protection of the cl square in order to facilitate the
victorous advance of the c-pawn.
23 Rxfl
23 Kxn is no btter.
23 .. Ne
The pint of the combination - now White can't prevent bot
24 ..Nxg4 and 2 .. cl = Q.
2 Rg4
White also loss on 24 Bxfch, Kh8 (Better than 24 . . . Nxj 25
Rcl) 25 Rgf4, cl=Q 26 Rxcl, Rxclch 27 Kf, Nd3ch, etc.
2... cl=Q
Now Black recovers his "investment" with interest.
25 Rxcl
Moem Mlddleame Lesom: Leson Sixen 151
No choice.
25 ...
Now Black has a winning ending.
26 R
Not 26 Kf, Nd3ch.
26 ...
Pepaing the next.
27 Kx
Now Black will anex aother pawn with a two pawn net plus.
White Resigns.
152 Moder Mlddlegame Lesn
A Shocking Middlegame Interpolation
One ting that Kaspaov shares in common with Fischer is a high
prcentage of wins with Black. Both of tem always fought for decisive
result, even when suppsedly on te defensive, not just tame draws. This
active plicy usually paid off, as is apparent in this game, Hubner
Kasparov, Hamburg 1985, 1st Match Game.
1 c4
This move sta what is known a a Hyproder teatment of
te opning (to attempt to control te imprnt center squares from the
fanks). The English Opning thus bgun has been a favorite of such super
GMs as Botvinnik, Korchnoi, Smyslov, Larsen, Petrosian to name a few.
1... e
Black, on te oter hand, happily tkes up te challenge from the
Classical pint of view, which espuses ealy ocupation of te center
wit one or more pawns. The possible drawback to tis strategy is tat the
committed pawns may become a trget for counterattack.
2 Nc3
Developing the Knight and reinforcing te pressure on d5 begun
with 1 c4.
2 ... d6
Black chooses to give his e-pawn solid protection in anticipation
of later strikes at it, by such moves as d4 and/or f4.
3 d4
White decides to blend te Classical approach (occupying the
center with pawns early on) with his initial Hyproer gestures.
3... exd4
Black could have maintained his pawn on e5 by avoiding this
trade, but he feels that Black's temp gains against te White Queen (after
the forced recapture 4 Qx4) will more than compnsate for the lost pawn
control of the center. Thus Black is switching back to a Hyperoder
4 Qxd4
Moern Middleame Leson: Les on Snnten 153
White's idea is that the loss of time with the Queen is more ta
compnsted by the opning of the central d-file, wit the pssibility of
establishing a outpst on dS.
4 ... Nf6
Black develops his KN to its most active square while clearing
the way for Kingside castling. The tempo gaining developing move Nc6
"won't rn away" .
5 g3
To fianchetto Le KB on g2 from which it exerts great influence
all the way across the center (e4, d5) to te Queenside.
Finally Black gains "his" tempo, forcing White's Queen to back
6 Qd2
White avoids 6 Qdl which would only interfere with the later
maeuvering pssibilities for his Roks. Also, 6 Qech only encourages
Black to do what he wants to do ayway - develop his KB ad castle as
son as pssible. 6 Qh4 also leaves te Queen on a awkwad post after
6 ... Be7, with veiled tctical threats against White's Queen.
6... B6
Another good developing move which, as a bnus, at tcks the c
pawn, causing White to have to stop what he is doing to defend it.
7 Nd5
Seemingly more solid is 7 b3 which also gives an outlet for the
White QB. But 7 b3 can b effectively answered by te shap riposte
7 ... d5! since 8 NxdS? loses material after 8 . . . 8 (or N)xdS 9 cxdS, Bb4!,
while 8 cxdS allows the excellent reply 8 ... Nxd5 with very good play for
7 Ne
Black moves a piece twice in the opning - usually a poor policy.
But in this case the Knight assumes an excellent centralized post while
attacking the c-pawn.
8 b3
Forced. O 8 Qc2, Nxc4! wins a pawn as 9 Qxc4, BxdS picks up
the White KR, while 9 Nxf6ch, Qxf6 leaves the Knight on c4 protected.
8... Ne
154 Modern Mlddlegame Lessons
Black bgins t seize te initiative move by move; making threat
which White ca only meet - leaving White wit no time to advance his
own future plans.
9 Qe3
O 9 Qd4, f5! , scuring the Knight on its advanced post is quite
go (Also interesting is 9 . . . Nc5). The game J, Kristiansen-Reinert,
Denmark 1985, continued 10 Bg2, g6 1 1 Bb2 (Better was ll Bxe4, fxe4
12 Qxe4, Bg7 13 Bb2, 0-0 with the idea of Bf and Nd3) l l ... c5! 12 Qd1,
Bxd5 13 Qxd5, Qa5 14 Kd1 , Nd3! 15 Qd3, Nfch and Black won.
Also pssible was 9 ... c6 and if 10 Qxe4, cxd5 11 cxd5, Qa5ch 12
Bd2, Qxd5 13 Qxd5, Bxd5 with equal play.
Wite's Middlegame Plan
White is willing to get kicked around by the Black horses for
awhile since he eventually expcts the following: 1) An advantage in cen
tral territory; 2) Moves like Bg2 and Rd1 will give him a fr grip on te
imprt d5 square; 3) If Black chaes the White Knight away with ... c6
then the d6 pawn will be vulnerable on the half open d-file; 4) At some
future time White expcts to chase the enemy Knights away from teir
stong posts with moves lie b3-b4 and f-f4.
Modern Mlddlegame Lessons: Les on Seventeen 155
Black's Middlegame Plan
Black is playing to make his pieces as active as possible since he
hops to take advantage of White's lack of development. What we have
here is a sttic vs dynaic batte: White's long range static advantages vs
Black's immediate tactcal ptental. Black will increase his active pssi
bilities by chasing back te White Knight with . c7-c6; he is not worried
about te ptential weakness of the d6 pawn - his active pieces should
more than compnsate for it.
I t should be noted tat Black is not just putting all his eggs in one
basket and hoping for a quick kill. If White manages to sidestep all the
land mines being set for him, then Black will keep his position active by
nailing down the position of his Knights with moves like ... a7-a5. Black is
not worried about f-f4 since that would leave White with terrible weak
nesses along the half open e-file (unless White manages to follow it up
wit e2-e4).
10 Bb2?!
This leads to problems. Corect was 10 Bg2!, c6 11 Nc3 (On 1 1
Nf4?!, Q! i s slightly better for Black) l l ... a5 with mutual chances in a
complicated positional stuggle.
and b.
10... c6
To force away the Nd5 while allowing te Queen access to aS
11 Nf4
Better was 1 1 Nc3, Ng4 12 Qd4, though after 12 ... Be7 Black is
still a little better.
156 Modem Mlddleame Lesons
II... Ng4!
Beginning a unusual Knight maneuver which sets off Black's ad
12 Qd4
After 12 Nxe6, Nxe3 13 Nxd8, Nc2ch 14 Kd1, Nxa1 15 Nxl
(Not 15 Nxb7, Nab3!) 15 . Kxl 16 Bxa1, Be7 Black should win.
Opening to Middlegame
Kasparov's 12t move - a shocking interolation - loks like a
misprint at frst glance. After seizing the initiative, he never lets up and
relentessly pursues his qua y. Altough neither King can castle, White's
monarch is much more expsed. In no time fat Kasparov concludes wit
an Exchange sacrifice in a finale that is as logical as it is elegant.
13 Bh3
O 13 Qxe4, Qa5ch! wins the White Queen after 14 Kdl ,
Nxfch. On 1 3 Nd3, fS! (Threatening 1 4 . . . c5 winning the Queen! ) 1 4 Bel,
cS 1S Qb2, Be7 and Black has a won gae.
Much btter tha 13 ... Ngxf which allows 14 Bxe6, fxe6 15
Nxe6, QaS (O 15 . .. Qe7 16 Nh3!) 16 Bc3! wit murky complications.
14 Kf
O 14 Kd1, Nxfch.
14 ... Ngx
Moern Mlddlegame Lesons: Leon Sventeen 157
Black's Knights have defty broken into White's Kingside foress
- now White will have diffculty sheltering his King.
15 Bxe6
O if 15 Nxe6 then 15 ... rxe6 16 Bxe6, Be7! 17 Qg7, Rf 18 Kg2,
Nxh1 19 Kxhl, Qd2 and Black wins.
Black foresaw this psition and decided it favors Black mainly
because of White's uncoordinated forces and porly sheltered King.
16 Nxe6
This loks annoying but Black has an original answer.
As it turs out, Black's King is safe here.
17 Nh3
After 17 Nxich, Raxf 18 Qxg7ch, Kc8 Black is a pawn down,
but his attack is overhelming.
17... Nxh3
Black will clear up te situation in his favor.
18 Qxe4
Necessay, but now the Queen is subject to a effective pin.
Now Black's QR is coming into active play.
19 Nc5ch
To divert Black's Queen.
19... Qxc5
19 ... dxc5 20 Rdlch is annoying.
20 Qg4ch
Recovering his piece.
20 ... Kc7
Now Black's King is quite sae on te Queenside.
21 Qxh3
Now White must hurry to get his other pieces into play - unforu
nately he simply doesn't have the time for tis.
Black doesn't wory about his g-pawn.
22 Bxg7
22 Rgl, Rhfch 23 Kg2, Br6 24 Bd6, Rxe2ch 25 Khl, Rd6 26
Qxh7, Rfland Black wins.
158 Modem Mlddlegame Lesons
22 .. Rhfh!
Black gladly sacs the Exchange to pursue his Kingside initiative.


How Te Player's Respectve Plans Worked Out

White missd a tctcal pssibility and got drawn into a purely
tctical battle. This had to favor Black since his whole gae was devoted
to this type of strggle - in other words, Black's vision of where te battle
was going to go won out. In the meantime, all White's lofty positional
goals got throw by the wayside. In the end, Black's more active pieces
blew White off the bard.
Rule to b lerne: Lng range ideals only count for something
iyou live long enough to mk them a reality. I your opponent is playing
a tactically based game, you must use exreme caution at ever tur and
fght to get your King out of the center as quickly as possible.
23 Bx
He might as well get someting for his trouble.
23... Rxh
24 Kel
Of course not 24 Kg2??, Qf mate.
2... Qfch
Pursuing the objective.
25 Kd2
25 Kd2 amounts to the sae.
25 ... Qd4ch
Moern Mlddlegame Lesons: Leson Seventeen 159
26 Kc2
Oter moves drop a Rok wit check.
27 Kd2
O 27 Kc3, Qe3ch 28 Kb (28 Kc2, Qe2) 28 .d5 winning
The Bishop gives decisive weight.
28 Kc3
The King makes a last bid for freedom.
Now on 29 Kb4, Bd2ch 30 Ka3, Bc3 31 Qxh7ch, Kb8 32 b,
Bxa1 is devastating.
White Resigns.
16 Modern Mlddlegame Lesons
Jockeying For Position
I The Middlegame
White sacrifces a pawn to opn lines, followed by beautiful
shots. With one blow after aoter, White hamers home his initiative,
culminating in material gain with a feroious attck that seems to come
out of the blue in Portlsch-Tlmman, Montpelller (Candidates Tourna
ment 1985.
1 d4
White bgins soundly by ocupying the center with a pawn.
1... Nf6
Black uses his KN to contol the imprant e4 ad dS center
squares while preventing White from creating a full Classical center with
2 e4.
2 c4
Making 2 . d5 inadvisable as 3 cxdS, QxdS(?) 4 Nc3 gains too
much development for White, while 3 ... Nxd5 4 e4 is also good for White.
2... e
Peparing to develop the KB and holding the option of 3 ... d5, es
tablishing a reinforced center pawn.
3 Nf
White avoids the immediate 3 Nc3, probably to avoid the solid
Nimzo-Indian (after 3 . . . Bb4).
3 ... b6
Black fanchettos his QB to contol the excellent long diagonal
from aS to h 1.
4 e3
Very solid, preparing for Kingside castling by allowing his KB to
develop quickly.
Black consistently fianchettos.
5 Bd3
Contesting the vital e4 squae, which is often crucial in te
Queen's India Defense.
Modern Mlddlegame Lessons: Leson Eighteen 161
5 ... Bbch
A forcing check which aims to simplify or pin White's QN if it
moves to c3 or d2. Black could also try S ... dS establishing a cental pawn.
For example, S ... dS 6 0-0, Bd6 7 b3, 0-0 8 Bb2, Nbd7 9 Nc3, a6 10 Ret,
Qe7 11 Na4 (To pressure c5) l l ... Ne4! (Taking advantage of te fact that
the contol of e4 has been weakened by 1 1 Na4) 12 Qc2 (Interesting
complications arise after 12 Ne5, dc4 13 Nxc4, Bxh2ch [Also interesting
is 1 3 . . . Rfc8? ! to bolster the Queenside] 14 Kxh2, Qh4ch 15 Kg1, Ng5! ad
now if 16 Be2(?) then 16 . . . Nh3ch 1 7 gxh3 leads to a winning attck for
Black, e. g. , 1 7 . . . Qxh3 18f, Qg3ch 19 Kh1. f5! 20 Qe1, Qh3ch 21 Kg1,
Rf and the game i s over. Also, on 16 f ten 16 . . . Nh3ch i s still goo- 17
gxh3, Qg3ch and Black wins similarly to te above line.) 12 ... f5 (Now the
position is really a Dutch Defense! ) 13 NeS?! (Slightly better is 13 cxd5,
Bxd5! [ 1 3 . . . exd5 14 Ne5 ! is go for White; te text allows te QB more
activity) 14 Ne5, Bxe5 15 de5, Qg5 16 f4, Qg6 wit unclear
complicatons.) 13 ... dxc4 14 bxc4 (Forced; on 14 Nxc4, Bxh2ch! leads to a
winning attack as in the above lines.) 14 ... Bxe5 15 dxeS, NecS 16 NxcS,
NxcS with a very stong initiative for Black - Black's QB is much stronger
than White's QB, from the game Utasl-Salov, Nlke 1985.
6 Nbd2
Also of interest is 6 Bd2, Be7! ? (Black feels White's QB is pas
sively placed on d2 - for example, it cannot be quickly developed onto the
excellent long diagonal by b3 and Bb2.) 7 0-0, cS 8 a4, 0-0 9 Bel !?, dS 10
cxdS, exdS 11 aS, c4 12 Bc2, Nc6 13 a6, Bc8 14 NeS, NeS?! (Better is
162 Modern Mlddlegame Lessons
14 . . . Nb8 with unclear play after 15 f4) 15 dxeS, Ne8 16 Nc3, Nc7 17 Ne2,
Bc5 18 Nd4, Qe8 (Utasl-Kengls, Jurmala 1985) 19 Bc3 with a big ad
vatage for White - his Kingside majority is very stong (If f4-f5) in con
junction with the centralized pieces.
6 .. 0-0
Completing te Kingside development.
7 a
Forcing Black to decide what to do with the Bishop.
Black avoids losing time with the retreat 7 .. Be7.
8 Qxd2
The unusua loking recapture is played bcause White intends Lo
fanchetto the QB after b and Bb2.
8 ... cS
Perhaps Black should have tken the opportunity to centalize
with 8 ... Ne4!?.
9 b4
Gaining ground on the Queenside.
9... d6
To reinforce the c5 pawn.
10 Bb2
Now the QB has fine prospects on the long diagonal.
10... Nbd7
Black prefers this to 10 ... Nc6 which would block the QB and
hence lessen Black's contol of d5 and e4.
1 1 0-0
White brings his King into a safe psition and brings his K into
11 . Rc8
Perhaps better was l l ... Qe7 leaving the Rooks uncommitted.
12 dxcS
This imprt exchange gives White a Queenside pawn majority.
12... bxcS
\oem \iddlem L n: LsEite 16
Opening To Middlegae
Since it is impossible to knok out a skillful oppnent at the out
set, most master gaes feature endless jokeying for psition in the mid
dlegame. A little more space here, an outpst there, a weak squae, for ex
ample. It has ben said that psition play is the a of accumulating small
advantages untl tese al explode in one big combination.
What is so appaling abut tis game is the way Porisch firly
establishes a pawn majority on the Queenside, without so much as glanc
ing at the oter wing, and then switches his forces to the Kingside. Perhaps
Black should recapture with 12 ... dxc5 to eliminate the weak pawn on d6,
but he prefers to use his pawn wedge in the center to limit the scop of
White's two Bishops.
13 bS
Now White's Queenside pawns ae a long ter threat as a d
gerous passed pawn (after a4-a5 ad b) is likely.
16 Modern Mlddlegame Lessons
White's Middlegame Plan
White played directly for the two Bishops and, as things tured
out, he was also able to obtin a Queenside majority of pawns plus a po
tentially attackable weak pint on d6. Naturally, any and all of White's
middlegae plans will revolve aound tese tree factors.
At frst White will play to strengthen tese different advantges
so tat any endgame will b favorable for him. This means that we will
see a advace of the a-pawn to aS where it takes away b6 from the en
emy Knight and prepares for te creation of a passed pawn; a Rook to the
d-fle where the battery of Queen and Rok look greedily at the weakness
on d6; and a constant strving to loosen up the al-h8 diagonal for White's
dark-squared Bishop. Of course, the weakness on d6 and te strong diago
nal for te dk-squaed Bishop could easily lead to someting concrete in
a middlegae also - if Black is not caeful, te al-h8 diagonal could tum
into a diect pat to his King.
Moer Mlddlegame Leons: Leon Eighteen 165
Black's Middlegame Plan
Black has no intention of ever playing ... Bxf since that would
give White two Bishops vs two Kights and fnn control over the ipor
tant e4 square (which means tat Black's Knights would b inactive) after
Instead of such a self destrctive course, Black will fight for con
trol of e4 by playing ... Ne4 and ... f-f5. This will activate his Knights,
give him some chances on the Kingside due to his advantage in space
there (te advance of the f-pawn would give Black an immediate edge in
Kingside territor), and blok White's light-squaed Bishop. Black will
also have to make an imprtt decision concering his center pawns:
Dos he eventually play ... d6-d5, ridding himself of the weakness on d6
but opening up the position for the enemy Bishops; or will he advance his
e-pawn to e5, blocking the al-h8 diagonal (which weakens d5 and d6 and
also allows White possibilities of an f-f4 push, fghting to rip open the
long diagonal)?
13 . e
More circumspect was 13 ... Qe7. The text leaves the d-pawn
backward and weakens d5.
14 BfS!
Neatly stepping out of Black's threatened pawn fork (14 . . . e4) and
creating an annoying pin on the Black QN.
14... g6
Black jostles te intder.
15 Bc2
16 Modem Mlddlegame Lessons
White stays on te bl-h7 diagonal to keep e under observaton.
Black wat to pressure the c-paw.
16 Qe2
Potecting te c-pawn and placing the Queen on a safer squae
( . . . Ne4 is no longer a temp gainer.).
Black prepaes to mobilize a Kingside pawn front with 16 ... f5.
17 a4
The majority sets into motion.
17... Qe7
Clearing te back rank for later Rok maneuvers.
18 a
Thematicaly pursuing the advance of the pawn majority.
18 ... Na8 puts the Knight out of play.
19 Rad1
Putting pressure on the vulnerable d-pawn.
Black gives extra protection to the d-pawn.
20 Nd2
White bgins to oust Blacks Knight.
20... fS
Consistently advacing his Kingside mobile pawn mass while
reinforcing protection of e4.
21 Re1
The great theorist Nimzovitch tered it a "mysterious Rok
move". White intends to build up on the e-fle to add force to any subse
quent lines of play in which te e-file may be opned.
Bringing this Knight into more actve play.
22 f
White intends a timely f4, but frst he fnesses by bumping the
Black Knight out of e4 for te time bing.
Black dosn't exchange, as after 22 .. Nxd2 23 Rxd2 he has only
helpd White build up more pressure on the d-file.
Modern Mlddlegame Lessons: Lesson Eighteen 167
23 Qf
White maneuvers his Queen to g3, having in mind pressure on e5
in conjunction with r4.
23 .. Ne
Black should have tied 23 ... Nf or 23 ... h6, as te text allows
White to continue effectively.
24 f4!
The signal for a positional attack - White begins pressure on e.
2... Ne
24 ... e4 gives White's QB to much scop.
25 Nxe4
Now White's plans gain momentum.
25... fxe4
Hoping to use te f-fle for counterlay.
26 Qg3
Thematically pressuring eS.
26 .. exf4
Forced, to protect eS.
27 ex4
At first glance it seems White is losing a pawn . . . .
27... Rxf4
If Black grabs the f-pawn wit 27 . Nxf4, then 28 Qc3
(Threatening 29 QhBch) is to much to handle.
28 Bcl
The point. White forces the Rook to an awkward squae; since te
game is opned up in te process, White's two Bishops and centalized
Rooks bcome a formidable force.
28... Rh4
O 28 ... Rf 29 Bxe4, Bxe4 3 Rxe4, Qf6 31 Rde1, Rdl 32 h3
White has a terrific position.
29 Rd!
A beautiful shot which sets off White advantge.
29... e
Black is reduced to desperate tctics as 29 ... Bxd5 30 cxdS, Nd4
31 Bg5! is to stong.
30 Bxe3 Rxc4
At least Black has a pawn for the moment, but.. . .
168 Modern Mlddlegame Lessons
31 BgS!
A powerful tactical blow.
31... Qd7
O 31 ... Qg7 32 Rd2, NxgS 33 QxgS White threatens both 34
Bb3 and 3 Qxd8h.
32 Rd2
Now threatening 33 Bb3.
Black has no god alterative.
33 Bb3
Winning material.
33... Ne4
Of course not 33 .. d5 34 Bxc4.
34 Bxc4ch
With a Rook vs. minor piece and pawn and wit a terrifc central
izd psition, White wins easily.
How The Player's Respective Plans Worked Out
Black got killed simply because White was able to push te
Knights back (making them inactive) and rip the position open for his two
Bishops. In other words, the conflicting plans of Bishops vs. Knights was
clearly won by White and that alone was enough to win the game. All the
tactics that appared simply served to highlight the stength of the Bish
Modern Mlddlegame Lessons: Lesson Eighteen 169
Rule to be lerned: Two Bishops can be extremely powerful if
the board opens up. lfyou have the Knights, you need to create permanent
support points for them or they will be pushed back and tur into fodder
for the enemy forces.
34 ... Kh8
On 34 ... d5 35 Rxe4.
35 Qh4
Now on 3S ... Nxd2 3 Qf6ch is crushing.
The only try.
36 R!
Taking advantage of f6 again - if 36 ... Nxf 37 Qf6ch is curtains.
36... Qg7
If 36 ... dS len 37 Rxe4, dxe4 38 Qf6ch, Qg7 39 Qxg7ch, Kxg7
40 Rlch picks up lhe QB.
37 R
Invading le 7l with decisive consequences.
Black continues to gasp.
38 Khl
Now 38 ... Nxf loses to 39 Qxf!, Qxf2 40 Rxe8 mate.
38... h5
39 Qf4
Threatening 40 Qh6 mate.
39... gS
Why stop now!
40 Rfch
The end approaches rapidly.
What else.
41 Qxfch
Now it a forced mate.
41 ...
Sheer momentum.
42 Bg8ch
170 Modern Mlddlegame Lessons
And Black resigns as it is mate after 42 ... Kg6 43 Qfch, Kh6 44
Qh7ch, or 42 ... Kh8 43 Bf Kh7 4 Qg8ch, Kh6 45 Qg6.
Moder Mlddleame Lessons: Leon Nineteen 171
The Good Bishop In The Late
Middlegame, Early Endgame
After bth sides castle on oppsite wings, it looks as if te battle
will b decided in a furious middlegae. Whose attack will come flt?
Gavrlkov-Kuprelchlk, USSR Championhip 1985. Instead the Queens
ae swappd and suddenly a late middlegae and ealy endgame blos
soms. White makes the mistke of tading his remaining Bishop for a
Knight, thereby conceding the initiative.
1 d4
Staing out d4 while exerting pressure on c5 and e5.
1... d5
Black respnds accordingly.
2 c4
Hoping Black will take 2 ... dxc4 allowing White to for a full
pawn center with 3 e4 (though this line is theoretically playable for both
2 .. e
To respnd to 3 cxd5 with 3 ... exd5 maintaining a pawn on d5.
3 Nf
Developing and controlling d4 and e5.
Black corespondingly contols d5 and e4.
4 Nc3
Now both White Knights together touch al of the center squaes.
4... c6
In some lines Black intends to play . . . dxc4 and keep the extra
pawn with b7-b5. This leads to extremely sharp play wit chances for both
5 Bg5
White enters the sharp man line of the aforementioned pawn
sacrifce. More conservative was 5 e3 protecting the c-pawn.
5... dxc4
Black gos for the pawn.
172 Modem Mlddlegame Lesn
6 e4
To take advantage of the pin by threatening e4-e5. Since Black's
d-pawn went foraging, White happily ocupies te center.
6... bS
Sering notce - the extra pawn will b held.
7 e
Otherise Black would lose a piece.
8 Bh4
White avoids giving up the two Bishops and simplifying by 8
Bxf6. It is in White's interests to complicate and attack.
8... gS
Necessary to save te piece.
9 Nxg5
White sacs temprarily seeing that he will regain his piece.
9... hxgS
Now White will equalize in pawns, but Black still has go piece
10 BxgS
Threatening 1 1 Bxf6 sparing a Rok.
10... B7
The simplest though aso played is 10 .. Nbd7.
11 ex6
Son play resolves through these exchanges. White has an iso
lated d-pawn and Black has a Queenside pawn majority. On te other
hand, White has a passed h-pawn and his Bishop has more mobility at te
11 .
Both sides face complex problems.
12 Bxf6
Practically forced.
12 .
In tis vaiation Black ofen castles Queenside protected by the
"forest" of pawns there.
13 g3
Modern Middlegame Lessons: Lesson Nineteen 173
White's Bishop clearly must go to the long diagonal to obtain
good scope. Also, a later advance of the h-pawn is provided for.
13... Na6
A good square for the Knight as after Black's Queenside castling,
the Black QR will b pressing on White's weak d-pawn.
14 Bg2
Developing with a treat - often te sign of a go move.
White's Middlegame Plan
White knows that te only safe place for Black's King is the
Queenside, so he should play to rip that side opn wit moves like a2-a4
and b2-b3. He will also play Ne4 when his Knight eyes te cS and d6
174 Moder Mlddlegame Lesons
Black's Middlegame Plan
Black will castle Queenside and apply immediate pressure to
White's isolated pawn on d4. This centra counterattack should prove
rather anoying for White.
Black ca aso rn his Knight to some nice squares on d3 or d5
(via b4). With a Knight on d3, the White Roks will be unable to defend
d4 and the b2 pawn will also bcome vulnerable.
All in all, White has the more vulnerable targets on d4 and b2, so
the frst player must hop that his attck on te Queenside succeeds or
face the long range consequences that these pawn weaknesses bring.
14... Bb7
Black hurries to cstle while meeting the threat.
15 Ne4
The tempting 15 Nxb5 only gives Black the initiative after 15 ... 0-
0-0! with a big lead in development for Black.
15... Qe7
The only good reteat. But now Black is ready to caste and attack
in the center with c5.
16 0-0
White will ty to prove Black's King is more vulnerable to attack
on the Queenside tha White's is on the Kingside.
16... 0-0-0
"The die is cast! "
1 7 a4
To losen up Black's pawns.
17 . Kb8
To guard te a-pawn ad move to a less expsed square.
18 Qd2
Clearing te back rank to b able to rush his Roks into active
positions on the Queenside.
18... Nb4
An interesting Knight foray whose primary aim is the weak d3
19 Qf4h
Opening To Middlegame
In tis late middlegame and early ending where Black has a
Bishop vs. Knight with bt Roks stll on the bard, te stengt of te
Bishop c b seen clearly. He contols bot sides of the board at the same
tme while te Knight, because of its more limited scope, can only hobble
a few steps at a time. Even though White is momentarily a pawn ahead, he
is so busy tying to fnd a go squae for his Knight thal cannot fnd te
time to advance his passed Kingside pawns effectively. Finally te proud
steed is forced to reteat all the way back to a pitful square at d 1 .
At the right moment, Black trades his Bishop for the Knight. But
by the time White manages to get into a pure Rok and pawn ending, it is
to late. Black's two passed pawns are to far advanced to b stopped. A
ver instctive game, Gavrlkov-Kuprelchlk, USSR Championship
1985, in which one phase merges logically into te next, proving once
again tat a game of chess is an orgaic whole.
176 Modern Mlddlegame Lessons
19 Qc7
Black could have tried 19 .. Ka8!?, though admittedly it would
te a lot of nerve to sit at the foal pint of the a-file and the long h1 -a8
20 Qxc7ch
White enters the ending banking on his outside passed h-pawn
and pressure down the a-fle. However, as will be seen, te Black forces
cordinate well in the ensuing play.
20... Kxc7
The only drawback to this move is now the a-pawn is tactically
21 Ng5
On the tempting 21 NcS Black replies 2t...Nc2! attacking the QR
and the d-pawn, and if White sacrifces the Exchange with 22 axbS then
22 ... Nxa1 23 Rxa1, Rxd4 favors Black.
The best way to guard the f-pawn.
22 axb5
Now Wite probably feels optimistic.
Black bas confidence in his active pieces.
23 Rxa7
Supercially things appear bad for Black.
23... Nc6!
But this strong reply sets off Black's superior position.
24 Bxc6
White would rater not trade off his good Bishop, but alteratives
simply give Black a strong initiative anyway, e. g. , 24 Rfa1 ?, Nxa7 25
Rxa7, Rb8 is very strong for Black.
24... Kxc6
Notice how far afeld White's Knight is.
25 Nf
White logically tries to bring the Knight to a more active post.
Unblocking te QB and "bumping" the invading Rook.
26 Ra1 ?
Moem Mlddleame Leons: Leon Nineten 177
A cute tactical point arises - on 26 .. Bxf?? 27 Rla6 is mate.
Also, on 26 Ra3, ten Black can continue 26 ... b4 27 Re3, Bxf 2 Rxf3,
Rxd4 wit a clealy btter Rok and pawn ending.
26... eS!?
A finessing tctic idea. Now if 27 dxeS? then 27 ... Bxf3 snaes a
piece as tere is no mate. Anoter more conservatve idea was 26 ... f6!?
wit te idea of 27 ... eS.
27 Nxe5
Forced. Oterise 27 ... exd4 is to stong.
27... Rxd4
Black intends to use te opn d-fle in conjunction wit te ma
rauding Black Bishop to create unpleasat back rank mating treats.
28 h4
Hoping to use te h-pawn to goo effect.
28... Rfd8!
A well-timed seizure of te d-file.
29 Nx
White decides to grab te pawn as tere is noting better.
29... Rd1ch
Now tough White is two pawns up, Black's invading Rooks give
Black te better position.
30 Kh2
Obviously not 3 Rxdl, Rxdlch 31 Kh2, Rhl mate.
30... Rxa1
This is better tan 30 ... R82 which allows White to play 31
Rxb7ch! , Kxb7 32 Rxdl, Rxdl 33 hS wit counterplay.
31 Rxa1
White only needs a breater to consolidate, but Black's potential
passed c-pawn in conjunction wit his extremely active Rok and Bishop
give him great pressure.
31 ... R
Now Black gets back at least one pawn while retining te initia-
32 Nd6
After 32 NgS! ?, Rxfch 33 Kh3, Black wins with 33 ... Rxb2 ad
on 34 hS, Rf! 35 h6, Rf6, etc.
32... Rxfch
178 Modern Mlddleame Lessons
Now with the furious activity of the Rok on te 7th rank,
White's psition becomes critical
33 Kh3
33 Kg1 allows 33 .. Rg2ch, picking up the g-pawn.
33... Bg2ch
Moving te Bishop to a safe square while forcing te White King
to blok the g-pawn.
34 Kg4
White hops to use his King to support te advace of his passed
34 . KcS!
Black shows his King can have a say in te proeedings.
35 Nf5
Keeping the Knight close in to help supprt the h-pawn's ad-
35 ... B
Centralizing the Bishop wit a gain of time - note it covers the
imporant h7 square over which the h-pawn must pass to Queen.
36 Ne3
Holding on.
36 ... Kd4!
The King invades furher, driving the Knight to a por position.
37 Ndl
At least holding the b-pawn for a while.
To attack te defender of the b-pawn.
38 KgS
Of course not 38 KfS or 38 Kf4 because of 38 ...
winning a piece.
38 ... Rd2
But not 38 ... Rn becaus of the witty resource 39 Ne3! as
39 ... Rxal is answered by 40 Nc2ch and 41 Nxa1.
39 Nc3
The only squae to save the Knight.
39... Rxb2
Removing the b-paw leads to victory quickly.
Moern Mlddleame Leson': Leson Nineten 179
How The Player's Respective Plans Worked Out
White bcame tempted by certn tactical pssibilites and went
into an endgame, tus destoying his own chances to acquire play against
te Black King - you rarely wat to tade Queens if you hop to build up
an attck. This proved unwise since Black was able to force a trade of
Knight for Bishop, giving him a suprior minor piece ad more active
Rooks. When the White Knight lost more and more time as it got kicked
around, te Black forces pnetrated deep into the enemy psition. The fal
of te weak pawn on b2 effectively ended the game in Black's favor.
Black won this gae because he was able to continually make
use of te psitve features from the opning (weak White pawns on b2
and d4) right into the endgame. White should have avoided te endgae
like te plague, but he misread te position and got punished accordingly.
Rule to b lerne: By noting the advantages that the position
bestows upon you, you must decide which phase of the game best suppons
these factors. Ifyou own long range endgame plusses, then exchanges will
always be welcomed. If your only positive feature is a weakened enemy
King, then you will retain the Queens an tr for a midlegame knockout.
40 Kf4
Nothing helps.
4 Kxc3
Black takes the simplest route to win.
41 Kxf
Now even though material is even, Black wins easily because his
well suppored passed pawns ae much quicker tan White's.
18 Moder Mlddlegame Lessons
41. .. Rh2
Peventing either White pawn from moving.
42 Kg4
And seeing the hoplessness of further play,
Whit Resigns.
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Lesson Twenty 181
The Good Knight In The Late
Middlegame, Early Endgame
Emanuel Lasker once obsered that games btween top players of
equal stength usually end in draws ad ae apt to b dull. Indeed, in 120
games in four title matches between these two titas from 1 984 to 1988,
one of the greatest rivalries in the history of chess, Kasparov led by a
simple point. More than two-tids of these games were drawn.
Obviously stuggles between the two greatest players of an epch
are unlikely to hinge on gross erors. More likely, one of them will b
outplayed on a high level. Kasparov-Karpov, Leningrad 1986, 22nd
Match Game.
1 d4
Occupying d4 and hoping to get in e4 with a fne pawn center.
Preventing 2 e4. A solid alterative was l. .. d5.
2 c4
Pressing d5 and the Queenside in general.
2... e
Now if 3 Nc3, Black can play the Nimzo-Indian Defense with
3 ... Bb4.
3 Nf
Sidestepping the Nizo.
3 ... d5
Other choices are 3 ... c5 (Benoni Defense), 3 ... b6 (Queen's Indian
Defense), and 3 ... Bb4ch (Bogo-Indian Defense).
4 Nc3
The most aggressive square for the Knight.
4... B7
Simple sound development.
5 Bg5
The immediate 5 e3 (athough perfectly playable) locks in
White's QB, so he moves it out frst.
5... h6
Modem Mlddlegame Lesons
Forcing te Bishop to declae its intentions.
6 Bxf6
Avoiding any loss of time.
6 ... Bxf6
Black now has the Bishop to help counterbalance White's "frst
move" initiatve.
7 e3
The more aggressive loking 7 e4, dxe4 8 Nxe4 allows Black
pressure aganst White's d-paw.
7 . 0-0
Getting the King into a secure place while bringing the K into
8 Rcl
Hoping to use the c-fle for positional pressure.
8... c6
Fortifying dS while blunting somewhat White's potential c-fle
9 Bd3
Usually the best square for the KB in te Queen's Gambit.
9... Nd7
Black has in mind te following freeing maneuver (e6-e5).
9 dxc4 10 Bxc4, Nd7 would taspose into the game.
10 0-0
White has more space (pawn as d4) ad a lead in development,
but te solid character of Black's psition plus the two Bishop hold
White's edge to a minimum.
10... dxc4
The immediate 10 . e5 runs into touble after 1 1 cxd5.
11 Bxc4
Now after e6-e5 White's Bishop will have excellent scope on te
a2-t diagonal.
1 1 . e
To alow the QB to come into play on the c-h3 diagonal.
12 h3!
A fne stategic move which prevents Black from playing Bg4
(After Nb).
12 .. exd4
loem liddl Lm LsTwe 18
Black must move the Knight to bring out the QB, but 12.-Nb
leaves eS under protcted, so he exchages in the proess giving White a
isolated d-pawn.
13 exd4
The isolated d-pawn is not wea since White's pieces are very
13 .... Nb6
Gaining a tempo and allowing the QB into play.
14 Bb3
Best. 14 Bd3 allows 14 ... Be6 with a satisfactory game for Black.
14... Bf5
Black is almost caught up in development.
15 Ret
Now every White piece is deployed.
To obtin some space on the Queenside, in some caes te Black
QR may come into play via aS.
16 a
To allow the KB to remain on the a2-f diagonal after a later a4.
Trying to reduce White's pressure by timely simplifcation.
17 Rxe8h
Hoping te Queen will have to lose a tempo later, since on e8,
Ret will soner or later gain a temp.
Black must now try to bring his QR into play.
18 Qd2
Heading for f4.
18 Modern Mlddlegme Lesons
White's Middlegame Plan
Several pieces have ben traded and White seems to be te only
one with a weak pawn (isolated d-pawn) but the frst players' initiative is
still bothersome for Black. White is going to use his d-pawn to contol the
important eS square, and after moves like Rel ad Qf4, a subsequent NeS
(workng with the Bishop on b3) will create pressure on f. Note taL if
Black ever captures a Knight on eS then dxeS will move the once isolated
paw to eS where it gains Kingside space and eyes the nice d6 square
(which might bcome accessible to te other White Knight via Nc3-e4-
d6). One fnal point: since White will be doing everyting he can to create
King side threats, he will avoid a Queen tade like the plague.
Moern Mlddlegame Lesn: Lesn Twenty 185
Black's Middlegame Plan
The only ptentally weak pint that Black can ever hop to at
tack in the White psiton is d4, but - aside from the fact that this pawn is
well protected - Black will never b able to go ater it since White's initia
tve is keeping the second player off balace. Black's dream, of course, is
to gain control of the imporant d5 squae by trading light-squared Bishops
and the b Kight for its counterpar on c3. Then Black could take the
initiative by placing his Rok on d8 or d5 and going after the d-pawn.
However, I have aredy said that White will never alow this to happn so
Black's defense is by no means easy. He ca consider ideas like .. Qd7
followed by .. Nd5 to close off the Bishop's a2-g8 diagonal (not to at
tractve here since a subsequent capture on d5 would leave Black's d-pawn
weaker than White's and, while Black is following this pla, the e5 square
would fall completely into White's hands); another plan is Nd7, a move
tat hops to keep White out of e5. Then Black could try to get his Rook
to te e-file and trade off the fnal pair of Rooks.
18... Nd7
Perhaps better was 18 .. .a4 19 Ba2, Qd7.
18 Moder Mlddleame Lesons
Opening To Middlegae
Ksparov's sole advantage will b a more active White Knight
after te middlegae is over against a somewhat passive Bishop. But te
Knight bcaus it contols squares of bt colors, is able to create mating
threat in the endgame. Patiently and prsistently Black is ground down in
a game that is a test of wills as much as chess kowledge.
and hS.
19 Qf4!
Accurate. On 19 Ret, Black has 19 . Qb8 preventing 20 Qf4.
19... Bg6
Keeping te Kingside reinforced.
20 h4!
White steps up te pressure with this fne move which aims at g4
20 ...
To gain counterplay with .. Qb6.
21 Na4
Peventing Qb6 while allowing NcS in some vaiations.
21... hS!
Black defends well. The text prevents g4 ad hS, e. g. 2l. .. Bh5?
22 g4, Bg6 23 hS, Bh7 24 NeS with a big advantage. Also, on 21. .. Qb8
White ca continue 22 Qg4 (Threatening 23 Qxg6 and 23 Qxl 22 ... Nf
23 hS, Bh7 2 NcS with a very stong game for White.
22 Re1
Contolling the import central e-file.
22... bS
Moer Mlddlegame Lessons: Lesson Twenty 187
Trying to stir up some counterlay.
23 Nc3
Back to the cental zone.
23... Qb8
Due to White's Kingside attacking prospcts, Black naturally
would like to trade off the Queens.
24 Qe3
No thanks.
2 b4
After the aterative 24 .. a4 25 Ba2, b 26 Ne4, ba 27 ba, with
an edge for White.
25 Ne4
A tmely centralizaton.
25... bxa
After 2S ... Bxe4 26 Qxe4, bxa3 White has the strong move 27
Qxc6! and if 27 .axb2 28 QdS!.
26 Nxf6h
Removing Black's stong KB and consequently gaining more in
fuence on the dark squaes (e5, g5 for exaple).
26... Nx6
White's pieces are stll more active. Black must defend with great
27 bxa
The tempting move 27 NeS allows Black dangerous counterlay
after 27 ... a4!.
27 NdS!
Forcing the following trade of White's active KB.
28 BxdS
Otherwise the Bishop is lost.
28... cxdS
Since Black's d-pawn is fxed on dS, his Bishop is somewhat
"bad". On the other hand, White's Knight has several good squares (e5, c5,
29 Ne5
Occupying the fne eS outpost and threatening 30 Nxg6 and 31
Qech winning the d-pawn.
29... Qd8
18 Moder Mlddlegame Lesons
O 29 . Qd6 30 Rcl is strong.
30 Qf
Also go is 30 Qf4.
Finally bringing the QR into the action.
31 Rcl
Shifting to the c-fle with excellent opprunities to maraud the
Black pawns not to mention pssible back rak tactical ploys.
A crcial moment. To b considered was 31. .. Qxb4!? though
after 32 QxdS, Kh7 33 Nf, Qg4 3 NgSeb, Kh6 3S Nxleh, Bxl 3
Qxl, Rf6 37 Qe4 (Not 37 Qd5, Rxf! 38 Kf. Q4ch and Black can
draw) 37 Rg6 38 g3! White has te btter of it.
32 Qh3!
To pnetrate with the Rok to e8 while holding the h-pawn.
Black rightly strves for active counterplay. After the passive
32 Re6 White retains stong pressure with 33 ReS! .
33 Rc8
Now in some caes White might threaten to move both heavy
pieces to the 8th rank with mating threats through Q or R to h8.
33... Qd6
Hoping to counterattack against White's a-pawn by 34 ... a4 and
34 Qg3
Now on 3 ... Qe6 White plays 3S ReS maintaning all his advan-
34 ... a4?
Consistent, but bad at this point. Tre, after 34 .. Rbleh 3S Kh2,
Qa6 3 ReS!, QbS (O 36 . . . Ql 37 Q, a4 38 Nxf, Bxf39 Qxf, Qglch
40 Kg3, Rb3ch 41 f and White is winning) 37 Ra8! White is in contol,
but this was the better chanc.
35 Ra8!
Pressuring Black's a-pawn.
35... Qe6!
Moem Mlddlegame Le on: Le on Twenty 189
The bst move. O 3S . Ra6 White has 3 Nxf! since 3 ... Qxg3
37 Rh8 is mate ad 3 ..Bxf allows 37 Qd3h picking up te Ra6. As
if 35 ... Rb3 ten 3 Rh8ch! taes advatage of Black's unprotected Qd6.
36 Rxa4
Winning a pawn, but te psition is stll quite complex.
36... QS
Tring to brig the Queen into a more active role.
27 Ra7
Seizing the 7t rank and allowing the outside passed a-pawn to
37 . Rblch
Black must continue to counterattack, passive play is hopeless.
38 Kh2
White's King is now scure enough.
38... Rcl
In order to play Qbl with the idea of Rhlch.
39 Rb7
Preventing Qbl .
39 Rc2
Threatening f.
O 40 Nf Black has 40 ... f6! resticting White's Knight.
40... Rd2
Hoping to tie White to protecting his d-pawn.
41 Nd7!!
This brilliant move includes some deep tactcal ideas.
19 Modern Mlddlegame Lessons
How The Player's Respecive Plans Worked Out
Black attempted to keep White out of eS ad exchange pieces,
but White wa able to steer Black into a psition where the remaining
White Knight was clealy suprior to te defending enemy Bishop. This
advantage of the suprior minor piece combined with White's more active
Rok and Black's hunted King eventually led to a winning attack against
te Black monarch. In the end, Black was unable to neutralize White's
more active pieces.
Rule to b lered: Passive positions with no visible source of
counterloy should be avoided at all costs. make sure that you always
have some sort of active, positive idea to follow or you might discover tht
constructive moves will be ver dif cult to fnd. In tis gae even a suprb
player like Karpov was unable to cope with the defensive problems that
the opning created.
41. Rxd4
He might as well grab the pawn and hop he can hold out some-
42 Nfh
Continuing to penetate Black's Kingside.
O 42 ... Kh8 or g8 43 Rb8 decides.
43 Rb4!!
White sees he can maintain the attack even if the Rooks ae
taded due to Black's vulnerable King position.
43... Rc4
Modern Mlddlegame Lessons: Lesson Twenty 191
O 43 ... Rxb4 4 axb4, d4 45 b5 White's attack will come
through frst - 45 ... d3 4 b, d2 47 b7, dl=Q 4 b8=Q, Qcl 49 Nxg6,
Qxg6 (49 . . . fxg6 50 QhB mate) 50 Qh8ch, Qh7 51 Qgxg7 mate. Also, if
43 ... Rdl 44 Rb8, Bh7 45 Qg5ch! wins a piece.
4 Rxc4
White sees a winning tctic and so dosn't mind tis tade.
4... dxc4
At frst glance Black dosn't seem to bad off.
45 Qd6!
But this shot clarifies things 4 Q2 and mate next is threatened.
45... c3
At least stopping Qd2ch.
46 Qd4
Now 47 Qech is te treat. In view of the pssible line 47 ... Bh7
4 Qxc3 wit a sound outside passe pawn, Black decides to give it up.
Black Resigns.
192 Modem Mlddleame Lesons
Middlegame: Attack On Opposite Wings
Encounters btween Kv ad Korchnoi are always fascinating
bcause they both detest each oter. Korchnoi lost thre matches - in 1 974,
1978 and 1981 . A few years ater their last title match, when defector
Korchnoi's faly wa fnally released from the USSR, the two Ks actually
st down to play bridge with each other. Korchnoi explained to astonished
onlokers: "We needed a fourh!" Later Korchnoi sid that he dosn't
kow how to forgive himself for having played brdge with Karpov. Kar
pv-Korchnol, London 198.
1 Nf
White prevents Black from playing t. .. eS while not committing
either of his center pawns.
1 ... d5.
1 ... Nf6
Black follows the sae plicy. Also quite playable is the classical
2 c4
Striking at dS and staking out some Queenside teritory.
2... g6
Black choses hyproer development for his KB. Solid and
sound is 2 ... e followed by J ... dS or 2 ... c5 copying White.
3 Nc3
The most active squae for this Knight from which it reinforces
pressure on dS and e4.
3 ... d5
Intoucing a sort of Genfeld Defense (Technically it is still an
English Oning since White has not yet played d4 - but he trasposes the
next move)
4 d4
Now it's offcially a Genfeld. Not so go would b 4 g3 b
cause of the space gaining reply 4 ... d4 with good play for Black.
4... Bg7
The Black K exers strong pressure along the long al-h8 diago
nal from here.
Moern Mlddlegame Leon: Leson Twenty One 193
5 BgS
White intends to play a early e3, so he brings out his QB fust s
a to not blok it in by e3.
5 . Ne
A sharp counterove with te positional threat of NxgS getting
the two Bishops.
6 cxd5
Not 6 NxdS? because of 6 ... Nxg5 7 NxgS, e6! attcking bth
6 ... NxgS
Now Black retins the two Bishops, however White is not to
concered abut tis as his intended e will fon a fn barier against te
acton of the fiachettoed KB.
7 Nxg5
White's pawn gain is only temporar.
7... e
The point, the double attck on dS ad dS recovers te paw.
8 Nf
Returing to home.
8 ... exdS
Due to the pawn structure, White will have the option of playing
te so called Minority attack against Black's Queenside pawns. This is
chaacterized by b2-b4-b5 which, in conjunction wit the half-open e-fle,
will give positional pressure against Black's c-pawn.
9 e3
"Rounding out" his intended central pawn structure.
9... 0-0
Completing his Kingside development before committing any of
his Queenside pieces or pawns.
10 b4
Beginning te Minority atck.
10... B
Reinforcing dS and avoiding c7-c6 for the time being to avoid
making a trget for White's intended b4-b5.
11 Be2
The best squae for the Bishop, on d3 it would be of little effect
against Black's strong fanchetto paw formation.
Modem Mlddlegame Lessons
11 ... Nd7
Completing his minor piece development.
12 0-0
Scoting his King to safer quaers and bringing the K into ac-
12 ... fS
Black uses his Kingside pawns aggressively intending f5-f4 and
f4xe3 leaving White with a wea backward e-pawn. Also if White answers
f5-f4 with exf4 ten his d-pawn is isolated.
13 Re1
A go centralizing counter. Now the flank thrust 13 ... f5-f4 is
well met by 14 e4! ad the opning of the center would give White the
13 ... gS
Opening To Middlegame
This game is just as uncompromising as their (Karpov-Korchnoi)
off-the-board behavior. They both attck furiously on opposite wings, but
Black's offense on the Kingside son comes to a grinding halt and te ad
vanced pawns suddenly lok like big weaknesses. Operating skillfully wit
threats on both wings, Karpv infiltates in the center with his heavy
pieces. Despite the reduced material, he manages to constrct an ingenious
matng attack. Curiously, Karpov's victory is accomplished on the
Kngside - te wing on which Korchnoi sted his own attack.
14 Rcl
Modern Mlddlegame Lessons: Lesson Twenty One 195
Calmly seizing contol of the strategic c-f1le for furter Queen
side pressure.
14 ... Kh8
Geuing to a less exposed square and allowing te possibility of
using te g-fle for a Rook in some eventualities.
15 Bd3
White uses tactics to restrain Black's f5-f4 - e. g. , now 1S ... g4 is
answered by 16 Nd2 and on 16 ... f4 17 exf4 unveils an attack on the Black
White's Middlegame Plan
At the moment te center is closed, so the play is going to occur
on the wings. It's clear tat Black is trying to mate White on the Kingside,
though tese pawn advances also compromise his own King's safety.
White has two ideas that he is going to follow: 1 ) A Black ... f5-f4 thrust
will allow White to open the center wit eiter e3-e4! or simply exf4. This
follows the rule that the best reaction to an attck on te wing is a coun
terattack in te center. 2) White will play to put pressure on te Black c7
pawn. If Black ever plays it to c6, ten White will advance his b-pawn to
bS and rip open lines on te Queenside.
An imprt pint to understnd is that Black is giving White
endgame odds. This means that Black is placing his faith in tis Kingside
attack, but any trade of Queen's will end that attck but do noting to stop
White's play on the oppsit wing. This is why so many top players are
willing to alow their King's to be attcked while tey seek Queenside
19 Modern Mlddlegame Lesn
play; they know tat they are gettng the long-range chances - most end
gaes will favor te side with the Quenside atack.
Black's Middlegame Plan
With no play in the center and an inferior psition on the Queen
side, Black has decided to do everyting he can to stomp White out of
existence on the Kingside. This plan is somewhat one-dimensional, but
Black is now committed to it. Ideas like ..g5-g4 followed by .Rf-f6-h6
and . Qh4 are in the air and Black is always loking for ways to activate
his dark-squared Bishop. It is also pssible to play his Knight from d7 to
f6 to e4, but that may give White an opportunity to place his own Knight
on eS.
15 c6?!
This creates a taget for White's Queenside demonstration. On
15 ... g4 16 Nd2, Nf6 White plays Ne2 heading for the newly weaened f4
square. Perhaps bst was 15 . a6 so that in the case of b4-b5 Black can at
least use te a-file after axbS.
16 bS
Now if Black trades c6xb5 then he is left wit an isolated d-pawn
while if he dosn't take then White can take b5xc6 and after b7xc6 Black
has a vulnerable backward c-pawn.
16... g4
Black hures with his Kingside activity. Otherise he would be
tied dow to purely passive defense - not usually a good policy. 16 ... c5
leaves White with a positional plus after 17 dxcS, NxcS 18 Nd4.
Moern Mlddleame Leson: Leson Twenty One 197
17 Nd2
Also pssible was 17 bxc6 and after 17 . gf (O 1 7 . . . bxc6 18
Nd2, c5 19 Bb5 with advantge to White) 18 cxd7, fxg2 19 f4, Qd7 20
Re2 followed by Rxg2 is go for White.
17... c5
Black stuggles for actve counterplay.
18 dxc5
Not 18 Ne2 as after 18 ... c4 Black's pawns crap White's play on
te c-fle.
18 . Nxc5
Black has achieved some freedom, but at the cost of an isolated
19 Nb3
Por would b 19 Bb1? allowing 19 ... d4! opning up the psiton
for Black's two Bishops and getting rid of Black's isolated d-pawn.
Winning the two Bishops against te two Knights here favors
White after 19 ... Nxd3 20 Qxd3 a Black's d-pawn is to weak and White's
Knights have excellent stong psts on d4, f4.
20 ab3!
Also go was 20 Qxb3 with an edge, but the text is even
20 .. ReS
Now Black has a complete development but his weaker pawn
strcture and somewhat drafty Kingside paw structure give White a
definite psition superiority.
21 Ne2
Maneuvering against Black's weak d4 ad f4 squares.
21... Rxcl
Hoping to slightly misplace the recapturng White piece.
22 Qxc1
Not 22 Nxcl as te Knight is heading for f4.
22... Qb6
Hoping to gain a tempo with ReS and eyeing d5-d4 to get rid of
the isolated pawn.
23 Nf4
198 Modem Mlddlegame Lesn
Now on 23 ... Rc8 White has 24 Qb1 and the f-pawn is under too
much pressure.
Black now hops to b able to play 2 . d4.
24 g3!
White allows it foreseeing a good respnse. Not so effective is 24
Qc2 as after 24 ..d4 Black has counterchances.
24... d4
Trying to get rid of the weakling.
25 Bc4!
Trading off Black's two Bishops.
After 25 ..dxe3 26 Rxe3, Bd4 27 Re2 followed by Qel, White
has a clear advantage.
2 Qbl!
Fousing on Black's f-pawn.
26 ... dxe3
O the indirect trade of pawns 26 . Bxc4 27 bxc4, Rxc4 28 Qxf5
White is much better.
27 Rxe3
With distinct pressure on the e-fle
27... Qc5
Holding the f-paw.
2 Qel !
Now if 28 .. Bxc4 29 bxc4, Qxc4 then White exploits te e-fle
with 30 ReSch, Rxe8 31 Qxe8ch, Qg8 32 Qd7, DeS 33 Nd5 and Black's
pawns will son be picked off.
Trying to use one of his positional advantges - te stong dark
squared Bishop. But this dosn't outweigh the other positional factors
(weak pawns and exposed Kingside).
29 Re2
Not 29 Re7 because of 29 ... Bxfch!
29... Bxc4
Other moves offer no more, e.g. , 29 ... Bg7 30 ReS or 29 ... Rf 30
Bxg8, Rxg8 31 Ne6.
30 bxc4
Moern Mlddlegame Leon: Leon Twenty One 19
White's psitonal grip son proves to much for Black's "lose"
30... Rg8
O 30 ... Qxc4 31 ReSh, Rxe8 32 Qxe8h, Kg7 33 Ne6ch, Kf6
3 Nxd4 and on 3 .Qxd4 35 Qh8ch wins.
31 Qcl!
Again 31 Re7? i s answered by 3l. . . Bxfch.
Black tries Lo counterattack.
32 Qc2
Resuming play against the f-pawn.
32... Bg7
WhiLe refutes 32 .. Qxc4 with 33 ReSch! as 33 .. Rxe8 drops the
33 Qd3
Threatening to invade the 7th rak with Qd7.
33... Qd4
O 33 ... Rc7 3 ReSch wins.
34 QxfS
The end nears.
34 ... Qxc4
Black tries L kep up in the pawn grabbing contest
35 Re7
Now WhiLe oprates with direct acton against Black's King.
Threatening male in tree (36 . . . Rd1 ch, 37 Re 1, Rxe 1 ch and
38 . . . Q1 mate. ).
36 Kg2
Staying out of the Rooks range.
Aiming for f.
36... Qb3
37 Qxg4
Simple and crushing.
20 Moder Mlddlegame Lesons
How The Player's Respective Plans Work Out
The Black Kingside attack never really got going, so the second
player tried to activate his dark-squared Bishop instead. However, tis
failed because White was able to open up the center when Black's weak
pawns on dS and fS, plus the opn Black King becae critical factors tat
ultimately led to Black's demise.
Rule to b lerne: The side with a loose King always wants the
center to remain closed because an open center would allow the enemy
pieces to fow through that area ar pour themselves on the poorly de
fended monarch.
Overlooking White's next, but it is over in any event.
38 Ng6h!
Now 38 .. hxg6 39 Qh4h and mate next.
Black Resigns.
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Lesson Twenty Two 201
Blending The Opening,
Middlegame and Endgame
Anatoly Kapov has been compaed to a boa constictor who
squeezes the life out of its victims. But this Karpov-Hubner, Tilburg
1982 game demonstrates tat there is venom in his squeeze.
1 e4
Considered by many leading players to be White's all around best
frst move.
1 ... c6
The Caro-Kann, probably Black's most solid defense aganst 1 e4.
2 d4
White rors a Classical two pawn center.
2... dS
Black challenges White's two pawn center with his d-pawn. Now
if 3 exdS, then 3 ... cxd5 maintains Black's center pawn.
3 Nd2
More usua is 3 Nc3, but te text amounts to the same ting. On 3
eS, BfS Black's QB achieves a good post - one of the plus points of the
Cao-Kann Defense.
3 ... dxe4
Black trade in order to remove White's central e-pawn which in
tum gives Black the fS square for his QB.
4 Nxe4
White still has more center pawn control wit his remaining d
pawn. But Black's position has no weaknesses and it's had to crack.
Getting out the QB while josting te White Knight.
5 Ng3
5 Bd3 drops te d-pawn after S ... Qxd4.
From here the Bishop cuts across the best diagonal (bl-ll for
White's KB.
202 Moder Mlddlegame Lessons
6 h4
A useful fnesse gaining more space on te Kingside for future
exploitation. Also possible, but less aggressive is te simple 6 Nf.
6... h6
In order to maintain the Bishop on it excellent diagonal.
7 Nf
A goo developing move which treatens to leap onto eS wit the
temp gaining treat of Nxg6 - winning the two Bishops while wrecking
Black's pawn structure.
7 .. Nd7
Stopping 8 NeS and preparing to castle Queenside in some cases.
8 h5
Cramping Black's Kingside more and allowing te possibility of
Rh4, bringing te Rook into play against Black's crampd Kingside.
8... Bh7
Maintaning his watch on blh7 - S ... BfS is pssible a 9 NxfS,
QaSch retains material equality, but at to much cost - the two Bishops
ad time.
9 Bd3
Admitting Black's QB is so well placed tat it must b traded for
White's KB - a small stategic victor for Black.
9... Bxd3
Otherwise White trades on h7 leaving Black's King Rok on a
por squae. Also Black would lose the option of Kingside castling.
10 Qxd3
Helping to clear te way for Queenside castling.
10... Ngf6
The best square for te KN. Anoter move is 10 ... Qc7 which also
restrains White from bringing his QB to f4.
11 Bf4
Taking te opportunity to develop to its most active square.
11... e
Preparing to bring out te KB.
12 0-0-0
Now White is close to full mobilization.
12... Be7
The only god square, but sound enough.
Moern Mlddlegame Le on: Leon Twenty Two 203
13 Ne
Establishing a centralized "bachhead" on eS, one of White's
stategic tnps aganst the Cao-Kn.
13... 0-0
Getting his King out of the center.
14 c4
Helping control d5 with later possible pawn thrusts c5 or d5. A
popula alterative is 14 Qe2 with more pressure on te d-fle. In the gae
Tlmman-Hubner, Tllburg 1982, White tred 14 Nxd7 and after
14 . Qxd7 15 Be5, Rad8 16 Qe2, Qd5 17 Kb1 Black should have tied
17 .. b5 consolidating his hold on d5 against White's c2-c4.
White's Middlegame Plan
White enjoys more space and if he can move the g3 Knight and
advance his pawn to g4, then he will be able to stat a strong Kingside
White is also not adverse to tying his hand in an endgame how
ever, since lines like 14 .. Nxe5 15 dxeS, Qxd3 16 Rxd3, NeB (16 . . . Ng4 17
Ne4 threatens to pick up the enemy horse by 18f) 1 7 Rd7 ae horible for
204 Modern Mlddlegame Lesn
Black's Middlegame Plan
Since White's pieces are a bit more active than their Black coun
terparts, and since White has more territor al over the board, Black must
b very diligent in his fght for counterplay. He has three pssible plans: 1)
At some point t to trade pieces with ... NxeS. This follows the rle that
the side with less space should seek exchanges. 2) Hit the center with
. c6-c5, though this allows White to either open the d-flc with dxc5 or to
create a passed pawn with d4-d5. Neiter response (dxc5 or d4-d5) is nec
essarily dangerous to Black (and then again, either move might kill him! ),
but he must b very careful in asessing the resultant positions. 3) Black
can play for . b7-b5. This is not possible immediately since c6 would
hang, however if Black defends this pawn frst, then ... b7-b5 (even if it
loses te b-pawn) is worth serious consideration since it opens files to the
White King and gives the Black Knights access to the fne dS post.
14... c5
Black's stategy is to remove White's strong d-pawn, which indi
rectly struggles for control of eS.
15 d5
Moer Mlddlegame Le om: Leson Twenty Two 205
Opening To Middlegame
Wit 15 d5 Karpov launches a combination which involves a
speculative piece sacrifice. Arguably, Hubner dos not find the best anti
dote to 17 Bxg7 - but dos one exist?
Karpov conducts te attck wit vigor, but te poison is not im
mediately lethaL Stunned, Black staves off te auack by swapping
Queens, hoping to recover his strengt in te endgae where he. is a Rook
ahead. But there is no rest for the weay. Black's apparent material advan
tage proves to be no match for te inexorable advance of White's two
passed center pawns that stifle further resistce upon reaching te sevent
Karpov's haonious blending of opening, middle and end is
worty of study. He is never in a rush for his poison to take effect.
Black tries to ease the pressure wit judicious exchanges.
16 BxeS
The Bishop now replaces the Knight on a fine cental post.
Plunging into complications, but a follow up to Black's tactics
begun with 14 ... c5.
17 Bxg7!
Leading to great complications which have been nicely judged by
Karpov. Also pssible was 17 f4 and on 17 .. Nf ( 17 . . . Bd6 18 Bxd6, Qxd6
19 Q favors White as does 1 7 . . . exd5 18 Qxd5, Qxd5 19 Rxd5) 18 Qe2
206 Moder Middlegame Lesons
(Better than 18 Qc3?!, Nx1 19 Rx1, f!) with compnsation for the Ex
17... Kxg7
A crtical alterative is 17 Bg5ch with unclear complications.
18 Qe2
With the double threat 19 Qxg4 and 19 dxe6 - this is why White
proeeded with 17 Bxg7!.
18... BgSch
Ater 18 .. Nf6 White plays 19 dxe, Qc7 20 NfSch followed by
21 g3 (Stopping Q4ch) with a ver strong psition.
19 Kbl
Now with only a paw for the piece, it loks god for Black su
19 ... Nf6
Not 19 ... f5 20 dxe6 wit a big plus for White.
20 dxe
White consistently operates with treat after threat.
20... Qc8
Hoping to control rs where te White Knight would like to go.
21 e7
This pawn sverely tes up most of Black's forces allowing White
to strike wit suprior force.
Hoping to suround the pawn with 22 ... Ng8.
22 Rd6!!
A terific resource which maintins White's attack.
22... Qg4
In order to ease the pressure with a Queen trade. If 22 ... Bf4,
White has 23 Rxf6!, Bxg3 (23 . . . K 24 Q!) 24 Qf! attacking f and
23 Qe5
Tying up Black still more.
Trying to unravel.
24 Re1
Now White has a bind on the center, leaving Black with no
Modern Mlddlegame Lessons: Lesson Twenty Two 207
24 . Nd7
After 24 .. Nxh5 25 NfS (Also good is 25 Re4, but this is even
stronger) 25 ... Bf4 26 QdS White has a winning position - 26 ... Bxd6? 27
25 Rxd7!
Also goo - but not as effective is 25 QfS and after 25 ... Qxf5 26
NxfS, Nb6 27 Re4, Bxe7 28 Rxe7, Nxc4 29 Rxh6.
25... Qxd7
Forced - but now White Knight moves in.
26 Nf5
Protecting the e-paw ad treatening to suround the Bishop on
gS with g3 and f4 in some circumstces.
26... f6
Mate treatened and after 26 ... Qd3ch 27 Kat, Qd4 (Forced) 28
Nxd4, Rxe7 29 Qxe7, Bxe7 3 NfS White wins te ending.
27 Qd5ch!
Now White gains two far advanced connected passed pawns -
these ensure victory.
27 ...
Unpleasant but forced.
28 cxd5
Threatening 29 d6-d7, etc.
2 ..
Trying to use the Bishop to try to stop White's pased pawns.
29 g3
Forcing the Bishop to abandon the h-pawn.
29... Bc7
Hoping for 30 Nxh6ch, Kh7 31 NfS, Rad8! spoiling White's
30 Kc2
White is alert however.
30 ... b5
Black ties to advance his Queenside pawn majority for some
31 Nxh6ch
Now this pawn grab is quite good as the variation mentioned after
Black's 29th is no longer pssible.
208 Modem Mlddlegame Lesons
31 Kh7
Black is lost even tough he is a Rook ahead!
32 Nf5
Returing to its best post.
32... Rg8
There is no god defense.
33 d6
The pawns roll on.
33 ... Ba
Black tries ever trick to sty afloat.
34 Re6
Now 35 Rxf6 threatening 3 Rxh6 mate is a possibility.
34... Rg
A desperate counterattck.
35 Rxf6
Black tries to reach the seventh rank.
36 d7
Now White will Queen by force.
Moer Mlddlegame Lesons: Les n Twenty Two 20
How The Player's Respctive Plans worked Out
Black opted for the complications that resulted from a . c6-c5
advance. However, by scrifcing a piece, White was able to get a bind on
the position and threat against the Black King.
It turs out that Black's bid for immediate counterlay led to his
own demise! Why? Because he was not fully developd, had inactive
pieces, and had less space. this meant that he should not have sted a war
until he fixed some of tese defects.
Rule to be lerne: It is rarely good to initiate complications or
a full bodied fght i you are starting fom a position of positional inferi
ority. As they say in other sports: "His intentions were good, but his body
just wasn't willing" .
36 ... Rh2
With te nuisance threat 37 ... Rxfch.
37 Ne3
Which White prevents.
Black Resigns.
210 Modern Mlddlegame Lesson
Middlegame Pin Cushion
Victories by Black are interesting to study. Whereas the second
player needs to make only one slip to lose the gae, White usually must
make two - one to lose the advatge of te frst move. It has ben sid t
btter player will win either color - but it takes longer with Black. Psak
hls-Geller, Erevan 1982.
1 d4
2 c4
3 Nc3 B7
A known finesse. Sinc White wat t play BgS as son as Black
plays Nf6, Black waits with Nf6. Usually a transpsition to man lines o-
4 Nf
This illustrates the main fnesse in Black's 3 .. Be7 - White has to
forego the imporant pssibility of Nge2 which, after "fxing" the central
paw stcture with cxdS, exdS, ca go t goo squaes such as g3 or f4.
4... Nf6
Now Black ha transpsed back into main lines.
The famous Queen's Gambit deployment for the White QB which
gives pressure in the center and Kingside.
5 ... h6
Black forces White to decide what to do with his QB. Also, now
his h-pawn is not vulnerable to attacks like Bd3 ad Qc2 with the threat
Bxf6 and Bxh7ch.
6 Bh4
White decides to keep the Bishop for the time being.
6... 0-0
Completing his Kingside development.
7 e3
Also possible are 7 Ret or 7 Qc2 but the text is solid.
7... b6
Moder Mlddleame Leson: Leson Twenty Tre 211
Preparing to solve the problem of te QB by fianchetto. Also in
some cases, Black wants to advace his backward c-pawn to gain space
while reducing its vulnerability.
8 Bx6
White takes the Knights so that after 8 cxdS, Black can't play
8 ... Nxd5 with even more simplifcation. Also by taing pawns on dS the
diagonal of the Black QB will b left blocked by an immobilized d-pawn.
Now Black has god drk-squae control which might show to
advantage if te position opens up.
9 cxd5
In order to "fx" the d-pawn a mentioned above.
9... exdS
Now each side has acquired a half open file.
10 Qd2
The main purpse of tis move is to discourage Black from
playing c7-c5 due to the pressure on dS after dxcS.
A paradoxic move as it seemed Black was going to fianchetto
his QB. However after cS, if White plays dxcS a he often dos, ten
Black usually replies bxcS wit a useful b-file; so Black feels that a
Bishop on b7 would only be blocking the fle-and thus e6 is a good alter-
native square.
11 Rdl
Indirectly putting more pressure on dS (1 l . . . c5 12 dc5 wins a
11... Qe7! ?
Clearing the back rank and preparing to play a novel gambit.
12 g3
White intends to exert strong pressure in the center wit his f
anchettoed KB bearing down on dS. However Black has a dynamic new
move prepared.
212 Modern Mlddlegame Lesons
Wite's Middlegame Plan
White is eyeing two targets in this psition: the c7 ad dS pawns.
Prophylactc moves like Qd2 and Rdl are designed to prevent Black's
freeing move ... c7-c5 since that would open up the d-file for White's heavy
pieces. If White can succeed in stopping this advance ( . . . c7-c5) then he
will play Bg and 0-0 followed by an increase in pressure on dS via Nf-
el-d3-r4. White will also eventually work on the c-pawn by a later b2-b
(again stopping a . . . c5 advance). If all of this can b done, White will f
nally get around to placing his Roks on the c-file - this will doom Black
to passive defense.
Modern Mlddlegame Lesson: Lesson Twenty Three 213
Black's Middlegame Plan
Black is well aware of what White is ting to do to him and he
has no intention of sittng back and lettng his oppnent have his way!
Black would prefer to lok at the pawns on c7 and d5 as dynaic assts,
not static weaknesses. However, the only way he is going to demonstate
the corectess of his view is to advance the c-pawn to c5. In this position
such an advace will probably lose a pawn, but Black has reaon to b
lieve that such a pawn sacrifce might b worthwhile here. Firstly, he owns
the two Bishops ad desperately needs to opn up the psition for them.
The advance of the c-pawn would succeed in doing that. Secondly, White
has left his King in the center in order to restrict Black's options on the
other wing. We know that the only way to punish a centralized King is to
rip that par of the boad opn. Once again, ... c7-c5 would also do this.
12... c!
Black is prepared to give up materia in order to exploit White's
laggard development. In an ealier game, Georgadze-Geller, Erevan
Zonal 1982, Black continued with 12 ... Nd7 and after 13 Bg2, Rfd8 14 0-
0, Rac8 15 Ret, c5 a draw was agreed even though there is a lot of play
left in the position. A pssible improvement for White in this line is 15 b4
(15 . . . Qxb4 16 Nx5!) in order to leave Black with an isolated d-pawn after
15 ... cS 16 bxcS, bxcS 17 dxcS.
214 Modem Mlddlegame Lessons
Opening To Middlegame
Rather tha sit back and defend passively, Geller offers a pawn
scrfce by 12 ... c5! Instead of prdently returing the materal and stv
ing to castle, White tries to hang on to his ill-gotten gains. Despite all his
contorons, however, his King is subjected to a a ay of annoying pins.
The frst pin is created by 19 .. Qb7! White manages to stave off immedi
ate disater. Te next pin stng with 23 .. Bd4 is fatal.
13 dxcS
White accepts the challenge, but more sensible was simply 13
Bg2, getting his King into safety after 13 ... Nc6 14 0-0.
13... Rd8
Black takes time out to defend his cental d-pawn.
14 cxb6?
But tis is defnitely too bold with his King still stuck in the cen
ter. Better was 14 Bg2 though it is te that after 14 ... bxc5 15 0-0, Nc6,
Black has the preferable game.
14... d4!
A shock for White - now his exposed King is being exploited.
15 Bg2
A fascinating tactical skinnish occurs after 15 Ne4, BdS!, e.g. , 1 6
Nxf6ch, Qxf6 1 7 Qxd4, Qf 18 b7, Rd7! ! (To aswer 1 9 bxa8=Q wit
19 . . . Bx8) 19 Qa4, Qxd1ch! 20 Qxd1, Bxh1 21 f3!?, Rxdlch 22 Ke2,
Rd2ch! and no matter what. White is materia down.
15... Nc6
Modern Mlddlegame Lesson: Leson Twenty Three 215
Black continues with development with threat.
16 Nxd4
O 16 Ne, Bd5 is strong.
16... Nxd4
Note how Black has consistently opned up play while White is
still uncastled.
17 exd4
No btter is 17 Bxa8. After 17 ... Rxa8 18 exd4, Bd5 19
Qe2, Bxh1 20 Qxe7, Bxe7 21 bxa7 Black has a big plus.
17 ... Bh3
Forcing White's had.
18 Kf
There is no alterative, but now White's King can no longer ca-
18 ... Rxd4
Even though Black is at the moment two pawns down, his power
ful Bishops and White Kingside congestion give him a won game.
How The Player's Respective Plans Worked Out
Normally in this opning White allows Black to advance his c
pawns to c5 and after dxc5 ... bxc5 a battle ensues where the frst players
tries to show that the hanging pawns are weak while the second player
attempts to demonstrate their dynamic ptential (control of cental
squares, gain space, open e-file and b-fle, ability to advance, etc.). In tis
gae though, White held off castling and instead played to prevent Black
216 Moder Mlddlegame Lessons
from gettng his ... c7-c5 move in. By sacrifcing a pawn (with . . . c7-c5)
Black highlighted al te go pints of his position (two Bishops and
development) while pinting to te flaw in White's plan (lack of develop
ment). White did get a pawn for his trouble, but the dynamic compensa
tion that Black got in retur proved to b way too much and the game
tued into a slaughter.
Rule to b lerne: In the 1965 Spassky-Geller Candidates
Match, Geller lost gae after game with Black in the Closed Sicilian.
When he asked why his bautful Queenside initiative kept falling to
White's slower Kingside play, he was told: "Simple, the King is more im
portant! "
It seems that Geller leaed his less well. In this game he showed
that all the deep strategic planning in the world means nothing i one's
King is in danger.
Put more simply: King safety frst, more subtle considerations
19 Qe?!
Naturaly White would like to tade Queens to help break the
force of Black's initiative. Also insuffcient was 19 Qxd4, Bxd4 20 Rxd4
bcause of 20 . Qf6! and if now 21 Rf4, ten 2t. .. Qc6! 22 Rg1, Bxg2ch
23 Rxg2, Qxb consolidated nicely for Black while 21 Rd3 is met by
21. . Qf5! 22 Re3, axb 23 Bxh3, Qxh3ch 24 Ke2, bS 25 a3, h4 and again
Black ha a winning position.
19... Qb7!
A nice "cross pin".
20 f
After 20 Rg1, Rxd1ch 21 Nxd1, Rd8 22 Nc3, Bxg2ch 23 Rxg2,
Bxc3 24 bxc3, Qa6ch 25 Kel, Qxa2, Black wins.
20... Rxd1ch
Drawing the Knight back to an inferior squae.
21 Nxd1
White's game still seems to be viable with two extra pawns, but . . .
21... Qa6ch!
A key tactic which shows that Black is still in contol.
22 Kg1
Of course not 22 Qe2, Bxg2ch!.
22... Rd8
Now Black's remaining Rook hurries into the attck.
Modern Mlddlegame Lessons: Lesson Twenty Three 217
23 Nf
O 23 Nc3, Bd4 decides.
23... Bd4
The Bishops exert terble pressure on White's expsed, disorgan
ized position.
Noting works here.
2 Bxh
The finishing touch. Now on 25 Kxf (25 Qxj allows
25 . . . Rdlch) Black plays 2S ... Qxb6ch 26 Kn, Bc8! and White has no goo
defense against 27 ... Ba6ch.
White Resigns.
218 Modem Mlddlegame Leson
Middlegame: Drastic Penalty
For A Careless Move
This pleaing encounter, Talmanov-Pashas, USSR 1981, illus
tates the drastic pnalty to b pad for a careless move in the early mid
1 Nf
Not committing any center pawns yet.
1... c
Invitng White to taspse into a Sicilian Defense with 2 e4.
2 b3
White has hops for goo activity on the long diagonal for his
2 . b6
Black feels the same.
3 Bb2
Now White's Bishop surveys the center and Black's Kingside.
3... Bb7
With the sae considerations.
4 e
White decides to play to place a pawn on d4, the alterative wa
4 g3 t fanchetto the KB.
4 . Nf6
Black intends to fanchetto his KB, so frst he must block the
White QB's diagonal
5 d4
Also possible is simply 5 Bel.
5 ... g6
Black could have tied the sound "classical" deployment of the
KB on e7 after 5 . e.
6 Be2
Modern Mlddlegame Lessons: Lesson Twenty Four 219
White passes an opprtunity to create psitional complications
with 6 dxc5, bxc5 7 Bxf6!? (To leave Black's d6 and d5 squares
peranently weaened) 7 .. exf6 8 c4, Bg7 9 Nc3, f5 1 0 Ret.
6... Bg7
Now that f6 is covered by the KB, the line just mentioned no
longer works.
7 0-0
Solid development leaving opn varous options with te devel
opment of his QN and c-pawn.
7 0-0
Black, to, remains solidly noncommittal.
8 c4
With the strategic threat of d4-d5 gaining space and shutting in
Black's QB.
8 ... e
Another playable line is 8 ... cxd4 9 exd4, dS with roughly even
9 dxc5
White hops to obtain some pressure down the d-file, espcially
against the theoretically weakened d6 square. However it son transpires
that this policy is not very effective. Sounder was simply 9 Nc3.
Note that Black has acquired a two to one central pawn majority.
10 Nc3
Completing his minor piece development.
10... Qe7
Getting off the d-fle and clearing the back rank for Rook maneu-
11 Qd2?!
This is a bit artifcial. The more natural 1 1 Qc2 contolling e4
was more accurate.
220 Modem Mlddlegame Lesn
Opening The Middlegame
Sometmes it is hard to pinpint the decisive eror. Here White
gos wrong a ealy a move 1 1 when he loses time misplacing his Queen
on a wrong central fle. O move 16 the Queen gos where it should have
gone in te frst place, but by now Black has assumed te initiative. By
move 19 Black rs his pawn al the way to te sventh rak where it re
mans a praent thor in the side. Utilizing treat with tis advanced
unit Black subsequently invades on te opn d-fle ater Queens are off
the boad.
11... Rd8!
Now Black's Rok will have pssibilities of tctical treats
against White's Queen.
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Lesson Twenty Four 221
White's Middlegame Plan
White is eyeing the weak square on d6 and the backward enemy
d-pawn. By pressuring these pints he knows that Black will b forced to
advance his pawn to dS, after which the captures cxdS will leave Black
with hanging pawns. When this stcture comes abut White hopes to
prove that these pawns ae tgets that ca b attcked by moves like
Rfdl, Racl, and Ba3.
Modem Mlddlegame Lesn
Black's Middlegame Plan
Black is quite willing to acquire tese hanging pawns because he
wants to prove that tey are dynamic pwerhouses instead of static weak
nesses. Oc this pawn stucture is created, Black will have the choice to
two plans: 1 ) He c tke his time and simply defend his pawns by ... Nb8-
d7-b, followed by ... Rac8. 2) He can attempt to create tactical threats
basd on the Rok sitting on the sae fle as the White Queen. A ... d5-d4
advance will blast the position opn, but Black must be careful tat te
subsequent hole on c4 can't b used against him. Due to the potential de
fects in advancing either pawn ( . . . c5-c4 weakens d4 while .. . d5-d4 wea
ens c4) Black must prepare for either push so that when it does come it
will have a strong effect.
12 Rfd1
Pressing on the d-fle.
12 . d!
Black strikes frst, aleady the White Queen feels uncomfortable.
13 cxdS
White hopes to create pressure against Black's pawns on c5 and
13 exdS
Of course Black must capture wit the e-pawn - otherise te
Black c-pawn would be isolated on te open c-file.
14 Racl
Moer Mlddlegame Leon: Leson Twenty Four 223
Continuing with te stategy of putting pressure on Black's
pawns. More cautious was 14 Qc2 repositoning te Queen.
An excellent, sha rejoinder which threatens 15 .. d4! .
15 Na4
Hoping to counter against Black's c-paw.
15... Ne
Taking advantage of the decentalization of White's QN to o
cupy a fine post on e4.
16 Qc2
Where it should have gone in the first place!
Now Black has completed his minor piece development with
btter effciency.
17 b!
A nice positiona-tactical shot.
17... d4!
Black finds the best counter. If 17 ... cxb4, ten 18 Qc7! is unclea
but promising for White. O if 17 ... c4, ten White gets a plus by ocupy
ing the blokading d4 square with 18 Bd4 (18 . . . Qxb4? ? 19 Rbl).
18 bxc5
Consistently stiving for the initiative.
18... dxe3
Creating serious threats against White's Kingside.
19 c6
White tries to make te best of it.
19... exfch
Now this pawn will create serious tactical problems for White.
20 Kfl
Bravely taking up te task of blokading the invading pawn.
Black is alert. After 20 . Rac8 21 cxb7!, Rxc2 22 Rxc2 White's
terrible passed paw on b7 gives him te advantge.
21 Qxc6
With a totly open position, it is imprative to hold the initiative.
21... Bxcl
Regaining some sacrificed material
224 Modem Mlddlegame Lesons
22 Qxcl
O 22 Rxcl, Ndf6! assures Black of te btter gae.
Te other Knight swings into active play.
23 Nc3
Bringing the erant Knight back into play. O 23 Bxf6, Nxf6 24
Kxf, Ng4ch Black is winning.
Tis gains time to brng the Black QR into play.
2 Nxdl
O 24 Qxdl Black gains time wit 24 ... Rd8.
2... Ng4
Black's Knights hover menacingly over White's precaious King
psition. There is an incredible threat involved, namely 2S ... Qh4!! fol
lowed by 26 ... Qxh2 as 27 Nxh2 allows 27 ... Nxh2 mate! - of course 26
Nxh4 loss the same way.
25 Qf4
Protecting h in anticipation of the threats.
Protecting te Knight prettily.
26 Ne5
White fghts back with admirable resourcefulness - but Black's
psiton is simply to go. For example, on 26 Qxg4, Ng3ch! 27 Kxf,
Nhlch! 2 Kgl, Qxe2 29 Qd4 (O 29 Khl, Qxdlch 30 Ngl, Qxg4 wins)
Modern Mlddlegame Leon: Leon Twenty Four 225
29 ... Qelch! 3 Nxel, Rxel is mate. Also if 26 Bd3 Black has 26 ... Ng3ch!
a 27 Qxg3 is answered by 27 ... Qelch 2 Nxel, Rel mate. The attempt
26 Nd4 is well answered by 26 ... Qh4 27 Bxg4, Nd2ch! ad again the
threat of ... Ret is a winner. Finally, if 26 BeS then 26 ... f5! 27 Bc4ch, Kf
maintains a tremendous grip for Black.
Black plays a tctical trump, now 27 Qxe4 allows 27 ... Nxh2
27 g3
Forced. 27 Qxg4 allows another smothered Knight mate 27 ... Nd2
27 Qx4
Black gladly transpses into a clearly winning endgame.
28 gxf4
Now Black's Knights resume.
28 Nxh2h
At frst sight this seems a bit premature.
29 Kg2
Hoping to force Black to jettison the dangerous f-pawn with
29 ... n=Qch in order to extricate his Knight.
But Black has more in mind.
30 Nxf
There is nothing better. O 3 Nd3, fl=Qch! wins material.
30... Rd2!
The activity of this Rook proves to be devastting.
31 Nxe4
White tries to grab as fast a he can.
31... Rxe2h
Winning more material.
226 Modem Mlddlegame Lesons
How The Player's Respective Plans Worked Out
White was able to put rea pressure on te c5 pawn, but the dy
naic ptential of Black's psition was shown with the thematic ... d5-d4
trust. This gave Black a strong attck which kept White on the defensive
for the whole game. Seeing a chance at a winning endgae, Black happily
forgot abut any toughts of mate, taded pieces and ended the game in a
simple way.
Rule to b lered: Control of the central squares always counts
for something, and though hanging pawns do need defense, they also form
a strong pawn center an ofer many dynamic possibilities. Ever player
would beneft fom giving this type of formation a try from either side.
32 Nf
32 Kg3, Rxb2 is equally hopeless.
32... Rxb2
A virual mopup ensues.
33 Nd3
To protect the 1 Knight in order to allow White's King to te
the h2 Knight.
But now the new passed a-pawn will prove fa too much to han-
He might as well.
34 Kxh2
34... a
The "sprinter" bgins his run.
Modern Mlddlegame Leons: Leon Twenty Four 227
35 Kg3
Unpinning te Knight.
35... a4
Now, seeing that he can't hold Black's passed pawn(s)
White Resigns.
228 Modem Mlddlegame Lsn
A Stupendous Middlegame Struggle
The Caro-Kann Defens is tough to crack. Ta shows how it's
done in a stupndous middlegame strggle that dos great credit to bth
sides. Tal-Fiech, Lvov 1981.
l e4
White's most active first move.
1 c6
The Caro-Kann Defense, considered one of the most solid of all
the Black defenses to 1 e.
2 d4
Since 1 ... c6 dosn't prevent 2 d4, White happily seizes more
center contol.
2 dS
Black strikes back by challenging White's e-pawn.
3 Nc3
Also pssible ae 3 e or 3 BxdS, but te text is the most usual.
3... dxe4
Getting rid of White's e-paw, though it is tre White still retains
more space in the center due to his other center pawn on d4.
4 Nxe4
White can also t 4 f?! if he is in a ver daring mo.
4... Nd7
Black plas to play Ngf6 and on Nxf6ch, to recapture with Ndxf6
which keeps his pawn strcture intact. Another sound approach is to de
velop the QB on fS - 4 ... Bf5.
5 Nf
The best squae for this Knight. An ausing possibility is 5 Qe2
to meet S ... Ngf6? with 6 Nd6 mate (! ). Of course Black can simply play
S ... Qc7 ftst followed by S ... Ngf6.
5 ... Ng6
Developing and chalenging White's well placed Knight on e4.
6 Ng3
Modem Mlddlegame Lesns: Leson Twenty Five 229
Also pssible is 6 Nxf6ch, Nxf6 7 Ne5, but Tal likes to attck and
hence wishes to avoid exchages.
6 e
Black's position is somewhat campd, but ver solid.
7 Bd3
Developing to the classic attacking diagonal for the KB.
7... c
To ty to get rd of te cramping d-pawn.
8 c3!?
Mainly to allow the KB a sae reteat on c2.
8... cxd4
Well tmed. Now 9 cxd4 retaining the pawn on d4 allows the
convenient response 9 .. Bbch wit favorable simplifcation for Black.
9 Nxd4
White's freer development gives him a slight plus.
9... BcS
Black intends to tade off White's strong Knight on d4. O
9 ... Nc5 the value of 8 c is seen - simply 10 Bc2 with go prospect for
10 0-0
White completes his Kingside development.
10... Bxd4!?
Contnuing to simplify, but to b considered was the less commit
t 10 ... 0-0.
11 cxd4
White now has an isolated pawn, but in compnsation he retains
his two Bishops.
1 1 0-0
Getting his King into safety, a go idea against one of the great
est attcking players in histor.
12 BgS
Pinning the Nf6 primarly to induce a weakening of Black's
Kingside pawns.
12 .. h6
This is just what White wants. More cautious would have ben
12 ... Qa5, and if 13 Bd2, Qd5 gives Black equal chances.
13 Bf4
23 Modem Mlddlegame Lessons
The QB stys on this diagonal in order to eye a possible sacrifice
aganst the h6 pawn.
13 . Nb6
Heading for the strong dS outpst.
Wite's Middlegame Plan
White has willingly accepted a isolated d-pawn since he feels it
ptental weakness is compnsated by te space he gains from it plus his
control of the imprtant cS and eS squares.
With this pawn bloking the center, White hopes to initiate a
Kingside attack with moves like Bc2 ad Qd3. By forcing the enemy to
take time to defend his King, he hopes to keep Black off balace, tus
preventing him from undering ay actve oprations elsewhere.
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Leson Twenty Five 231
Black's Middlegame Plan
The fst thing on Black's agend is to completely control the d5
square. He will accomplish this by placing a Knight there. Next he would
like to play ... b7-b6 and . Bb7, putting te Bishop on a fne diagonal. If
he achieves these goals, Black would then like to trade off all the minor
pieces (the bginning of Silman's anti-isolated pawn forula). This would
effectively kill White's hops for a Kingside attack. Oc te minor pieces
are gone, Black will place a Rook on d5, double or tple bhind it and put
White completely on the defensive.
14 Bc2
Planning on playing Q3 with threats of penetating on h7 in
some vaiations. To optmistic is 14 Qd2 (in order to sac on h6 immedi
ately) 14 ... Nfd5! 15 Bxh6, gxh6 16 Qxh6, f5 and White has no way to
successfully continue to attack.
O 14 .. Nfd5 15 Qd3 is annoying.
15 Be5
Wit pressure in te center and Kingside.
15... Qb!?
Perhaps he tinks Tal will be worried about the b-pawn.
232 Moder Mlddlegame Lessons
Opening To Middlegame
Whether in chess or bxing, mismatches are invaiably bring.
One-sided strggles can cernly b instuctive, but it's more exciting
when someone fghts back fercely while pinned against the ropes. In this
game Flesch get into trouble as early as move 16, but he does not go
down for the count Indeed, the outcome is still very much in doubt ater
he gets his scond wind. However, his legs are rbbr and he staggers
again on move 22. Still, it takes some sledgehamer blows to send him
reeling to te canvas. Tal just keeps slugging away until something gives.
16 Qd!
Now if 16 . Qxb2? 17 NbS! threatening 18 Nxf6cb, Nxf6 19 Bxf6
winning is very strong.
16 Nb?!
Temptng but weak. Better was 16 ... Rd8 (Giving the King a
needed fight square on J) 17 Ne4 with only a slight advantage for White.
Also to be considered was 16 .. Bd7 and on 17 Bxf6 (Not 17 Nh5, Bb!)
17 . Nxf6 18 NbS, Rfd8! 19 Nxf6ch, gxf6 20 Qxb7ch, Kf Black might
b able to get sufficient counterplay by occupying the g and h-files.
17 Qd!
Not 17 Qf, Nxc2 18 Bxf6 hoping for 18 .. Nxd4? 19 Qg4! - a
Black defends effectively with 18 ... eS! istead.
17... Nxc2
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Leson Twenty Five 233
Ateratives ae no btter: 17 ..Ng4 18 Bxg7! , Kxg7 19 NhSch,
Kg8 20 h3! drives away te defender of h6 with a winning attack. O if
17 ... NfdS?, then 18 ... Bxg7!, Kxg7 19 NhSch, Kg8 20 Qxh6 wins at once.
18 Bx6!
To seriously weaken Black defensive pawn wal.
He might as well grab te Exchage, as 18 ... gxf6 19 Qxh6 wit
the threat of 20 NbS is overhelming.
19 NhS
Hoping for 19 ... gxf6 20 Qxh6.
19... eS!
The only reasonable defense. O 19 ... QbS White plays 20 Nxg7
(Threatening 21 Qh6) 20 ... Kh7 21 Rxal, Kg6 22 Qf4 ad White has a
winning game.
20 dxeS
Not 20 BxeS because of 20 ... Q6!.
20... gS!
Black defends his weakened positon wit considerable ingenuity.
21 e!
A nice tctc. Now if 2t ... Bxe6, then 22 BxgS! is very strong
since 22 ... hxgS allows mate in two.
O 21 ... fxe6 White plays 22 Qd3! and the threat of pnetating to
g6 is a winner.
22 h3!
In order to prevent 22 ... Qg4. For example, on 22 Rxal, Qg4! 23
Ng3, Qf4! 24 Qc3, Be6 gives Black counterchances.
22... Qf?
Black falters after fnding good moves so fa. Necessa was
22 ... b!? and on 23 Ret (Not 23 Rxal bcause of 23 . . . Bb7 teatening
24 . . . Qd5) 23 ... QfS! 24 g4, Qc2 25 Qd6 (Threatening 26 Qxjch!, Kj27
Bg7ch, Kg8 28 Re8ch, Kh7 30 Rh8ch, Kg6 31 Rxh6 mate) 2S . . . Bb7 26
Bc3, Qg6 27 Nf6, Kh8 ad White has no way to further his attack.
23 Rxa1
Now White's psition is too stong.
23... Be6
Black must hur to bring his Queenside pieces into play.
23 Modern Mlddlegame Lessons
24 Rel
Now ReS with further threats against gS are pssible.
2... Qg6
Staying in front in the King to met White's dagerous invaders.
2S g4
Reinforcing the Knight while controlling fS.
Intending 26 ..R (Or Q) to c2.
26 Bc3
Pepaing Nf6 or Qd4 threatening Qh8 mate.
Preventng Qd4.
27 Qe3
Threatening 28 QeS.
Black must play actively.
28 QeS
Threatening 29 Qh8 mate and if 28 ... Qh7 29 Nf6ch.
White's QB is too stong, so the counter sacrifce is forced.
29 bxc3
Now matera is even, but White's strong threats on the dark
squares (, g7, etc.) as well as pssible back rak mates give him a won
Modern Mlddleame Lesons: Le!on Twenty Fln 235
How The Player's Respective Plans Worked Out
White stted a immediate tc :cal Kingside assault which never
gave Black the chance to carry out all of his ows plans. However, a lot of
risk was involved in what White did and correct defense may have made
the frst players plas appa dubious. Typically though, te side under
pressure makes mistakes due to time pressure, fea, and exhaustion. This
case was no different and Black fnally succumbed to White's energetic
Rule to b lerne: An isolated d-pawn is not necessarily bad.
Its dynamic potential makes up in the short term for its positional short
comings, but in the long run, it can easily tum out to be a fatal weakness.
That means that the owner of such a pawn must play the game with gusto
and attempt to make use of its attributes.
29 ... Kh7
Not 29 .. Bxa2, after 3 Qb8ch (the wea back rak) 30 ... Kh7 31
ReS ad White wins due to the threat of Rh8 mate. Also, if 29 ... Rxh3 30
Rdt is similaly stong.
30 Nf6ch
Moving in on the weaness on f6.
30... Kg7
O 3 ... Kh8 31 Qb8ch is god.
31 NdS
Wit some ticks involved.
31... Kh7?
236 Modem Mlddlegame Lesons
Black fails to put up the best resistce, though he would lose
even after te better 31. .. Kf 32 Qb8ch (But not 32 QhBch, QgB 33
Qxh6ch, Qg7 and Black gets equal chances) 32 ... Kg7 33 Ne7, Qh7 34
Qe5ch, Kf 35 Nf5, Bxf5 36 gxf5, Kg8 37 f6, Qg6 3 Qe8ch, Kh7 39
32 Ne7
Now Black must lose material as after 32 ... Qg7 33 Qe4ch wins
33 ... f5 3 gxf5! threatening 35 f6 and 35 Qxd3.
Black Resigns.
Moern Middlegame Leson: Lesson Twenty Six 237
Maybe The Middlegame Will
Unslay The Dragon
The Dragon Vaation of the Sicilian has surived all attempts to
slay it. After a famous Fischer victory over Larsen in 1 958 (game #2 in
May 60 Memorable Games) Bobby wrote: "Lrsen was one of the diehards
who refused to abandon the Dragon until recently. White's attack almost
plays itsel . . . . l'd won dozens of skittles games in analogous positions and
had it down to a science: pr open the KR-fle, sac, sac . . . mate! Will Black
succeed in reinorcing the variation? Time will tell. " This game, Ljubo
jevlc-Mlles, Malt Olympiad 1980 shows Black improvements. But we
agree wit Fischer, only tme will tell.
l e
Considered the best opning move White has since it allows rapid
development, creating mimum pressure on Black.
1... c5
The Sicilian is one of Black's most ppular replies to 1 e4 as it
leads to complex positions with chaces of a counterattack.
2 Nf
Quickly bringing out the Kingside pieces and preparing to press
in the center with 3 d4.
2 d6
A necssar move in almost all the Sicilian variations as White's
e4 chasing away Black's Nf6 and creating preconditions for a Kingside
3 d4
Gaining more cental territor.
3 ... cxd4
White threatened either 4 dxcS and if 4 ... dxc5 5 Qxd8ch, Kxd8
with a goo ending due to Black's expsed King, or 4 dS with a
considerable space advantge in the center.
4 Nxd4
Possible is 4 Qxd4, but after 4 ... a6 followed by the tempo gaining
developing move S ... Nc6, Black has equal chances.
238 Moder Mlddlegame Lsons
4 .. Nf6
To encourage White to play Nc3 immediately. O 4 ... Nc6
(Which is playable) White gans a slight plus with 5 c4 which gives a grip
on d5 and helps neutaize Black's play on his half-open c-file.
5 Nc3
After 5 Bd3 Black gets a god game with 5 ... Nc6 as 6 Nxc6,
bxc6 gives Black more contol of d5 while giving the b-file for later ex
5 . g6
This, the Dragon Vaiation, is one of the sharpest variations in the
Sicilian. The fanchettod Black KB gives go counter chaces through
its effective pressure down the al-h8 diagonal.
6 Be3
From here the QB reinforces the Nd4 and allows the impornt
possibility of Qd2 followed by a proprly timed Bh6 to exchange off
Black's powerful K
6... Bg7
The most important minor piece for Black in the Dragon. Since
White usualy castles Queenside in these lines, it will surey b2 and c3
from its post on g7; often tis is a critical factor in a Black counterattack
7 f
A important link in White's desired attacking foration. 7 f
prevents the QB from being haased by ... Ng4 and it fors a prop for us
ing the White Kingside pawns as an attacking instrument (g2-g4 and h2-
h4-h5 opening the h-fle).
7 . 0-0
Completing his Kingside development.
8 Qd2
Preparing Queenside castling and possibly Bh6.
Exerting more pressure on d4. For exaple, if now 9 Bh6 then
9 ... Bxh6 10 Qxh6, Nxd4 wins a piece.
9 Bc4
An excellent attacking diagonal for the White K. Also it often
helps defend the White Queenside ater a later Bb3.
9... Bd7
Modern Mlddlegame Lesons: Lesson Twenty Six 239
Clearng te c-fle for rapid ocupation. Note this fle bears down
directly on White's King position after White castles Queenside.
Opening To Middlegame
In the game Fisher-Larsen, 1958, Black lost after 9 ... Nxd4 10
Bxd4, Be6 12 Bb3, QaS 12 0-0-0, bS 13 Kbl . Donald Byre tried 9 ... a5
in several games, but since then 9 .. Bd7! has bcome all the rage, simply
developing a piece and waitng for White to stt the attack by h4, where
upn Black bloks it by ... hS.
Here all hell breaks loose and White will give up a piece for what
loks like a tremendous attck. But this time the attack dosn't play itself,
or at least Fischer is not conducting it, and Miles as Black wins a pleasing
game which restores our faith in dragons.
10 h4
Intending to open the h-fle wit hS and hxg6.
Already threatening 1t. .. Nxd4 and after 12 Qxd4, then 12 ... Ng4!
winning a piece.
11 Bb3
Peventing the threat while fortifying the coming home of the
White King.
11 hS
A very deterined defense, blocking h4-h5 and restraining g2-g4
as well.
12 0-0-0
20 Moder Mlddlegame Lessons
Now with both sides castled and well developed, te middlegae
12 . NeS
Heading for an excellent outpost on c4 - an important strategical
pint in all vaiations of the Sicilian.
13 BgS
Moving the Bishop to a more aggressive position now that the
Black QN is no longer pressing on d4.
Preparing to double on the c-fle and giving support for the at
tacking pawn advance b7-b5.
14 f4
White wants to play in the center with te possibility of e4-e5.
White's Middlegame Plan
White's original intention was to go for a mating attack with h-
h4-h5, etc. However, Black's ... h7-h5 stopped White dead in his tacks
and, if White is not willing to go whole hog with g2-g4 at some point, he
has to fnd some play elsewhere.
With 14 f4, White announces his intention to direct his play to the
center with a later e4-e5. This makes a lot of sense since White's Queen
ad Rok are sitting on the d-fle and would love to be given more scope
with the removal of the Black pawn on d6.
Moern Mlddlegame Lesons: Lesson Twenty Six 241
Black's Middlegame Plan
Norally Black counters White's Kingside play with his own at
tck on te Queenside. In this situaton Black will still attack the White
monarch on the Queenside. However Black kows tat a cental attack is
usually more ptent so be will prepare to counter White in that area also.
One thing that helps Black is his contol of the g4 square - given up when
White played f-f4. Another factor in Black's favor is the fact tat White's
dark-squaed Bishop has no moves on gS and is vulnerable to tapping
ideas like ... Ng4 and ... f.f6.
Will White's upoming blast in te middle via e4-e5 throw
Black's ay into a panic, or will Black's Queenside pressure, contol of
g4, and active pieces enable him to stnd up to his opponent's teats ad
tum the tde in his favor? That's what the fght over the next few moves is
all about.
14 . Nc4
Consistently occupying the key outpst.
15 Qd3
White prefers to retan his strong KB.
15... bS
Supporting the outpst and considering a5-a4 with strong coun-
16 e5
In te game Ivanovlc-Mlle, Vrbas 1980, White proeeded with
16 fS, but this weakens e which Black immediately ocupied wit
16 ... Ne5. There followed 17 Qe3, aS 18 fxg6, Nxg6 19 a3, b 20 Bxf6,
242 Modem Mlddlegame Lessons
Bxf6 21 Na4, Bxa4 22 Bxc4, Qb6 with a temendous attack for Black
(who won).
Whites f4 and h4 have left the good squae g4 opn for ocupa-
17 Ne4
Preventing .. Nf ad centraizing.
Now White will try to overhelm Black's defenses, but as we
shall see, Black has strong resources.
18 exd6
Threatening 19 de.
18 ... f6
Taking advantage of the Bishop's lack of a retreat square.
19 Rhe1
White foresaw 18 . f6, but blieves he has good chances in the
ensuing tactica melee. The stong loking 19 NxbS leads to Black's ad
vantge after 19 ... Bxb5 20 QdSch, Kh8 21 QxbS, fxgS (Threatening
22 . . . Bxb2 23 Kbl, Na3ch winning the Queen) 22 ... Bxc4, Rb 23 QxgS,
Bxb2ch 24 Kd2, Qb6 wit a winning attack for Black.
19... exd6
Now 19 ... fxg5 is por as While ca play 20 NxgS ad on
20 ... exd6 21 Qxg6 is a winner. Also, 19 ... e alows the shoL 20 Nxf6ch!
with a big advantage for White.
20 Nxd6
Clealy a psition not for the faint of hea.
20... Kh7!
Getting off the dangerous a2-g8 diagonal and protecting te g-
21 f5
The obvious caplure 21 Nxc8 and well answered by 21 ... Nf.
Note this is made possible by 20 ... Kh7!
22 fxg6ch
Tring to punch through Black's defense.
Obviously te only move.
Moem Mlddlegame Leon: Leson Twenty Six 243
23 Bf4
White's attack loks and i dangerous, but a piece is a piece. Had
White tried 23 Ne6, then after 23 ... Bxe6 24 Rxe6, fxg5 25 Rxd6, Qe7
Black is winning.
23 ... Ne
A god move practcally forcing Bxe5.
24 BxeS
White can't afford to retreat in such a sharp position.
Now Black has a "new" center pawn ad te f-file to work with.
25 Nf
O 25 Qe2 threatening 26 Qxh5 Black defends easily with
26 ... Bg4. Also, if 25 Ne6, Bxe6 26 Bxe6 Black shows te stiking power
of te Dragon Bishop on b7 by 26 ... Qf6!, e. g. , 27 Qxd6, e4! wit terific
threats against b2 and c3.
25... e
Clearng the long diagonal and forcing play.
2 Qxd6
The only good L.
26... exf
Staying a piece ahead.
27 Re7
After 27 Qxd7 Black has te thematic 27 ... Qf6! with winning
treats against b2 and c3 e. g. , 28 c3, Rxc3ch! 29 bxc3, Qxc3ch 3 Bc2,
Qa3ch! 31 Kd2, Bh6ch and mate next.
27... Bg4!
Using his extra piece to advatage.
28 Qe5
This looks tough to meet as 28 ... Bxe5 allows 29 Rh7 mate.
28... Qxdlch! !
The brilliant solution.
24 Modern Mlddlegame Lessons
How The Player' s Respective Plans Worked Out
A temendous tactical battle ensued in the center and bot Kngs
ended up bing buffeted abut somewhat. In the fnal analysis however,
Black triumphed bcause he managed to tap and win the enemy Bishop
on gS. White was never able to get back the material he lost in that tras-
Rule to b lerned: Central play tends to be more important than
an attck on the wing, so in this case White's demise must b attributed to
a simple thing: a oppnent who was more failia wit te sharp vai
ation played in the game. Don't enter into a do or die opening unless you
are thoroughly acquainted with all its tactical nuances and all the latest
theor. I this type of thing does not appeal to you avoid lines on the
cutting edge of theor and play in a more restrained manner. In other
words, play a game of chess rather than a game of memorization and
29 Kxdl
The only other possibility.
29... fxg2
Suddenly te g-pawn is about to Queen.
30 Kd2
The only ty.
30 ..
Surounding the hapless Kng.
31 BdS
Moern Mlddlegame Leons: Lesson Twenty Six 245
O 31 Ke3 then, of course, 31 ... gl=Qch is a easy winner.
31... Rxdch!
The fnal touch. Now on 32 QxdS simply 32 ... gl=Q leaves Black
two pieces up.
White Resigns.