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CATCHING THE ENEMY KING

In these series we will delve into 10 of my memorable attacking games, with the focus on the thought process, showing how I arrived at the moves played in the game, variations will of course be added to illuminate but not to get the reader lost.

In the annotated games interesting points which are not directly related to attack will also be looked at, for example opening ideas and endgame technique.

The series is mostly aimed at the developing player, but even a world class player might learn a thing (maybe not two), and if at the end of the series the reader can only mutter the words “hmmm interesting” the writer shall consider this writing a job well done.

For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,

 For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,

For the want of a horse the rider was lost,

For the want of a rider the battle was lost,

For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,

And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.”

Benjamin Franklin

Series: game 1  

Tournament : Millionaires chess 2015

Time control : 1 hour 30 minutes + 30seconds from move1

Round: 8

White : Lapite Oluwadurotimi

Black : Tolulope Ogunwobi

This game played in the penultimate round of millionaires chess was vitally important, I was one of the players in the chasing pack, and I needed to win my last two games to stand a chance of first place.

Tolulope Ogunwobi at the CPANs C4 tournament 2019

My opponent Tolulope Ogunwobi is a veteran and a strong player, he plays positional and quite logical chess. A member of the Nigerian Olympiad team in 2002 and with a peak rating of 2175, over the years we have had a lot of important clashes over the chess board (this being arguably top on that list). He is not playing as actively anymore, mostly now grooming young players, and organizing tournaments. He is the brain behind chess heights ventures.

1 e4   c5

2 Nf3   d6

3 Bb5+   Bd7

The most solid reply against the rossolimo, which was my weapon of choice against the Sicilian for this tournament (after reading how to beat the Sicilian defense by Gawain Jones)

4 Bxd7   Qxd7

5 O-O   NC6

6 Qe2 Nf6 7 Rd1

The last two moves by white deserve some explanation. Black has played all the obvious developing moves with his knights, but what to do with the bishop on f8, would it be developed at e7 after black plays e6 or fianchettoed to g7 after g6. It is against this that white’s  moves were directed, by making useful waiting moves the white player asks black to show his cards, if black chooses the fianchetto setup with a bishop on g7 then white plays c3 preparing d4 setting  up a pawn wall against the bishop, and if the bishop is developed at e7 after playing e6 then white chooses a maroczy bind setup with pawns at c4 and e4 and after playing the central break d4 he can then put some pressure on the slightly weak d6 pawn with his rooks.

[Here the reader who would want to play this as white should be aware that black has other interesting moves as well for example 7…Rc8, 7…e5 and the really dangerous 7…g5.]

7 …Nd4 ?!

On encountering a new setup, black does not react in the best way moving the same piece twice in the opening when it was not necessary. Now and on the next several moves black neglects his kingside pieces and falls dangerously behind in development.

8 Nxd4   cxd4

9 c3!

Aiming to open up the position and make use of my lead in development. Defending the pawn with 8…e5 allows white to play 9) cxd4 exd4 10) b3! followed by Bb2 when white would win the pawn on d4. which means black would soon have to exchange on c3 developing the c1 knight to its most active square and freeing the white center to be set into motion.

9 …Qc6

10 d3 dxc3

The trap 10)…Rc8 hoping for 11) cxd4?? Qxc1 is easily parried by 11) Bg5

11 Nxc3 d5?

Ahh but this is too much, it was still not too late for 11)…e6 although white is still better after 12) d4 Be7 13) d5 exd5 [ 13)…Qd7 14) dxe6 Qxe6 { 14) …fxe6 15) e5! } 15) Bf4 followed by Rd3 and Rad1 with pressure on the d6 pawn] 14) Nxd5 Nxd5 15) exd5 Qd7 16) Bg5

what would you play as white here?

12 Bg5!

By bringing another piece into the party white threatens to win the d5 pawn, here black’s position is already creaking. It is possible black expected the reply 12) exd5 Nxd5 13)Nxd5 Qxd5 when black is indeed okay as he can continue with e6, Be7, O-O when there is little white can do to stop it.

let us take a look at black’s possible replies after 12 Bg5  (a.) (12 …dxe4 13) dxe4 e6 14) Bxf6 gxf6 15) Nd5! and white wins) (b.) 12) …e6 13) Bxf6 gxf6 14) Nxd5 and wins. Black went with a third option.

12 …d4

Aiming to close the position in the center, but with a simple exchange operation white is able to establish a very strong knight in the center.

13 Bxf6 gxf6

Black hopes to develop his bishop to h6 and use of his rook on the g-file, although by the time he achieves this, the position is already well beyond salvation. Alternatives were

13) …exf6 14) Nd5 Rc8 15) Qd2 Bd6 16) Rac1 Qd7 17) Rxc8 Qxc8 18) Rc1 Qd7 19) Rc4 Be5 20) Qb4 and 13) …dxc3 14) Bxc3 also do not inspire optimism.

14 Nd5 Rc8

Black fights, temporarily preventing the white rook from occupying the c file, the alternative move with the same idea 14) …Bh6 is met by 15) Qh5!

what should white do?

Here it was time for another mini operation, white would like to place his rook on the c-file, but currently that is not possible as he doesn’t have enough control over the c1 square, this led to the move

15 Qd2

Simply protecting the c1 square and some prophylaxis by preventing against any Bh6 ideas. white now makes considerable progress by soon occupying the c file, this move is slightly more accurate than 15) Qe1 or 15) Qf1 because it prevents black playing 15) …Bh6

15 …Qd7

if  15) …Qc2 16) Rac1!

16 Rac1 Rc6!

In a desperate situation black resists as much as possible putting some barriers in white’s path here 17) Rxc6 bxc6 would kick the black octopus on d5 from its dominating position

white to play

Here my pieces are on good squares and I was looking for a way to make progress, how would you go about it? Did you say 17) f4. No, no, no this can only help black who would manage to castle after 17)…Bg7. It is essential to maintain the tempo. In the game i hit upon the right idea to attack black’s d4 pawn, which turns out not to be easy to protect.

17 Qb4

of course 17) Rc4 is also strong, the forcing variations are not hard to calculate

17) Rc4 Rxc4 18) dxc4 is simply winning the pawn while  retaining a superior position since 18)…e5 19) Nxf6+

and 17) Rc4 e5 18) Rxc6 Qxc6 19)Rc1 is crushing as the white pieces will invade via the queenside.

17 …Bh6

If instead 17)…e5 18) Rxc6 Qxc6 { 18) …Bxb4 19) Nxf6+ Ke7 20) Nxd7 dxc6 21) Ne5 white is winning} 19) Qd2 when the white knight has a permanent outpost on d5 and the white rook will soon invade on the c-file.

and 17) …e6 18) Nxf6+ Kd8 19) Nxd7 Bxb4 20) Rxc6 bxc6 Ne5 are both good for white

18 Rc4 Rg8

Beware of traps! Here white is much better and could get carried away by immediately capturing the d4 pawn 19) Rxd4 Rxg2+! 20) Kxg2 ?? [ 20) Kh1! the only move which still wins for white 20) Kf1?? Rg1+ !] Qg4+ 21) Kf1 Qxd1+ 22) Qe1 Qf3 when it is black who is wining.

19 g3!  prophylaxis

19 …f5

20 Rxd4 Qe6

21 exf5 Qe2

22 Rf1

 I didn’t want  22) Re1 Qxe1 23) Qxe1 Rc1 with an exchange of queens, even though I am also winning here.

22 …Kf8

several moves are winning here but can you spot  the most crushing

23 Nxe7! Rc1

if 23) …Qxe7 24) Rd8 wins the queen

24 Rd8+ Kg7

25 Rxg8 Kf6

26 Qd6+    black resigns

With this important victory, followed by a win in the last round I was able to fight for a place on the podium.

written by Lapite Oluwadurotimi with invaluable help from Femi Oyenowo and Kelechi Ndukwe.

(6) Comments

  • Okhipo Bartholomew May 31, 2020 @ 7:42 am

    This is wonderful!! Loved it

  • Abiola May 31, 2020 @ 7:50 am

    Nice opening ideas wrapped up with a smooth finish!

  • Abdulrahman Abdulraheem May 31, 2020 @ 8:07 am

    An excellent article. Please give us more!

  • Mickey May 31, 2020 @ 8:12 am

    Amazing game💥💥.. I look forward to more annotations

  • Dabee May 31, 2020 @ 9:34 am

    Simple but not simplistic

  • Ojevwe May 31, 2020 @ 10:52 am

    Smooth.

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