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March 14, 2013

Digging deep for utensils: White to move, win

DIAGRAM 1

This week’s position is from the World Chess Champion Vishy Anand’s recent victory against the world’s number 2 ranked player and former world chess champion, Vladimir Kramnik.    Anand is white; Kramnik is black.   Anand wins by digging a fork out of the position.   With this hint in mind please try to find white’s winning moves.

Kramnik’s queen threatens white’s b2 pawn. From b2, the queen would threaten white’s a1 rook.   

Anand was prepared for this and ignored it for now.   He captured black’s bishop on a6 with the white rook on c6.   It would be pre-mature for Kramnik to ignore this capture and take white’s b2 pawn.  Kramnik thus captured white’s rook on a6 with his black rook on a8.    

Anand demonstrated the point of his exchange sacrifice on a6 and took black’s d3 pawn with his queen, forking black’s rook on a6 and knight on e2.  

DIAGRAM 2

Now Kramnik captured the white pawn on b2, threatening white’s rook on a1 with check.   Anand slid his rook over to b1, attacking the black queen with the support white’s queen and knight.      Before retreating his queen, Kramnik counter-attacked with his a6 rook and moved it to d6, attacking white’s queen.   Anand’s queen escaped by taking black’s knight.   Kramnik’s queen escaped by stepping onto a2 and pressuring white’s a5 pawn.    

DIAGRAM 3

Anand is ahead a piece and has in effect traded a rook for a bishop and a knight.   This is one piece too much, especially with the dangerous advanced passed pawn on a5.   As a consequence, Kramnik resigned two moves later.

This lesson here is that if you dig deep into a position, you may find the utensils you need to eat your opponent’s pieces. 

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