The game of chess is all about tactics and tactics alone. There is tactics in every aspect of the game and it is the understanding of the tactics and effective implementation of the tactics after careful analysis from all angles is that differentiates the grandmasters from ordinary players of chess.
In one of the games played in the FIDE Championship tournament, in the Knock out stage, one of the two grandmasters, playing White, by using the tactics to his advantage, converted a literally losing position to a winning one and went on to advance to the next round.
We shall now analyse the game and see how we can profit and learn from the games played by the Grandmasters in Chess.
Given below is the position after White completed his 27th move and it is the turn of the Black to make the move.
Black to Move
A cursory look at the position indicates that the White has an extra pawn. However, the black can capture that extra pawn. It has been exerting pressure on the white pawn at d5, as can be seen here.
It might also be found that there is nothing concrete in the form of positional factors to apply tactics on the part of Black. However, in this knockout game, having lost the first game to the White player, it becomes imperative on the part of Black to force a win.
One point worth considering is that the Black bishop placed at b7 can be used effectively to exploit the diagonal b7 – g2 as the White King is placed at g1 and the Black queen is placed at f6.
Now, Black takes the initiative and tries to exploit the b7-g2 diagonal.
27. …… Rxe4 Captures the bishop lying at e4
28. Rxe4 …… White captures the black rook
28. …… Rxd5 Black captures the pawn in d5
and the position now is given hereunder:
White to Move
Now, a closer look at the board reveals that the ploy of Black to exploit the diagonal seems to be working.
The White’s position seems to be vulnerable at this juncture, with the rook at e4, rook at d1 and the queen at d2 all hanging or vulnerable.
White is in a precarious position and staring at the defeat, though it may have more pieces. Consider the following :
If Queen captures the Black rook at d5, Black bishop at f7 will capture the White Queen. The rook at d1 can capture back the Black bishop at d5.
White seems to be having two rooks as against only one Queen and no more powers for Black. But the position is not so good for White pieces.
Consider the following – The black queen placed at f6 might exploit the open diagonal f7-a1 and capture the pawn at b2. Given the weak first rank where the White King has three pawns in front of it in the front row, the pawn in a2 also being vulnerable and the rooks at d5 and e4 unable to assist, White stares at defeat, if nothing is done by White to avoid, or if White overlooks the impending threat.
Having realized the precarious position in which he is placed, White has no other option but to move the rook at e4 to d4, protect the Queen and the rook at d1 apart from saving itself from the threat of bishop at b7.