Sunday, March 12, 2017

Rosetta Stone

The Rosetta Stone was found in Egypt in 1799 having parallel texts of ancient Greek, Demotic, and Egyptian hieroglyphics. The Rosetta Stone proved key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics. I wanted to review one of my wins at the club last month with some attention to the language used to in analysis, from what I was thinking at the time to what postmortem analysis has shown, and try to translate it into Temposchluckerese.

As Black, I had just played 24...Bd7-c8. The evaluation is approximately equal. White's centralized knights and queenside pawn chain to c5 threaten to create a b-pawn passer. Black's f5-e4 pawn chain and attack against the e3 isolani provide central space and counterplay. It looks like Bc8 overprotects a6 from Qxa6 so that my Nc7 is freed up a bit from defensive duties. This increases not only the mobility of the Bc8 and the Nc7, but also the Rd8 which now faces White's Nd4. The main defect of Bd7-c8 is that the c6 pawn is now held only by my Qh6. I had been keeping my eye on White's weak e3 pawn for the past 10 moves. White had not improved his defense of that pawn for a while. Now that my rook faces Nd4, the Pe3 is that much more vulnerable, especially in a sequence where Be7-g5xe3 lands with check. In my usual language, I was going to try to remove the Pe3 guard of the Nd4.

As I understand Temposchlucker's terminology, e3 is a Point of Pressure (PoP) as is d4. Lines of Attack (LoA) include h6-e3 and d8-d4. The Nd4 is a Barely Adequately Defended (BAD) piece, but I would also like to label the Pe3 and Black's Pc6 and Pf5 as BAD. In addition, Pe3 is already immobilized and blockaded by Black's Pe4, but a functional immobility also exists in that the Nd4 is only defended by Pe3. With these critical items in play, White missed chances to bolster the e3-d4 problems and decided to press his queenside pawn majority with 25.a4. Of course, I played 25...Bg5 and my opponent sank into a long think. I felt somewhat confident at this point and walked around the club. I came back after 26.Kh1.

This shouldn't have surprised me, but it did. Kh1 comes close to solving White's problems. Sometimes if you have to lose material and time, the solution is to quickly concede what you have to concede and move onto getting something in return. Black will capture Bxe3, but White will follow with Nxc6, making the queenside majority scarier and temporarily threatening a Nxd8 win of the exchange. Now that I saw White's plan, it was my turn to concede something and try to gain something in return. I could see that Rd2 might be a devastating blow if I could camp heavy pieces on White's second rank. So I decided to go down this variation. 26...Bxe3 27.Nxc6 Rd2.

At this point, I worried about White's offensive possibilities. 28.Ne7+ is a move. Can Black counterattack with 28...Kf8? I decided, correctly as verified afterward, that 29.Nxf5 threatening Black's queen and a discovery on Black's king were too dangerous, so I was going to have to play 28...Kh8. Because of the balance between pieces en prise at Be3 and Nc6, White probably felt he had to keep his queen in contact with Be3. Also, it was difficult to see past 28.Qc4+ Be6 because you have to look extra ply ahead while the queen is attacked, but 29.Ne7+ Kh8 30.Qxe4 would have smashed Black's center and brought the Nc6 back into the protection of the Bg2 and Qe4.

After Qc4+ Be6 Ne7+ Kh8, the lines of attack (LoA) are c4-g8 and f1-f8. The Rf8 is a BAD piece as is the Pe4 (both are also on Points of Pressure, PoP).

Instead White played the passive 28.Qe1.

Here I thought for a long time on how to proceed. I was fixated by the looseness of my Be3 and his Nc6. I didn't want to trade evenly since my Be3 was quite strong as an unopposed bishop slicing into White's position and supporting eventual passed pawns. I soon noticed that the Nc3 was also loose and tried to limit the mobility of the Nc6 by playing 28...Bg5. Now that the bishop is safe, Qxc6 is back on and Ne5 runs into Bf6 skewering two knights on the diagonal.

But what I failed to appreciate was that Rd2 had given me a significant Line of Attack on PoPs g2 and h2. Plus my queen which had been at h6 for the past 15 moves had another serious Line of Attack against PoP h2. Add this to the already existing LoA against the BAD Nc6, and the limited mobility of White's King because of Be3 and I could have increased my chances of finding the brilliant 28...Rf6!! This move looks like it only increases the pressure on Nc6, but what it really does is threaten checkmate. White staves off mate with 29.h4 Rxc6, but has to soldier on a piece down. If he saves his knight, e.g. 29.Na5 or even 29.Ne7+ Kf7 30.Nxc8, there comes the shocking 29...Qxh2+ 30.Kxh2 Rh6#.

I emerged from the middle game with 2 extra pawns and converted them to victory.

1 comment:

Temposchlucker said...

Nice analysis. A pity you missed the beautiful combination OTB. The problem is that the analysis must be very precise. Years of trial and error have made our thinking unfocused. But you clearly have made a good start.