CHAPTER 7:

WINNING IN THE OPENING PART 2
It's time to look at some more ways in which you can use tactical ideas, such as pins and forks, in the opening.

3. Trouble on the e-file

If both e-pawns disappear from the board early in the game interesting things start to happen. If you can get a Rook or Queen onto the file in line with your opponent's King you may have the opportunity to win pieces by PINS or DISCOVERED ATTACKS.

Look first at this opening - Petroff's Defence. You may have seen this before, but we'll go through it slowly and explain exactly how it works.

1. e2-e4 e7-e5
2. Ng1-f3 Ng8-f6
3. Nf3xe5 Nf6xe4?

This is a mistake, as you'll see.

4. Qd1-e2!

Attacking the Knight and putting the Black King in the firing line.

4... Ne4-f6?? (Diagram 93)

XABCDEFGH
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7zppzpp+pzpp'
6-+-+-sn-+&
5+-+-sN-+-%
4-+-+-+-+$
3+-+-+-+-#
2PzPPzPQzPPzP"
1tRNvL-mKL+R!
xabcdefgh
Diagram 93
White to move

Look at the line-up of pieces on the e-file: White Queen, White Knight and Black King. If White moves his Knight it will be DISCOVERED CHECK. Where should he move it?

The best move is Ne5-c6+, which wins the Black Queen. The Queen can block the check on e7 but the White Knight can still take her. So White wins a Queen for a Knight. REMEMBER THIS. YOU WON'T REGRET IT!

Now go back to the position after Black's fourth move and try to find something better for him. 4... d7-d5 doesn't help much: White just kicks the Knight with d2-d3 and, if it moves away, plays Ne5-c6+, again winning the Queen.

Instead, Black can play:

4... Qd8-e7

5. Qe2xe4 d7-d6 (Diagram 94)
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7zppzp-wqpzpp'
6-+-zp-+-+&
5+-+-sN-+-%
4-+-+Q+-+$
3+-+-+-+-#
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1tRNvL-mKL+R!
xabcdefgh
Diagram 94
White to move

Look again at the e-file. White's Knight is PINNED: if it moves he loses his Queen. So he plays d2-d4 to get a pawn for his Knight and finishes up a pawn ahead.

Now let's look at the right way for Black to play Petroff's Defence.

1. e2-e4 e7-e5
2. Ng1-f3 Ng8-f6
3. Nf3xe5 d7-d6
4. Ne5-f3 Nf6xe4

Now it's safe to take the pawn. The most popular move in this position is d2-d4, but White can choose a different move which gives Black another chance to go wrong.

5. Qd1-e2 (Diagram 95)

Black's Knight is attacked and PINNED. What should he do about it? I hope you found the right move here. 5... d6-d5, for instance, would be a mistake. White wins the pinned Knight with d2-d3. 5... f7-f5 and 5... Bc8-f5 would be equally poor for the same reason. No, the only good move is 5... Qd8-e7, defending and unpinning at the same time. This leads to a level position.
XABCDEFGH
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6-+-zp-+-+&
5+-+-+-+-%
4-+-+n+-+$
3+-+-+N+-#
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1tRNvL-mKL+R!
xabcdefgh
Diagram 95
Black to move

In our next example, White chose a different 5th move. This game broke two records: the shortest ever loss by a Grandmaster and the shortest ever loss by a reigning World Champion. The loser, an Indian Grandmaster who is now one of the world's strongest players, was World Junior Champion at the time of the game. His opponent was a Grandmaster from Colombia.

White: Alonso Zapata Black: Vishy Anand
Biel 1988
Opening: Petroff's Defence

1. e2-e4 e7-e5
2. Ng1-f3 Ng8-f6
3. Nf3xe5 d7-d6
4. Ne5-f3 Nf6xe4
5. Nb1-c3 Bc8-f5??

5... Ne4xc3 is the correct move here.

6. Qd1-e2 (PIN!) (Diagram 96)

XABCDEFGH
8rsn-wqkvl-tr(
7zppzp-+pzpp'
6-+-zp-+-+&
5+-+-+l+-%
4-+-+n+-+$
3+-sN-+N+-#
2PzPPzPQzPPzP"
1tR-vL-mKL+R!
xabcdefgh
Diagram 96
Black to move

Black resigns.

If Black defends the attacked Knight with 6... d6-d5, 7. d2-d3 wins the poor beast, while if 6... Qd8-e7, there comes 7. Nc3-d5, when 7... Qe7-e6 loses to 8. Nd5xc7+ (FORK!) and if, say, 7... Qe7-d8, 8. d2-d3 again wins the Knight. The Knight is doomed and you don't play on a piece down against a Grandmaster.

You can often win games against opponents who forget to castle by getting a Rook or Queen onto the e-file, using your pawns to open up the position in front of his King. Then if one of his pieces is in the way it will be PINNED so you can keep on attacking it and maybe win it. If one of your pieces is in the way you will have a strong DISCOVERED CHECK, capturing or attacking another enemy piece at the same time.

The best way to head for this sort of position is to play the Ruy Lopez with White. Here's a simple example which will show you how easy it is for Black to go wrong. It starts with an opening variation we looked at in Chapter 3.

1. e2-e4 e7-e5
2. Ng1-f3 Nb8-c6
3. Bf1-b5 a7-a6
4. Bb5xc6 d7xc6

When White exchanges Bishop for Knight on move 4 he's playing the Exchange Variation of the Ruy Lopez. In Chapter 3 we saw that if White tries to win a pawn with Nf3xe5, Black has several ways of getting the pawn back at once: a QUEEN FORK (Qd8-d4), another QUEEN FORK (Qd8-g5) or a SKEWER (Qd8-e7). But instead of taking the pawn at once White can try a different idea.

5. 0-0

Now Black should defend the e-pawn with a move like f7-f6, Qd8-d6, Bf8-d6 or even Bc8-g4 (PIN!). If he decides to attack White's e-pawn instead he can easily run into trouble on the e-file.

5... Ng8-f6?!
6. Nf3xe5 (Diagram 97)
XABCDEFGH
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7+pzp-+pzpp'
6p+p+-sn-+&
5+-+-sN-+-%
4-+-+P+-+$
3+-+-+-+-#
2PzPPzP-zPPzP"
1tRNvLQ+RmK-!
xabcdefgh
Diagram 97
Black to move

Now there are two ways Black can go badly wrong.

Firstly, he can try a QUEEN FORK, but this time it doesn't work because the White Rook is already in play.

6... Qd8-d4?
7. Ne5-f3 Qd4xe4??
8. Rf1-e1 (PIN!)

PINNING and winning the Queen.

Or secondly he can take the e-pawn at once. (Go back to Diagram 97)

6... Nf6xe4?
7. Rf1-e1 Ne4-f6??

And you know what to do now, don't you? 8. Ne5xc6+ (DISCOVERED CHECK), winning the Queen.

Now for a real game in which Black found another way to lose quickly from Diagram 97.

White: Moore Black: Peto
British Columbia 1980
Opening: Ruy Lopez

1. e2-e4 e7-e5
2. Ng1-f3 Nb8-c6
3. Bf1-b5 a7-a6
4. Bb5xc6 d7xc6
5. 0-0 Ng8-f6?!
6. Nf3xe5

And we're back at Diagram 97. Black decided to delay taking the e-pawn...

6... Bf8-d6
7. Ne5-c4 Nf6xe4
8. Qd1-e2 (PIN!) Qd8-e7

9. Rf1-e1 Ne4-f6?? (Diagram 98)

XABCDEFGH
8r+l+k+-tr(
7+pzp-wqpzpp'
6p+pvl-sn-+&
5+-+-+-+-%
4-+N+-+-+$
3+-+-+-+-#
2PzPPzPQzPPzP"
1tRNvL-tR-mK-!
xabcdefgh
Diagram 98
White to move

The only move to stay alive was 9... Bc8-e6, attacking c4 and hoping for 10. Qe2xe4 Be6xc4 11. Qe4xc4?? Qe7xe1+.

10. Nc4xd6+ (DESTROY!)

Black resigns, of course. After 10... c7xd6 he loses both Queen and King next move. Or after 10... Ke8-f8, White wins simply by 11. Qe2xe7+ Kf8-g8 12. Qe7xf7#.

This sort of thing happens a lot in the Ruy Lopez. You see how important it is to castle early when the e-file is open. Number one,. you get your King into safety, and number two, your Rook can reach the e-file and harass the enemy monarch. Why not try playing some games with the Ruy Lopez yourself? The key moves are: 0-0, to bring the Rook into play, Rf1-e1, to line up your Rook against the enemy King, and either Bb5xc6 followed by Nf3xe5, or, if he doesn't allow this, d2-d4 to get rid of his e-pawn. Don't bother to defend your e-pawn. You want the file to be clear of pawns for your Rook.

Just to show you that this sort of thing really does happen look at the first few moves of two games played by Luke McShane a few days after his sixth birthday. They both started 1. e2-e4 e7-e5 2. Ng1-f3 Nb8-c6 3. Bf1-b5 Ng8-f6 (The Berlin Defence to the Ruy Lopez) 4. Bb5xc6 (The usual move here is 4. 0-0.) Now one of his opponents played 4... b7xc6 5. 0-0 Nf6xe4 6. Rf1-e1 d7-d5 7. d2-d3 Ne4-f6 8. Nf3xe5 Bf8-d6? 9. Ne5xc6+ (AMBUSH! winning the Queen. The other game continued 4... d7xc6 5. 0-0 Nf6xe4 6. Rf1-e1 Qd8-d5? 7. d2-d3 Ne4-f6 8. Re1xe5+ (FORK!), again winning the Queen.

4. The Pawn Fork

Take out your chess board and put white pawns on e4 and d4. Now put a Black Knight on f6 and a Black Bishop on d6. Advancing the pawn from e4 to e5 forks the Black Knight and Bishop and will win either one or the other. Now move the White e-pawn back to e4, the Black Bishop to e6 and the Knight to c6. Again White can win one of them with a pawn fork. Do you see how? That's right, d4-d5. Here's an example of this idea from a rather bad game played in the 1937 Chess Olympics. The loser, as in a game you saw in Chapter 3, was a Scotsman. (Scottish readers will be pleased to hear that the Scots are much better at chess now than they were in the 1930s!)

White: Karlis Ozols Black: Peter Reid
Chess Olympics Stockholm 1937
Opening: English Opening

1. c2-c4

This is called the English Opening in honour of Howard Staunton, who was probably the best player in the world between 1843 and 1851.

1... e7-e5
2. Nb1-c3 Nb8-c6
3. g2-g3 Bf8-c5
4. Bf1-g2 d7-d6
5. e2-e3 Ng8-f6
6. Ng1-e2 Bc8-e6? (Diagram 99)

XABCDEFGH
8r+-wqk+-tr(
7zppzp-+pzpp'
6-+nzplsn-+&
5+-vl-zp-+-%
4-+P+-+-+$
3+-sN-zP-zP-#
2PzP-zPNzPLzP"
1tR-vLQmK-+R!
xabcdefgh
Diagram 99
White to move

Now White can win a piece by playing d2-d4, and, if the Bishop moves from c5, d4-d5 forking the Knight on c6 and the Bishop on e6. Did he see it? No!

7. Nc3-d5? Nc6-b4?

Black again makes a mistake which loses a piece. This time White notices it.

8. Nd5xb4

Black resigns, because after Bc5xb4 White wins the Bishop with Qd1-a4+. Yes, that's right. Our old friend the QUEEN FORK on a4. Not a very good game for the Olympics, was it? I'm sure you could have done better!

This PAWN FORK idea comes up a lot and players often miss it. Always look our for the idea of advancing a centre pawn to attack two enemy pieces.

Let's look now at a slightly different way of using a PAWN FORK.

1. e2-e4 e7-e5
2. Ng1-f3 Nb8-c6
3. Nb1-c3 Ng8-f6
4. Bf1-c4 Nf6xe4

This looks silly, giving up a piece. But Black's seen a pawn fork.

5. Nc3xe4 d7-d5 (Diagram 100)

XABCDEFGH
8r+lwqkvl-tr(
7zppzp-+pzpp'
6-+n+-+-+&
5+-+pzp-+-%
4-+L+N+-+$
3+-+-+N+-#
2PzPPzP-zPPzP"
1tR-vLQmK-+R!
xabcdefgh
Diagram 100
White to move

FORKING two pieces. Whatever White does, Black gets the piece back with at least an equal game. Remember this and try it out in your games.

WARNING! Be careful. This idea doesn't work if you have a Bishop on c4 (if you're White) or c5 (if you're Black). For instance:

1. e2-e4 e7-e5
2. Ng1-f3 Nb8-c6
3. Bf1-c4 Bf8-c5
4. Nf3xe5? Nc6xe5
5. d2-d4 (Diagram 101)
XABCDEFGH
8r+lwqk+ntr(
7zppzpp+pzpp'
6-+-+-+-+&
5+-vl-sn-+-%
4-+LzPP+-+$
3+-+-+-+-#
2PzPP+-zPPzP"
1tRNvLQmK-+R!
xabcdefgh
Diagram 101
Black to move

5... Ne5xc4
6. d4xc5
and Black is a knight for a pawn up. BE CAREFUL!

Finally, another very short game, which until 1984 shared the record for the shortest win between players of master standard.

White: Georgy Agzamov Black: Vladimir Veremeichik
USSR Junior Championship 1968
Opening: Queen's Pawn Game

1. d2-d4 Ng8-f6
2. Ng1-f3 c7-c5
3. Bc1-f4 c5xd4

4. Nf3xd4? e7-e5! (Diagram 102)

XABCDEFGH
8rsnlwqkvl-tr(
7zpp+p+pzpp'
6-+-+-sn-+&
5+-+-zp-+-%
4-+-sN-vL-+$
3+-+-+-+-#
2PzPP+PzPPzP"
1tRN+QmKL+R!
xabcdefgh
Diagram 102
White to move
White resigns.

Why? A PAWN FORK, yes, but why can't he just take the Pawn with his Bishop? The answer's an idea you've seen before. Surprise, surprise. It's another QUEEN FORK. After 5. Bf4xe5, Qd8-a5+ zaps the Bishop on e5.

QUIZ

This quiz covers what you have learned in the last two chapters. There will be questions on the Giuoco Piano, and also on opening traps. Ten questions to answer. If you failed to score at least four out of five on the first half, go back and re-read Chapter 6. And if you scored less than four on Questions 6 to 10 go back to the beginning on this chapter. If you scored four or five in each half, well done. You can go on to the next chapter.
Q1.
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4-+LzPP+-+$
3+-zP-+N+-#
2PzP-+-zPPzP"
1tRNvLQmK-+R!
xabcdefgh
vBlack to move.
Would you play:
a) Bc5-b6, b) Bc5-d6, c) Bc5-e7 or d) e5xd4?
Q4.
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5+-+-+-+-%
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3+-+-+N+-#
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1tR-+QmK-+R!
xabcdefgh
Black to move.
Would you play:
a) Nc6-a5, b) d7-d6, c) d7-d5 or d) 0-0?
Q5.
XABCDEFGH
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4-vlLzPn+-+$
3+-sN-+N+-#
2PzP-+-zPPzP"
1tR-vLQmK-+R!
xabcdefgh
White to move.
Would you play:
a) 0-0, b) Bc4xf7+ c) Qd1-b3, d) Qd1-e2?
Q6.
XABCDEFGH
8r+l+k+-tr(
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White to move.
What would you play?
Q7.
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6-+pvl-sn-+&
5+-+-sN-+-%
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White to move.
What would you play?
Q8.
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5+-+p+-+-%
4-+-sNn+-+$
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White to move.
What would you play?
Q9.
XABCDEFGH
8r+lwqk+-tr(
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6p+pvl-sn-+&
5+-+-+-+-%
4-+-wQP+-+$
3+-+-+N+-#
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1tRNvL-+RmK-!
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White to move.
What would you play?
Q10.
XABCDEFGH
8r+-wq-trk+(
7zppzp-+pzp-'
6-+nzplsn-zp&
5+Lvl-zp-+-%
4-+-+P+-+$
3+-zP-+N+P#
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1tRNvLR+-mK-!
xabcdefgh
White to move.
What would you play?
ACTIVITIES

In the next chapter we'll be looking at some more King and Pawn endings. Diagrams 103 and 104 are positions you'll meet then. Play against your training partner, taking White and Black in turn, writing down your moves, and see how what you play compares with what really ought to happen.

XABCDEFGH
8-+-+k+-+(
7zpp+-+pzpp'
6-+-+-+-+&
5+-+-+-+-%
4-+-+-+-+$
3+-+-+-+-#
2PzPP+-zPPzP"
1+-+-mK-+-!
xabcdefgh
Diagram 103
White to play
XABCDEFGH
8-+-+k+-+(
7+-+-+-zpp'
6-+-+-+-+&
5+-+-+-+-%
4-+-+-+-+$
3+-+-+-+-#
2-+-+-zPPzP"
1+-+-mK-+-!
xabcdefgh
Diagram 104
White to play


X

Masters of the Universe 7

As Alekhine, the reigning World Champion, had died in 1946, there was no World Champion. So in 1948 FIDE (the International Chess Federation - it's pronounced FEE-DAY) invited the best players in the world to compete in a tournament to decide the new champion. The competitors were former World Champion Max Euwe, the former boy prodigy from the USA, Sammy Reshevsky, and three players from the Soviet Union, Mikhail Botvinnik, Paul Keres and Vasily Smyslov. Botvinnik ran out a convincing winner with 14 points out of 20, ahead of Smyslov (11), Keres and Reshevsky (10) and an out-of-form Euwe (4).

The new champion was born in Leningrad in 1911 and learned chess at school when he was 12. In the 1920s many chess clubs were organised in the Soviet Union and children were encouraged to learn how to play chess. Young Mikhail Botvinnik studied hard and in 1925 beat World Champion Capablanca in a Simultaneous Display. When he was 18 Mikhail won his first Master Tournament, and in the 1930s he became one of the world's best players. But because of the Second World War he did not get a chance to play for the World Championship until 1948.

As well as organising the World Championship Tournament in 1948, FIDE also arranged a series of tournaments to find the next challenger for the title, Botvinnik's first challenger was another Soviet player, David Bronstein. There match in 1951 was drawn, so, according to the rules, Botvinnik retained his title. He also drew with his second challenger, Vasily Smyslov, in 1954. You'll read about his later matches in the next two chapters. Here are two of his games.

White: Paul Keres Black: Mikhail Botvinnik
USSR Absolute Championship Leningrad/Moscow, 1941
Opening: Nimzo-Indian Defence

1. d2-d4 Ng8-f6
2. c2-c4 e7-e6
3. Nb1-c3 Bf8-b4

'Nimzo-Indian Defence' is a strange name for an opening. Openings which start with 1. d2-d4 Ng8-f6 2. c2-c4 are known as Indian Defences. This particular one was made popular by Aron Nimzowitsch, one of the best players of the 1920s. Hence, Nimzo-Indian Defence. Black PINS the Knight on c3 to prevent White from dominating the centre with e2-e4.

4. Qd1-c2 d7-d5
5. c4xd5 e6xd5
6. Bc1-g5 h7-h6
7. Bg5-h4 c7-c5
8. 0-0-0?! (Diagram 105)

XABCDEFGH
8rsnlwqk+-tr(
7zpp+-+pzp-'
6-+-+-sn-zp&
5+-zpp+-+-%
4-vl-zP-+-vL$
3+-sN-+-+-#
2PzPQ+PzPPzP"
1+-mKR+LsNR!
xabcdefgh
Diagram 105
Black to move

It turns out that the White King is in trouble here. Black can open the c-file and put his Rook on c8 in line with White's Queen and King.

8... Bb4xc3
9. Qc2xc3 g7-g5
10. Bh4-g3 c5xd4
11. Qc3xd4 Nb8-c6
12. Qd4-a4 Bc8-f5
13. e2-e3 Ra8-c8
14. Bf1-d3?

This lets Black set up a dangerous PIN. Better, according to Botvinnik, was Ng1-e2, heading to c3 to defend the King.

14... Qd8-d7

Unpinning the Knight to threaten a DISCOVERED CHECK. White must move his King.

15. Kc1-b1 Bf5xd3+
16. Rd1xd3 Qd7-f5 (PIN!)

Keres has to give up a pawn to break the pin and save his Rook.

17. e3-e4 Nf6xe4
18. Kb1-a1 00
19. Rd3-d1 (Diagram 106)

XABCDEFGH
8-+r+-trk+(
7zpp+-+p+-'
6-+n+-+-zp&
5+-+p+qzp-%
4Q+-+n+-+$
3+-+-+-vL-#
2PzP-+-zPPzP"
1mK-+R+-sNR!
xabcdefgh
Diagram 106
Black to move

Botvinnik now returns his extra pawn so that his Knight can reach d4, followed by c2.

19... b7-b5!
20. Qa4xb5 Nc6-d4! (DECOY!)
21. Qb5-d3 Nd4-c2+
22. Ka1-b1 Nc2-b4

White resigns. The game might finish 23. Qd3-e3 Ne4-d2+ 24. Kb1-a1 Nb4-c2#

If you look at g1 and h1 you'll see why Keres lost the game. Botvinnik was able to develop his pieces with threats against White's King and Queen. White was never given a chance to complete his development.

The next game comes from the end of Botvinnik's career. His opponent in this game was Hungary's Number One for many years.

White: Mikhail Botvinnik Black: Lajos Portisch
Monte Carlo 1968
Opening: English Opening

1. c2-c4 e7-e5
2. Nb1-c3 Ng8-f6
3. g2-g3 d7-d5
4. c4xd5 Nf6xd5

Sometimes one opening can look like another one the other way round. Here the English Opening is being played like a Sicilian Defence (1. e2-e4 c7-c5) with colours reversed.

5. Bf1-g2 Bc8-e6
6. Ng1-f3 Nb8-c6
7. 0-0 Nd5-b6
8. d2-d3 Bf8-e7
9. a2-a3 a7-a5
10. Bc1-e3 0-0
11. Nc3-a4 Nb6xa4
12. Qd1xa4 Be6-d5
13. Rf1-c1 Rf8-e8
14. Rc1-c2 Be7-f8
15. Ra1-c1 Nc6-b8? (Diagram 107)

XABCDEFGH
8rsn-wqrvlk+(
7+pzp-+pzpp'
6-+-+-+-+&
5zp-+lzp-+-%
4Q+-+-+-+$
3zP-+PvLNzP-#
2-zPR+PzPLzP"
1+-tR-+-mK-!
xabcdefgh
Diagram 106
White to move

Portisch is plannning Bd5-c6 and Nb8-d7. He thinks Botvinnik can't take the c-pawn because his Rook will be trapped. But he's in for a nasty shock.

16. Rc2xc7! Bd5-c6
17. Rc1xc6! Nb8xc6
18. Rc7xf7!!

A big surprise. If Black takes the Rook he loses: 18... Kg8xf7 19. Qa4-c4+ Kf7-e7 or f6 20. Be3-g5 (SKEWER!), winning the Queen, or 19... Re8-e6 20. Nf3-g5+ (FORK!) and Black's position falls apart.

18... h7-h6
19. Rf7xb7 Qd8-c8

20. Qa4-c4+ Kg8-h8 (Diagram 108)

XABCDEFGH
8r+q+rvl-mk(
7+R+-+-zp-'
6-+n+-+-zp&
5zp-+-zp-+-%
4-+Q+-+-+$
3zP-+PvLNzP-#
2-zP-+PzPLzP"
1+-+-+-mK-!
xabcdefgh
Diagram 108
White to move

21. Nf3-h4!

White's third Rook sacrifice in the space of six moves! This time Portisch has nothing better than to take it.

21... Qc8xb7
22. Nh4-g6+ Kh8-h7
23. Bg2-e4 (AMBUSH!) Bf8-d6
24. Ng6xe5+

DISCOVERED CHECK!

24... g7-g6
25. Be4xg6+ Kh7-g7
26. Be3xh6+!

Black resigns, because of 26... Kg7xh6 27. Qc4-h4+ Kh6-g7 28. Qh4-h7+ (SKEWER!).

LESSONS FROM CHAPTER 7

1. LOOK OUT FOR ATTACKING CHANCES ON THE e-FILE IN THE RUY LOPEZ AND PETROFF'S DEFENCE.

2. IF YOU'RE DEFENDING AGAINST THE RUY LOPEZ CASTLE QUICKLY WHILE MAKING SURE YOUR OPPONENT CANNOT WIN YOUR e-PAWN.

3. LOOK OUT FOR PAWN FORKS, ESPECIALLY EARLY IN THE GAME.

4. REMEMBER THE IDEA OF SACRIFICING A KNIGHT ON e5/e4 TO SET UP A PAWN FORK, BUT DON'T PLAY IT IF YOU'VE GOT A BISHOP ON c4/c5.