Sunday, October 17, 2010

Victory with a Material Deficit

Most chess games are won with more material or the same amount as that of one's opponent. It is not so common to win with less material. In my case, however, I managed to win with two fewer pieces than my opponent. Though he had an extra rook and bishop, I was victorious. My opponent was Rootsrocker of England who played black. Here are the moves and commentary of this game of speed chess:

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bc4 Nf6

Black employs the Two Knights Defence. A popular fourth move for white here is Ng5 which targets f7. I choose to play a different move.

4. 0-0 Nxe4

I do not mind the loss of my e-pawn because black has not completed his development and the knight on e4 is unprotected.

5. d4 d6
6. dxe dxe

Material is almost even but the black king is exposed.

7. Bxf7+ Kxf7

I sacrifice my bishop to prevent the black king from castling.

8. Nxe5+ Ke6

Black cannot capture the knight because then I can capture the black queen.

9. Qg4+ Kxe5

The black king is exposed but black has seven pieces and I have only five. I must also be careful because my queen is attacked by black's light-squared bishop.

10. Bf4+ Kd5

My bishop joins the attack. Black's king moves to a vulnerable square. Kf6 is a better move for black.

11. Rd1+ Nd4

Black must block the check to prevent the loss of the queen.

12. Nc3+ Nxc3
13. Rxd4+ Kxd4
14. bxc3+ Kc4

Black does not capture the pawn on c3. He fears that Kxc3 exposes his king to too much danger by bringing it too close to enemy territory. Another option on move 14 is Bxc7+. The queen cannot capture the bishop because of the check from my queen. With this move I can capture the black queen on move 15. I miss this move and thus fail to play it.

15. Qe2+ Kxc3

Black now changes his mind and captures the pawn on c3. Once again Bxc7+ is an option but my move is effective.

16. Be5+ Kb4
17. Rb1+ Kc5

The checks are relentless.

18. Qb5#

Though I have less material than black, I am victorious. The keys to victory are my ability to develop quickly, protect my king and exploit black's exposed king. I manage to check the black king eleven times in a row. This is critical because it allows me to seize the initiative.

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