Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Power of the Pin

In a game of speed chess, I defeated my opponent with a pin.  I captured his knight with his rook, but he could not capture because of the pin on his pawn.  If he had captured, he would have lost his rook.  My opponent, who played black, was Mahayahonthar of Burma.  Here are the moves of the game along with my commentary:

1. e4 e6
2. d4 d6
3. Nf3 b6
4. Nc3 Bb7
5. Bd3 g6

Black plans to play the double fianchetto.  This places both bishops on the wing, one on b7 and one on g7.

6. 0-0 Bg7
7. Be3 Ne7
8. Re1 Nd7
9. Qd2 0-0

I want to exchange bishops to weaken the defence of the black king.

10. Bh6 Re8
11. Bxg7 Kxg7
12. Qe3 c5
13. dxc Nxc5
14. Be2 Qc7

I clear the d-file for my queen rook.

15. Rad1 Rad8
16. b4 Na6
17. a3 Ng8
18. Nb5 Qc6
19. Bd3 Nf6

Black applies pressure to the e4 square.

20. Nfd4 Qd7
21. Nxa7 Bxe4
22. Bb5 Qxa7
23. Bxe8 Bxc2

Black makes a bad move because I can capture the bishop with my knight on d4.  He should play Nxe8. The move Rxe8 cedes control of the d-file.

24. Nxc2 Rxe8
25. Rxd6 Nd5

The black knight not only controls many squares but also attacks my queen.  However, this move is a blunder.

26. Rxd5

Black resigns.  The move exd5 allows Qxe8.  Already down a piece with a pinned pawn and an inactive knight on a6, black decides not to continue.

Until black's 23rd move, Bxc2, the game is very even.  His 23rd move allows me to win a bishop for the price of a pawn.  However, this is not the critical move of the game.  It is my 26th move, Rxd5, which pins a black pawn and gives me a significant material advantage.  The pin is the key to victory.

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