Thursday, August 22, 2013

Uncastled Kings

In a game of speed chess, I forced a resignation after fourteen moves. My opponent, Poulantzas of France, played black.  It was unusual that neither side castled- I decided not to castle so that I could focus on my attack, and with a knight check took away my opponent's right to castle.  Here are the moves of the game along with my commentary:

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 d6
3. Bc4 Be6
4. Bb3 Be7

I retreat with my bishop knowing that if black plays Bxb3, I can open the a-file with axb3.

5. d4 Bxb3

Black allows me to open the a-file.  A better move for black is to develop the knight with Nf6.

6. axb3 exd
7. Nxd4 Bf6

The black bishop seizes control of the diagonal.

8. Be3 c5

I make a bad move.  It is better to play Nc3 to keep b2 protected.

9. Nf5 Bxb2
10. Ra2 Bf6

Black makes a mistake.  Here it is better to play Be5 to protect d6.

11. Nd6+ Ke7

The black king loses the right to castle.

12. Nf5+ Ke8

Here it is better for me to play Bxc5.

13. Nd6 Ke7

The position is the same as on the eleventh move.

14. Bxc5

Black resigns.  I am only up one pawn, but my pieces are better developed than black's.  With his lack of development and exposed king, black decides to concede.

This game is unusual for two reasons- it ends after only 14 moves and neither side castles.  Black loses because he fails to attend to the safety of the king.  Though material is almost even, his position is difficult to defend.

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