Seeing From A Different Perspective

While watching the games of the USCC yesterday at TWIC sans ‘engine’ analysis the following position captured my attention enough to cause me to break out the Chess set so as to be able to see the board from the perspective of the player of the black pieces, since it is black to move:


Black to move

Looking at the board from behind the white pieces makes it more difficult for me to “see” from the black player’s perspective, which is what one must do when attempting to visualize what possible move one’s opponent may produce. While looking at the board on the ‘puter at TWIC I was having trouble determining what move to make. The rule of “improving the position of your worst placed piece” was not helping in my deliberations…

Almost immediately after setting the position on the board a move came to me…As I sat there lost in thought an idea came to me. It did so because I have played the Leningrad Dutch. “What if the pawn were on f5?” I questioned. With black to move WITH the pawn already on f5 black could play the strong Qe4! Since it would be white to move if the pawn were moved to f5 the move 21 d6 looks good for white. But what if black still played 21..Qe4? After 22 Qxe4 fxe4 what does white play? I turned the board around so as to see the position from the perspective of the white player. I wondered if white could play 23 Be3? If black took the pawn with 23…Rxd6, white could play 24 Bxc5, threatening the rook, which must move. Since the a-pawn is under attack, black could possibly play Rd7 to protect the pawn. What then?

Curiosity got the better of me and I surfed on over to the ChessBomb for analysis. Eureka! Stockfish showed I was on the right path, as it has 20…f5 the best move. Little things like this make me happy…The Fish gives this line:

(20… f5 21. d6 Qe4 22. Qxe4 fxe4 23. h4 Kf7 24. Re1 Bxc3 25. Rxe4 Rd7 26. Rxc4 Bd4 27. Kf1 Ke6 28. Ke2 Kd5 29. Rc1 c4 30. Rd1 Kc5 31. g3 Rd8 32. f3 h5 33. g4 c3)

Akobian, Varuzhan – Xiong, Jeffery

U.S. Championship 2018 round 04

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Bf4 Bg7 5. e3 O-O 6. Rc1 c5 7. dxc5 Be6 8. Nf3 Nc6 9. Be2 Ne4 10. Nd4 Nxd4 11. exd4 Nxc3 12. bxc3 dxc4 13. Bf3 Bd5 14. O-O Qd7 15. Re1 b6 16. Rxe7 Qxe7 17. Bxd5 bxc5 18. Bxa8 Rxa8 19. d5 Rd8 20. Qf3 (In this position Xiong played 20…h6, and after 21 h3 Jeffery then played 21 f5. The game continued: 22. d6 Qe6 23. h4 g5 24. hxg5 hxg5 25. Bxg5 Rxd6 26. Qa8+ Kh7 27. Qxa7 Rd3 28. Qxc5 Rxc3 29. Rxc3 Bxc3 30. Be3 Qe4 31. a4 Be5 32. g3 Kg6 33. Qb6+ Kf7 34. Qa7+ Ke6 35. Qb6+ Kf7 36. a5 f4 37. gxf4 Bxf4 38. a6 Bxe3 39. fxe3 c3 40. Qc7+ Ke6 41. Qc8+ Ke7 42. Qxc3 Qg6+ 43. Kf2 Qxa6 44. Qe5+ Kf7 45. Kg3 Qg6+ 46. Kf3 Qc6+ 47. e4 Qf6+ 48. Qxf6+ Kxf6 ½-½

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