Greater Chicago Scholastic
If White castled queenside right
away, Black could play the center pawn break d6-d5.
White plays Bc4 first to stop d6-d5. This is called
the Yugoslav Attack. White attacks on the kingside
and Black attacks on the queenside. Chess masters
like to play both sides of this position, but in my
opinion for amateur and scholastic players it is
easier to play for White than for Black. White just
pushes his pawns in a "pawn storm" on the kingside,
while Black has to combine piece and pawn moves in a
more complicated way on the queenside.
The Black king's best defender is
the bishop on g7, so White trades it off.
White trades off another Black
defender, the knight on f6.
Notice how Black's pawns are much
slower than White's pawns, and Black's queen is
blocking his own b-pawn from pushing forward.
The Black rook on h5 is the last
defender of the Black king, so once again White
trades the defender off.
The point of the pawn storm is to
open files in front of the king, and now White has
an open h-file to attack on. He threatens Qh2 with a
devastating queen and rook invasion against the
Black recognizes the danger, and
after a long think he prepares an escape route for
White probably didn't need this
safety move with his king before playing Qf4+.
Black has done an excellent job
of running away with his king, and there is no
guarantee that White will be able to catch him. But
now White finds an excellent and very accurate
combination of checks to win the game:
When I was watching the game, I
was expecting 30.Qxb7+. But Arjun Nandy looked
deeper and moved his queen to f7 to check for a very
good reason, as we will see two moves later!
The point! The queen checked on
f7 so that now the bishop on f5 is pinned! So the
bishop can't take the knight on e6, which wins the
Black queen with this fork.
And after winning the queen,
White went on to win the game.
The most amazing tactic I saw in
the tournament was by Ryan Toepfer vs. Derek
Mizushima on Board 2 in the last round of the K-6
Varsity section. Derek played very well and was up a
rook, but Ryan saw a beautiful hidden tactic to win
the queen, and went on to win the game.
Ryan as Black had a rook on e8,
protected by his king on f8, and it was pinning the
White queen on e6 with the White king on e2. But
Derek as White had just played one of his rooks down
to d8, counter-pinning the Black rook on e8. Derek's
other rook on d1 protected his rook on d8. But now
Ryan's amazing tactic was his queen on b4 moved
...Qxc4+!! Since the white queen on e6 is still
pinned, it can't take the Black queen on c4. White
has to get out of check, and next move Black will
play Queen takes Queen on e6, winning the white
queen. Ryan did this and went on to checkmate and
win several moves later.
There are many examples of this
tactical pattern from real games in chess puzzle
books, which means that many chess masters don't see
it coming either. This game was a good experience
for both Ryan and Derek, who I am sure will both use
this tactic to win a lot of games in the future.
Ryan deserves a lot of credit for
finding this beautiful tactic, but the first thing
Ryan said to Derek after the game was, "I was very
lucky, you were winning." This is excellent
sportsmanship: After winning, Ryan gave his opponent
credit for playing well and having a winning
position most of the game. Derek also exhibited good
sportsmanship in defeat, not complaining or getting
angry or upset, even though it is always painful to
lose a tough game when you were winning. It was so
pleasant to see both players' good sportsmanship,
instead of the opposite situation where the player
who lost tells the winner, "You were very lucky,"
which is bad sportsmanship. As a tournament director
and teacher, I am always happy to see players being
good sports whether they win or lose.