Malcolm Pein writes on the subject of long-term thinking in his Daily Telegraph chess column today and presents a game with a twin, albeit of the non-identical type.
It is not the first time we have seen creative play by Ian Nepomniachtchi in this column and it certainly won’t be the last.
Malcolm Pein on…Long-Term Thinking
Correctly assessing the worth of long-term compensation for a sacrifice is one of the most difficult things to master in chess. At last December’s Russian championship, Ian Nepomniachtchi played a fine attacking game with a bishop sacrifice for long-term compensation that was extremely well judged.
The game has a twin, as Nepo played a very similar idea in 2008. In both games it is the inability of the defender to develop his queenside that determines the value of the compensation and it proves more than adequate in both games.
I. Nepomniachtchi – A. Esipenko
73rd Russian Ch. Moscow 2020
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Bd6 7.0–0 0–0 8.c4 c6 9.Nc3 Nxc3 10.bxc3 dxc4 11.Bxc4 Bf5 12.Bg5 Qa5 13.d5 (If 13.Nh4 Be6 14.Bxe6 Qxg5)
13…Qc7 14.Re1 h6 15.Nh4 Bh7
16.Bxh6!! gxh6 17.Qg4+ Kh8 18.Nf5 Bxf5 (18…Rg8 19.Qd4+)
19.Qxf5 f6 20.Rad1 cxd5 21.Rxd5 Qxc4 (21…Nd7 22.Rxd6! Qxd6 23.Qg6! Qf4 24.Re7 wins; 21…Nc6 22.Qh3 Bxh2+ 23.Qxh2 Qxh2+ 24.Kxh2 is better for White)
22.Rxd6 Qf7 23.h4 Qh7? (23…a5 24.Re3 Ra6 seems to hold after 25.Qf4 Kh7 (25…Rxd6 26.Qxh6+ Qh7 27.Qxf8+) 26.Qf5+ Kh8 27.Qf4 Kh7 =)
24.Qxh7+ Kxh7 25.Re7+ Kg6 26.h5+! Kg5 (26…Kxh5 27.Rg7 Nc6 28.Rd3 and Rd3–h3#)
27.Rxb7? (27.Rd3!! Nc6 28.Rg3+ Kf4 29.Rf3+ Kg5 30.Rg7+ Kxh5 31.Rh3#)
27…a5 28.g3 Ra6 29.Rxb8 Rxd6 30.Rxf8 Rd2 31.a4 Ra2 32.Kg2 f5 33.Rc8 Rxa4 34.Rc5 Ra2 35.Kf3 Kf6 36.Ke3 Kg5 37.f3 Kxh5 38.Kf4 Kg6 39.Rc6+ Kg7 40.Kxf5 Rf2 41.Rc7+ Kf8 42.f4 Rf3 43.g4 a4 44.c4 a3 45.Ra7 Rc3 46.Kf6 Ke8 47.c5 Rc4 48.f5 Rxg4 49.c6 Kd8 50.Rxa3 Kc7 51.Rh3 1-0
I. Nepomniachtchi – Li Chao
Reykjavik Open 2008
As above to 12.Bg5 and then 12…Qc7 13.Re1 h6 14.Nh4 Bh7 15.Bxh6!! Bxh2+ (If 15…gxh6 16.Qg4+ Kh8 17.Nf5 Bxf5 (17…Rg8 is today’s puzzle) 18.Qxf5 f6 19.Re6)
16.Kh1 Bf4 17.Bxg7!! Kxg7 18.Qg4+ Kh8 19.Nf5 Bxf5 20.Qxf5 Qd6
(20…Nd7 21.Re4 Bh6 22.Rh4 Qd6 23.Bd3 wins)
21.g3! Bh6 22.Kg2! b5 23.Bb3 Qg6 (23…Nd7 24.Rh1 Kg7 25.Rh4 Rae8 26.Rg4+ Kh8 27.Rh1 Rg8 28.Qxd7! Qxd7 29.Rxh6#)
24.Qxg6! fxg6 25.Re7 g5 26.Re6 Kg7 27.Rh1 Rh8 28.Re7+ Kg6 29.Bc2+ 1-0 After 29…Kf6 29.Rhe1 threat Re1–e6 mate 29…g4 30.R1e6+ Kg5 31.Rg6+ Kh5 32.Re5+ Bg5 33.Rexg5#.
Test Your Strength
White to play and win
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18.Re8! Nd7 19.Qg7#