Traps, Triks & Mistakes: Accurate Assessment

Playing correctly the opening is a guarantee of reaching at least a balanced middle game. After that, the players’ creativity in finding the most convenient plans is of great importance for taking the initiative.

But when one of the players comes out of the opening with a decisive advantage, frequently the result of the game comes after a tactical play. However, that way is sometimes difficult to find. And today’s game shows one such case.

The Soviet master Eduard Yefimovich Gufeld, playing White, started a risky line in the Three Knights Opening, prematurely advancing his knights towards his opponent’s kingside. His opponent, Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian, calmly proceeded with a piece development while simultaneously pushing back those of his opponent.

Despite this action-reaction from both sides, the position was level. But Gufeld, choosing a queen move which apparently looked active, made a strategical mistake that helped Petrosian to have the initiative. However, the tactical path to victory is long and difficult to find as you will note in the diagram below.

Although White’s 11th move looks threatening, Petrosian kept calm and accurately assessed the position. Understanding chess positions is a step toward mastery.

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