Many of the articles which have been featured
in this column have emphasized the importance of the opening
stage of a game. I have expressed the value of spending a little
extra time to do your homework and learn some opening systems.
Readers know that the opening should be viewed as a segue into
the middlegame; therefore, the goal is to achieve a solid position
on which you can improve later.
In this week's column
I have chosen to show the reader what can happen if you fail
to do your research.
I have provided two interesting games.
The first is my fourth round match in the 2002 U.S. Open against
a very strong player. Many of you will recognize that this
opening is a variation in the Caro Kann, a defense I regularly employed
at the time.
Please also notice that I was slaughtered in
twelve moves! I made one error, namely 6...dxc4 and didn't
know the line from there. Needless to say, my position fell
apart and Mr. Murphy found the right moves to put me away.
turns out that the line should go 7...Ne5 8.Qd4 Nd3+ 9.Bxd3 cxd3
10.Qxd3 h6 11.Bxf6 exf6 12.Rd1 Bd6 13.Qe4+ Qe7 14.Nge2 f5 15.Qxe7+
Kxe7 after which black's position does not appear nice but
does provide some chances.
I even had a later opportunity
to save myself with 10...exd6 11.0-0 Be7 12.Re1 0-0 13.Bh6
Nb6 14.Bxf8 Bxf8 15.Bb3 after which white is clearly in front,
but I am still alive.
The second game I have published is
one I played on USChessLive just a few days ago. It is a variation
in the Max Lange Attack, one of my favorite openings with the
white pieces. As you can see, failure to know the correct line
leads black into huge trouble. All of a sudden, it's move nine
and he's staring at a mate in three. A much better try is 6...d5!?
When the line is 7.exd5 Ne5 8.Bb5+ Bd7 9.Qe2 0-0 and the position
retains chances for both sides.
I hope this proves to
you the importance of opening preparation.
to mate in two moves.
Link to solution at the bottom.
Murphy, J. (1957) - Lieberman,
2002 US Open (4), 07.28.2002
|2.d4|| d5 |
|3.exd5|| cxd5 |
|5.Nc3|| Nc6 |
|7.d5 || Nb8 |
|8.Bxc4|| Nbd7 |
|10.d6|| a6 |
Chad1032 (1821) - Rastax3 (1739)