Tag Archives: study

Super Blitz #20: Panov Realizations

While not a Panov game I came to the realization during analysis of how uncomfortable it is for me to play against. I spent a fair bit of time talking about c4 and the ways to prevent the discomfort, I’ve only found one line that’s enjoyable for me if White plays properly. If White doesn’t play the most accurate moves then the position is completely fine.

As many Caro games do, this one came down to pressure on the c file and White’s inability to counter it. Here is the position I’ll start the analysis from, everything before was decent opening play.

1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. d4 Bf5 5. Bd3 Bxd3 6. Qxd3 e6 7. O-O Nc6 8. Nc3 Bd6 9. a3 a6 10. Be3 Qc7 11. Rfe1 Nge7 12. b4 O-O 13. Ne2 b5 14. Ng3

You can already see how easy it can be to play against the backwards c pawn. It’s also possible to play a knight route like c8-b6-c4 and have a strong knight outpost. All of my games come down to a fight on the Queen side and it tends to feel like White has the only major weakness there.

14… Bxg3 15. fxg3 Rac8 16. Bf4 Qd7 17. Ne5

White made the first major mistake with Ne5. After Nxe5 dxe5 I am able to pressure c2 with tempo after Qc6and begin to stack all three major pieces against it. By taking with the pawn the bishop on f4 becomes much worse for the time being also. Nf5 is also a threat eyeing the isolated d pawn.

17… Nxe5 18. dxe5 Qc6 19. Re2 Rc7 20. Rc1 Rfc8 21. Bg5 Nf5 22. Bf4 Qc4

Here White has a few options as the c pawn isn’t immediately under threat but they must be careful. If they allow Qxd3 cxd3 then Rxc1 and the knight is still threatening to come to d4 and add a 4th attacker to the c pawn. With the pressure White swaps Queens off which is a safer move but I still maintain a -3 advantage. The problem being the same as before Qxc4 Rxc4 and then Nd4 comes with the triple attack on the c2 pawn and tempo on the rook.

25. Qxc4 Rxc4 24. h4 Nd4

Once the rooks come off and the pawn falls the position is as follows below, the position is lost for White since the center pawn control prevents their King from getting to my back line to find counter play. After this it’s just a matter of pushing forward and cutting the White King off while I creep on the Queen side.

25. Rf2 Rxc2 26. Rcxc2 Rxc2 27. Rxc2 Nxc2 28. Bc1 f6 29. exf6 gxf6 30. Kf2 Kf7 31. Ke2 e5 32. Kd3 Nd4 33. Bb2 Nc6 34. g4 Ke6

View Full Game Analysis on Lichess.org

Super blitz #18: Two Bishops Ain’t All That

This game is a perfect example of 2 bishops vs a knight and bishop and where the strengths of each lie. My opponent traded off the major pieces in succession, rook, rook, Queen but didn’t consider how the minor piece endgame would be. They had two doubled isolated c pawns and a weak isolated a file pawn. Our game starts in one of my favorite variations of the Nimzo-Indian Defense.

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Nf3 b6 6. Be2 Bb7 7. O-O

Both sides have a solid setup. White has a good center, Black hasn’t committed to a center break and keeps some flexibility. Most times Bxc3 is played and White ends up with the two bishops but a slightly weakened structure.

7…d6 8. a3 Bxc3 9. bxc3 Nbd7

Black’s idea with this setup is to push the e pawn forward after Re8 and if possible continue to push through to e4. The position is equal here and there is plenty of dynamism for both sides to play for the win.

10. Bb2 Re8 11. Qc2 e5

White has made a mistake putting the bishop on b2, the c3 pawn isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. I get the break I’m looking for and the ideal position I am comfortable with. From here it’s White turn to decide how to proceed. The best moves are Nd2, Rfe1. Not incredibly intuitive moves to play. Nd2 attacks the e4 square not allowing me to push any further. Rfe1 looks to support the file once all the tension breaks.

12. d5 e4 13. Nd2 Nc5 14. a4 a5 15. Nb3 c6 16. Nxc5 dxc5 17. dxc6 Bxc6 18. Rfd1 Qc7 19. h3 Rad8

The tension in the center breaks and d file opens, White looks to trade off the rooks and Queens which I oblige as I notice how weak the c and a file pawns are. The end game will surely favor a N+B instead of 2 bishops.

20. Rxd8 Rxd8 21. Rd1 Rd6 22. Rxd6 Qxd6 23. Qd1 Qxd1+ 24. Bxd1

In the position above it becomes apparent what my plan is. White’s bishops are tied to c3 and a4 which leaves my knight to hop around and poke at other weakness along with my King.

25. Kf1 Ne5 26. Bc2 Nxc4 27. Bc1 f5 28. Ke2 g5 29. f3 Nd6 30. Bb3+ Kg7 31. Bb2 Kg6 32. fxe4 Nxe4 33. g4 fxg4 34. hxg4 h5 35. gxh5+ Kxh5 36. Bf7+ Kg4 37. Be6+ Kg3 38. Bb3 g4 39. Bc1 Kg2 40. Kd3 g3 0-1

In the end the power of the two bishop was rendered ineffective because of the weaknesses and lack of open diagonals for them to exploit.

View Full Game on Lichess.org