Tuesday, May 12, 2015


The article Desert Island books but also some reactions confirmed once more that I know very little about chess-literature. It has no sense to look for any excuses. More relevant now is that last couple of years I regularly try to read a chessbook. Today it is much easier to buy books financially but especially Kasparovs series was an eye-opener for me. Chessbooks can be much more than just dry analysis.

After having read 3 books about the matches Kasparov-Karpov I made the switch to the books about his Great Predecessors. Personally I've always been fascinated to discover why things are like they are and not different. Which history, development proceeded till today. Currently I am reading the 3rd book and I must admit that those 3 books seriously changed my view about chess. I don't believe this will make me a stronger player but I do get the feeling to understand and enjoy a bit better the complexity of chess as a game.

A concept like prophylaxis is something any master uses today often several times in a game. However after reading about the Armenian former-worldchampion Tigran Petrosian you understand that he propagandized prophylaxis as a powerful weapon which can and should be used. Kasparov gave with the chapter "Miracles of Prophylaxis" in part 3  full credit to Petrosian for the development of this concept.

I was already aware about how Petrosian by using prophylaxis prevented any counterplay in middlegames before it even started but new to me was that he also developed some openings based on this ideology. I am not a 1.d4 player but in the kingsindian and the queensindian openings he left his mark. In 1954 Petrosian played for the first time the Bg5 variant against the Kingsindian which today is called after him and must still not be underestimated.
[Event "URS-chT"] [Site "Riga"] [Date "1954"] [Round "1"] [White "Petrosian, Tigran V"] [Black "Suetin, Alexey S"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E94"] [PlyCount "79"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 g6 3. e4 d6 4. d4 Bg7 5. Be2 O-O 6. Nf3 e5 7. d5 Nbd7 8. O-O Nc5 9. Qc2 a5 10. Bg5 {(This is the first time that Tigran demonstrates Bg5 is very dangerous for black.)} h6 11. Be3 Nfd7 12. Nd2 f5 13. exf5 gxf5 14. f4 exf4 15. Bxf4 Ne5 16. Rae1 Bd7 {(Black has some permanent weaknesses in the position but his piece-activity holds the defense. In the next moves Petrosian will try to limit this activity with the necessary prudence.)} 17. Nf3 Qf6 18. Qd2 Rae8 19. Nxe5 dxe5 20. Be3 b6 {(Black has 2 hanging pawns which can be a weakness or a strength. I once had this formation in a game against Geert Vanderstricht but I had no clue what to do so more or less committed suicide.)} 21. Bh5 Re7 22. Bd1 Qd6 23. Bc2 Ref7 24. Kh1 Ra8 25. Re2 Qf8 26. Ref2 Nb7 27. Qe2 Nd6 28. c5 bxc5 29. Bxc5 Rb8 30. b3 Qc8 31. Qh5 Qa6 32. g4 f4 33. Re1 Qc8 34. Bxd6 {(White missed here the win. Besides in the next couple of moves some other mistakes happen but in the end white prevails which fortunately gave Bg5 the deserved recognition.)} cxd6 35. Bg6 Rf8 36. Ne4 f3 37. g5 Rf4 38. Rg1 Bf5 39. gxh6 Bxe4 40. Bxe4 1-0
For an extensive analysis of above game I refer to the 3rd book. Petrosian refined the system over the years but more important to remember is that Bg5 is played because he knew in advance that f5 anyway has to be played and after Bg5 this will be in a less favorable format.

Earlier I wrote that I won't improve by reading about chess but that is maybe not fully correct. Maybe if I read this passage before playing my game against Rein then the course of the game could've been very different.
[Event "Interclub Deurne - Zottegem"] [Date "2015"] [White "Brabo"] [Black "Verstraeten, R."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B08"] [WhiteElo "2330"] [BlackElo "2298"] [PlyCount "24"] 1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nf3 d6 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. Be2 O-O 6. O-O Nc6 {(Rein surprises me with this less popular move. He chose the move because there were no games of me with it in the database. However he could not know that I had via a different move-order already encountered this position in my game against Korotkjevich.)} 7. d5 Ne5 {(Korotkjevich chose in 2010 for the mainline with Nb8. So black nevertheless succeeded to sidestep my theory-knowledge. Although in blitz I met Ne5 already many times but I never seriously studied the move.)} 8. Nxe5 dxe5 9. Be3 $6 {(The most popular but I believe Bg5 gives better chances for some advantage. The alternative Qd3 is also interesting but probably a little less critical.)} (9. Bg5 $1 {(E6 can be answered by f4.)} a6 ( 9... Qe8 $5 10. a4 $1 c6 11. Qd3 Bd7 $14) 10. Qd3 $1 Bd7 $5 (10... Qd6 $5 11. Rfd1 $1 b5 12. f3 $1 Nh5 $14) 11. Rfd1 $1 Rc8 $5 12. Qc4 Ne8 $5 13. a4 $1 Nd6 14. Qb4 f5 $5 15. f3 $1 Rf7 16. Bd3 $14) 9... e6 10. dxe6 {(Rein was well prepared as he indicated rightfully after the game that black can achieve equality after Bc5 with some accurate moves. I chose after a long thought not to take any risks in unknown territory so exchanged some pieces.)} Bxe6 11. Qxd8 Rfxd8 12. Rad1 a6 {(Black proposed a draw which I accepted quickly. You can still continue playing for hours this position and maybe somebody wins after a mistake but none of us wanted to look the whole afternoon at this boring position.) } 1/2-1/2
It is impossible to know if the result would've been better or worse with Bg5 instead of Be3. Fact is that in the meantime I was able to test it twice successfully online in bullet/blitz. My opponents had no clue about the dangers.
[Event "Rated game, 1m 0s"] [Site "Main Playing Hall"] [Date "2015.04.11"] [White "Deurne15"] [Black "Chess alchemy"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B08"] [WhiteElo "2123"] [BlackElo "1983"] [PlyCount "59"] 1. e4 Nc6 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nc3 g6 5. d5 Ne5 6. Nxe5 dxe5 7. Be2 Bg7 8. O-O O-O 9. Bg5 e6 {(Yes why not, it is just a bulletgame. On the other hand black immediately gets into serious troubles.)} 10. f4 exf4 {(This loses already a piece. I manage to wrap up the game rather simple for a bulletgame.)} 11. e5 h6 12. Bxf6 Bxf6 13. exf6 Qxf6 14. dxe6 Bxe6 15. Qd2 g5 16. Bf3 Rad8 17. Qf2 Bf5 18. h3 Qg6 19. Bxb7 Bxc2 20. Rac1 Bd3 21. Rfe1 h5 22. Be4 Bxe4 23. Nxe4 f5 24. Nc5 g4 25. Ne6 g3 26. Qxf4 Rfe8 27. Nxd8 Rxd8 28. Qc4 Kg7 29. Qxc7 Kh6 30. Qxd8 1-0
Well we all know that we should study our classics but often it takes time to be persuaded to do the efforts. Today I am convinced to continue till the end of the series but I am also starting to peek at other books. Although I am not ready yet for the serious openingbooks.


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