Traps, Tricks & Mistakes: “Never Trust Your Opponent!”

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 club taking part in our online tournaments and matches

In game post mortems, the players analyse and comment on the variations played and not played in the game. It benefits them both because they learn from each other. However, I remember a teacher saying in a chess lesson: “Never trust your opponent!”
As people imitate their idols in the way they speak, the habits they follow and the clothes they wear, chess players show a similar tendency such as copying the openings played by masters. They also frequently feel intimidated when playing against a titled player and accept the master’s post mortem comments unquestionably. It’s as if the most experienced player is bound to know best.

However, that shouldn’t be an impediment to questioning the views of the master player. This is what the teacher meant when he said “Never trust your opponent!”.
In fact, we should carry out our own check and acknowledge our mistakes as “to err is human”.
The above leads to a perfect illustration of the teacher’s sentence in a short story from the book “Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual”.
The following position occurred in a game played in the Soviet Union Chess Championship, Minsk, 1976.

Actually, after A.Petrosian played 57.Kf5, they adjourned the game. (At that time adjournments were usual after playing an established number of hours, assuming that both players made a minimum number of moves)
Dvoretsky explains that A.Petrosian demonstrated to his opponent that the result is a draw. For this purpose, he showed the following variation:

A.Petrosian’s arguments convinced V.Tseshkovsky and he accepted the draw. Nevertheless, trusting his opponent he made a mistake because he could have improved the analysis and won the game according to the following line:

Again, dear readers: “Never trust your opponent!”.
Even more, don’t trust everything you read in these posts. Check it by yourselves!

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