Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Royal forks

The summer-holidays are again behind us. For many it was a period to recharge the batteries and play little or no chess. Others contrary were (very active). Any news about them was shattered all over the web as there exists no general platform where the local news is published. It is a shame as some of our youngsters performed excellently and this deserved much more recognition. First there was the 10 year old Enrico Follesa playing for Temse and gaining in 1 month 276 elo which very likely is a Belgian record. It is definitely not a world-record as the Slovanian FM Jergus Pechac managed in april 2015 to gain 426 points in 1 month.

Another Belgian record got smashed by the 11 year old Daniel Dardha playing for Hoboken. He just won the -12 youth-championship of the European Chessfederation which took place in Czechia. This makes him the youngest FM ever in Belgium. Besides now that I am closely involved at youth-chess, I also learned that there are 3 different types of youth-championships of Europe in which standard chess is played. So 1 for the European chess-federation, 1 for the European Union which happened beginning of August in Austria and 1 for the European countries which started yesterday in Romania.

Those exceptional results of these very young players didn't happen by accident. Not only their own efforts play a role but at least as important are the selfless sacrifices of their parents. I really liked the beautiful tribute of Daniel on his facebook to his father. With their permission I copied it here.
Behind any youthchampion there is a sweating coach and supporting parent 
Few realize how big the efforts of the parents are to allow their children achieve that kind of success. If you just wait to get support from the club, federation then I fear this can take forever. In the article How much time do you spend at chess I already showed a glimpse of how I support my son. Last year I accompanied my son 25 full days and this year it will probably be double. This summer Hugo played his first big tournaments with some success. He won the Open Dutch champion -8 and made a very nice performance in the very enjoyable mastertournament of Bruges by which he was rewarded by a very nice first 1474 fide elo.

Of course it is a matter of setting priorities to spend 25 full days or more as parent to support your child to his activities. You can't demand something like that from anybody. Besides it is often very boring waiting. Some parents are staring for hours at the door where their child should pop up after having finished their game. A fantastic article about the sacrifices chess-parents make can be read here. For me it is easier as chess is my own biotope. Even during the Brugse meesters where very few other chess-parents were, I didn't have the feeling of getting bored at all.

More and more often I take my laptop to the tournaments to continue analyzing my own games. After the Open Gent I had 9 freshly played games at which I spent together approximately 1 month. Regularly people are surprised hearing how much time I spend at the analysis. What is the fun of all that or is there really so much to learn from a couple of games. Well I am not only looking at the evaluation of the moves. Sometimes I also discover some truly beautiful treasures. See example a fragment of my analysis of my game against the Bulgarian grandmaster Boris Chatalbashev (the complete game was covered already in my previous article).
[Event "Analysevariant"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Brabo"] [Black "Chatalbachev, B."] [Result "*"] [ECO "B15"] [WhiteElo "2307"] [BlackElo "2550"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "rnbqk2r/pp2ppbp/6p1/2p1P1N1/3Pp3/7P/PPP2PP1/R1BQKB1R w KQkq - 0 9"] [PlyCount "11"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [CurrentPosition "rnbqk2r/pp2ppbp/6p1/2p1P1N1/3Pp3/7P/PPP2PP1/R1BQKB1R w KQkq - 0 9"] 9.dxc5 Qc7 10.Bf4!? Bxe5 { (I wondered during the analysis why the engine simply doesn't capture with the bishop at e5.) } 11.Bxe5 Qxe5 12.Qd8+ { (A fantastic deflection after which white gets a clear advantage.) } 12...Kxd8 13.Nxf7+ Kc7 14.Nxe5 $16 *
This is an unavoidable deflection of the king by a full queen-sacrifice followed up by a royal fork. I've been googling for some similar examples and it seems something quite unique. A very famous example of it are the missed chances in a worldchampionship-game between Alexander Alekhine and Max Euwe played in 1937.
[Event "World Championship 17th"] [Site "Netherlands"] [Date "1937.11.11"] [Round "16"] [White "Alekhine, Alexander"] [Black "Euwe, Max"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E02"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "6k1/3bbpp1/p3pn2/1p1q2N1/1P5Q/2N3P1/P3PP1P/2B3K1 b - - 0 25"] [PlyCount "80"] [EventDate "1937.10.05"] [Eventtype "match"] [Eventrounds "25"] [Eventcountry "NED"] [Sourcetitle "MainBase"] [Source "ChessBase"] [Sourcedate "1999.07.01"] [Sourceversion "2"] [Sourceversiondate "1999.07.01"] [Sourcequality "1"] [WhiteElo ""] [BlackElo ""] [CurrentPosition "6k1/3bbpp1/p3pn2/1p1q2N1/1P5Q/2N3P1/P3PP1P/2B3K1 b - - 0 25"] 25...Qe5? 26.Bb2? { (White can play here already the queen-sacrifice.) } ( 26.Qh8+! Kxh8 27.Nxf7+ { (Here we see a very rare royal fork for standard chess as this is normally something only we encounter after a blunder in blitz.) } 27...Kh7 28.Nxe5 Bxb4 $16 ) 26...Bc6?! 27.a3?? { (It is unbelievable that it is missed twice at a worldchampionship.) } ( 27.Qh8+ Kxh8 28.Nxf7+ Kg8 29.Nxe5 $18 { (This is now even simply winning as the bishop at c6 hangs.) } ) 27...Bd6 { (Only now Euwe stops the deflection-sacrifice.) } 28.e3 Qf5 29.e4 Qg6 30.f3 Nd7 31.Nh3 f6 32.Nf4 Qf7 33.Qg4 Ne5 34.Qxe6 Nxf3+ 35.Kf2 Qxe6 36.Nxe6 Nd2 37.Nd4 Nxe4+ 38.Nxe4 Bxe4 39.Ke3 Bb7 40.Nf5 Bc7 41.Bd4 Kf7 42.Bc5 Kg6 43.Bd6 Bd8 44.Nd4 Bd5 45.h3 Bb6 46.Bc5 Bc7 47.Ne2 Bc4 48.Nf4+ Kf7 49.h4 g5 50.hxg5 fxg5 51.Nh3 Kf6 52.Nf2 Kf5 53.g4+ Ke6 54.Nh3 Kf6 55.Bd4+ Kg6 56.Ke4 Bf1 57.Nf2 Bg2+ 58.Kd3 Bd5 59.Nd1 Bf3 60.Nf2 Bf4 61.Be3 Bg3 62.Kd4 Bb8 63.Kd3 Be5 64.Bd4 Bf4 65.Be3 1/2-1/2
Not less famous is another example again from a worldchampionship-game but this time between Tigran Petrosian and Boris Spassky.
[Event "World Championship 26th"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "1966.05.02"] [Round "10"] [White "Petrosian, Tigran V"] [Black "Spassky, Boris V"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E66"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "6k1/r4r1p/p2NB3/nppP2q1/2P5/1P2N3/PQ5P/7K w - - 0 29"] [PlyCount "3"] [EventDate "1966.04.11"] [Eventtype "match"] [Eventrounds "24"] [Eventcountry "URS"] [Sourcetitle "MainBase"] [Source "ChessBase"] [Sourcedate "1999.07.01"] [Sourceversion "2"] [Sourceversiondate "1999.07.01"] [Sourcequality "1"] [WhiteElo ""] [BlackElo ""] [CurrentPosition "6k1/r4r1p/p2NB3/nppP2q1/2P5/1P2N3/PQ5P/7K w - - 0 29"] 29.Bxf7+ Rxf7 30.Qh8+! { (Boris almost felt from his chair after the move was executed on the board. Tigran knows of course the classics.) } 1-0
Tigran is probably the only player whom got it twice on the board see his game against Vladimir Simagin although there is a little difference here as the royal fork can be avoided by black.

At the collection-site of royal forks there are many other beautiful examples but except the ones already mentioned in this article none fully fulfill at all my strict conditions. Many are without a queen-sacrifice or are not pure as some material is captured while sacrificing. In others we don't see a deflection of the king. Finally there are also many were the royal fork was not forced and could be avoided however often leading to a quick mate.

Discovering these little cute things are what makes analyzing something I enjoy. For sure this relieves the task of the chess-parent as the waiting becomes much easier. In the meanwhile I have finished the analysis of all my games of Gent so it is time to play some games myself and to experience new adventures on the board.


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