Kindred’s Special: Chess Like Music has the Power to Make People Happy

In my earlier article featuring one of the Berlin system type defenses, namely the Steinitz variation of this classic Ruy Lopez structure and championed by Emmanuel Lasker, I am reminded that there continues to be room for exploration where my square count theory can be illustrated.  Biel 2011 provides it in the contest between Alexey Shirov and Magnus Carlsen.

1. e4  e5  2. Nf3  Nc6  3. Bb5  Nf6  4. d3

AS avoids playing the popular ideas seen coming from the standard Berlin Defense.  This quiet line I shall coin The Boa Line because it reminds me of this snake’s manner of over powering and digesting its victim after squeezing it to death.

4. … Bc5  5. c3  O-O  6. Bg5  h6

A defensive act to chase away the Bishop.  After, 7. Bh4  g5, Black got a good position in Anand versus Topalov.  Carlsen chooses a different course perhaps to avoid some new twist found by his opponent in the meantime.  This is often seen as a reason for creating an alternative plan.

7. Bh4  Be7

The bishop blocks the pin.  Should one move a piece twice if not necessary?  In this case, the idea of tempo or tempi plays less a role because the white formation chosen appears slow so Black is able to use this to his advantage.   The continuation chosen avoids ideas like 8. N:e5 N:e5 9. d4.  Computer thinks 7…a5 or 7…Rb8.  I think Carlsen’s move is sound and logical.  Defensively speaking, it addresses some square count issues.

8. Nbd2  d6  9. Nf1  Nb8

The logic of this is that it is not a retreat but rather a redeployment.

10. Ne3  Ng4  11. Bg3  N:e3  12. f:e3

A bit of psychological warfare is going on.  AS is a player who likes complications and to attack. MC is tantalizing him.  Black shows no real weakness in pawn structure.  In assessing the position, I would favor Black whose pieces are prominent in the fight for board control as with the Lasker game strategy.  Now I am looking at 12. … c6, or Nd7 13. O-O or 13. d4 Bf6 14. O-O  Qe7 with a solid position free of weaknesses.

12. … Nd7  13. d4  Nf6  14. Bd3  Ng4  15. Qe2  Bg5  16. d:e5  d:e5  17. B:e5  Bh4+  18. g3  N:e5  19. N:e5  20. Nf3  Qe7  21. O-O-O

Warburton as I said before did not like castling Q-side but if AS had played 21. O-O Bg4 leaves Black okay and g3 might cause the white position of the King to be compromised. Square count now stands at 4/8 in Black’s favor.  Another feature favoring Black is his solid pawn structure of two islands versus White having three pawn islands and doubled pawns on the half-open e-file that should yield targets in the endgame.

21. … c6

21. … a6 looks like a tempo move, making a square count evaluation since the c-pawn can advance in one turn to c5.  I doubt Lasker would overlook this.

22. Nd4  a6  23. Rhf1  c5  24. Nf5  B:f5  25. R:f5  b5  26. Bc2  c4  27. Rfd5  Be5  28. Qh5 Rae8  29. a3 Qa7 30. Kd2 !

AS wisely puts legs on the King to leave the Q-side just in the nix of time as MC was eyeing Qb8 to back up a pawn storm in that sector.

30. … Qb8  31. Ke2  Re6  32. Qh4  Qb6  33. Rd8 R/6e8  34. R:e8  R:e8  35. Rd5  Qc7 36. a4?! Qb6  37. a:b5  a:b5  38. Qh5.

Again, the square count move idea would be 38. Rd7 and what is that saying about a Rook on the 7th? But then the question is to its historic value in this game?  Just a  thought!

38. … Qb8  39. Rd7 g6  40. Qf3  Rf8  41. Kf2  b4  42. Qe2  b:c3  43. b:c3  Qc8  44. Qd2  B:c3  44. Qd2  B:c3  45. Qd5  Qa6  46. e5  Qa2  47. Qe4  B:e5  48. h4  Re8  49.Kg2  h5  50. Kh3  c3  51. Rd5  Qa6  52. Bd3  Qc8+  53. Kg2  Bg7  54. Rc5  Qd7  55. Qc4  R:e3  56. Rc7 Be5_  58. Kf2  Q:c7  59. Q:c7 B:c7 60. Kf3 0-1

Shirov resigned having met the t/c with a second left.


One Response to “Kindred’s Special: Chess Like Music has the Power to Make People Happy”

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