Don’t Touch That Pawn

Here is another interesting position I was just looking at:

Here White has won a pawn out of the opening, but it looks like Black can now get it back with 14…Nxb6.

Instead, however, Black plays 14…Bd6.

In looking a bit deeper it turns out that after 14…Nxb6 White not only regains the pawn with 15.Bf4 Rc8 16.Rxb7, but now once Black retreats the knight with 16…Nd7 White turns up the heat with 17.Bc4 and although there is still a lot of play left in the position this seems pretty clearly a strategically won position.  Black has gone from down a pawn to down a pawn with a terrible position.

The lesson here is to always double check that “free” pawn.

Here is the entire game:

For anyone wondering, the answer is yes.  This “R Huebner” is in fact German legend Robert Huebner.  He continues to play on a semi-regular basis even into his late 60’s.  Mostly just a game or so every month or two, but nevertheless, kudos to him!

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

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