Monday, October 31, 2011

Controlling the Back Rank

Controlling your opponent's back rank is often the key to winning. In a game of speed chess at chess.com, I managed to control my opponent's back rank and end the game quickly. My opponent was Chesspawn01 of the Phillipines who played black. Here are the moves of the game along with my commentary:

1. e4 c5
2. d4 e6

The move cxd is more common.

3. Nf3 d5
4. exd exd
5. Bb5+ Bd7

I usually play Be2 here. I decide to play a more open game.

6. Bxd7+ Qxd7

Black has no kingside development.

7. 0-0 Bd6
8. dxc Bxc5
9. Ne5 Qe6

Black makes a bad move. The e-file is open, so the queen should not occupy it. A better move is Qd8.

10. Re1 Nf6

Black does not have time for this move. A move such as Qd8 is necessary.

11. Nd3 Ne4

The black queen is not safe for long.

12. Nxc5 Qf6

The knight is pinned, so I win a piece. I must be careful, though, because now black threatens Qxf7+ followed by Qxc5.

13. Nxe4 dxe4

The move f3 is also possible here.

14. Rxe4+ Kf8

Black loses the right to castle.

15. Qe2 Qc6

Black prevents mate on e8 but Nc6 is a better move. This develops a piece and brings the a8 rook into the game.

16. Nc3 g6

Black wants to create an escape square for his king but this is a mistake. A better move is Na6 or Nd7.

17. Bh6+ Kg8

Black's move is forced.

18. Re8+

Black resigns.

After Re8+ Black must play Qxe8. I then play Qxe8 which is checkmate. Black's inability to control the backrank is crucial to the outcome. At the moment of resignation, black has only one developed piece, his queen. His lack of development leads to his defeat.

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