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S. Evans vs E. Knesevitch

Sicilian Defense, Sveshnikov

The game for this chess lesson comes from the final match of the tournament. We were 5-0 as a team and facing off against another very strong team. This match came down to the wire and ended in a 2-2 tie. Every point in this match was hard earned and Ed’s wins in this match helped us get the result.

PGN ANALYSIS
Cinematic Video

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jQuery(document).ready(function($) { var selector = '#' + "rpbchessboard-63e0e0561d596-1" + ' .rpbchessboard-chessgameAnchor'; RPBChessboard.renderPGN($(selector), {"pgn":"[Event \"World Team East\"] [Site \"Internet Chess Club\"] [Date \"2021.02.14\"] [Round \"6\"] [White \"Evans, Serena\"] [Black \"Knesevitch, Ed\"] [Result \"0-1\"] [ECO \"B33\"] [Annotator \"macmo\"] [PlyCount \"124\"] [EventDate \"2021.??.??\"] [SourceDate \"2014.01.17\"] [TimeControl \"3600+10\"] {At this point in the tournament our team was 5-0 and we were paired up against another New Jersey team that we were very familiar with. We knew it was going to be a very tough match. Eventually the match was tied 2-2 and this was our team’s only win. Our entire team had been studying the Sicilian in preparation for the tournament and our board 4, Ed Knesevitch, was able to put some of that practice to use in this game.} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 {This is the Sveshnikov Sicilian. It was played by Magnus Carlsen in every game of his last World Championship match against Fabiano Caruana. It’s one of the most respected openings against 1. e4.} 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bg5 {Serena opts to go into the mainline. Theory in this variation can run extremely deep depending on which line White wants to play. The biggest upside to White’s position is the fantastic outpost they have on d5. On the other hand, Black will often gain the bishop pair and have counterplay against the center using pawn strikes like f7-f5.} a6 8. Na3 b5 9. Nd5 Be7 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 { This is standard theory} 11. Nxf6+ $2 {[#] Serena veers off the beaten path. The knight on d5 is a more valuable piece than the bishop on f6. White should play to maintain the powerful grip they have on the light squares while bringing the a3-knight back into the game.} (11. c3 {Intending to bring the knight back to c2 and then e3 or b4 would be a very reasonable and common way to play.}) (11. c4 {This is also a fine way to bring the knight back into the game.}) 11... gxf6 $2 {There are many positions in the Sveshnikov in which Black wants to capture back towards the center, however this is an exception.} (11... Qxf6 $1 {Black’s activity will lead to a better game here. Black will have no issues with castling and will quickly be able to complete their development, while white still needs more time to bring the a3-knight back into the game.}) 12. c4 Qa5+ (12... Nd4 $1 {Black can take advantage of this juicy square by occupying it immediately.} 13. cxb5 Qa5+ 14. Qd2 axb5 $15) 13. Qd2 Qxd2+ 14. Kxd2 $11 b4 15. Nc2 f5 16. exf5 Bxf5 17. Ne3 (17. Bd3 {Serena is best off trading the light-squared bishops if Black allows it. The game is pretty balanced here.} Bxd3 18. Kxd3 f5 19. a3 {White would even be pushing for an advantage here if she can soften up the queenside a bit.}) 17... Be6 18. g3 (18. Bd3 $1 {Creating a grip of the f5 square would be very valuable.}) 18... Nd4 $1 19. Bg2 Ra7 (19... Rc8 20. b3 h5 $1) 20. Rac1 Rc7 21. Nd5 Bxd5 22. Bxd5 (22. cxd5 $11 Rxc1 23. Rxc1 Kd8 {White’s control of the c-file is compensated by the fact that their bishop is a bit closed in as well as Black’s strong knight on d4.}) 22... Ke7 23. Rhe1 f6 24. Rcd1 Rc5 25. Kc1 Kd7 26. Kb1 b3 $2 (26... a5 {Connecting the queenside pawns is also a strong idea.} ) (26... h5 {Once again, exchanging the h-pawn would be an ideal plan for Black. It would open up the rook on h8 and get rid of Ed’s only isolated pawn.} ) 27. a3 $2 (27. axb3 $1 Nxb3 $11 28. Re3 Nd4 29. g4 {[#] The rook’s access along the third rank will give white the chance to attack black’s isolated pawns.}) 27... a5 28. Re4 h5 $1 29. Re3 h4 30. g4 Rh7 {At this point in the match, it looked like either team could win. As a team we really needed Ed to press for a win here and he managed to do just that.} (30... a4 $1 $15) 31. h3 a4 $1 32. Rf1 (32. f4 {This would help restrict black’s kingside advances. The e5-pawn is tied down to the knight and the f6-pawn needs to stay guarding the e5 pawn. If white can play f4-f5 next turn the position will be completely locked up.}) 32... Ne6 33. Bxe6+ Kxe6 34. Rc1 Rhc7 $19 35. Rec3 e4 $2 (35... f5 $1 $19) 36. Re1 (36. f3 $1 {Black is still winning but it’s more difficult.}) 36... Rxc4 37. Rxe4+ Rxe4 38. Rxc7 Re1+ 39. Rc1 {[#]} Re2 (39... Rxc1+ { Everyone knows that trading when ahead is usually a path to victory. Here Black isn’t ahead in material but Ed’s king is much more active than his opponent’s which proves to be decisive. The following variation is an example of the difference in king strength.} 40. Kxc1 Ke5 41. Kd2 Kf4 42. Ke2 d5 43. Kd3 Kf3 44. Kd4 Kxf2 45. Kxd5 Kg3 46. Ke6 Kxh3 47. Kxf6 Kxg4 {With a trivial win.}) 40. Rf1 f5 (40... d5 {This is even more effective than pushing the f-pawn here. Black’s d-pawn is dominating as it makes it up the board. White’s pieces are completely tied down.}) 41. g5 Kf7 42. Kc1 Kg6 43. f4 Rc2+ 44. Kb1 d5 45. Rc1 Rf2 46. Rc6+ Kf7 47. Rc7+ Ke6 48. g6 Rxf4 49. g7 Rf1+ 50. Rc1 Rxc1+ 51. Kxc1 Kf7 52. Kd2 Kxg7 53. Ke3 Kf6 54. Kf4 d4 55. Kf3 Ke5 56. Ke2 Ke4 57. Kf2 f4 58. Ke2 f3+ 59. Kf2 d3 60. Ke1 Ke3 61. Kd1 f2 62. Kc1 f1=Q# {A crucial and much needed victory for our team. At this point in the match I was still playing my own game against International Master Dean Ippolito. I was pushing for a win but eventually the game leveled out to a 3 move repitition, landing us in a massive tie for first with 5.5\/6. We were very fortunate to come out ahead on tiebreaks.} 0-1","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}); });

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S. Evans vs E. Knesevitch

Sicilian Defense, Sveshnikov

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. 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.

Go to  https://www.twitch.tv/PassersGG/ and watch Grandmaster Mac and his teammates streaming some fun chess with commentary. Chat and questions are encouraged!

Chess Lessons Passers Zhu Vs Finn
S. Evans
E. Knesevitch
Amateur Team Championship – East
February 14, 2021Internet Chess Club
The Sicilian Defence, Sveshnikov

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