Forcing Chess Moves

David Navara 2693 (CZE)

Photo: David Llada

vs Hans Moke Niemann 2637 (USA)

Photo: © Lennart Ootes

Tepe Sigeman & Co Chess Tournament 2022
C50 Giuoco Pianissimo

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 O-O 6. O-O d5 7. exd5 Nxd5 8. a4 a5 9. Re1 Bg4 10. Nbd2 Nb6 11. Bb5 Bd6 12. Ne4 f5 13. Qb3+ Kh8 14. Nxd6 cxd6 15. Ng5 Qc7 16. Ne6 Qf7 17. Ra3 Rfc8 18. Be3 Nd7 19. Bc4 Qe7 20. f3 Bh5 21. Qxb7 f4 22. Bf2 Rab8 23. Qa6 Ra8 24. Qb5 Rab8 25. Nxf4 Rxb5 26. axb5 Bxf3 27. gxf3 Nd8 28. Rxa5 Nf7 29. Ra7 Ng5 30. Bd5 Rf8 31. h4 Nxf3+ 32. Bxf3 Qf7 33. Re4 d5 34. Rea4 e4 35. Rxd7 Qxf4 36. Bd4 Qc1+ 37. Kh2 Qf4+ 38. Kg1 Qc1+ 39. Kh2 Qf4+ 40. Kg1 Qc1+ 1/2-1/2

1.e4 (B00 King’s pawn opening) 1…e5 (C20 King’s pawn game) 2. Nf3 (C40 King’s knight opening) 2…Nc6 (C44 King’s pawn game) 3. Bc4 (C50 King’s pawn game) 3…Nf6 (C55 Two knights defence) 4. d3 (C55 Two knights defence (Modern bishop’s opening)) 4…Bc5 (C50 Giuoco Pianissimo) 5. c3 O-O O-O d5 7. exd5 Nxd5 8. a4 a5 9. Re1 Bg4 10. Nbd2 Nb6 11. Bb5 Bd6 12. Ne4 f5?

Position after 12…f5

(This is a game losing move. GM Niemann cogitated for all of one minute before moving the pawn. Moves this bad simply cannot be played at the very top level of Chess. If the move was prep it was very poor prep. If Hans was unfamiliar with the position he should have taken much more time deciding upon a move before ‘shooting it out there’. Maybe all the recent travel from country to country with little, if any, time to recover from the previous tournament has had an adverse effect. Only GM Niemann can explain what prompted him to make a game losing move in the opening) 13. Qb3+ Kh8 14. Nxd6 cxd6 15. Ng5 Qc7 16. Ne6 Qf7 17. Ra3?

Position after 17 Ra3

When playing Chess one must continually ask and answer questions with the first being, “Why did my opponent make that move?” How does a teacher reply if a student were to ask, “Coach, why did he make that move?” Since you are getting paid you want the student to at least think you have a clue, but honesty compels you to answer, “I have no clue.” Who knows, maybe GM Navara had no clue… The Stockfish program used at LiChess shows 17 f3 as best. At least it is a forcing move. At best the move played in the game is an innocuous move, but still…) 17…Rfc8 18. Be3 Nd7 19. Bc4?

Position after 19 Bc4?

(Again GM Navara plays a less forcing move. 19 Ng5 attacks the Queen and should have been played) 19…Qe7 20. f3 Bh5 21. Qxb7?

Position after 21. Qxb7?

(This move is given in red with this commentary, “Blunder. Bg5 was best.” This is the second time Navara refused to attack his opponents Queen. GM Navara should give some serious consideration to reading this book:

Forcing Chess Moves: The Key to Better Calculation – download book
Charles Hertan