IM Maurice Ashley (2445)
GM Robert Kempinski (2530)

Bayern-chI Bank Hofmann (6)
Bad Wiessee, 1997

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ The Rossolimo Variation. This move, along with the c3 Sicilian or "Alapin" variation have become very popular "anti-Siclian" lines. White avoids the well known lines of the Dragon, the Najdorf and the Sveshnikov while getting a decent game. The drawback is that white's slower approach gives black more time to complete development. 3... Nd7 3... Bd7 4. Bxd7+ Qxd7 5. c4 Nf6 6. Nc3 g6 is one approach. 4. d4 cxd4 5. Qxd4 This line is similar to the line 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4!? except the black Knight is on c6 instead of d7. 5... Ngf6 6. Bg5 a6 7. Bxd7+ Nxd7?! This move is questionable. Black cannot afford to play such moves while so far behind in development. In the 1st lesson, we emphasized the importance of developing the pieces. Still better is 7... Bxd7 8. Nc3 e6 9. O-O-O Bc6 10. Rhe1 Be7 and white has a slight advantage. 8. Nc3 Qb6 9. Qd2 It is better to avoid trades when an opponent is either behind in development or in a cramped position. Trades will lessen the pressure in these situations. 9... e6 10. O-O-O Qa5 What is black's plan here? Perhaps he is planning ...b5, ...Bb7 and ...Rc8, but white foils this plan with... 11. Qe1!

Why is GM Ashley playing such a strange move? Why does this move receive an (!)? Has he forgotten the very principles that he teaches? No... this move has many points. First, he creates indirect threats along the e-file; secondly, he frees the d2-square for his Bishop or Knight; lastly, he now threatens 12.Nd5! which would otherwise be met by Qxd2 (with check!) Thus 11.Qe1! threatens to win material with 12.Nd5! 11... Nb6 Is black trying a two-piece attack? Of course, black would lose immediately with 11... b5?? 12. Nd5! b4 (12... Qxe1 13. Nc7#) 13. Qxb4 Qc5 14. Qxc5 Nxc5 15. Nc7+ 12. b3 h6 13. Bd2 Qc5 14. Be3 Qc7 Black continues to fall behind and now white will begin to apply more pressure. 15. Bd4! This move is very hard to spot, but ties down black's kingside development and prepares 16.Qe3 attacking the Knight. Many Grandmasters agree that one of the most important things in chess is keeping the initiative. On 15. Nd4?! Be7 16. f4 Bd7 black will be able to complete his development. 15... Nd7 15... e5?! is a problem because black will have a permanent weakness on the d5-square. For example, 16. Bxb6 Qxb6 17. Nd5 Qc5 18. b4! Qc6 19. Rd3 as white keeps up the pressure. Remember... keep the initative or lose it! 16. Qe3 Qa5 Unbelievable. 17. Nd5! A typical sacrifice in these types of positions... set up by white's 11th move. Whenever you have pieces lined up on the enemy King, look for paths of attack. 17... exd5 18. exd5+ Kd8 Black decides to run as opposed to facing certain death after 18... Ne5 19. Nxe5 dxe5 20. Qxe5+ 19. Rhe1 Kc7 Black has to flee! 20. Rd3 Kb8 21. Qe8!

This move drives a wedge in black's undeveloped position. Notice that black hardly has any useful moves and still only has two pieces developed. Ashley has continued to charge ahead with the full strength of his pieces! 21... Nc5 22. Rc3 Ka7 22... b6!? 23. Nd2 Qb5 is the best try for black. When you're in a cramped position, try to trade down... especially if the Queens and Rooks are on the board. 23. Qxf7 Since black's pieces are inactive, white is able to pick off a crucial pawn. However, black will try to wiggle free as soon as possible. One of the hardest things in chess is to win a winning position. When this happens to you, calm down, don't get too excited... set up a plan. What would be your plan? 23... Bg4 24. b4! An excellent resource! 24... Qa4 I hope you saw that black goes up in flames after 24... Qxb4 25. Rb3! with a deadly attack on the b7-square. Notice that the black Knight is pinned. 25. bxc5 dxc5 26. Ne5!? Ashley calls this sacrificing "by verification." Since black only has two pieces out and white has five, that means that white is really up three pieces! If this is the case, then he can afford to sacrifice a piece to keep the attack going. 26... Bd7 Desperation. If you ever get in time trouble in a winning position, don't instinctively trade off pieces, unless you are up material. Otherwise, avoid trades, continue to make solid moves and coordinate your pieces so that your opponent cannot make quick captures and pick off material with checks. 26... cxd4 27. Rb3 Ba3+ 28. Kb1 Rab8 29. Nxg4 27. Be3 27. Qxd7 Qxd7 28. Rxc5! Did you see this amazing move? Sometimes it's easy to make quick moves, but always look for "in between moves." These are often deadly and unexpected by the opponent. 27... Qa5 Still searching for a tactical shot as Ashley's time continues to wind down. Kempinski is attacking a Rook. 28. Bd2 Qxa2 29. Rb3 Qa1+ 30. Rb1 Qa3+ The position is resignable, but the Polish Grandmaster is merely looking for cheap tactics in a lost position. Ashley's pieces are too well-coordinated for these things to work. 31. Kd1 Rd8 32. Nxd7 Qa2

33. Rxb7+!! Ashley has played with so much energy in this game that this move makes a nice finish. Can you see the end? 33... Kxb7 34. Nxc5+ Kb6 35. Qb7+! Kxc5 36. Bb4+ Kd4 37. Qb6+ Kc4 37... Kxd5 38. Qe6+ Kd4 39. Re4# ALWAYS finish the game as soon as possible.(There is no need to play 39. Qxa2 and prolong the game. NEVER toy with your opponent!) 38. Re4+ Kxd5 39. Qe6#

The lesson in this level of analysis is... INITIATIVE! GM Ashley never allowed the Polish Grandmaster to breath after he played poorly in the opening. Generally when you are ahead in development and the opponents forces are not coodinated, you can apply pressure and tactics will occur naturally. 1-0 [Shabazz D.]

Game(s) in PGN