Tuesday 2 April 2019

Know when to hold 'em

When my chess career started, all I wanted to do was exchange pieces. This had nothing to do with my endgame technique, but simply as away of prolonging the game, and avoiding quick and brutal checkmates. Of course this strategy didn't improve my win ratio, and it took me a number of years to look beyond automatic captures.
At the current Gashimov Memorial event, Magnus Carlsen created a good example of 'exchanging to win'. Against regular opponent Viswanathan Anand he created a target on the queenside, and then exchanged off the pieces that were not needed to exploit it. He was helped by Anand at some crucial points, especially at move 28 and 29, but once the a pawn was captured it was simply a matter of running Black out of moves.

Carlsen,M (2845) - Anand,V (2779) [D37]
Vugar Gashimov Mem 2019 Shamkir AZE (2), 01.04.2019

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