Kindred’s Special: The case of the solid defense

My chess adventures often find interesting topics to discuss for readers.  Such was one of my most bizzare cases ever to have come up.  It required a deep appreciation of one of my heroes who was facing another of my heroes across the board in battle.  It is not a case of a national reputation at stake so much as a long time battle of wits as to whether a solid defense surpasses one where the opponent is allowed access to carry about his intentions using my square count theory even though both were oblivious to my teachings.

Aaron Nimsowitsch was famous for his numerous penned articles and books.  His contributions to opening theory go back to the 1920s where either he or his followers found a rich outlet that exists even today of his teachings.

When two Grandmaster meet anything can happen on the battlefield of 64 squares and Grandmasters are noted for using all of them at their disposal.  The question thus becomes one of style where the result can go back and forth as to who triumphs in an individual contest.  This game evolves around the idea of solid defense versus a strong initiative where progress emerges from the hands of GM Jan Timman and GM Anatoly Karpov.  Such talent displayed by records achieved by both are once more exhibited in the following:

White:  GM  Jan Timman    vs.   Black:   Anatoly Karpov    Opening: Nimzo – Indian Defense

1. d4  Nf6  2. c4  e6  3. Nc3  Bb4  4. Nf3

This line popularized by S. Gligoric is called the ‘Flexible Variation’; Capablanca liked 4. Qc2. A variety of moves are playable: 4. a3/e3/g3/Bg5.

4. … b6  5. Qb3  Qe7 6. a3  B:c3+ 7. Q:c3  Bb7  8. e3  O-O  9. Be2  d6

Black decides to rely upon a solid pawn structure where his central pawn complex will deter any ambitious plans by White to attack where his 2-bishops can add fire to the furnace.  Thus, he holds back a pawn sortie …d5 that would after 10. c:d5 open space for the bishops and increase square count.

10. O-O  Nbd7  11. b4  c5

Hoping to show a solid wall of  impenetrable pawns.  But with my square count philosophy that it is harder to defend successfully than to attack presents a dangerous undercurrent to Black’s whole strategy of containment.  Is this not true in real life turmoil?

12. Bb2  a5  13. Rfd1 a:b4  14. a:b4  Rfb8  15. Nd2  Qd8 16. f3  R:a1  17. B:a1

Better than 17. R:a1 to avoid Ra8 trying to simplify the position and vie closer to a draw.

17. … Ra8  18. Bd3 !  Qc7  19. Bc2  Rc8  20. d:c5  d:c5  21. b5!

Hemming in the Knights erasing any outpost activity.

21. … Ne8  22. Ne4  f6  23. Qd3

As so often happens, the more cramped position has to strike out which usually necessitates an exchange of a piece not to his liking. Just one idea might lead to: 23 …. Ne5 24. B:e5  Q:e5 25. Qd7 Rb8  26. f4 gaining more squares under attack. I leave it to you to figure out the end play.

23. … B:e4  24. Q:e4  Nf8 25. Qd3

Renewing his grip over the d-file.

25. … Kf7  26. Bc3  Kf7  27. Ra1 !  Rd8  28. 28. Qe2  Nd6  29. f4  Kf7  30. e4  Nc8  31. e5  f5  32. Qf3 (>Qc6)  Ne7  33. h3  Kg8  34. Kh2  Nfg6  35. g3  Kf7  36. h4  Kg8 37. h5  Nh8  38. g4  Rf8  39. g:f5  N:f5  40. B:f5  R:f5  41. Ra8+ Rf8 42. R:f8+ K:f8  43. Qa8+ Kf7  44. Q:h8  Qb7 45. h6

White removes all hope for a perpetual check finish so Black resigns.

A nice game showing some of the finer points of initiative against solid defensive strategy.

This game strategy relates to real life conditions on the elements of strategy and tactics as they mirror politics and warfare.  Steinitz wrote that governing bodies would be wise to have a good knowledge of the principles of chess.

One Grandmaster told me he saw little or no value other than to study hard and master its mysteries for game play and making money. Ah, now there is a reason to play chess.  It is not my reason.  I see it only as an enjoyable pastime. Come with me and enjoy!

(In today’s world of ever expanding turmoil created by Iranian madmen mullahs it behooves our intelligence organization and government officials of every stripe to familiarize themselves with the skills and genius that make up the Iranian people— a very astute and brilliant people with a long history of achievements.  It is too bad, really too bad, that the people cannot bring themselves to throw off the yoke of tyranny which the common man and woman experience in that country or those it influences or dominate.) – KindredSpirit.



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