One of the issues I’ve always had in chess is an overattachment to material. For the last couple of years I’ve been trying to alleviate it, but it’s not such an easy thing.
It’s one thing to know that you should sacrifice material, but quite another to know how to sacrifice it.
Lately I’ve been reading the book Beyond Material by Croation GM Davorin Kuljasevic in an effort to free myself from such material attachments.
To start the book off he shows several examples designed to show players that material isn’t always the deciding factor. This example is particularly concrete.
The game is between Yuri Solodovnichenko and Valerij Fillippov from 1999. Here is the position that opens the example:
White is in serious trouble. Not only down a pawn, but also with quite a loose king. He finds a brilliant drawing idea.
31.Re1 and now Black correctly takes on a2 with 31…Bxa2. Now after 32.b3 Bxb3 33.c4 Black goes wrong by taking the pawn on c4 as well. A move such as 33…Rf8 and Black has an overwhelming advantage.
So why the problem with taking on c4? Well, in this position there is an amazing concrete way to draw:
34.Bd5+ Bxd5 35.Re8+ Rxe8 36.Qxe8+ Qf8 37.Qxf8+ Kxf8
What a beautiful stalemate!
Here is the entire game for anyone interested.
Til Next Time,
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