Beware the “Obvious” Move Unless You Have a Follow Up
Sometimes in chess we have moves in our games that seem so natural that you think they are obvious.
That was the feeling I got looking at this position with White to move.
The game is Mista-Giri from Doha 2014. Giri has just put his knight on a4. Right now the position is dead level. To me it looks like 29.Bxa4 is just screaming to be played.
Mista plays it, and Giri recaptures:
Here the position is still dead level. But lets take a serious look at it for a second…
White’s a pawn hangs and his b pawn is backward. White can fix these problems by playing 30.Bb6 Nc5 31.Qe3 and now if Black plays 31…Nb3 White starts to reposition with 32.Rg1 and gets ready to start some action on the kingside.
Another way for White to play instead of Bb6 is the more dynamic exchange sac 30.Rxa4 Bxa4 31.Rxa4
I can’t pretend to understand the theory of exchange sacs all that well, but it seems to me that with Black having no obvious pawn breaks being down the exchange shouldn’t matter all that much.
Instead of either of those options Mista chose to play 30.Ng3
This hangs the a pawn, and with it eventually the game. Here is the game in it’s entirety.
The lesson from this game is that just because a move looks obvious, unless you have a plan to follow it up with.
Til Next Time,
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