Monday, June 09, 2014

ISEs: From the Books

Black to play
Panov - Simagin, Moscow 1943

Time to see if any of those chess books that I’ve acquired over the years can help me with my ISE quest. First up, Watson,’s Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy (Gambit, 1998).

I choose this one to say goodbye - for a while - to the fianchettoed bishop theme. An astonishing move coming up from Simagin. The exchange given up without getting a pawn in return or shattering White’s structure or anything else. Black just would rather have his bishop than the rook. Especially if he can get rid of White’s dark-squared bishop too.

The Soviet school set new boundaries for this kind of long-term exchange sacrifice, according to Watson. These days, he says, "even average players make such moves."  Hmmm.

2014 ISE Count: 41
TISE Index


Jon H said...

I certainly don't think this average player (184) would find 17...Ne5!! and 18...Nf3!!

Anonymous said...

As no-one has gone near that variation since 1943, it seemed necessary to ask a modern chess engine. Very possibly because it has been programmed that way, the engine much prefers the normal approach with Rxc3 rating that as an edge to Black, whilst considering the exchange sacrifice to give White the equivalent of a pawn's advantage. The subsequent complications remain about equal in the engine's opinion until a final mistake by White towards the end of the game.


Matt Fletcher said...

I was going to say, the game is very impressive, particularly the combination after Nf3, but with hindsight White's 15. g5 looks wrong, forcing Black to do what he wants to do (open the long diagonal, move the Knight to the Q-side). Though it's tricky to suggest something much better as c3 is such a weakness - can White maybe consider taking on c4 and grovelling a bit eg something like Qf2 and Nb3?

John said...

I was looking at 1... Rxc3, and not really liking 2 Bxg7 (maybe 2... Rxb3. [2... Rxf3 gives about 2-3 pawns for the exchange - I assume the 3rd pawn falls] 3. Bxf8 Kxf8 4. axb3 and I probably want knights on f4 and e5.). So from that I might have considered 1... Bh8, but seeing as I'm already aware of the idea, maybe not. But after that it's a case of working out if keeping the bishop is worth losing the exchange, but the only way an average (or me, probably below-average) player is going to be able to judge that is through playing it lots of times.

Frankly, if 1... Bh8 just makes the variations easier to calculate, that's going to benefit an average player. I can't really judge between the exchange and two/three pawns ending versus having 3 minor pieces for the two rooks, except that I think I prefer the exchange. If I had the 2 bishops, I might change my mind.