Monday, February 06, 2012


Chin - Makepeace, 4NCL 2012

White has just played 34. Qxe7 and has seven minutes to make the time control at move 40. Plenty of time, of course, but it's possible to give white a couple of tough decisions by playing something like 34...Qe6. He would then have three choices:

35. Qd8+ and 36. Qd4
35. Qa7
35. Qc5

In each case, assuming I can force the white queen to d4, Qc4 might be strong. The idea of this line is to maintain the threat of the outside passer while having a snug king.

The more obvious move is 34...Qa1+ followed by 35...Qxc3. White picks up the f7 pawn and therefore opens up perpetual potential. But black has two connected passed pawns.

It's up to you.
Maintain the defence of a6 and f7

Play 34...Qa1+ and get connected passers

Blue or Red Pill? Index


Aldo Meola said...

I vote for Qa1+ and putting tthe Queen along the h7-b1 diagonal and push West-pawn. It seems easy.

PJM said...

Aldo, what if white then plays e4, blocking said diagonal?

Anonymous said...

The English Chess Forim has been debating the circumstances where personal glory needs to be set aside in the interests of the team. Was the match state of any relevance to the decision on the move to be selected? I was thinking that "we've won the match already/we need a draw for the match/we must win this game to save the match/we've already lost" are possible factors in the move choice.

It's the 4NCL so at move 40, you get an extra hour and another half hour at move 60. If there was only another 15 minutes to add, 30 second increments or no extra time at all, is that a factor in the move choice as well?

Aldo Meola said...

mmm... Right! I overlooked this simple defense. :-) However, I choose the same line and play 4...Qc6, blocking perpetual checks. But win does not seem so close...

PJM said...

Hello Alex Anonymous. For what it's worth, I needed to win for us to have any chance of drawing the match. We were 2½-1½ down and had no chance of winning on the remaining board, with extremely slim drawing chances. So we'd basically lost anyway.

However, I'm not sure it's relevant for this decision. I'm clearly much better as a result of the passed pawn and should be trying to win regardless. Short of a crass blunder, I cannot see a way for white to play for a win. After all, if he creates a dangerous pawnstorm on the kingside, I can always bail out with a perpetual.

I concede that allowing the capture of the f7 pawn creates a passed e pawn for him, but I think my b pawn would be quicker.

Jonathan B said...

I didn't have the chance to take a close look at this, but anyhoo...

my thinking was largely torn between want to centralise my queen and wanting to grab that pawn, which I suppose is the point. Ultimately, I didn't want to lose another pawn around my king so I went with ...Qe6. My king's safer and I've still got one passed pawn.