Thursday 6 August 2015

Know the classics (but also when to update them)

The diagrammed position turned out to be the crucial moment of my game against Alana Chibnall on Tuesday night (not that I realised it then). After losing a pawn in the opening I decided my best chance of saving the game was to play a rook ending a pawn down. After reaching a position where I had a more active king and rook, I realised the position had some similarities with the famous Capablanca v Tartakower game from New York, 1924. In that game (given below) Capablanca gave away a couple of pawns (with check) to get his king into a more aggressive position.
Following this script I adopted the same strategy, creating a path on the kingside, and heading my king to g6. However it turns out there was a problem with following this script too closely. In the given position I played 36.Kg6 and after 36. ... fxg 37.Rg3 Ke8 38.Rxg5 Kf8 my opponent had just enough time to defend everything and I went down after 39.f6 Instead I needed to play 36.Rb3! first, as this had the effect of forcing my opponent to either give up the b pawn, or put one of her pieces on a bad square. The most instructive line began with 36 ... Kc7 when 37.Kg6 is now two tempii up on the game continuation, and I have enough time to win everything!

Capablanca,Jose Raul - Tartakower,Saviely [A85]
New York New York (6), 23.03.1924

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