Material imbalance on one side of the board

February 1, 2008

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 c6 5.Nf3 Be7


Black decides not to go for the super-sharp Moscow variation starting with 5…h6 6.Bh4

6.e3 O-O 7.Bd3 dxc4 8.Bxc4 b5 9.Bd3 Nbd7 10.O-O Bb7 11.Ne5 Nxe5 12.dxe5 Nd5


Not in itself a bad move. I thought Nd7 was probably better, putting pressure on e5, though I was planning to follow up with f4. In fact this does have the benefit of placing the knight on an active square, and if I decide to trade knights, capturing with the c-pawn solidifies the black pawn structure.

13.Bxe7 Nxe7

I would have preferred to take with the queen instead, leaving the knight on a good square.

14.Ne4 Nc8

My knight is extremely well placed on e4, threatening to jump into d6. It also prevents c5 just yet (activating black’s bishop). Black’s move is designed to prevent Nd6, but this is too early. Black is already behind in development and is effectively “undeveloping” a piece here. 14…Qb6 was probably a much better move here, again threatening c5, and connecting black’s rooks. Nc8 might have become an option, if and when I plonked my knight onto d6.

15.Rc1 Qd5?



Bringing my rook to a very active square and forcing the queen to go back to d7 or d8.


Choosing to grab a pawn instead. Black’s kingside is dangerously weak while all of my pieces (except for the rook on f1) are perfectly positioned for an all-out attack. I wouldn’t say black is lost already but he is already in lots of trouble.




This leads to forced mate. 17…Kh8 is not pleasant by any means, but was the only chance.

18.Qg4+ Kh8 19.exf6 Rg8


20.Qh4 Rg6



Bringing us to the title of this post. White has 3 pieces (plus the pawn on f6, which controls g7, a very important square) attacking the black kingside, while black has just the one rook defending. Even though black is up a knight, the only thing that matters in this attack is the number of pieces on the black kingside.

21…Kg8 22.Rxh7 Kf8 23.Bxg6


Eliminating the last black defender.

23…fxg6 24.Qh6+ Ke8 25.Qxg6+


With mate to follow next move, black resigned.

On another note, for the first time in two and a half years, I played a serious over-the-board game in league play. I lost, but I think I had some winning positions which I couldn’t find a way to convert. I plan to sit down and analyze the game over the weekend and hopefully have it up here as well. My next game is on Monday night.


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