Many players neglect the importance
of evaluating the position after every move in a match. Knowing
where you stand should always affect how you decide to play
the game. In previous articles I discussed aspects of positions
and how to evaluate them. You should put that knowledge to
It is not good enough to know whether you are winning
or losing, you need to know by how much as well. If your position
is really in shambles, you need to take some risks to try to
recover or land a quick mate. Being only slightly behind might
force you to maneuver conservatively and wait for your opponent
to make a mistake.
This week's featured game is one
that I played online. I have included the lines and variations
which I investigated in the postmortem. You will benefit from
playing through this game and evaluating the position at every branch
of the tree.
The move 9.d5 is far too premature. I wished
to delay castling as long as possible, and this move is dangerous
with my king still in the center. Better was 9.0-0 h6 10.Be3
b4 11.Nb1 c5 12.Nbd2 a5 when black is still better, but only
Thunder missed his chance to take over the
game with 16...Qa5! The continuation would have been 17.0-0
Qxa2 when black is eyeing the b2 pawn, too.
I was losing the position and would need to act fast when the middlegame
came. My attack was coming together nicely and with the help of 24...Na4?
I could have won with 30.Qg3! Black might respond 30...Qc8 31.Nxf5 Rxf5
32.Rxf5 Qxc2+ 33.Rg2 Qc3 34.Qh4 with the killer threat of Qxh7+
I had one final chance to salvage a victory
with 38.Ne8+ Rg7 39.Rxg7+ Qxg7 40.fxg7 Rxe8 41.Rh8+ Kxg7 42.Rxe8
Kf7 43.Re4 when white stands a chance of winning.
after 43...e1=Q+, I am dead lost.
White to mate in two moves.
Link to solution at the bottom.
Chad1032 - Thunder