Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Wild Way to Win

That chess dishes out both creativity and cruelty in various measures is no secret, and it is during complications that we tend to witness most of each. Yet this fact is sometimes overlooked. We tell ourselves instead to practice our endgames to perfection, delve into opening ideas and their variations, study the classics of crystal-clear positional play - yet 99% of chess games are decided instead during the stage of complications. The stage where you realise you are getting positionally crushed on one side of the board, so lash out on the other; the stage where your opponent sacrifices speculatively and unexpectedly; the stage where the position becomes a giant, messy confusion; the stage where each flag quivers. The exception not the rule are the perfectly smooth games we dream of, and this is true to the very highest level. For an extreme example consider Loek Van Wely versus Magnus Carlsen from Corus 2008. At various points your computer will tell you white was +6 or more - but, black won . . . amidst wild complications.

Which brings us on to this remarkable recent London League Division 1 clash between Streatham and Brixton Chess Club first-teamer Jeremy Leake & Ilford's Martin Taylor. As our board 1 Venkat Tiruchirapalli noted after, "the idea of bottling up the queen and then attacking e3 (instead of worrying about winning the queen) is, I hope you will agree, quite instructive." As is that this fascinating game was without doubt decided amidst almost-continuous complications! Enjoy.


ejh said...

So did White overlook that 32...Bc3 attacked the rook?

Anonymous said...

I think you'll have to elaborate a bit on what constitutes "severe time trouble" where Martin Taylor's involved ;)


Anonymous said...

why can't i see any reports for example on London league or Surrey or Croydon?


Anonymous said...

just small bit of information would help , like result!


Tom Chivers said...

Hi Alexey

You're right. I used to do this, but stopped when my computer broke & I got a busier job.

We'll start doing it again soon, though. Cheers for the nudge.