Friday seems to be the day where i can publish a post here, however last Friday i was at the state finals helping out and didn’t get to publish anything.
Today i would like to discuss compensation. Of all the games that I recorded at the state finals, one really stood out, it was round 8 on board 1. Jason Tang won the individual prize on count back, but this was the game where he shouldn’t have won. His opponent, Allen Yu, played much like I would have, and went for an attack to put Jason under pressure. But at the critical moment he did not follow through with his attack and allowed Jason to consolidate his position. After I asked Allen what he was thinking in backing down, and he said that he couldn’t find a way to breakthrough or even draw. He and Jason were astonished when I said; “there was a forced draw that I saw during the game.” “Where???” They both said, Allen was annoyed with himself and Jason trying to refuse that it was the case.
I set up the board at the position after blacks 31st move, “Ne7+ draws doesn’t it?” they looked at it and were confused, they both claim to have seen it during the game, but amazingly neither of them looked at it for more than 2 moves! If Allen had taken a little more time he would have seem what I had during the game In that Ne7+ was a draw because of Ng6+ to follow and if black tries to avoid the perpetual check then he would lose his queen, this would allow white to equalise material and have initiative. In this case the attacker didn’t do what they needed to and the defender defended fairly well, this was not the case in my recent game against Ruben Nowak.
Ruben grabbed a pawn and didn’t appreciate the pressure that white would get in return. And once he made a mistake he did the worst thing a chess player could do! Make more mistakes deliberately because he would lose anyway, in his words, “I was going to lose so it didn’t matter” That’s rubbish; if the defender gives in then they will quickly lose, if they fight on, they might get back into the game.
When most people sacrifice a pawn in the way I did they expect to see a clear plan of attack, my compensation was a little different and somewhat even more dangerous. It wasn’t that I had a clear plan; rather my opponent was struggling to find any constructive move that wouldn’t lose on the spot. An easier way to describe it is, ‘it’s hard to defend against invisible threats’. As it turns out perfect play would have resulted in a draw, I would like you to let me know what you would try in different positions for black, I won’t refute them, but I will happily explain my thoughts.