Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Six missed reasons for a counterattack

In my last club championship game, I had Black and in the 11th move of an English opening we came to this position.


Black to move.

My center pawn is attacked, and this post is about why on earth I played a weak move (c5) to protect it.
  1. The first and most important feature of the position is the uncastled white King. He needs a full three moves to castle. This alone would have been enough compensation to give a pawn.
  2. I do not even give my pawn but gain it back with my counterattack d6-d5.
  3. My e-file is already half open to the opponent King.
  4. The Knight, grabbing the pawn, exposes the King.
  5. After having taken the pawn, the Knight is unprotected.
  6. With my counterattack d5xc4 or d5xe4, I launch a discovered attack on the unprotected Knight.
Yeah, instead of «oops, my pawn is attacked, I must protect it» I should have looked at the whole position. Even the simple rule «checks, captures, threats» would have done the job. By the way, after my weak move, the position was dead drawn and I, trying to force a win, ran into a counterattack and lost.

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At 4:57 PM, Blogger Chess Dreamer said...

At first sight c5 makes sense, protect the pawn and lock white's panws on queenside making his bishop a bad one.

But d6-d5 was better according to your analysis, and I agree =), but without thinking too much about the position, I'd played c5 too. I didn't see d6-d5 until read your analysis...

At 8:58 PM, Blogger nemo said...

I woulda played 1)...Qb6 first, then d6-d5. Qb6 serves two purposes. but that's just me =P

At 11:25 AM, Blogger Glenn Wilson said...

Nice post. Excellent point. I'd also consider an immediate ...Re8 in the diagrammed position.

At 12:28 PM, Blogger Christian said...

Yes Glenn, Re8 is as good as d5, objectively. But psychologically it reveals too early and too clearly my intentions against the uncastled King, therefore d5 is to be preferred.


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