skip to Main Content
Logo Grandmaster Chess Lessons

Adams vs Torre

Philidors defense, exchange variation

We all have to stay on the watch for occurring tactics. One of them been back rank combinations where the king is most vulnerable. In this lessons Edwin Ziegler Adams creates a beautiful miniature playing the Philidor’s defense  exchange variation against Carlos Torre Repetto.

PGN ANALYSIS
Cinematic Video

You must activate JavaScript to enhance chess game visualization.
jQuery(document).ready(function($) { var selector = '#' + "rpbchessboard-63e0cb06ba3ef-1" + ' .rpbchessboard-chessgameAnchor'; RPBChessboard.renderPGN($(selector), {"pgn":"[Site \"New Orleans, LA USA\"] [Date \"1920\"] [White \"Edwin Ziegler Adams\"] [Black \"Carlos Torre Repetto\"] [Result \"1-0\"] [ECO \"C62\"] [Annotator \"Mac\"] [PlyCount \"45\"] {In today’s article we are focusing on the idea of a weak back rank. The key to taking advantage of a weak back rank is to use the idea of deflection and double attack as we will see from this game.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 {The Philidor defense is not a popular opening at the highest levels of chess because it tends to be a little bit passive. Blocking in the dark-squared bishop like this can’t be the critical way of playing.} 3. d4 exd4 4. Qxd4 (4. Nxd4 { This is the normal recapture.} Nf6 5. Nc3 Be7 6. Bf4 {This is perhaps the mainline of the opening and can reach very sharp positions with opposite side castling.}) 4... Nc6 5. Bb5 Bd7 6. Bxc6 {The most logical move. Keeping white’s queen maintained in the center.} Bxc6 7. Nc3 Nf6 8. O-O Be7 9. Nd5 Bxd5 10. exd5 O-O 11. Bg5 c6 12. c4 {[#][%csl Re7][%cal Gg5e7] Here there is a very important defensive idea to learn for black. They should try to exchange pieces because they are cramped. The bishop on e7 in particular is struggling,} cxd5 (12... Nxd5 $1 {This is known as the elastic band trick. The knight stretches out but is ready to return back in good form.} 13. Bxe7 (13. cxd5 $1 Bxg5 14. dxc6 bxc6 15. Nxg5 Qxg5 16. Qxd6 $11 {Black has worse pawn structure but has broken free and should be able to hold a draw here.}) 13... Nxe7 { This is the idea behind the rubber band trick. Black is able to recapture and get their knight out of danger.}) 13. cxd5 Re8 14. Rfe1 a5 15. Re2 Rc8 $4 { Believe it or not this natural move is already a losing move. Black needs to immediately try to relieve the pressure down both the h4-d8 diagonal and the e-file.} (15... h6 $1 16. Bh4 Qd7 17. Rae1 Bd8 {This awkward continuation would have thwarted white’s growing pressure.}) 16. Rae1 $1 { [#] White is already winning here! The doubled rooks are too strong on the e-file but some imagination is required to bring the point home!} Qd7 {[%csl Re8]} 17. Bxf6 $1 Bxf6 {[#][%csl Re8,Rf7,Rg7,Rh7] Sometimes in chess there is a very clear signal that there is a tactic present. In this position the obvious sign is that the black king has no escape squares. At this point, white’s candidate moves should look to exploit the fact that Black needs to keep the back rank defended and especially the e8 square. The two most common ways to take advantage of a back rank will be deflection and double attack. Let’s see how white uses that here.} (17... gxf6 {[%csl Rc8][%cal Rg4g8]} 18. Rxe7 Rxe7 19. Rxe7 Qxe7 {[%csl Rc8,Rg8]} 20. Qg4+ {[%csl Gc8,Gg8][%cal Gg4c8,Gg4g8] This would have been a lot less flashy than the game but just as convincing.}) 18. Qg4 $3 {The idea of deflection is crucial when trying to penetrate to the back rank. Look for ways to knock away defending pieces by attacking them or capturing pieces they protect.} Qb5 {[%csl Re8]} (18... Qxg4 $4 19. Rxe8+) 19. Qc4 $3 {[#][%cal Yb5e8]} Qd7 {[%csl Re8]} 20. Qc7 $3 {White’s queen is invincible. Either capture that black plays here will leave the back rank indefensibly weak.} Qb5 (20... Rxc7 $4 21. Rxe8+ Qxe8 22. Rxe8#) 21. a4 $1 Qxa4 22. Re4 $1 Qb5 23. Qxb7 $1 {An amazing finish! There is no way for the black queen to stay on the a4-e8 diagonal, so the queen is lost.} 1-0","nboSquareSize":50,"idoSquareSize":50,"nboCoordinateVisible":true,"idoCoordinateVisible":true,"nboColorset":"greenvintage","idoColorset":"greenvintage","nboPieceset":"new-set-mac","idoPieceset":"new-set-mac","nboAnimated":true,"nboMoveArrowVisible":false,"nboMoveArrowColor":"b","pieceSymbols":"native","navigationBoard":"frame","withFlipButton":true,"withDownloadButton":true}); });

This video and PGN are free to use, share it with your friends or embed  it on your website. Click on the link icon on the overlay of the video    and copy the embed code to embed our video onto your website or blog. You can also download the PGN from the pgn tab after clicking the coordinates to follow the game.

Adams vs Torre

Philidors Defense, Exchange Variation

In chess many patterns will repeat themselves. A way to give yourself an advantage over your opponent is to practice recognizing the most important ones. In this article, we are going to see a very common tactical theme pop up, a weak back rank and back rank combinations. The key to recognizing this during a game is spotting a lack of escape squares, and vulnerable pieces defending the back rank. I am going to highlight this using the game Adams – Torre. This games features the most famous back rank combination ever played.

Grandmaster Mac Adams Vs Torre
Edwin Ziegler Adams
Carlos Torre Repetto
New Orleans, USA
1920
Philidors defense, Exchange Variation

Do you like this this lesson? Share it with your friends!

[elfsight_social_share_buttons id="1"]

“Many have become chess Masters; no one has become the master of chess.”

Siegbert Tarash

Learn to play chess online with us! Get dedicated online chess lessons , chess coaching and chess classes both in-person and online.  In addition we are a chess school that offers affordable and effective online grandmaster chess lessons! Our instructors are all chess grandmasters. Stay up to date on online chess classes information and to find the class that is right for you. Learn chess online here at Grandmaster Mac Online Chess Academy.

Back To Top