1. Joined
    15 Dec '20
    18 Mar '22 17:31
    Here are several tournament positions I reached as a youngster and botched. They are from the Edison (New Jersey, USA) First Sunday of the Month Quad on 1 December 1974, and I am White in each and was rated 1470 USCF at the time.

    The first position was against Hochberger (1491). (I didn't write down Black's first name, but a search of the U. S. Chess Federation's website indicates that it's probably "Gabe".) It's White to move after 16...Nx(N)f6.

    To figure out what White's strategy should be, it might help to visualize the pawn structure:

    See a target? How about Black's c-pawn, which occupies White's only open file.

    So, White should restrict and ultimately lay siege to Black's c-pawn. Playing 17. b4 (to control c5) would facilitate this plan. The game might have unfolded as shown below.

    What should White play if he wants to help Black dissolve the backward c-pawn? If you said 17. Ne5 (because the "overload" on White's d-pawn would permit 17...c5), you would be correct. I in fact played 17. Ne5, and Black naturally replied 17...c5.

    The game continuation is shown in the next chess movie.

    In the position reached by the above chess movie after 22...Rac8,

    what would happen on the "natural" 23. Ke2 to centralize White's king?

    Black could answer 23...Na4, and being that 24. b3 would lose the exchange to 24...Nc3+, White can't both defend the b-pawn and keep control of the c-file. The game actually did go 23. Ke2 Na4, I opted for 24. Rxc8 Rxc8 25. Rd2, and I was lucky to eventually win.

    After 22...Rac8, White should have played 23. Rc2, and if 23...Na4, then 24. Rdc1, retaining control of the c-file while keeping b2 protected. Then White could have improved his position by bringing the king to e2, the knight to d4, etc.

    Here's a position that arose in one of my other games from that tournament, against Alex Leech (1514). The following position was reached after 26...Qf6-e7.

    White has sacrificed a pawn for an attack, and now 27. Qh3! would threaten 28. Rh6 Kf8 29. Rh8+ Bxh8 30. Qxh8 mate; 27...Kf8 would allow 28. Qh8+! Bxh8 29. Rg8 mate. The continuation might be as depicted in the next chess movie.

    Returning to the position after 26...Qf6-e7,

    what did White play? 27. R1g5, wrongly playing to reestablish material equality instead of pursuing his already strong attack.

    Another critical decision arose a few moves later, after 33...Kxg8.

    Had White played 34. Kd3, then 34...Kf7 35. Ke4 Kg6 would seem necessary to keep White's king from f5. Then 36. a4 would begin a campaign to create a passed pawn, such as by b4..., a5..., b5..., bxa6..., Na2..., Nb4..., and finally Nxa6... The following chess movie illustrates how White might win against imprecise defense.

    Instead of 34. Kd3, I played 34. Ne4, and then traded minor pieces after 34...Kf7, which led to a draw. I did not appreciate the superiority of White's knight in this position or the potential for creating a passed pawn on the queenside.

    (A list of the threads I've initiated at this forum is available at http://www.davidlevinchess.com/chess/RHP_my_threads.htm .)

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