Saturday, December 29, 2007

Setting Traps

In chess, setting traps can be fun. Especially when your opponent falls headlong into it.

By the way, I am not encouraging people to set traps. There are 2 problems with setting traps:

1. Your opponent detects your trap, you're well and truly busted
2. You didn't calculate deep enough and your trap ends up busting you (sort of like the Roadrunner cartoons).

In this case here, have a look at the following position.

This position arose out of the Sicilian Najdorf. I am White.

Black just played 23... a5 (see 1st diagram on left).

I was half tempted to play 24. g4 and do the usual pawn race (as so often happens when both sides castle on opposite sides) when I thought I play a little trick.

I didn't really think my opponent would fall for it but it did work.

The move I played was 24. Rhf1!

I know what you're thinking.... you just gave up a pawn!

Anyway, my opponent grabbed it without hesitation.

24. ....Bxh4 25. Rh1 Be7 (see 2nd diagram on left)

Now what has changed from the position?

Do you see what I see?

Yes, the next move is of course..... *drum roll* the classic Bishop sacrifice!

26. Bxh6 gxh6 (I ran this past Fritz and Fritz didn't even consider retaking the Bishop)

27. Rxh6 Bg5

My opponent tries to block the g-file but it's too late.

28. Qg3 (pinning the Bishop) f6
Once you start an attack, you don't stop.

29. Nf3 (no prizes as to what I am doing next)

Curiously enough Fritz gives this as White as having a winning advantage... Fritz tried a multitude of variations that I've reproduced below and none of them were sufficient to stop White's attack.

Analysis by Fritz 10:

1. +- (6.92): 29...Be8 30.Nxg5 Qg7 31.Rdh1 fxg5 32.Qh2 Rc7 33.Rh8+ Kf7 34.Rh7 Rg8

2. +- (5.11): 29...Qg7 30.Rg6 Rc7 31.Nxg5 fxg5 32.Rxg7+ Rxg7 33.Rxd6 Bxe4 34.f6 Rh7 35.Qxg5+ Kf7 36.a3 Re8 37.Qg4 Rh1+ 38.Ka2

29.... Bxe4
30. Nxg5 fxg5
31. Qxg5+ Kf7 1-0

At which point my opponent resigns as he will fall into a multitude of problems and White wins in a variety of ways.

The last picture on left paints a sorry tale for Black.

The Queen is getting skewered with 32. Rh7+ and Black is going to get mated eg. 32.Qg6+ Ke7 33.Rh7+ Rf7 34.Qxf7+ Kd8 35.Rh8#

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