Monday 31 August 2015

The queen versus bits

This mornings (Canberra time) round of the Sinquefield Cup saw a number of interesting games, with Aronian taking a full point lead after beating Nakamura, and Carlsen losing to Grischuk. At the bottom end of the table the Anand v So game was also interesting, with Anand giving up his queen for rook and piece. Despite materialistic chess engines thinking this was a bad deal for Anand, he did have plenty of weak pawns to target and the game ended in a draw.
Of ten the decision to make a trade like this depends on two factors. Either you hope to co-ordinate your remaining pieces, or you hope to target the weaknesses in your opponents position. If you can do both then the end result may be in your favour, but if you have one but not the other, a draw may instead be the outcome.
In the following classic game Richard Reti plays a Queen for Rook and Minor exchange, banking on his connected rooks and active minor pieces to provide him with play. He even gets some threats against the White King, but with Rubinstein is able to cover any weak points,the game eventually ends in a draw, as Black is clearly taking a repetition.

Rubinstein,Akiba - Reti,Richard [E68]
London BCF Congress London (1), 1922

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