Archive for April, 2011

Kindred’s Special: The 45th Capablanca Memorial Tournament

April 30, 2011

We amateurs have to look far and wide to discover the workings of international tournaments. Remember Fischer?  He was one to tell it the way it is and how to make it better for the professional chess players. Recently I read the account by the British star Nigel Short who wrote in NIC magazine that he had always wanted to play in the Capablanca Memorial.  He made it to Havana.  For years we were told about the popularity of chess in Cuba as W. Steinitz had reported in his International Chess Magazine.  For a socialist state, Cuba was as good as robber barons of the old west. He reports that financially things have changed somewhat detrimentally from that time when Steinitz referred to Cuba as the ‘El Dorado of Chess’. Fidel Castro’s 20% robber tax imposed on changing US$ and the public internet was available for 6 curos an hour. The general attitude that foreigners are there to be shafted permeates the society, whether it be from taxi-drivers or supermarket checkout staff who electronically process  wares and then ripped you off with manually totalling your bill. One chessplayer had his mobile phone lifted by a pickpocket while dancing. Not to sound too negative, Cuba remains one of the few places in the western world where chess is highly thought of and players are treated with respect and well thought of in general. Oh, oh, oh!

Once again, for the 4th time, Vasily Ivanchuk took top honors in this tournament.  He apparently feels at ease in this Cuban socialist paradise having come out of the USSR. He met Short in the lst round and won a very nice game with the black pieces.

My thinking is rare,  pointed,   and how can I myself express it any better from my perch than to recall the song with the phrase: “Let the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose!”  Amen.

Kindred’s Special: Critical Mass–Fighting Back

April 27, 2011

Yogi Berra is famous for his quote:  “It aint over til it’s over.”  Of course he likely referred to baseball but it is just as true in every endeavor and, for the chessplayer, it is the point where a critical stage is set and the fight is more determined by persistent determination of willpower to overcome dangers. It is like a threatened shipwreck being avoided by skillful hands on deck and maybe a prayer.  Here the field of battle is known, and the consequences more ego bending than life threatening unless your opponent picks up the Queen and shoves it down your throat.

Every so often it happens that a great chess battle rages on the 64 where one side is apparently milking the position for everything it is worth and the opponent is left to struggle in the fight to hang on at all costs in hopes that a miscue or just plain luck will permit such a storm to mellow into a calm sea.  Such a game I present here for your enjoyment, study, and hopefully boost your backbone to good generalship. The 2010 Poikovsky Tournament produced such a fight.

White:  A. Riazantsev  vs.  Black:  S. Karjakin

1. d4  Nf6  2. c4  e6  3. Nf3  b6  4. g3  Ba6  5. Qc2  Bb7  6. Bg2  c5  7. d5  White gambles that his pawn sac will be offset by a spatial edge and position for more energetic piece play in the middle game.

7. … exd5  8. cxd5  Nxd5  9. O-O  Be7  This position has been reached in previous game play where 10. Rd1 was common. However, White decides to tackle the problem differently with a new idea posted by GM Shirov versus Yakovenko in 2008.

10. Qe4  This interesting move is strong as it threatens 11. Rd1 hitting the pinned Knight. Black must deal with this immediately and previously Yakovenko had played 10…Bc6; Karjakin decides to risk walking a tightrope with…

10. … Na6  11. Nh4!  g6  Following my idea in square count to defend an attacked square within your own camp.  All well and good.  But the young modern players have keen minds, sharp ideas, and willingness to enter adventureous play. Previous examples shown from Radjabov vs. Leko, 2008 and Svidler vs. Karjakin 2008, saw 12. Qe5 f6  13. Qe4 but this shuffling of the Queen did not harm Black per se. Probably in preparing for this event, White came up with this interesting Knight sac which is pretty much forced upon Black.

12. Nf5!! gxf5  The point is that now Black’s K-side is severly weakened and White has sustainable pressure with good attacking chances.

13. Qe5!  A strong aggressive move as now, if …f6 14. Qxf5 leads to a decisive attack. Black castles which is his best chance to hold the position.

13. … O-O  14. Qxf5  Re8  15. Nc3  White adds additional forces into the fight. (See my previous column comments concerning this). White is in no hurry to restore material balance as it deflates the pressure letting Black off the hook so-to-speak. After 15. Bxd5 Bxd5 16. Qxd5 Nc7 >…d5 with a good pawn center to offset the weak  black King-side. Most important is that White loses his dynamic opportunity to further the attack.

15. … Nac7  16. Be4  Bf6  Here is another valuable lesson for the student. Moving the Bishop makes room for the King to escape via e7.

17. Qxh7+ Kf8  18. Bxd5  Bxd5  Forced.  Forced moves are always a sign of difficulties in defending. Can you work out the mate if Black had played …Nxd5 instead? Remember, this is a teaching role I use to stimulate your joy for chess.

19. Nxd5  Nxd5  20. e4  Nc7  21. Bh6+ Ke7  22. e5  Bxe5  23. Qe4!  White plays for a win.  Instead, a probable draw comes from 23. Bg5+ Bf6 24. Rfe1+  Ne6  25. Rxe6+ dxe6  26. Bxf6+ Kxf6 27. Qh4+ = perpetual check. Perhaps the safe method was to go for the draw because of Karjakin’s known reputation for stubborn defensive skill.

23. … f6 24. f4  d5  25. Qh7+ Kd6  26. fxe5 fxe5  At this point, analysis in New In Chess favors White to win the game.

27. Rf7  Ne6  Karjakin finds the best defense.

28. Qg6  Kc6?  The best defense is 28…Rc8 which a useful waiting move to see what White does now. ( A point to remember is that we are amateurs and even the best players who analyzed this ending found it difficult and sometimes over optimistic for one side or the other.)

29. Raf1  d4  30. R/1f6 Qd5  31. Rxa7!  Rad8 32. a4?! Not the best. Sharp and probably necessary is 32.Bf8  with the threat of 33. Be7.  Now, 32… Rxf8 33. Rxe6+ Rd6 34. Rae7  Rxe6  35. Rxe6+ Kd7  36. Rxb6 with a decisive threat of 37.Qg7+.

32. … c4  Kavalek pointed out in his column that 32…d3 would offer better defense. The computer research shows that after 33. Qf7 Qd4+ 34. Kg2  Kd6  35. Kh3! which the computer says is the only way to win from the position after 35…d2 36. Rd7+ Rxd7  37. Qxe8  Qd5  38. Bd2 and White has a winning advantage. After 32…c4 as played, White still would win with 33. Bf8.

33. Qf7 ?! Kc5  34. Bd2  c3!  Creating room for the King!

35. Rc7+ Kb4  36. bxc3+ Kb3  37. c4  Qd6  38. Rb7 d3!  Black is battling for the initative.

39. a5 Qd4+ 40. Kf1  Qe4  41. Kg1  Kc2! Amazingly, the black Monarch has drawn his sword and cuts a path in the guts of the enemy lines.

42. Rxb6  Kxd2  43. Rbxe6 Rxe6  44. Qxe6  Kc2  45.c5  Qd5  46.Qg4  Qd4+  47. Rf2+ d2  48. Qf3  e4  49. Qf7  Kc3  White Resigns. (0-1).

This is an enormously complicated game with much analysis by the computer in various endgame lines. What we learn here together is the complex nature that is chess. Indeed, life and chess mirror each other in terms of principles upon which the human spirit engages and meets challenges. Sometimes it reminds me of the GOOD, the BAD, and the UGLY.  Certainly the key word to name this game spirit for both sides is STUBBORN–each fought tooth and nail to achieve the very best. In this battle, both sides gave it their best.

Kindred’s Special: Developing Opening Repertoires–The Slav Gambit

April 19, 2011

One of the joys of chess is the remarkaable way pencil, pen, and typewriter have  merged successfully with electronic breakthroughs in high tech.  Human endeavor for discovery of the value seen in the computer chess software explosion and speed of transmittal across the world with almost instantaneous reception failed to kill the game as some had predicted.  Instead, the evolution of postal chess using  snail mail necessary for past national and international competitions can now find  enthusiasm among the chess public for such competition. To be fair to snail mail, there remains those who cherish that continued manner of play. Players with limited time to study due to their professions favored correspondence play as it permitted sufficient time within their busy schedules to analyze positions and research materials for guidance which added to the high level of play and interesting games. This proves a positive asset for widening one’s understanding and skill for chess positions.  Hence, the whole  evolutionary process seen has debunked those who felt chess was played out and dead and should be put out to sea. That fallacy is uprooted by man’s imagination and recognition offered up in various “TREE  BRANCHES”‘  and reflects a positive benefit.

In recent times, the Slav Defense has made a rather common reappearance.  It was once quite popular and made so by both Alekhine and Euwe among others. It has various ways to tickle the white adversary and I shall endeavor to give a line that is sharp, speculative, and where those with weak hearts may herewith be warned: IS YOUR INSURANCE POLICY PAID UP? 

1. d4  d5  2. c4  c6  3. Nc3  e6  You may of course go back to the 1937 rematch between World Champion Dr. Max Euwe and former champion Alexander Alekhine in the famous rematch and his return as world champion. In that match, Dr. Euwe played 3. …dxc4  4. e4  e5  that reminds me of a circus act on the high wire with no net for safety.  In Alekhine style he essays a very sharp suggestion for Euwe and the challenge is accepted.  The alternative is to develop the Knight to f3 that is more normal and tempers an Alekhine adventureous mood. Black can opt to transpose into a Caro Kann Defense by 4…Bb4 which is another story.

4. … dxe4  5. Nxe4  Bb4+  6. Bd2  Qxd4  7. Bxb4  Qxe4+  8. Be2  Euwe gave in his notes as reasonable 8. Ne2  Nd7 9. Qd6 c5 10. Bxc5  Nxc5  11. Qxc5 Bd7 as equal, but 8…Qxc4  9. Qd6 Nd7  10. Nc3  Qh4  11. O-O-O looks better for white.

8. …Na6 A future for a Knight on the rim looks dim. In this variation, we come to  a crossroad where the Bishop must move and has a5, d6 or c3 as practical choices. Here is where my square count theory enters the picture. Lets go with 9. Bc3  Ne7 10. Nf3  O-O  analysis by Taimanov.  Now, as I suggested in the previous article, the Rook Pawn sortie to h4 looks interesting.  If 11. …Ng6 17. Ng5 Qf5 13. Bd3  Qc5  14. Qh5 h6  15. O-O-O  or; if he tries say 11. …f6, then 12. h5 starts getting into Black’s  King-wing.

There exists more ideas in this opening and I just want to wet your appetite to have fun exploring the possibilities. It is the best way to improve. I have provided some logical play that leaves the position open for more study and evaluation.

Kindred’s Special: Review the articles written just for you

April 16, 2011

My articles began in 2007. You can get the archives by clicking on my blue masthead. You will find for example columns devoted to chess instruction, my own viewpoint and interest for the game, some tidbits on history, humor, poetry, personal reflections, some of my own games, and miscellaneous thoughts on diet, health, a global warning, and the political scene as I see it. My purpose is aimed at entertainment, chess education on the passing scene that covers over 60 years of my chesslife, critique on the American and World chess scene along with reflections of my life experiences in schooling and leadership roles in chess club activities.

My thoughts on creating my blog was pure and simple. To me, the general public always had a rather narrow view of chess and most who even became aware of the game in general never learned to appreciate the beauty of chess largely due to the  American diversity of interests toward instant gratifications experienced in the wide range of sport. For the average person, chess is just a game– nothing more, nothing less.

Chess literature often appears from the pen of the professional chess authors. The written word, confined to HOW TO PLAY CHESS and with heavy emphasis on games, biographies of chess stars and general chess history enriches the spirit of readers who are attracted to the game and generally want to improve skill. But the occasional viewer in passing look upon chess with indifference.  Perhaps I am wasting my time in hopes of reaching the masses with some hope of approach and encouragement in the light of the views of an amateur.  My sole hope is to bring to those who come across my blog that it might stir some juices in readers to give chess a look beyond just being a novel passing in their walk through life. That to enjoy the game and find it fascinating does not require your expertise as there is a whole range of rating levels out there in the world of chess where you can find chess friends of every skill level.  And you may well have neighbors and co-workers and family members who find chess game play a challenge and a joy for competition.  No, you do not have to be a member of any chess organization to enjoy chess that really starts within yourself. Your goals and interest in chess if it develops from sites like mine (and there are many out there) lays a groundwork for stimulating interest to play and improve skill and gain experience.

My site is unique. I do not use fancy layouts or even provide diagrams but labor to give you well organized and written subject matter geared to stimulating your spirit in the pursuit of chess enjoyment and entertainment. Please review my 550 plus columns that I have endeavored to provide almost on a daily basis for your enjoyment.  Thanks!

Kindred’s Special: A New Look at the Scotch Game Nf6 Variation.

April 14, 2011

The Scotch Game was one of the earliest experiences on the black-side when I cut my teeth on chess openings in my postal days when postcards were a penny.  A lot of new ideas emerged over the years and to Garry Kasparov’s credit, the opening system we look at here no doubt he popularized in games near the end of the century with new vigor and assessments.  Since then, various attempts have been made to strengthen the defense and the game Alexey Shirov versus former world champion Vladimir Kramnik played in the Wijk aan Zee Tournament just concluded speaks to this effort. It is true that in chess, nothing is certain or final except the announcement of CHECKMATE!

Perhaps the emergence of quality computer programs that seem baffled by skillful defense using the Berlin Defense against the most popular of King Pawn Games–The Ruy Lopez, has caused White to reexamine The Scotch Game as a viable alternative for White and thus required Black to essay new and vigorous attempts at countering it. One of the main lines employed by White and Black goes thus: 1. e4 e5, 2. Nf3  Nc6, 3. d4  exd4  4. Nxd4  Nf6, with the alternative 4…Bc5 also extensively explored in games from recent tournaments and matches.  Here, lets look at what used to be considered the main variation employed by Black …Nf6.

White:  Alexey Shirov    Black:  Vladimir Kramnik  Opening:  The Scotch Game

1. e4  e5  2. Nf3  Nc6 3. d4  exd4  4. Nxd4  As you can immediately see, the center e5-pawn is removed through capture from it’s normal defensive role and giving White a half-open d-file as opposed to Black having a half-open e-file.

4. … Nf6  5. e5  Qe7  6. Qe2  Nd5  8. c4  Nb6 9. Nc3  Bb7  Apparently a favorite in a moment of time of GM Kramnik.  Earlier he met 10. Bf4 by Nepomniachtchi with 10. …g6, giving the position a very complex nature and one that he felt gave Black some advantage. Recent past games favored 9. …Ba6 > 10… Qe6. Kramnik states in his notes that the main idea of the prophylactic 9…Bb7 is to prepare 10…g6 which if seen immediately would get the Knight crashing into e4 post haste!  Now, Black can successfully defend meeting 10. Ne4 with … O-O-O.

Let us take a look at the position.  The actual continuation now was 10. Bd2 but using my square count theory, why not 10. h4. It may be speculative but most moves are. As a suggestion, those interested might explore it’s possibilities. My point is that the Q-Bishop has the whole diagonal c1-h6 in it’s sphere of influence and for the moment the best placement in development thus can be deferred to a later time.

10. Bd2  g6  Previously 10. …Qe6 or 10. …O-O-O has been tried here, both leading to dangerous positions not easy to handle.

11. Ne4  O-O-O  12. a4!  Ba6 Pinning the c-pawn and to meet an a-pawn push with …Nxc4 or …Nd5 possibles.

13. Qe3  A most forceful reply and appears to put Black in great danger of losing rather rapidly as major games go. The key though here is whether what appears bad is bad at all.

13. … Qxe5??!!! 14. Bc3  Bb4! The point of the 13th move as Black squeaks out of danger and maintains even chances in this complex position.

15. Bxb4  Rhe8!  This counterblow in the central file certainly justifies the defensive role in the earlier exd4 exchange.

16. f3 d5  White seems stuck now between a rock and hard place as the saying goes. White now probably makes the best of the situation.

17. a5  Nxc4 18. Qxa7  Qxb2  19. Qxa6+  Kd7  This would make a good postal adventure study game.

20. Rd1  Qxb4+ 21. Kf2 Nxe4  22. fxe4  Qc5+  23. Ke1 Qb4+  24. Kf2 Qc5+  25. Ke1  Torture for White; Fun for Black! It reminds me of flying my kite when I was 14 years old on a strong windy March day–days when March had warm breezes and where an adventureous boy could get out-of-doors with a sweater or light jacket and ride the kite to ever increasing distance where it’s tail would be the only tell-tale sign of it’s whereabouts.  Sometimes it took nearly an hour to wind the string around my homemade wood handle that let me guide it’s dives and flight across the sky, negotiating those woodlands and survive the potency of  high wind gusts to finally settle near at hand. This game position reminds me of those challenges in the sky.

25. … Nb2  26. exd5  Qe3+  27. Rd2  Qc1+ A little too love story with the Queen.  It seems that using my square count theory again, the best would be 27…Re8+ 28. Be2 Qc1+ 29. Kf2 Qxd2 and White is in a mess. If then, 30. Rb1 I would love this in a postal battle because 30…Ke7 lets the Black monarch defang any White maneuver to find a satisfactory response.  It amazes me how these GMs can play so dynamically in across the board mental combat!

28. Ke2  Re8+ 29. Kf3 The difference of just one move can change the position chances for both sides. White now finds breathing room and oxygen to stimulate positional and tactical play. Reaching such formulation of pressure chess no doubt can attribute to human error where miscues are bound to present themselves. In over-the-board play the pressure is increased due to the timeclock.

 29. … Qxd2  30. Qxc6+Kd8  31. Qf6+ Re7 32. Kg4  Nd1  33. Qh8+ Kd7  34. Bb5+ c6  35. Bxc6+ Kc7  36. d6+  Qxd6?!  Black does better to take with the King.

37. Rxd1 Qxd1+  38. Bf3  h5+ 39. Kg3  Qe1+ 40. Kh3  Qe6+ 41. Kh4  The King has been blocked in to this right-wing field of battle or defense as you may wish to portray it.

41… g5+ 42. Kxg5  No better is 42. Kxh5 Qg6+ 43. Kg4  f5+ 44. Kg3  Qd6+ 45.Kf2 Qd2+ 46. Kg3  Qe1+ 47. Kh3  g4+ wins.

42. … Qg6+  43. Kf4  f6!  Baiting the hook.

44. h4  Re8  White resigns (0-1).

History and 20th century players that include Alekhine, Capablanca, Botvinnik, Smyslov, Tal, Petrosian and Spassky all lacked the temperment for The Scotch Opening per this variation of playing the e5.  Style had much to do with it but I dare say that it came into being largely through the efforts of Kasparov and perhaps Fischer who shared similar temperment for such positions, the latter perhaps more so in exhibition play. But it was GM Kasparov who made it a really viable attack whereby the Bc5 variation gained popularity for a time. Recently, this line in my article has seen a rebirth.

Kindred’s Special: The Young Lions Meet at the 2011 Wijk aan Zee International Tournament

April 8, 2011

Giri mania hit the country.  The Dutch press appeared not to care about why Carlsen lost, only that he did so against the young rising star Anish Giri who, between his 16-17 birthdays nearly closed the rating gap with Magnus Carlsen at the same age. Magnus Carlsen defeated the eventual winner Hikaru Nakamura but slipped and lost a possible draw with Ian Nepomniachichi as well as Giri, finishing with Levon Aronian, each making 8 points.   Giri and Ponomariov finished with equal scores of 6.5.

White: Magnus Carlsen  vs. Black: Anish Giri   Opening: Gruenfeld Defense

1. d4  Nf6  2. c4  g6  3. g3  Bg7  4. Bg2  d5  5. cxd5  Nxd5 6. Nf3  Nb6  7. Nc3  Nc6  8. e3  O-O  9. O-O Re8  In previous times this position saw …e5 but the idea of getting pieces in play in preparation of such pawn thrusts has altered somewhat the thinking of younger players.

10. Re1  a5  A waiting move that increases square count  and proves useful later on.

11. Qd2!? Novel as either 11. Qe2 or Qc2 have appeared previously in this position. Now, the youngster Giri sees a trick and likes to play tricks!

11. … e5  The right moment to strike the center. Another possible idea was 11. …a4.

12. d5  Nb4  13. e4  c6  14. a3  cxd4!!  Black is in a better tactical position and smashes into the center most likely thinking that White’s play was less than it could be reaching this position.

15. axb4  axb4  16. Rxa8  bxc3!  This sharp tactic points out the flaw in choosing Qd2 earlier.

17. bxc3  The sequence 17. Rxa8  cxd2  18. Rxd8  dxe1/Q+ is pretty.

17. … Nxa8  18. exd5  The start of trying too hard to make something from nothing. Such illusions seem to invade our thoughts apparently at every rating class level. Giri gives as best simply 18. Qxd5 Nb6! which looks drawish.

18. … Nb6  19. Rd1?? Losing his last chance to try for equality with 19. d6!? or even 19. c4.

19. … e4!  20. Ng5?? This rapid reply seems to suggest a mental block and a complete blindside of Black’s threats.

20. … e3  Here is a perfect example of cutting the lines of communication between an outpost and supporting defender.

21. Qb2  Qxg5  Maybe he was thinking 22. Qxb6 but 22. …e2 23. Re1  Qxc1! wins easily.

22. Bxe3  Qg4 White resigns. (0-1).

The lesson to be learned might be best said as DON’T TREAD ON ME! Trying to force a position while in the bounds of keeping practical chances alive runs the risk of mental collapse of one’s thought processes. Every game reaches a crisis point where critical analysis must remain sharp and alert.

Kindred’s Special: Book Review–Play the London System

April 8, 2011

This book authored by International Master Cyrus Lakdawala, a former National Open and American Open Champion, six-time State Champ is entertaining and informative of a system made popular in the late 1880s by England’s Joseph Henry Blackburn and James Mason of Ireland.  Everyman Chess is well known in the chessbook business and published by Gloucester Publishers plc.  Using illustrative games from both blitz play and tournament play, Lakdawala examines and recommends the London System especially for the club player although the system is employed occasionally by leading Grandmasters.

The opening system is easy to learn for White but the Black defenses are numerous and often tricky. Anyone wishing to test it should do so from both sides of the board via their computer.

The pawn structure usually finds the following setup:  d4, e3, c3 with Black having a variety of setups against it.

The London System is one of the oldest and safest ways to open a game. In effect, you are playing a Slav-type pattern a move up, erecting a solid pawn structure of c3, d4, e3 with Nf3 and Bf4. Basically you simply do not care what your opponent does in meeting it.

Like most book authors, IM Lakdawala presents a very optimistic view of the whole system. Rightly so, he recommends it a good weapon in club play and occasional surprise system for those who essay it only on occasion. The fact is that it is safe and requires a more general assessment of move choices as play develops. Enthusiasts of this system look not so much for attaining an opening advantage as to laying the groundwork for middlegame tactics and position. London preparation is straightforward. Thus, he recommends playing through the stack of games within this book to get the “feel” for the patterns that emerge and offer themselves up. He sums it up best in describing the real purpose of the book: : I targeted the book for the club player and those rated between 1400 and 2000 although it is viable for those above and below that rating range. Many of the games are blitz play and include even a selection of IM and GM games. He picks a body of game examples that are worth study and for entertainment of truly lively games, often full of fireworks. Even included are some examples from “mavericks” who choose a timely c4 instead c3 as he suggests is more anti-London than following in the traditional sense. But when you notice the name of the player who does so, you can understand the old saying: there are more paths along the road to choose from.

Perhaps the Contents list says it best. Following the Bibliography on page 4 and Introduction on page 5, the author breaks down the various systems employed by Black against it:

  1. 1.d4  d5 with an early …e6
  2. 1.d4  d5 without an early …e6
  3. London versus Queen’s Indian
  4. London versus Gruenfeld
  5. London versus Reversed Reti
  6. London versus King’s Indian
  7. London versus Dutch
  8. London versus Benoni
  9. Other Lines
  10. An Inconvenient Move Order

Index of Variations

Index of Games

Soft cover, 256 pages, quality paper, $26.95.

Postscript: Many players admit they hate facing the London System, which is surely another good reason to buy the book!  In playing the London using Fritz, the black pieces were able to obtain promising positions and good battles resulted.

Kindred’s Special: Computer vs. Book Study

April 6, 2011

Recent commentary in New In Chess magazine suggests the ever increasing dependence on the chess computer to both analyze and prepare oneself for tournament play, especially at the top GM level.  As one who learned from book study, my own personal analysis of game play I reviewed, and what has found it’s way into published game analysis in magazine articles, I thought I would try to apply my theory of square count to some of the suggestions and conclusions that the writer draws from the magic of the keyboard and electronic brain.

The American chess whiz , 23-year old Hikaru Nakamura won his first Grand Slam tournament and could the fact that he wears suits or slacks and jacket contribute to this breaking out of the pack?  Afterall, Fischer’s dress suit was a Fischer trademark at tournaments as he himself matured into manhood.

An interesting game to select is between World Champion Viswanathan Anand and the newest youngster to breeze his way unto the scene of top chess, Anish Giri, one of a number of future giants of the chessboard.

White: V. Anand  vs.  Black A. Giri was contested in the recently concluded Wijk aan Zee, 2011, tournament inwhich I shall examine the opening specifically for this article.

1. d4  d5  2. c4  c6  3. Nf3  Nf6 4. Nc3  e6  5. Bg5  h6  6. Bxf6  Qxf6  7. e3  Black choses the Slav and more classic approach rather than his more frequent Indian type systems suggests hopefully to perhaps confuse his opponent with his intentions.

7. … g6!? This move seems to be finding favorable testing in recent contests. Yet, can this move really be good compared to 7. … Nd7 with the idea of …Bd6 employment of the Bishop?

8. Bd3  Bg7 Giri decides to the enter into an Indian-type deployment.

9. O-O  O-O  10. Rc1  dxc4  I really think this move is a mistake as it releases the tension and exchanges the center pawn for the c-pawn.

11. Bxc4  Nd7  Giri notes that the position now takes shape of hundreds of games featuring this position.

Here, the main question what are the salient features?  The pawn structure of white assures White a solid d4 square supported by the e-pawn. Now, lets examine the idea of Square Count as to this position. White has some moves to expand his own count by 12. e4 or he can simply set up a defensive feature of square count of protecting the b4 square and making room for the Bishop to retreat to a2 if attacked by playing the quiet 12. a3.  Most likely the computer goes for the aggressive 12. e4 which is what Anand played.  After 12. … c5! Black can strike the center pawn structure which was slightly weakened by the pawn advance.  White can then initiate a central attack after due preparation by some jump move ideas planning Qe2 >Rfd1 >e4 or maybe a timely Nfd2 > f3> e4 as a distant plan to consider.

The actual game continued:  12. e4  c5  13. d5  Nb6  14. b3  exd5  15. Nxd5  Qd8  16. h3  Nxc4 And Black obtains the two Bishops versus the Knight pair. Still, Giri here suggests completely equal is 16. … Be6.

At this point a lot fireworks got introduced into the battle but after a long struggle of ups and downs, the game position petered out to a hard fought draw.

Alekine, Botvinnik, Capablanca, Kasparov, Karpov and many others often emphasize in their writings which appeared in magazines and or books that one should prepare a launch into an attack by bringing into the fray as much armor as posssible and practical to carry out a plan.  As I point out in much of my writings, square count is a valuable tool for the student in such planned operations. In the above example, right or wrong, a viable alternative to Anand’s effort in this game would be to prepare, prepare, prepare the invasion with back-up forces prior to engaging the enemy units.  This, the computer does not convey to the learning student but must be reenforced by masters of the chessboard through the written word!