Monday, March 21, 2005
Lessons From The Great Uncle
Here is a light annotation of one of Nezhmetdinovs game. And some of the lessons that I learned from it. First the complete game score:

[White "Lilienthal A"]
[Black "Nezhmetdinov R"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E67/08"]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nf3 Nbd7
5.g3 g6 6.Bg2 Bg7 7.O-O O-O 8.b3 exd4
9.Nxd4 Nc5 10.b4 Ne6 11.Nb3 Nd7 12.Bb2 Ne5
13.Na5 Nd4 14.a3 c5 15.Na4 Bg4 16.Bxd4 cxd4
17.h3 Be6 18.c5 b5 19.cxb6 axb6 20.Bxa8 Qxa8
21.Nxb6 Qa6 22.Na4 d3 23.exd3 Bxh3 24.Rc1 Qa8
25.f3 Ng4 26.Nc4 Bd4+ 27.Kh1 Qd5 28.Rc2 Bxf1 0-1

Now the lessons learned

Moves 1-18:
The first 18moves are normal development moves. Nezhmetdinov is an attacking genius true, But he does not attack from the first move like a bat from hell. Things like proper development of pieces into good squares are not neglected in his games. This displays that he knows positional concepts too. And this serves as a reminder to me that I should seek to develop first instead of looking to attack from move one.

Move 18.. b5 -
The bait. The a8 rook is offered as bait. This is something that is common in his games. Nezh will frequently allow the opponent to "win" material such as rooks and pawns. Here if white takes it, black will obtain tremendous pressure against white's position

Move 20.. Qxa8 -
The light bishop is gone. Whites kingside suddenly becomes vulnerable. The effects of this will be felt until the end of the game. We should not hesitate to offer material for positional advantage such as this.

Move 21..Qa6 -
Why move the queen here? This is to enable the next move without losing tempo (The white knight must move)

Move 22..d3
This was made without lost of tempo. But what is this move? Another pawn sacrifice? At first I didnt understand the significance of this move. Why sacrifice a pawn here? It didnt make any sense.. but, this is a very important move as can be seen later.

Move 23..Bxh3 -
The attack starts. White will be subjected to great pressure from now on. All of this the direct result of "winning" the a8 rook. Notice that after this, nezh will not take the c1 rook. This is a very important lesson in attacking chess - Try not to win material on open games. The initiative must be preserved for as long as possible. Decline offers of material as long as necesary.

Move 26..Bd4+ -
Now we see the point of blacks 22nd move. The pawn sacrifice was a vacating sacrifice designed to open lines for the bishop. When I realized this, my jaws dropped. The preparations he did was amazing. It shows clearly that this is no wild attacker. This is now move 26, and the effects of move 22 is only now being understood.

Must remember to look for these types of moves in my game. Pawns are irrelevant here, only open lines matters. Open lines that was prepared beforehand. So kids do your homework first before attempting to storm the barricades.

Move 27..Qd5 -
The quiet move. For all intents and purposes, the situation has reached the climax.The queen is now centralized, the number of possible square it could go rises exponentially.

Now, at this point, there is very great tension in the game, but notice that Mr. Nezh have not been making exceedingly violent moves like a check here or a capture there. Its like he is increasing the pressure move by move. Can you feel it? All the pieces are slowly converging into the vicinity of the squares where the white king resides. You just know what its target is, but the pieces seems to flow so slowly. I am reminded of a crocodile slowly approaching a deer crossing the river. The intent is deadly, but without undue haste. There is great patience here. If there was a way to demonstrate "hurry up and wait" this would be it.

Move 28..Bxf1 -
The goal of this is not to win material but rather this is another vacating move. (These vacation theme is a frequent guest in Mr. Nezh's games.) Now mate on the H file by the queen is unavoidable. And this shows too why the 27th move was very powerful. The mating net was woven very smoothly. Did you notice that from the start of the attack on move 23, only one(1) check was done. If that isnt smooth, I dont know what is.

There, thats some of the lessons I've learned from playing over his games. I have been trying to incorporate them into my own play. But I keep forgetting them. And so I am sharing this now to force myself to remember (I tend to remember things I try to discuss). And of course if there are refutations to my understanding, I hope one of the knights (Or one of the friends like logis) can point it out too =>
posted by Nezha at 2:10 AM | Permalink |


  • At 4:15 AM, Blogger Temposchlucker

    That was the first thing I had to learn, as a gambitplayer. When I started with gambits, I used to feel hasty after the initial sacrafice."I have a lead in development so I have to hurry before it dissolves!". Now I now better and take all the time it needs to complete my development first. It is far more important not to waste moves than to hurry. So moves like a3 or h3 you will seldom see in my games.

    Playing gambits you'll get a feeling what is important when you sacrifice a pawn.
    Gaining tempo's is nice, but not all-important. What I appreciate the most is the space-advantage, combined with open lines.
    Because of this you can put some threats in your play (which explains why you have to develop first). The little space your opponent has makes it difficult to defend.