Thursday, June 20, 2013

Backrank Threat

In a game of speed chess against Khursheedk of the USA, I won by threatening to mate on the backrank.  My opponent, who played white, had no escape square for his king.  Here are the moves of the game along with my commentary:

1.  e4 c5
2. Nf3 d6
3. d4 cxd
4. Bb5+ Bd7
5. Nxd4 a6

I force white to move the bishop.

6. Bxd7+ Qxd7
7. 0-0 Nf6
8. Qf3 Nc6
9. Nxc6 bxc6

White strengthens my pawn centre.

10. Nc3 e6
11. Bg5 Be7
12. Rfd1 0-0

White has strong pressure on the e-file.

13. e5 Nd5
14. Bxe7 Qxe7
15. Nxd5 cxd5

My pawn blocks the e-file.

16. exd Qxd6
17. Qc3 Rfc8

My rook becomes active.

18. Qf3 Rxc2

White allows me to take a pawn.  It is better to play Qd3 to protect the pawn.

19. Rdc1 Rac8

I want to maintain control of the c-file.

20. Rxc2 Rxc2
21. b3 h6

I create an escape square for my king.

22. Qd3 Qc5

I threaten mate on the backrank.  White has no time to create an escape square because I also threaten Qxf2+.

23.  Qe3 d4

White wants an exchange of queens, but I make a better move.

24. Qf4 e5

My move forces white off the h6-c1 diagonal.  With the queen powerless to prevent mate, white resigns.

The key to victory in this game is my threat to mate on the backrank.  White's failure to create an escape square for his king lead to his defeat.  The threat of a backrank mate forces white's resignation.

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