Strategic Decision Making

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I just received the new book on Petrosian from Ilan Rubin’s excellent Elk & Ruby publishing house.

The book is called Petrosian Year by Year and this is the first volume, covering the years 1942-1962. The authors are Tibor Karolyi and Tigran Gyozalyan.

The first game within the book is a simul game between Petrosian and Flohr. For some reason which is not given in the book (though the authors do also question this) Petrosian has the White pieces.

This position has arisen after the Black’s 15th move, 15…Bd7 which the authors called a mistake.

So I took a look here, trying to figure out what is wrong with the move. I started by first evaluating the position. This was my evaluation process:

White should be better here. He has more space and the more active pieces. He does have a worse pawn structure though. Here, Tigran Vartanovich plays 16.Rhe1 which the authors call a mistake. So I set the book down to try to figure out why.

The problem is that I did what I almost always do in these positions – I thought tactically. I searched and searched but couldn’t figure out any sort of shot that White missed.

The answer shows a deficiency in my thinking process. The answer is as follows:

“This move keeps some advantage, but it’s not the best a it allows Black to castle. If 16.Bg5! Qf7 17.Rhe1+ Kf8 18.Nh4 White wins as the h8 rook will be out of play.”

This, by the way, is an example of the excellent type of verbal/variational analysis which the book looks to contain.

I need to really revamp my thought process. I am training, but I need to train harder. Once OTB is back I’m going to make a real run at 1900 as the first logical step on the rest of my journey.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott