Kenilworth Kibitzer

A blog for members of the Kenilworth Chess Club.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


A Tale of Two Bishops

#14  Taimanov-Petrosian  (click here to view on

Taimanov comes up with an original plan to try to crack the Nimzo-Indian, which had served Black very well in this tournament.  To free his bishops White clearly wants to play f3 and e4 (as he virtually always does in the Nimzo-Indian), at which point he would stand better because of the bishop pair and open lines.  Here one crimp to that plan is the knight on c6, which White spends time to eliminate.

11. Ne5   Qc7
12. Nxc6 Qxc6
13. f3    Be6
14. Qe1  Nd7
15. e4

Bronstein: In no other Nimzo-Indian was White able to get in e3-e4 so quickly and effectively, opening diagonals for both his bishops at once.  The slightest misstep from Black could result in his king's falling under a powerful attack - Qh4 is already threatened. 

15. ....  c4?
Bronstein points out 15. .... f5!  as a remedy, a difficult but necessary and indeed good move to make.  In response to White's aggression Black should counter in the center and try to put his transient lead in development to use.  Bronstein supports his analysis with several variations, but more importantly what is the alternative?  The move played seeks to shut down lines and create a defensive wall, but surely Yaacov would cringe at the sight of the forlorn Black bishop - Black is playing a piece down already.

16. Bc2  f5   
17. e5    Rf7
18. a4   a5
19. f4    b5?!

Bronstein: White has a clear plan of attack: h3, Kh2, Rg1, g4, Qg3 or Qh4....Petrosian's attempt to divert his opponent with his extra queenside pawn is understandable, but now a breach appears in his fortress.....

20. axb   Qxb5
21. Ba3   Nb6     (White's 'bad' bishop is sitting pretty)
22. Qh4  Qe8
23. Rf3   Nc8
24. Ba4!  Rd7     (24. ... Bd7  25. e6! Qxe6  26. Qd8+ [Bronstein]; now Petrosian tries his patent exchange sacrifice)
25. Rb1   Qd8    
26. Bxd7!

White is so dominant he can even sacrifice his queen here, getting rook, bishop, pawn and connected passers for his trouble.

26. ....  Qxd7
27. Rg3  Na7
28. Be7  Bf7
29. Qg5  Bg6
30.  h4  Nc6
31. Ba3  Nd8
32.  h5  Ne6
33. Qh4  Bf7
34.  h6  g6
35. Qf6  Qd8
36. Be7  Qc7

and finally the moment we've been waiting for...
37. Rxg6+!  hxg6
38. h7+    Kxh7
39. Qxf7+  Ng7
40. Kf2      1-0

It's probably not so often a defensive master like Petrosian gets punk'd, but there it is.  


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