Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Excelling at Chess - again again

Rivas Pastor-Akopian, Leon 1995
White to move

Last Wednesday we took a look at this position taken from Jacob Aagaard's book Excelling at Chess.

As I mentioned in the comments, Aagaard says,

"If you cannot fully appreciate that Black is a lot better ... you might want to have a discussion wiht yourself and/or a friend in order to acquite a better understanding of the differences between the respective set-ups."

Aagaard cites various factors in support of his assessment:-

"Black already has the advantage. The two bishops will give him a lasting edge in the endgame...."

"... the rooks should have been on c1 and e1 instead of d1 and f1, but this is not such a serious problem ...."

"Secondly, and this is far worse, the bishop looks stupid on b1, being better on d3 ...."

"... why, oh why, did White exchange pawns on d5 and open the c-file?"

"... it is hard to see where White's [knight] is going."

So there you go.

Here's the entire game to play through. White was 2500+ at the time but Black manages to win without apparently doing anything special. Aagaard feels that Akopian simply understood the game better and just put his pieces on sensible squares while Rivas Pastor was busy making a series of strategic mistakes that led to his eventual demise.

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