Traps, Tricks & Mistakes: Attacked Becomes Attacker
This post is a collaboration with Mr Andrew Crosby who is an expert in chess gambits.
Andrew usually plays them in his games with great success. In addition, he is an active member of our virtual Chess.com club taking part in our online tournaments and matches..
Mikhail Moiseyevich Botvinnik (1911-1995) was a Soviet chess master and the 6th World Chess Champion after winning the 1948 World Chess Championship held in The Hague and Moscow. FIDE organized this tournament in order to decide the world champion after the death of Alexander Alekhine in 1946. With Botvinnik’s victory began the Soviet domination of international chess which would last for 24 years until the American Fischer won the World match against Spassky in 1972
Botvinnik was also an electrical engineer and computer scientist and applied scientific logic to his play. He was famous for his strong understanding of long-term strategy and he confessed his weaknesses in tactical calculation.
Botvinnik held the World Champion title for fifteen years with two short interruptions. He played seven World matches losing the last one against Tigran Petrosian in 1963. Today’s game is taken from that last match.
Petrosian was famous for his solid style of play and his perfect defensive technique. In the game, he was able to transform his weakness into an effective element of counterplay.
The position below appeared after Petrosian’s 40…Rd7 declaring his intention to double his rooks and attack d4.
Note how Botvinnik manages to occupy the centre with his pawns expanding his central dominance. In addition, Black’s c6-pawn is a potential weakness that White can use as a future target. It is remarkable how Black turns that immobile object of attack into an important resource in his counter-play.
Before initiating any attack, is important to carefully weigh the balance between target and available resources. It is also necessary to assess the elements of the position so that they do not turn against you.
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