Beating a Master in 10 Moves

If you want to beat a Master, you have to study chess. If you want to beast a Master in the opening, you have to study the openings.
Here’s what I mean:

 

Escalante-NM Adaar
Thematic Tournament – Winawer Variation, Round 2
Chess.com, Aug.-Sept. 2018
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 (The usual route to the Winawer. All games in the tournament began with this position.) 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 O-O (Some years ago Van der Tak wrote an article in NIC 8 titled, “Castling Into It?” where he explored Black’s kingside castling possibilities in the Poisoned Pawn Variation of the Winawer, and if it was a viable option for Black. I don’t think the resulting positions favor Black.) 8.Bd3! (Thanks to GM Van der Tak, and his article, I am convinced this move is stronger, with many ideas not yet explored, than most other books might suggest.) 8…Nbc6 9.Nf3

[If Black does not know the main line, then he (or she) has a problem coming up with a good plan. Here’s an example:

E.H. Al Rufei (2068)-Nebal Al Jelda
Women’s Zonal
Tehran, 2001
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 O-O 8.Nf3 Nbc6 9.Bd3 Nf5 10.Bg5 Qa5 11.O-O c4 12.Bxf5 exf5 13.Qg3 Kh8 14.Qh4 Qxc3 15.Bf6 gxf6 16.exf6 Rg8 17.Ng5 Rxg5 18.Qxg5 1-0

His (or her!) best move is 9…f5 10.exf6 Rxf6 11.Bg5 Rf7, with many books giving this position a “=”. But life, on or off the chessboard, is rarely simple as an equal sign. Back to the game. My opponent decided to try something different in this game.]

9…cxd4?? (This loses the game in a hurry.)

2018_09_13

10.Bxh7+! 1-0 [Black resigns due to 10…Kxh7 11.Qh5+ (stronger than the traditional Ng5+ as the potential escape square, g6, is denied to Black) 11…Kg8 12.Ng5 and White mates.]

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