‘Come and get me!’

White to play and win??

How would you play White from this position, starting with move 15?

White to move

It looks like there should be a win, but even Crafty goes for some half-lame move of Qf2, winning that b6 pawn, but ultimately losing back the pawn advantage playing against itself.

I get a lot of these sorts of games, and it’s often just as dangerous to attack the other player in these situations.

The  other thing that oft goes unsaid is that when someone plays this way against you, hold firmly in mind that they are challenging you on the clock, and that perhaps all you can expect from an advantage is a pawn from a tenous position.  That said, bearn in mind that you will need time for the endgame!

The continuation is below.  I wouldn’t consider this a ‘real’ result as I beat him with the ‘boredom attack’.  This a phenomenon where one player suddenly stops and takes forever, whereupon the other player quickly tosses out a reply, rightly showing that they do not have such indecisive personality tendencies, only to thereupon blunder greatly with the ensuing move.  He flicked out …f6, immediately losing:



Expanding a position

Here is a game that I played against a higher-rated opponent’s Center-Counter defense and won.  He sort of gets generous with his attack.  I can say that where he played 15.  a4, if instead he had played 15.b5, I might have tried BxB followed by Nxb.  Of course, he could develop more since my attack is not particularly emminent itself (and he should be noting it from my perspective).

Anyway, the key thing here is that once I had accepted his free piece, that I continued to “expand”/strengthen my position.  Really a Nimzovitch idea along the lines of what he referred to as prophylaxis.

The important thing for me is that I didn’t “have a garage sale” once I got ahead, but instead expanded the scope of my position, or ‘infrastructure’ as Obama might call it.  😉


For The Win!  May work in World of Warcraft, but chess is sooo much the zero sum game.  As one guy I played recently said “You are playing for the win, that’s your problem!”

Recently, I’ve observed all too often in Crafty’s behavior that if it’s anything less than a 2 1/2 pawn advantage, it’s probably going to be a draw.   In case I’m not clear, let me break that down for you.  One pawn advantage with 1.5 points extra as “dynamic compensation”.  Ooops, opponent made some brilliant defensive move, and before you know it that pawn is gone too, and it’s a draw.  Crafty’s other favorite ploy is to go into some weird variation, and then temporize back and forth; i.e, repeat the position, whilst claiming some strong evaluation either way, only to lose it by temporizing.

Chess is very much good strategic defense, capable of being played many ways and by “weaker” players, until one side inexplicably blunders something.  Great chess is what super GMs did back during the Cold War, where they would seal a move, adjourn, then squeeze out the win under slow time controls after staying up all night studying the position.  THOSE guys were playing “for the win!”, if ever there was one.