6 Jun 2014

The art of Defence in chess

GM Igor Smirnov is back with another great article! Lets go!
Today we’ll see how to DEFEND in chess.
But firstly, I would like to talk to you about an important subject. We have created a survey for our students and this is the opportunity for you to give us your wishes and needs about future lessons.
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Now we’ll go to the theme of the day: DEFENCE
The position below was played in a game between Iturrizaga Bonelli (2635) and Alvarez Marquez (2410). This game is very interesting, because Black has lots of attacks and White has to stay in defence.
Iturrizaga – AlvarezIturrizaga- AlvarezWhite’s Turn
In this position, it’s White to move. Now you are Iturrizaga Bonelli and you have to find the best way to defend this difficult position. Take your time, if you don’t want to give Black the opportunity to checkmate you.
How would YOU play in the position from the diagram? Don’t leave without posting your answer!
16...Ng4Black is ready to play Qh4. White should be extremelly careful now; otherwise he risks to get mated in a few moves. 17.Ncxe4! White starts bringing his forces towards king-side. In order to withstand opponent's attack on a certain flank, you should have equal quantity of defenders on this side of the board.17.g3 is giving an escape path to White's king, and it's possible as well. However, in this case Black still can continue his attack. Qxc5Black needs to bring his queen to h-file, and now he's ready to play Qh5. Perhaps White can defend, but it's not an easy task. 17...Qh4 18.Nf3 "Offense if the best defense". White is attacking Black's queen and is bringing 1 more defender to the king-side. Qh5 19.Neg5!This is the move Alvarez missed; the knight is going to h3, closing h-file and defending the entire position. The manoeuvre c3-g5-h3 is a great example of calculation and defence. Be5+ 20.Nh3 Bf5 21.Qe2 Be4 22.Bxe5 Nxe5 23.Nfg5 Now Black is simply a piece down and he resigned. Being under attack you should be extremelly careful, and calculate all eventual attacking moves of your opponent. 1 mistake can be decisive, and you don't want to make it!after 23.Nxe5 Black has prepared a tricky mate! Qxh3+ 24.Kg1 Qxg2#

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