Saturday, November 13, 2010

Controlling the Centre

Controlling the centre is a very important part of chess. In a recent game of speed chess, my central pawns played a key role. My opponent was Oezolivo of Venezuela who played black. Here are the moves along with my commentary:

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bc4 h6
4. 0-0 Bc4
5. c3 a6

Black's fifth move does not develop a piece. Here it is better to play Nf6.

6. d4 exd
7. cxd Ba7
8. d5 Nce7

My central pawns are very strong.

9. d6 Nc6
10. Nc3 Nf6

Black can finally castle.

11. e5 Nh7
12. e1 0-0
13. Bf4 b5
14. Bb3 B8

Black's move is very defensive. A better move is Bb7 which develops the light-squared bishop.

15. Qd2 cxd

I am preparing a bishop sacrifice.

16. exd Qf6

The black queen prevents my bishop sacrifice.

17. Nd4 Qd8

Now the sacrifice is possible.

18. Bxh6 gxh6
19. Qxa6 Ba7
20. Neg5 Bxf2+

Black's bishop sacrifice is a surprise. It is a desperate attempt to generate counterplay.

21. Kxf2 Nxg5
22. Nxg5 Qb6+

The check is not dangerous.

23. Kf1

Black resigns because he cannot prevent Qh7#. He can delay mate if he moves his rook to d8. Then I can play Qh7+ and after Kf8 I play Qf7#.

My control of the centre, quick development and forceful moves lead to a decisive victory. Black fails to counter my strong centre and develop all of his pieces. This leads to his downfall.

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