This game was a GQA where I had the dream position from the start. My opponent played moves which I had seen before and were logical but I knew to be slightly inaccurate.
The first position above immediately removes us from the book. Nc6 blocks the standard c5 push Black tends to play in order to undermine the White’s central control. It also doesn’t allow Black to immediately play b5 hitting the Bishop on c4 after Bxc4.
Again, Re8 seems completely logical. It appears as Black is getting ready to push e5 and attack the center but are they ready? There are positional problems in addition to tactical problems with pushing e5. Black needs to shore up some things in the position and get their pieces more active before venturing forth.
It might not be apparent but Black is in dire straits after e5. As played in the game after 12. dxe5 Nxe5 13. Nxe5 Rxe5 14. Nf3 (with tempo on the rook) Black doesn’t have much to show in terms of long term strategy or tactical blows. The game continues with 14…Bg4?? a completely normal looking move which aims to pin the knight to the Queen while developing but it’s this move that loses the game.
There is a tactical shot here which wins the game on the spot. Black’s attempt was to pin the knight in order to remove the attack on the rook on e5. If I were to take immediately 15. Nxe5 Bxd1 and I would be down a Queen, however, notice 15. Qxd8+! (It captures the Queen on d8 with check forcing Black to recapture on their move.)…Rxd8 (I no longer have the Queen pinned to the knight) 16. Nxe5 and Black is down a full rook.
Every mistake Black made in this game was a seemingly decent move, most of them followed principles any player should know. Under certain contexts those principles can fail and shouldn’t be followed blindly. Many positions require calculation instead of acting on blind faith, though this was a blitz game not everything can be decided on by intuition.
The final position of the game. Black resigns as there isn’t much hope being down a rook and minor piece.
This is hands down one of my best 3-0 games that followed my opening prep. It was a Traditional GQD main line and my opponent was eager to trade off some minor pieces from the start.
I’ve had this opening a million times but I never seemed to make it to the point where I can launch a minority attack against the Black Queen side which is the standard idea in the pawns structure once cxd and exd is played.
We arrive at the position above where both sides are structurally sound. The imbalance is 2 knights vs knight and bishop, Black with a Queen side majority and I with a King side majority. This is the point where a minority attack will weaken Black’s advantage and turn it into more of a liability.
The whole idea behind the minority attack is to trade off pawns and leave Black with something to defend, generally the c pawn. You can see above that the c pawn is backwards and the weakest point in the position. Even if it can be defended it means that Black will be tied down while defending.
Ideally Black would play something like Rec8 and I’d play Rfc1 and there would be some poking and prodding by both knights. The position above is dynamic but equal.
Black drops the c pawn by failing to defend or thinking that taking the b pawn is a better trade so they might have a passed pawn. The main issues is the c pawn was the support for both the b and d pawns, Black has now made two weaknesses in exchange for the one.
The position above seems like Black has found a way to win material due to the double attack on the Queen and the knight with no way to defend both but there is a move. 22. Nxd5! counter attacking the enemy Queen if 22…Rxc6 23. Nxe7+ Rxe7 24. Bxc6. Instead play goes 22. Nxd5! Nxd5 23. Qxd5 Rfc8 24. Rxb5 1-0
Black resigns in this position as being down two pawns and only have 26 seconds compared to my 1:32 doesn’t look promising.
Generally speaking I’m a conservative and solid player so going against the King’s Indian tends to be abrasive to my style. This game was a little different than usual. I had been reviewing games where Black moves the knight from f6 in preparation to play f5 and White replies with g4 immediately before f5.
The position is going to get very sharp for Black but not so much for White. Since I haven’t castled yet I have the liberty of playing Qc2 and then 0-0-0 when the time is right, the g and h pawns will be thrown up the board supported by two rooks and the center is closed so there won’t be any center attacking pressure. As for Black, their pieces aren’t very active. In the position above both bishops aren’t on good diagonals, the rooks aren’t connected, the knights are on the 7th and 8th ranks still and the pawn shield in front of the King is more of a liability than anything when h5 and h6 come.
Because Black pushed f5 largely unsupported after 12. exf5 Rxf5 what can Black do? Whites plans of Rg1, Qc2, 0-0-0, and Ne4 are very easy to play but not very easy to interact with. In the next position we can see Black hasn’t accomplished very much, two tempi were wasted with a superficial Queen side attack.
Black is under a lot of pressure here, the h7 pawn is weak, there is a pin on g7 looking to be exploited, Ne5 is on the table, the h pawn can still be thrown up the board.
The game is over in a few moves after this position because there is no possible defense for Black. The e3 Bishop is coming to h6 threatening to remove the best defender of the Black King and from there the combination of Queen and rook is too much with so few pieces.