On manoeuvres

Table of Contents 
    1. The Art Of Winning Slowly
  1. Examples from master play
    1. Manoeuvring in the endgame
      1. Manoeuvre: a classic endgame setting
        1. Capablanca,Jose - Kupchik, Abraham [Havana ] (07) [C49] 1913
      2. Manoeuvre in the endgame: against weaknesses on both wings
        1. Holzhausen W - Nimzowitsch Aaron (Hannover) [B00] , 1926
      3. Manoeuvre: in a Queen ending,
        1. Nimzowitsch Aaron - Antze,O (Hannover) [E60] 1926
    2. Manoeuvre in the middlegame: slowly, or dynamically and with threats
      1. Manoeuvre: slow breakthrough in closed position with lots of space
        1. Capablanca - Treybal (Karlsbad) [D30] 1929
      2. Manoeuvre: slow breakthrough in half-open position
        1. Thomas,G - Alekhin,Alexander (Baden Baden) [B02] , 1925
      3. Manoeuvre: gradual infiltration, changing tack,
        1. Tylor, Theodore - Lasker, Emanuel (Nottingham) [C49] 1936
      4. Manoeuvre: manoeuvring with threats
        1. Rubinstein,Akiba - Alekhin,Alexander (Dresden) [A46], 1926
      5. Manoeuvre: keep finding attacking ideas,
        1. Lasker,Emanuel - Salwe,G (St.Petersburg) [C62] 1909
      6. Manoeuvre: manoeuvring or woodshifting?
        1. Cohn,E - Nimzowitsch Aaron (Karlsbad) [D30], 1911
      7. Manoeuvring: a modern master,
        1. Petrosian,T - Fischer,R [A16] 1958
  2. Examples from club play
      1. Manoeuvring in club play: patience and preparatory moves
        1. Regis,D (2840) - O'Grady,J (1820) [C30] Spectrum #1 Torquay 1996
      2. Manoeuvring in club play: play on both sides of the board
        1. Regis,D (1960) - Richmond,RH (2150) [A21] Cambridge Vs. NCI, 1986
      3. Manoeuvring in club play: as a phase in a half-open game.
        1. Williams,SK (1990) - Regis,D. (1935) [A36] East Devon #3, 1994
      4. Manoeuvring in club play: with extra space (I)
        1. Regis,D. - Richard Dixon (CORR_92/93) [B36] Devon vs. glos. CC, 1993
      5. Manoeuvring in club play: with extra space (II)
        1. Regis,D - Tunks,D (1935) [B06] Portsmouth Open #6, 1984

The Art Of Winning Slowly

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  I'm still working on this one myself, but by the time I've read this, my word, I'll know a thing or two.

  You know how to win endings - namely, slowly. This is an ending where you have the advantage - but not yet won, and so if you play your big guns first things may fizzle out. Instead, nothing too hasty, do all your preparation first, try a little play here, a little there, before trying to force the issue. Capablanca was the supreme craftsman with this sort of game, and is our first example, and there is another couple from Nimzo.

But if you have got the hang of that, you can try the same approach to the middlegame - that is, middlegames which are advantageous but not won. The key features for a position suitable for manoeuvre are:

  • an advantage in space, and therefore, mobility
  • play on both sides of the board (or at least chances of a breakthrough)
  • no clear winning plan for you on either side of the board
The way to manoeuvre is:
  • keep control of the game, and keep the initiative - that is, keep the opponent passive and defensive, where all they can do is react to, or try to anticipate, your threats
  • try different attacking ideas in sequence, probably switching from side to side, or at least trying several different ways of besieging the same front
  • play with patience and don't miss opportunities to tempt small weaknesses in your opponent's game.
After that, the play may be more or less forcing and tense depending on the position. Below several games are given, in increasing order of tension, from Alekhin to Lasker. Lastly two examples are given where Black is in difficulty although the game is objectively equal, but in each case White demands that the opponent steer safely to port. Fischer just makes it against Petrosian, Cohn doesn't. These last two games also put the question: is manoeuvring done with an end in mind (if not in sight), or is it just woodpushing? There is a saying attributed to Tartakower, that tactics is what you do when there is somethinhg to do, strategy is what you do when there is nothing to do. Perhaps manoeuvring is what you do when there is no strategy to do! It is the key to winning games when all you have is a space advantage and your opponent is solid. Capa gives a textbook example of this against Treybal.

  Lastly, I include a club game played with manoeuvre.


Contents:
See also the material on Space in the Canon.

Examples from master play


Manoeuvring in the endgame


Manoeuvre: a classic endgame setting

Capablanca,Jose - Kupchik, Abraham [Havana ] (07) [C49] 1913

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bb5 Bb4 5. O-O O-O 6. Bxc6 bxc6 7. Nxe5 Qe8

 

t+l+dTj+
X-Xx+xXx
-+x+-S-+
+-+-N-+-
-L-+p+-+
+-N-+-+-
pPpP-PpP
R-Bq+rK-

8. Nd3 Bxc3 9. dxc3 Qxe4

[9... Nxe4 10. Re1]

10. Re1 Qh4 11. Qf3 Ba6 12. Bf4 Rac8 13. Be5 (idea /\ Nc5) 13... Bxd3 14. cxd3 Qg4 15. Bxf6 Qxf3 16. gxf3 gxf6

 

-+t+-Tj+
X-Xx+x+x
-+x+-X-+
+-+-+-+-
-+-+-+-+
+-Pp+p+-
pP-+-P-P
R-+-R-K-

Assessment: +/-

  better Pawns, fewer Pawn islands, more active pieces.

  The weakest spot in the Black position is the isolated a-Pawn, and it is here that an attack should be directed.

17. Re4

  First, Capablanca mobilises and centralises his pieces. There is not usually any sense of rush when Capa plays an ending.

17... Rfe8 18. Rae1 Re6 19. R1e3 Rce8 20. Kf1 Kf8 21. Ke2 Ke7

 

-+-+t+-+
X-XxJx+x
-+x+tX-+
+-+-+-+-
-+-+r+-+
+-PpRp+-
pP-+kP-P
+-+-+-+-

Now, White can attack the a-pawn.

22. Ra4 Ra8 23. Ra5

  restrains the Pawns

23... d5!?

  I can sympathise with the bid for space but this is not forced and has the disadvantage of leaving the c-Pawns without support.

24. c4! Kd6

[24... dxc4 leaves all Black's Pawns isolated and most of them doubled!]

[24... d4 25. Re4 Kd6 26. b4 Re5 27. Ra6 'hopeless', said Capa]

25. c5+ Kd7 26. d4

  Black's pawns have become fixed, cutting off access to the Queen's-side. 26... f5

  Hoping to nip out to h6 with some play.

27. Rxe6! fxe6 28. f4 Kc8 29. Kd2 Kb7?!

 

t+-+-+-+
XjX-+-+x
-+x+x+-+
R-Px+x+-
-+-P-P-+
+-+-+-+-
pP-K-P-P
+-+-+-+-

Black has achieved a solid defence of the a-Pawn and Whiite can achieve little else there. But White has access to both sides of the board via the third rank. [29... Rb8!? 30. Kc3

[30. b3 blocks the third rank]

[30. Kc2 Rb4 31. Kc3 Rc4+ 32. Kd3 Rb4]

30... Rb7 may have been better]

30. Ra3 Rg8 31. Rh3 Rg7

  This defence from the side keeps the Black Rook more active than moving it to defend from h8, but I'm sure Black also considered ...Rg1!?, giving up a Pawn to get the Rook active. It looks a bit speculative here but is the right sort of idea to have in mind.

32. Ke2 Ka6 33. Rh6 Re7 34. Kd3 Kb7 35. h4 Kc8 36. Rh5 Kd7 37. Rg5 Rf7

 

-+-+-+-+
X-Xj+t+x
-+x+x+-+
+-Px+xR-
-+-P-P-P
+-+k+-+-
pP-+-P-+
+-+-+-+-

Again, Black has achieved a solid, if passive, defence. White now returns his attention to the Queen's-side.

38. Kc3 Kc8 39. Kb4 Rf6 40. Ka5 Kb7 41. a4 a6 42. h5 Rh6

 

-+-+-+-+
+jX-+-+x
x+x+x+-T
K-Px+xRp
p+-P-P-+
+-+-+-+-
-P-+-P-+
+-+-+-+-

White can improve the position of his pieces no further. It is time to try and force the issue.

43. b4 Rf6 44. b5!?

[44. Rg7! Rh6 first would have been better, according to Capa: 45. b5 axb5 46. axb5 cxb5

[46... Rxh5 47. b6]

47. Kxb5 e.g. 47... Rxh5 48. c6+ Kb8 49. Ka6]

44... axb5 45. axb5 Rf8

  Off to sieze the a-file!

46. Rg7 Ra8+ 47. Kb4 cxb5 48. Kxb5 Ra2

 

-+-+-+-+
+jX-+-Rx
-+-+x+-+
+kPx+x+p
-+-P-P-+
+-+-+-+-
t+-+-P-+
+-+-+-+-

Black has gained some activity. Of course, White does not retreat and defend with Rg2.

49. c6+ Kb8 50. Rxh7 Rb2+ 51. Ka5 Ra2+ 52. Kb4 Rxf2 53. Re7 Rxf4?!

  Natural, but not exact.

[53... Rh2? 54. Rxe6 Rxh5 55. Re5 Ka7 56. Kc5]

[53... Rb2+!? 54. Kc3 Rh2 55. Rxe6 Ka7 56. h6 Kb6 which isn't great but Black is also fighting with the King now]

54. h6 Rxd4+ 55. Kb5 Rd1 56. h7

  A Pawn on the seventh seems worth three in the bush! Black can only hope to harass the King with checks, but these are soon exhausted.

56... Rb1+ 57. Kc5 Rc1+ 58. Kd4 Rd1+ 59. Ke5 Re1+ 60. Kf6 Rh1 61. Re8+ Ka7 62. h8=Q Rxh8 63. Rxh8 Kb6 64. Kxe6 Kxc6 65. Kxf5 Kc5 66. Ke5 c6 67. Rh6 Kb5 68. Kd4 1-0

 


That was a fairly simple example, falling as much into the realm of carrying out a strategical plan as manoeuvring without a clear object. The next example is less direct, even though Black has an extra Pawn to play with.

 


Manoeuvre in the endgame: against weaknesses on both wings

Holzhausen W - Nimzowitsch Aaron (Hannover) [B00] , 1926

1. e4 Nc6 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 d5 4. exd5 exd5 5. Bg5 Be7 6. Bxe7 Qxe7+ 7. Qe2 Bf5 8. c3 Be4 9. Nbd2 O-O-O 10. O-O-O Nh6 11. Ne5 Nxe5 12. dxe5 Bg6

 

-+jT-+-T
XxX-DxXx
-+-+-+lS
+-+xP-+-
-+-+-+-+
+-P-+-+-
pP-NqPpP
+-Kr+b+r

already planning a campaign against the e-pawn using the long light-squared diagonal, especially the point e4

13. Nf3 Rhe8 14. Qe3 Kb8 15. Qf4 Be4 16. Re1 Qc5 17. Nd2 Bg6 18. Nb3 Qb6 19. Qd4 f6 20. f4 fxe5 21. fxe5

[21. Rxe5 Rxe5 22. Qxe5 Re8]

21... Be4

[the e-pawn is doomed]

22. Nd2 c5 23. Qe3

[23. Qa4 Rxe5 24. Nxe4 dxe4 25. Rxe4 Qe6 26. Rxe5 Qxe5 with a winning attack]

23... Rxe5 24. Qg3 Qc7 25. Bd3 Rde8 26. Bxe4 dxe4 27. Nc4 R5e6 28. Qxc7+ Kxc7 29. Ne3

[the Knight is an excellent blockading piece, losing no squares by its post]

29... Nf7 30. Kc2 Nd6 31. c4 Kc6 32. Rhf1

 

-+-+t+-+
Xx+-+-Xx
-+jSt+-+
+-X-+-+-
-+p+x+-+
+-+-N-+-
pPk+-+pP
+-+-Rr+-

32... Rh6 !

  "A typical tacking manoeuvre" -- EUWE/KRAMER

33. h3 Rg6 34. Re2 a6 35. Rf4 b5

[Black plays on both wings]

36. b3 Rg5 37. g4 Rge5 38. Kc3 a5

[Black will open a file on the Queen's-side for his Rooks]

39. Ref2 a4 40. bxa4 bxc4 !

[a temporary pawn sacrifice]

41. Rf8

[41. Nxc4 Nxc4 42. Kxc4 Ra8 and Black not only regains the pawn, but White has lost the blockader]

41... R5e7

[White must not be allowed counterplay, particularly not a Rook on the eighth]

42. Rxe8 Rxe8 43. Nxc4 Nxc4 44. Kxc4 Ra8

 

t+-+-+-+
+-+-+-Xx
-+j+-+-+
+-X-+-+-
p+k+x+p+
+-+-+-+p
p+-+-R-+
+-+-+-+-

The Black Rook now gets in on the Queen's-side, to attack Pawns on the King's-side

45. Rf7 Rxa4+ 46. Kb3 Rb4+ 47. Kc3 Rb7 48. Rf5 Ra7 49. Kc4 Ra4+ 50. Kb3 Rd4 51. Re5 Kd6 52. Re8 Rd3+ 53. Kc4 Rxh3 54. Rxe4 Ra3

 

-+-+-+-+
+-+-+-Xx
-+-J-+-+
+-X-+-+-
-+k+r+p+
T-+-+-+-
p+-+-+-+
+-+-+-+-

White can no longer defend the two wings

55. Re2 Ra4+ 56. Kb5 Rxg4

[-/+]

57. a4 Rb4+ 58. Ka5 h5 59. Rd2+ Kc6 60. Re2 Rg4 61. Re6+ Kd5 62. Re8 h4 63. Rd8+ Kc4 64. Kb6 h3 65. Rd1

[65. Rh8 Rg6+ 66. Kb7 Rh6]

65... Kb4 66. Rb1+ Kxa4 67. Kxc5 g5 68. Rh1 Rg3 69. Kd5 g4 70. Ke5 Rg2 71. Kf4 h2 0-1

 

 


The last type of ending in which we see manoeuvre as a strong theme is a Queen ending. Again, Nimzo has an extra Pawn but Queen endings are always difficult because of the number of candidate moves for each side, and the risk of allowing perpetual to the defending side.

 


Manoeuvre: in a Queen ending,

Nimzowitsch Aaron - Antze,O (Hannover) [E60] 1926

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. f4 d6 6. Nf3 c6 7. O-O d5 8. cxd5 cxd5 9. Ne5 Qb6 10. Nc3 Rd8 11. b3 Na6 12. Ba3 Bf8 13. Na4 Qb5 14. Qd3 Qa5 15. Rfc1 Bf5 16. Qc3 Qb5 17. Bf1 Ne4 18. Qe1 Qe8 19. e3 b5 20. Nc6 Rdc8 21. Bxb5 Bd7 22. Bxa6 Rxc6 23. Bb7 Rxc1 24. Rxc1 Rd8 25. Nc5 Bc8 26. Bxc8 Rxc8 27. Qa5 e6 28. Nxe4 dxe4 29. Rxc8 Qxc8 30. Bc5 Bxc5 31. Qxc5 Qa6 32. Qc2 Qa5 33. Kf2 Qh5 34. Qxe4 Qxh2+ 35. Qg2 Qh5 36. g4 Qa5 37. Kg3 h6 38. Qf2 Qc7 39. Kh3 f5 40. gxf5 gxf5 41. d5 exd5 42. Qg2+ Kf7 43. Qxd5+ Kf6

 

-+-+-+-+
X-D-+-+-
-+-+-J-X
+-+q+x+-
-+-+-P-+
+p+-P-+k
p+-+-+-+
+-+-+-+-

Here White's Queen can change lines at d4, and also at e5 and f6; the King may penetrate at h5. Black can hope for harassing checks, and for the advance of the h-pawn.

44. Qd4+ Kg6 45. Qd2 Kf6 46. Qb2+ Kg6 47. b4 Qc4 48. Qd2 Kh5

[48... Qf1+ 49. Qg2+ [a CROSS-CHECK]]

49. a4 a6 50. Kg3 Qg8+ 51. Kh2 Qc4 52. Qb2 Qd3 53. Qg2 Qc4

[53... Qxe3 54. Qh3+]

54. Kg3 Qg8+

[54... Qxb4 55. Qe2+ Kg6 56. Qxa6+ and the a-pawn will win]

55. Kh3 Qc4 56. Qf3+ Kg6 57. Kh4

[another step]

57... Kg7 58. Qb7+ Kg6 59. Qb6+ Kh7

 

-+-+-+-+
+-+-+-+j
xQ-+-+-X
+-+-+x+-
pPd+-P-K
+-+-P-+-
-+-+-+-+
+-+-+-+-

60. Qf6 !

  attacking both Pawns

60... Qd5

[the threat is ...Qa1+ with a draw by perpetual]

61. Kg3 Qg8+ 62. Kh2 Qa2+ 63. Kh3 Qd5 64. Qe7+

[64. Qxa6 Qf3+ 65. Kh2 Qf2+ 66. Kh1 Qf3+ drawing]

64... Kg6 65. Qe8+ Kh7

[65... Kf6 66. Kg3 Qd3 67. a5 Qf1 68. Qe5+ Kg6 69. Qe6+ Kg7 70. Qxf5 Qg1+ 71. Kf3 Qf1+ 72. Ke4 Qc4+ 73. Ke5 Qb5+ 74. Ke6 +-]

66. Kg3 Qb3 67. a5 ! 67... Qb1

[losing touch with the a-pawn]

[67... Qd3 68. Qf7+ Kh8 69. Qf6+ Kh7 70. Qd4 ! 70... Qf1

[70... Qb1 71. Qd7+ Kg6 72. Qc6+ Kg7 73. Qb7+ Kf8 74. Qxa6 as in the game]

71. Qd7+ Kg6 72. Qe6+ Kg7 73. Qxf5 winning;]

68. Qd7+ Kg6 69. Qc6+ Kg7 70. Qb7+ Kf8 71. Qxa6

 

-+-+-J-+
+-+-+-+-
q+-+-+-X
P-+-+x+-
-P-+-P-+
+-+-P-K-
-+-+-+-+
+d+-+-+-

winning...

71... Qe1+ 72. Kf3 Qd1+ 73. Qe2 Qd5+ 74. Kf2 Qd8 75. a6 Qh4+ 76. Kg2 Qe7 77. Qf3 Qc7 78. b5 Qg7+ 79. Kf2 Qb2+ 80. Qe2 Qa1 81. b6 1-0

 

 


Having reminded ourselves of the ideas in endgame settings, let us see the same approach in the middlegame.

 


Manoeuvre in the middlegame: slowly, or dynamically and with threats


Manoeuvre: slow breakthrough in closed position with lots of space

Capablanca - Treybal (Karlsbad) [D30] 1929

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 e6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. Bxe7 Qxe7 6. Nbd2 f5 7. e3 Nd7 8. Bd3 Nh6 9. O-O O-O 10. Qc2 g6 11. Rab1 Nf6 12. Ne5 Nf7 13. f4

 

t+l+-Tj+
Xx+-Ds+x
-+x+xSx+
+-+xNx+-
-+pP-P-+
+-+bP-+-
pPqN-+pP
+r+-+rK-

the Anti-Stonewall formation: White has a Queen's-side initiative

13... Bd7 14. Ndf3 Rfd8 15. b4 Be8 16. Rfc1 a6 17. Qf2 Nxe5 18. Nxe5 Nd7

  seeking exchanges...

19. Nf3

  ...but not finding them

19... Rdc8 20. c5 Nf6 21. a4 Ng4

  a gesture only

22. Qe1 Nh6

 

t+t+l+j+
+x+-D-+x
x+x+x+xS
+-Px+x+-
pP-P-P-+
+-+bPn+-
-+-+-+pP
+rR-Q-K-

Black is defending the Queen's-side quite well: White switches tack. This is the key to understanding space - although Black can theoretically defend any one point, White can make the Black pieces trip up in their rush to do so by moving from one point to another.

23. h3 Nf7 24. g4 Bd7 25. Rc2 Kh8 26. Rg2 Rg8 27. g5 Qd8 28. h4 Kg7 29. h5

 

t+-D-+t+
+x+l+sJx
x+x+x+x+
+-Px+xPp
pP-P-P-+
+-+bPn+-
-+-+-+r+
+r+-Q-K-

White has the initiative on both sides of the board: Black's cramped and passive pieces will find it hard to cover everything

29... Rh8 30. Rh2 Qc7 31. Qc3 Qd8 32. Kf2 Qc7 33. Rbh1 Rag8 34. Qa1 Rb8 35. Qa3 Rbg8

 

-+-+-+tT
+xDl+sJx
x+x+x+x+
+-Px+xPp
pP-P-P-+
Q-+bPn+-
-+-+-K-R
+-+-+-+r

Just when Black has had to cover the h-file...

36. b5

  ...White opens a file on the Q-side. Black's pieces have to rush back, but get in a tangle because they have so few squares. White gains complete control of the a-file, and seals the King's-side. Then, he arranges the final breakthrough on the Queen's-side, possible because of his enormous control of space there.

36... axb5

[36... cxb5 37. h6+ Kf8 38. c6+]

37. h6+ Kf8 38. axb5 Ke7 39. b6 Qb8

 

-D-+-+tT
+x+lJs+x
-Px+x+xP
+-Px+xP-
-+-P-P-+
Q-+bPn+-
-+-+-K-R
+-+-+-+r

a sad decision: now Black won't be able to oppose rooks on the a-file. This is the concrete manifestation of what I described earlier: White switching the focus of activity from side to side until Black is wrong-footed.

40. Ra1 Rc8 41. Qb4 Rhd8 42. Ra7 Kf8 43. Rh1 Be8 44. Rha1 Kg8 45. R1a4 Kf8 46. Qa3 Kg8 47. Kg3 Bd7 48. Kh4

  White spends a little time wondering where to put his King; he has the luxury of seeing how it looks on a few different squares before the final push. 48... Kh8 49. Qa1 Kg8 50. Kg3 Kf8 51. Kg2 Be8

 

-DtTlJ-+
Rx+-+s+x
-Px+x+xP
+-Px+xP-
r+-P-P-+
+-+bPn+-
-+-+-+k+
Q-+-+-+-

the last ingredient for the breakthrough is the Knight

52. Nd2 Bd7 53. Nb3 Re8 54. Na5 Nd8

 

-DtStJ-+
Rx+l+-+x
-Px+x+xP
N-Px+xP-
r+-P-P-+
+-+bP-+-
-+-+-+k+
Q-+-+-+-

Ready or not, here we come

55. Ba6 bxa6 56. Rxd7 Re7

  else the a-pawn will simply go after Nb3

57. Rxd8+ Rxd8 58. Nxc6

 

-D-T-J-+
+-+-T-+x
xPn+x+xP
+-Px+xP-
r+-P-P-+
+-+-P-+-
-+-+-+k+
Q-+-+-+-

this 'family' fork is decisive

1-0

 


This is just the same approach as in the Kupchik endgame. Next up is a game where Alekhin has an advantage not so much in space as mobility. How can you have an advantage in mobility without having one in space? You can if (1) your opponent is forced onto the defensive on the side of the board where you have more space, or

  (2) the Pawn structure favours your pieces (especially Bishops), or

  (3) if your pieces can get around more easily by using outposts.

  In the game, Alekhin has all three going for him!

 


Manoeuvre: slow breakthrough in half-open position

Thomas,G - Alekhin,Alexander (Baden Baden) [B02] , 1925

1. e4 Nf6 2. d3 c5 3. f4 Nc6 4. Nf3 g6 5. Be2 Bg7 6. Nbd2 d5 7. O-O O-O 8. Kh1 b6 9. exd5 Qxd5 10. Qe1 Bb7 11. Nc4 Nd4 12. Ne3 Qc6 13. Bd1 Nd5

 

t+-+-Tj+
Xl+-XxLx
-Xd+-+x+
+-Xs+-+-
-+-S-P-+
+-+pNn+-
pPp+-+pP
R-BbQr+k

14. Nxd4 ?

  exposes the c-pawn

14... cxd4 15. Nxd5 Qxd5 16. Bf3 Qd7 17. Bxb7 Qxb7 18. c4

[18. Rf2 Rac8 19. a4 Rc5 20. b3 Rfc8 21. Qd1 Qc7 22. Ra2]

[18. Bd2 Rac8 19. c4 dxc3 20. Bxc3 Bxc3 21. bxc3 with the same weak Pawns for White as in the game, but with Bishops off White has got rid of a passive piece and has chances against the Black King.]

18... dxc3 19. bxc3 Rac8 20. Bb2

[20. Bd2]

20... Rfd8 21. Rf3 Bf6 22. d4

[22. Qe2 Qa6 23. c4 again, White would have benefitted from the exchange of Bishops]

  But there is no breakthrough yet, and so Alekhin begins a patient siege. Alekhin is usually thought of as a demon attacker, but there was nothing wrong with his technique...

22... Qd5 23. Qe3 Qb5 24. Qd2 Rd5

 

-+t+-+j+
X-+-Xx+x
-X-+-Lx+
+d+t+-+-
-+-P-P-+
+-P-+r+-
pB-Q-+pP
R-+-+-+k

This is clearly better for Black, because of White's poor dark-squared Bishop and backward c-pawn. Also, because the weight of play moves over to the Queen's-side, the c3 Pawn prevents White's pieces from nipping about as easily as Black's. Black's fourth rank,. and the light squares c4 and d5, form staging posts for Black's manoeuvres.

25. h3 e6 26. Re1 Qa4

  Black seeks to force or tempt a2-a3

27. Ra1 b5 28. Qd1 Rc4 29. Qb3 Rd6 30. Kh2 Ra6 31. Rff1 Be7 32. Kh1 Rcc6 33. Rfe1 Bh4 !

  Black makes use of both sides of the board.

34. Rf1

[34. Re2 Qxb3 35. axb3 Rxa1+ 36. Bxa1 Ra6 37. Bb2 Ra2

[37... Bg3 ! Fritz 38. Bc1 Ra1]

38. Kh2 a5]

34... Qc4

  Black will recycle the Rooks to a4 and a6

35. Qxc4 Rxc4 36. a3

[else ...b4]

36... Be7 37. Rfb1 Bd6

[no rush: Black chivvies another White pawn onto a dark square]

38. g3 Kf8 39. Kg2 Ke7 40. Kf2 Kd7 41. Ke2 Kc6

[the Black King covers b5 and threatens ...Rca4]

42. Ra2 Rca4

  The Rooks quietly take up their places.

43. R1a1 Kd5 44. Kd3 R6a5 45. Bc1 a6 46. Bb2

 

-+-+-+-+
+-+-+x+x
x+-Lx+x+
Tx+j+-+-
t+-P-P-+
P-Pk+-Pp
rB-+-+-+
R-+-+-+-

This is Black's ideal position: is there a win?

46... h5 !

[threat ...h4]

  Yes, by playing in the centre and King's-side as well as the Queen's. 47. h4 f6 48. Bc1

 

-+-+-+-+
+-+-+-+-
x+-LxXx+
Tx+j+-+x
t+-P-P-P
P-Pk+-P-
r+-+-+-+
+-Br+-+-

And now the break:

48... e5 49. fxe5 fxe5 50. Bb2

[50. dxe5 Bxe5 51. Bf4 Bxf4 52. gxf4 Kc5 is terminal]

50... exd4 51. cxd4 b4

[finally the a-pawn falls]

0-1

 

 


The next game also shows the infiltration theme, and changing front - not from side to side as much as from one way of pressuring a point to another.

Manoeuvre: gradual infiltration, changing tack,

Tylor, Theodore - Lasker, Emanuel (Nottingham) [C49] 1936

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bb5 Bb4 5. O-O O-O 6. d3 d6 7. Bg5 Ne7 8. Nh4 c6 9. Bc4 Kh8 10. f4 exf4 11. Bxf6 gxf6 12. Rxf4 Ng6 13. Nxg6+ fxg6

 

t+lD-T-J
Xx+-+-+x
-+xX-Xx+
+-+-+-+-
-Lb+pR-+
+-Np+-+-
pPp+-+pP
R-+q+-K-

14. Bb3 Qe7 15. Ne2 Ba5 16. c3 Bd7 17. Ng3

  not a great square but White would not enjoy a break with ...f5

17... Bc7 18. Rf2 Kg7 19. Qe2 Rae8 20. Raf1 Be6

 

-+-+tT-+
XxL-D-Jx
-+xXlXx+
+-+-+-+-
-+-+p+-+
+bPp+-N-
pP-+qRpP
+-+-+rK-

Black forces a weakening of e4, then leans on it.

21. Qc2 Bb6 22. d4 Bc7 23. Kh1 h5 ! 24. Re1 Qf7 25. Rfe2 Bxb3 26. axb3

[26. Qxb3 Qxb3 27. axb3 Re7 28. Kg1 Rfe8 29. Nf1 is also a long slog]

26... Qd7 27. Nf1 Re7 28. Qd3 Rfe8 29. Nd2

 

-+-+t+-+
XxLdT-J-
-+xX-Xx+
+-+-+-+x
-+-Pp+-+
+pPq+-+-
-P-Nr+pP
+-+-R-+k

The e-pawn has as many defenders as attackers. Black changes tack, opening the position for the Bishop.

29... d5 30. exd5 Rxe2 31. Rxe2 Rxe2 32. Qxe2 Qxd5 33. Qe7+ Qf7 34. Qe4 Qd7 35. Nf3 Kf7 ! 36. c4

[36. Nh4 Qg4]

36... Qe6 37. Qd3

[37. Qxe6+ Kxe6 38. Kg1 Kf5 39. Kf2 Ke4 40. Ke2 g5]

37... Bf4 ! 38. g3

[38. Kg1 Qe3+ 39. Qxe3 Bxe3+ 40. Kf1 Bc1]

38... Qe3 ! 39. Qc3 Bh6

 

-+-+-+-+
Xx+-+j+-
-+x+-XxL
+-+-+-+x
-+pP-+-+
+pQ-DnP-
-P-+-+-P
+-+-+-+k

White denies the Queen entry only at a cost

40. c5 Qf2 41. Qc4+ Kg7 42. Qd3 Be3 43. Qd1 a5

 

-+-+-+-+
+x+-+-J-
-+x+-Xx+
X-P-+-+x
-+-P-+-+
+p+-LnP-
-P-+-D-P
+-+q+-+k

zugzwang!

44. b4 axb4 45. b3 Kh6 0-1



Alekhin was a dynamic player, and this dynamism also suffused his manoeuvres. Here is a manouevring game based on pressure against the King's-side.

Manoeuvre: manoeuvring with threats

Rubinstein,Akiba - Alekhin,Alexander (Dresden) [A46], 1926

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. Bf4 b6 4. h3 Bb7 5. Nbd2 Bd6 6. Bxd6 cxd6 7. e3 O-O 8. Be2 d5 9. O-O Nc6 10. c3 Ne4 11. Nxe4 dxe4 12. Nd2 f5 13. f4 g5 14. Nc4 d5 15. Ne5 Nxe5 16. dxe5 Kh8

 

t+-D-T-J
Xl+-+-+x
-X-+x+-+
+-+xPxX-
-+-+xP-+
+-P-P-+p
pP-+b+p+
R-+q+rK-

White appears better (with a better Bishop), but with hindsight should have chosen the safer line:

17. a4

[17. g3 Rg8 18. Kh2]

17... Rg8 18. Qd2 gxf4 19. Rxf4

[19. exf4 Qh4 20. Kh1 Rxg2 21. Kxg2 Rg8+ 22. Bg4]

19... Qg5 20. Bf1 Qg3 21. Kh1 Qg7 22. Qd4 Ba6

[the exchange of White's good Bishop leaves Black with all the trumps]

23. Rf2 Qg3 24. Rc2 Bxf1 25. Rxf1 Rac8

["All the time Black operates with threats" -- EUWE and KRAMER]

26. b3 Rc7 27. Re2 Rcg7 28. Rf4 Rc7 29. Rc2 Rcg7 30. Re2

 

-+-+-+tJ
X-+-+-Tx
-X-+x+-+
+-+xPx+-
p+-QxR-+
+pP-P-Dp
-+-+r+p+
+-+-+-+k

Repetition is usually to gain time on the clock but can also serve to steady your nerves, to change gear emotionally from defence to attack, and to weary the opponent.

30... Rg6 !

[...Rg6-h6xh3+]

31. Qb4

[31. Qd1 Rh6 zugzwang! Alekhin 32. Rf1

[32. Qf1 Qg7 x e5]

[32. b4 Qg7 33. Qd4 Rxh3+]

[32. c4 d4 ! winning 33. Qe1 d3]

32... Qxe5]

31... Rh6 32. h4 Qg7

[Black has had his eye on the e-pawn for some time]

33. c4 Rg6 34. Qd2 Rg3 !

  Now the Rook occupies the g3 square. We have seen no change of front in this game (all on the King's-side) but lots of different arrangements of pieces.

35. Qe1

[35. Kg1 d4 36. exd4 e3 37. Qc2 Rh3 38. Qd3 Qg3 the return of the Queen to g3 is crushing]

35... Rxg2 0-1

 

  This notion of changing front is easy to see: here is an example where Lasker doesn't change front as much as pester his opponent with different threats.


Manoeuvre: keep finding attacking ideas,

Lasker,Emanuel - Salwe,G (St.Petersburg) [C62] 1909

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 d6 4. d4 Bd7 5. Nc3 Nf6 6. O-O Be7 7. Bg5 exd4 8. Nxd4 O-O 9. Bxc6 bxc6 10. Qd3 Re8 11. Rae1 c5 12. Nb3 Ng4 13. Bxe7 Rxe7 14. f4 Rb8 15. h3 Nh6 16. f5

  active but weakens e5

[16. g4]

16... f6 17. Nd5 Re8 18. c4 Nf7 19. Qc3 Re5 20. Nd2 c6 21. Nf4 Qb6 22. b3 Rbe8 23. Qg3 Kh8 24. Nh5 Rg8 25. Rf4 Qd8 26. Nf3 Re7

 

-+-D-+tJ
X-+lTsXx
-+xX-X-+
+-X-+p+n
-+p+pR-+
+p+-+nQp
p+-+-+p+
+-+-R-K-

Advantage to White:

  (1) the d-pawn is weak but so is the e-pawn

  (2) Black can cover the K-side attack

  (3) White retains a space and mobility advantage

27. Rh4

[27. Rg4 Qf8]

27... Qe8 28. Qf2

  tacking

[28. Nf4 Nh6]

28... Rf8 29. Qd2

  sets up Nf4, Nxh6; Qxd6

29... Qb8 30. Kh1 Rfe8 31. Rg4 Rg8

[31... Nh6 ? 32. Nxf6

[32. Rxg7 Rxg7 33. Qxh6 Rf7 34. Nxf6 Ref8 35. Ng5]

32... Nxg4 33. Nxe8]

32. Rd1 Qb4

  seeking counterplay but is a bit of a lone wolf

[32... Qe8]

33. Qf2 Qc3 34. Qh4 Nh6 35. Rf4 Nf7 36. Kh2 Rge8 37. Qg3 Rg8

 

-+-+-+tJ
X-+lTsXx
-+xX-X-+
+-X-+p+n
-+p+pR-+
+pD-+nQp
p+-+-+pK
+-+r+-+-

since the last diagram Black has only managed to lose contact between the Queen and d6

38. Rh4

[38. Rg4 Nh6 39. Rh4 d5 40. cxd5 cxd5 41. Rxd5 Bc6]

38... g5

[38... d5 39. cxd5 cxd5 40. Nf4]

39. fxg6

[39. Rg4 Be8]

39... Rxg6 40. Qf2 f5

[else Rf4]

41. Nf4 Rf6 42. Ne2 Qb2 43. Rd2 Qa1 44. Ng3 Kg8

[44... a5 45. exf5 Bxf5 46. Nxf5 Rxf5 47. Rxh7+]

45. exf5 Bxf5

 

-+-+-+j+
X-+-Ts+x
-+xX-T-+
+-X-+l+-
-+p+-+-R
+p+-+nNp
p+-R-QpK
D-+-+-+-

46. Nd4 !

[46. Nxf5 is now not quite as good: 46... Rxf5 47. Rxh7 Qf6]

46... cxd4 47. Nxf5 Kf8 48. Qxd4 Qxd4 49. Nxd4 Ne5 50. Rh5 Ref7 51. c5

 

-+-+-J-+
X-+-+t+x
-+xX-T-+
+-P-S-+r
-+-N-+-+
+p+-+-+p
p+-R-+pK
+-+-+-+-

The double-rook ending, far from holding chances of a draw, is quickly won

51... dxc5 52. Rxe5 cxd4 53. Rxd4 Rf2 54. Rd8+ Kg7 55. Ra5 Rc2 56. a3 ! 56... c5 57. Rc8 Rb2 58. Rb5 Rff2 59. Rb7+ Kg6 60. Rc6+ Rf6 61. Rxc5 Ra6 62. a4 ! 62... Rf6

[62... Rxa4 63. Rc6+ Kf5 64. Rb5+ Ke4 65. bxa4]

63. Rc3 a6 64. Rg3+ Kh6 65. Rgg7

 

-+-+-+-+
+r+-+-Rx
x+-+-T-J
+-+-+-+-
p+-+-+-+
+p+-+-+p
-T-+-+pK
+-+-+-+-

1-0

 



Manoeuvre: manoeuvring or woodshifting?

Cohn,E - Nimzowitsch Aaron (Karlsbad) [D30], 1911

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 c5 4. e3 Nf6 5. Bd3 Bd6 6. O-O O-O 7. a3 cxd4 8. exd4 dxc4 9. Bxc4 Nc6 10. Nc3 b6 11. Bg5 Bb7 12. Qe2 h6 13. Be3 Ne7 14. Ne5 Ned5 15. Nxd5 Nxd5 16. Qh5 Bxe5 17. Qxe5 Nf6 18. Rfe1 Bd5 19. Bd3 Rc8 20. Rac1

 

-+tD-Tj+
X-+-+xX-
-X-+xS-X
+-+lQ-+-
-+-P-+-+
P-+bB-+-
-P-+-PpP
+-R-R-K-

20... Ng4 21. Qg3 Nxe3 22. fxe3 Qd7 23. Ba6 Rxc1 24. Rxc1 Qa4 25. Bf1 Qb3 26. Qf2 f5 27. Qd2 Rf7 28. Qc3 Qa4 29. g3 Kh7 30. Bg2 Qb5

 

-+-+-+-+
X-+-+tXj
-X-+x+-X
+d+l+x+-
-+-P-+-+
P-Q-P-P-
-P-+-+bP
+-R-+-K-

After the coming exchange a long period of manoeuvring begins - Euwe asks, quite reasonably, whether in fact the phase is really manoeuvring or mere woodshifting.

31. Bxd5 exd5 32. Qd2 Qb3 33. Qc3 Qb5 34. Qd2 Qb3 35. Qc3 Qb5 36. Qd2 Re7 37. Qc2 Qd7 38. Qd3 Re4 39. Kf2 Qe6 40. Rf1 Qg6 41. Kg2 Qe6 42. Kf2 Qg6 43. Kg2 Qe6 44. Kf2 Kg6 45. Rc1 Kh7 46. Rc2 Qg6 47. Kg2 Qg5 48. Rf2 Qg6 49. Qe2 Qe6 50. Qf3 Kg6 51. Re2 Kh7 52. Kf2 Qc8 53. Kg2 Qe6 54. Kf2 Qg6 55. Kg2 Qg5 56. Kf2 Qf6 57. Kg2 Qg5 58. Kf2 Qg6 59. Kg2 Qe6 60. Kf2 Qc8 61. Kg2 Qe6 62. Kf2 Qc8 63. Kg2

 

-+d+-+-+
X-+-+-Xj
-X-+-+-X
+-+x+x+-
-+-Pt+-+
P-+-PqP-
-P-+r+kP
+-+-+-+-

Drawish? Yes, but White has enough difficulties that Black is justified in playing on, says Nimzo

63... a5

  according to Nimzovitch, to make a7 available as a refuge for the King! 64. h4 Kg6 65. Kh2 h5 66. Kg2 Kh6 67. Rf2 g6

[tomorrow will do]

68. Rf1 Kg7 69. Rf2 Kf7 70. Kh2 Ke7 71. Re2 Qc1

["Black can do very much as he pleases, but for the time being there is simply no serious threat to be made. This game exemplifies the fact that manoeuvring amounts to a form of the initiative." EUWE]

72. Qf2 Kd7 73. Re1 Qc6 74. Kg2 Rg4

[Black has weaknesses to aim at on g3 and e3, and the King is on the way to a7 which White cannot prevent]

75. Rf1

[75. Re2 Re4

[75... Kc7 76. Rc2]

76. Kh2 Qc1 77. Kg2 Qd1 78. Kh2 Qd3 enables ...Kc7]

75... Qc7 76. Qf3 Kc8 77. Qf2 Kb8 78. Kh3 Ka7

 

-+-+-+-+
J-D-+-+-
-X-+-+x+
X-+x+x+x
-+-P-+tP
P-+-P-Pk
-P-+-Q-+
+-+-+r+-

Black is making progress, although the two backward pawns e3/g3 are close enough together to defend easily.

79. Rg1 Qd7 80. Kh2

[else ...f4!]

80... Qd6 81. Kh3 Qc6 82. Re1 Qe6 83. Kh2 Qe4

[now threatening ...g5 and ...h4]

84. Kh3 Qe6 85. Kh2 Qe7 86. Kh3 Qe4 87. Rg1 Qe6 88. Kh2 Re4

 

-+-+-+-+
J-+-+-+-
-X-+d+x+
X-+x+x+x
-+-Pt+-P
P-+-P-P-
-P-+-Q-K
+-+-+-R-

89. Rc1 ?

[89. Re1 White feared: 89... g5 90. hxg5 h4 91. gxh4 f4 92. g6 f3 with attacking chances, but after 93. g7 the onus is quite on Black]

89... Rxe3 90. Qf4 Re2+ 91. Kh3 Ka6 92. b4 axb4 93. axb4 Kb5

[Now the White Queen dare not move, the end is in sight]

94. Rc7 Qe4

[forcing the exchange]

95. Qxe4 Rxe4 96. Rg7 Re6 97. Rd7 Kc4 98. Kg2 Kxd4 99. Kf3 Kc4 100. b5 d4 0-1

 




Manoeuvring: a modern master,

Petrosian,T - Fischer,R [A16] 1958

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. Nf3 d6 6. O-O Nc6 7. d3 Nh5 8. d4 e5 9. d5 Ne7 10. e4 f5 11. exf5 gxf5 12. Nxe5 Nxg3 13. hxg3

  "Petrosian... plays for control of the centre squares." (Fischer).

13... Bxe5 14. f4 Bg7 15. Be3 Bd7 16. Bd4

 

t+-D-Tj+
XxXlS-Lx
-+-X-+-+
+-+p+x+-
-+pB-P-+
+-N-+-P-
pP-+-+b+
R-+q+rK-

"Forcing the exchange of Black's most active piece."

16... Ng6 17. Re1 Rf7

[17... Bxd4+ 18. Qxd4 h5 and ...h4 gets rid of the isolated pawn.]

18. Bf3

 

t+-D-+j+
XxXl+tLx
-+-X-+s+
+-+p+x+-
-+pB-P-+
+-N-+bP-
pP-+-+-+
R-+qR-K-

"Black doesn't get a second chance."

18... Qf8 19. Kf2 Re8 20. Rxe8 Qxe8 21. Bxg7 Rxg7 22. Qd4 b6 23. Rh1

[23. b4 ! Fischer]

23... a5 24. Nd1 Qf8 25. Ne3

[25. Bh5]

25... Rf7 26. b3 Qg7 27. Qxg7+ Kxg7 28. a3 Rf8 29. Be2

 

-+-+-T-+
+-Xl+-Jx
-X-X-+s+
X-+p+x+-
-+p+-P-+
Pp+-N-P-
-+-+bK-+
+-+-+-+r

"White constantly finds ways to improve his position."

[29. b4? axb4 30. axb4 Ra8]

29... Ne7 30. Bd3 h6 31. Rh5 Be8 32. Rh2

[32. Nxf5+ Nxf5 33. Rxf5 Rh8!-+ /\ Bg6]

[32. Rxf5 Rh8!-+ ]

32... Bd7 33. Rh1 Rh8 34. Nc2

 

-+-+-+-T
+-XlS-J-
-X-X-+-X
X-+p+x+-
-+p+-P-+
Pp+b+-P-
-+n+-K-+
+-+-+-+r

"Heading for an even stronger outpost on d4. Each time Petrosian achieved a good position, he managed to manoeuvre into a better one."

34... Kf6 35. Nd4 Kg7 36. Be2

 

-+-+-+-T
+-XlS-J-
-X-X-+-X
X-+p+x+-
-+pN-P-+
Pp+-+-P-
-+-+bK-+
+-+-+-+r

"Feigning an invasion with Bh5, Re1 and Ne6. White has two wings to operate on..."

36... Ng8?

  "Panicking and giving him the opportunity to sneak in b4 when Black can't react with ...axb4 and ...Ra8. Petrosian likes to play cat-and-mouse, hoping his opponents will go wrong in the absence of a direct threat..they usually do

[36... Ra8 37. Bh5 Rc8 38. Re1 Kf6 39. Ne6 c6= ]

37. b4 Nf6 38. Bd3

[38. bxa5 Ne4+ 39. Kg2 bxa5 40. Rb1 Nc5+/= ]

38... axb4

[38... Ne4+ 39. Bxe4 fxe4 40. bxa5 bxa5

[40... Ra8 41. axb6 cxb6 42. Rb1+- ]

41. Rb1+- /\ Rb7]

[38... Kg6 39. bxa5 bxa5 40. Rb1+- /\ Rb7]

39. axb4 Kg6 40. Ra1

 

-+-+-+-T
+-Xl+-+-
-X-X-SjX
+-+p+x+-
-PpN-P-+
+-+b+-P-
-+-+-K-+
R-+-+-+-

"White has finally achieved his ideal set-up, but Black's game is still tenable."

40... Ng4+ 41. Ke2 Re8+ 42. Kd2 Nf6 43. Ra6

[43. Ra7 Rc8]

43... Rb8 44. Ra7 Rc8 45. c5

 

-+t+-+-+
R-Xl+-+-
-X-X-SjX
+-Pp+x+-
-P-N-P-+
+-+b+-P-
-+-K-+-+
+-+-+-+-

"This Pawn sac caught me completely by surprise. It's the only line that gives Black any trouble."

45... bxc5

[45... Nxd5? 46. c6+- ]

46. bxc5 dxc5 47. Nf3 Kf7

[47... Nxd5? 48. Ne5++- ]

48. Ne5+ Ke7 49. Nxd7 Nxd7 50. Bxf5 Rf8 51. g4

[51. Bxd7 Kxd7 52. Ke3

[52. Ra6 Rg8]

52... Kd6 53. Ra6+ Kxd5 54. Rxh6 Re8+ 55. Kf3 c4= ]

51... Kd6 ?

[51... Nf6! 52. Be6 Nxd5! 53. Bxd5 Rxf4=

[53... Rd8= ]

]

52. Bxd7 Kxd7 53. Ke3 Re8+

[53... c4 54. Ra6-+ ]

54. Kf3

[54. Kd3 Rg8= ]

54... Kd6 55. Ra6+ Kxd5 56. Rxh6 c4 57. Rh1

[57. Rh7+- Petrosian,T

57... c6

[57... c5 58. Rd7+ Ke6 59. Rd1 Rb8 60. g5?

[60. f5+! Ke5 61. Re1+ Kd4

[61... Kf6 62. Kf4 c3 63. g5+ Kg7 64. g6 c2 65. Kg5 Rb1 66. f6++- ]

62. g5 c3 63. f6 c2 64. Rc1!

[64. f7? Rb1!= ]

64... Ke5 65. Kg4!+- ]

60... c3 61. Kg4

[61. Rc1 Kf5 62. Rxc3 c4! 63. Rxc4 Rb3+= ]

61... Rb4 62. Re1+ Kf7 63. Kf5 c2 64. Rc1 Rc4 65. g6+ Kg7 66. Kg5 Rc3= ]

58. Rd7+ Kc5 59. Rd1 c3 60. g5 Kc4 61. g6 c2 62. Rc1 Kc3 63. f5 Rg8 64. Kf4 Kd2 65. Rxc2+ Kxc2 66. Kg5 c5 67. f6 c4 68. f7 Rxg6+ 69. Kxg6 c3 70. f8=Q+- ]

[57. Rh7 wins]

57... c3 58. g5 c5 59. Rd1+

[59. g6 Rg8 60. f5 Ke5 61. Kg4 Kf6 62. Rc1 c4 63. Rxc3 Rc8!= ]

[59. Kg4 Re2! 60. g6 Ke4! 61. Kg5 Rg2+ 62. Kf6 Kxf4= ]

59... Kc4 60. g6 c2 61. Rc1

[61. Rg1 Rd8 62. Rc1

[62. g7? Rg8!-+ /\ Txg7]

]

61... Kd3 62. f5 Rg8 63. Kf4 Kd2 64. Rxc2+ Kxc2 65. Kg5 c4 66. f6 c3 67. f7 1/2-1/2

[67. f7 Rxg6+

[67... Rc8 68. g7 Kb1 69. f8=Q Rxf8 70. gxf8=Q c2= ]

68. Kxg6 Kb1 69. f8=Q c2= ]

 

Examples from club play


Note from DrDave: I apologise for the huge quantity of me below. Apart from any egotism, there are some reasons for this:
  • participants in the coaching sessions often complain about seeing nothing but master games, arguing it's all very well for Capablanca to be able to do that, but is it relevant to us?
  • so, I'd like to include examples from club play wherever possible to show that club players can make use of ideas from master games
  • I have lots of examples of my own games but not very many from other people
  • Most of the examples I have from other people feature their brilliant King's-side attacks, not their games of manoeuvre.
  • If you don't like this, you know what to do!
But I do feel embarrassed about blowing my own trumpet.

Manoeuvring in club play: patience and preparatory moves

Regis,D (2840) - O'Grady,J (1820) [C30] Spectrum #1 Torquay 1996

1. e4 e5 2. f4

 

tSlDjLsT
XxXx+xXx
-+-+-+-+
+-+-X-+-
-+-+pP-+
+-+-+-+-
pPpP-+pP
RnBqKbNr

2... d6

[2... Bc5]

3. Nf3 Nc6 4. Bc4 Be7 5. d3 Nf6 6. Nc3 O-O 7. O-O Bg4 8. h3 Bxf3 9. Qxf3 Na5 10. f5 Nxc4 11. dxc4 c6

[11... Kh8]

12. Be3 a6 13. a4

 

t+-D-Tj+
+x+-LxXx
x+xX-S-+
+-+-Xp+-
p+p+p+-+
+-N-Bq+p
-Pp+-+p+
R-+-+rK-

13... Qd7?! [13... b6] 14. a5!

  Typical of manoeuvre: make sure there is something to go at on the Queen's-side before committing on the King's.

14... c5 [14... Kh8] 15. g4 h6 [15... Kh8] 16. h4 Nh7 17. Nd5 Qd8 18. Nxe7+ Qxe7 19. Qg3 f6 20. Rf2 Rf7 21. Rd1 Rd8 22. Bd2 Qc7 23. Bc3 Rfd7 24. Rg2 Kf8 25. Bd2 Kf7

 

-+-T-+-+
+xDt+jXs
x+-X-X-X
P-X-Xp+-
-+p+p+pP
+-+-+-Q-
-PpB-+r+
+-+r+-K-

26. g5?!

  with hindsight, hasty

[26. Rf1 an extra strengthening move couldn't have hurt]

26... hxg5 27. hxg5 fxg5 28. Bxg5 Nxg5 29. Qxg5 Kf8 30. Rh2 Kg8 31. Qg6 Rf7 32. Kf2 Rf6 33. Qh7+ Kf7 34. Rg1 Rg8 35. Rhg2 Kf8

 

-+-+-Jt+
+xD-+-Xq
x+-X-T-+
P-X-Xp+-
-+p+p+-+
+-+-+-+-
-Pp+-Kr+
+-+-+-R-

The thing you need to manoeuvre or defend is pateince. Both players now snatch at moves.

36. Rxg7?!

[36. Rg6!?]

36... Rxg7??

[After the sounder 36... Qxg7 37. Rxg7 Rxg7 38. Qh8+ Kf7

 

-+-+-+-Q
+x+-+jT-
x+-X-T-+
P-X-Xp+-
-+p+p+-+
+-+-+-+-
-Pp+-K-+
+-+-+-+-

An interesting Q/RR endgame arises in which White has chances against the Queen's-side pawns - remember move 13?

39. Qc8?!

[39. b3! the plan is to secure the King first and stop Black coordinating Rooks 39... Rg8 40. Qh5+ Kg7 41. Ke2 Rh8 42. Qg5+ Kf7 43. Kd2 Rfh6 44. Kc3 Rh3+ 45. Kb2 R3h6 46. b4 cxb4 47. Kb3 Rf6 48. Kxb4 Rh2 49. c3 Rb2+ 50. Ka3 Rh2 51. c5 dxc5 52. Qg3 Rc2 53. Qxe5 +-]

39... Rh6 40. Qxb7+ Kf6 41. Qxa6 Rh2+ 42. Kf1 Rh1+ 43. Ke2 Rh2+ 44. Kf3 Rh3+ draws]

37. Qh8+ Ke7 38. Rxg7+ 1-0

 


Manoeuvring in club play: play on both sides of the board

Regis,D (1960) - Richmond,RH (2150) [A21] Cambridge Vs. NCI, 1986

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 d6 3. g3 f5 4. d4 e4 5. Nh3 Nf6 6. Bg2 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. Bg5 c6 9. f3

 

tSlD-Tj+
Xx+-L-Xx
-+xX-S-+
+-+-+xB-
-+pPx+-+
+-N-+pPn
pP-+p+bP
R-+q+rK-

Black's centre is under pressure.

9... exf3 10. exf3 h6 11. Be3 Be6 12. Qd3 d5 13. c5 Qd7 14. Nf4 Bf7 15. b4 g5 16. Nfe2 Kg7 17. Rab1 Bg6 18. f4 Ne4

 

tS-+-T-+
Xx+dL-J-
-+x+-+lX
+-Px+xX-
-P-PsP-+
+-NqB-P-
p+-+n+bP
+r+-+rK-

The position is by no means closed but the feature of slow build-up of play on both sides brings this under the heading of manoeuvre.

19. b5 Qc7 20. fxg5 hxg5 21. Nxe4 fxe4 22. Qd2 Qd8

 

tS-D-T-+
Xx+-L-J-
-+x+-+l+
+pPx+-X-
-+-Px+-+
+-+-B-P-
p+-Qn+bP
+r+-+rK-

Bob thought exchanging rooks was better. The exchanges have left Black facing pressure against Pawns on both sides of the board (g5,b7)

23. Rxf8 Kxf8 24. bxc6 bxc6 25. Bh3

[25. Rb7 Nd7+/- ]

25... Na6 26. Bg4 Nc7 27. Rb7 Bf7 28. Qc1 Kg8 29. Qf1 Nb5 30. Qh3

  The light squares are weaker than the dark.

[30. Bxg5 - lay unnoticed until 1992!]

30... Na3 31. Bf5

 

t+-D-+j+
Xr+-Ll+-
-+x+-+-+
+-Px+bX-
-+-Px+-+
S-+-B-Pq
p+-+n+-P
+-+-+-K-

31... Qa5 32. Qh7+ Kf8 33. Qh8+ Bg8 34. Qh6+ Ke8 35. Qxc6+ Kf8 36. Qh6+ Ke8 37. Rxe7+ Kxe7 38. Bxg5+ Ke8 39. Qc6+

[39. Qc6+ Kf8 40. Qd6+ Kg7 41. Qf6#]

1-0

 


Manoeuvring in club play: as a phase in a half-open game.

Williams,SK (1990) - Regis,D. (1935) [A36] East Devon #3, 1994

1. c4 g6 2. Nc3 Bg7 3. g3 c5 4. Bg2 Nc6 5. e4 d6 6. Nge2 Nf6 7. O-O O-O 8. d3 Ne8

[8... Bd7]

9. Be3 Nd4 10. Rb1 a5 11. a3 Nc7 12. b4 axb4 13. axb4 Nxe2+ 14. Nxe2 Ne6 15. Qd2 Nd4 16. Nxd4 cxd4 17. Bh6 e5 18. Bxg7 Kxg7 19. f4 f5

 

t+lD-T-+
+x+-+-Jx
-+-X-+x+
+-+-Xx+-
-PpXpP-+
+-+p+-P-
-+-Q-+bP
+r+-+rK-

A half-open position in which White has better Pawns and greater piece activity. White tries to improve his prospects further on each side before trying to decide the issue - like the Capa-Kupchik game.

20. exf5 Rxf5 21. Be4 Rf6 22. fxe5 dxe5 23. Rxf6 Qxf6 24. Rf1 Qe7 25. Qg2 Ra6 26. Bd5

 

-+l+-+-+
+x+-D-Jx
t+-+-+x+
+-+bX-+-
-PpX-+-+
+-+p+-P-
-+-+-+qP
+-+-+rK-

White's pawns on the Queen's-side are more mobile than Black's in the centre - the game now stops being one of unforced manoeuvre and reverts to the familiar pattern of competing plans. The finish is still quite tricky, if you are interested.

26... Be6 27. c5 Bxd5 28. Qxd5 Ra3 29. b5!?

[29. Rd1]

29... Rxd3 30. Ra1 Rc3 31. c6 bxc6 32. bxc6

 

-+-+-+-+
+-+-D-Jx
-+p+-+x+
+-+qX-+-
-+-X-+-+
+-T-+-P-
-+-+-+-P
R-+-+-K-

32... Qg5

[32... d3? 33. Qd7 Qxd7 34. cxd7 d2 35. d8=Q Rc1+ 36. Kf2 d1=Q 37. Qxd1+- ]

[32... Qc5!? 33. Qd7+ Kf6]

[32... Rc5! 33. Qd7 Qxd7 34. cxd7 Rd5 35. Ra5 Rxd7 36. Rxe5-+ ]

33. Rf1 Kh6

[33... Qe3+ 34. Rf2 Kh1 transposes to game]

34. Kh1 Rc1?

[34... Qe3! 35. Qd7 Qe4+ -+ ]

35. Qf7 e4 36. c7 Rxf1+ 37. Qxf1 Qc5 38. Qh3+ 1-0

 


Manoeuvring in club play: with extra space (I)

Regis,D. - Richard Dixon (CORR_92/93) [B36] Devon vs. glos. CC, 1993

1. c4 g6 2. g3 Bg7 3. Bg2 Nf6 4. Nc3 O-O 5. e4

  ( new for me this season: I played the e3/Nge2/d4 plan for years but recently fancied this, which looked more enterprising )

5... d6 6. Nge2 c5 7. O-O Nc6 8. d3 Ne8 9. Be3 Nc7

  ( ?! in the books )

10. d4 ! cxd4 11. Nxd4 Ne6 12. Nde2 Ne5

 

t+lD-Tj+
Xx+-XxLx
-+-Xs+x+
+-+-S-+-
-+p+p+-+
+-N-B-P-
pP-+nPbP
R-+q+rK-

! TN - threatens c4 and e3 via g4

[12... Nc5 13. Rc1 Be6 14. b3 Qa5 15. Qd2 Rac8 16. Nf4 +- and black is in trouble: Barcza-Szilagyi 1967]

13. b3 b6

  ( transposing to a hedgehog formation looks better than Szilagyi's setup )

14. h3 Bb7 15. Rc1 Nc5 16. f4

  ( now I thought I was on the right lines: turn that space into attack, as in a Portisch game)

16... Ned7 17. g4 a5 18. Ng3 Bc6 19. a4

  (what is black's plan now ? the real challenge of course is to find white's plan! The wQ is badly tied to b3 and d3)

19... Rb8 20. Rf2

 

-T-D-Tj+
+-+sXxLx
-XlX-+x+
X-S-+-+-
p+p+pPp+
+pN-B-Np
-+-+-Rb+
+-Rq+-K-

20... Qc8 21. Nd5 Re8 22. g5 Qb7 23. f5 Bf8 24. Bd4

( 24 f6 simply takes a good square away from the knight. )

24... Ne5 25. Rc3 Bg7

 

-T-+t+j+
+d+-XxLx
-XlX-+x+
X-SnSpP-
p+pBp+-+
+pR-+-Np
-+-+-Rb+
+-+q+-K-

26. f6 Bf8 27. fxe7 Bxe7 28. h4 Bxd5 29. exd5 Bf8 30. Rf4 Bg7 31. Qf1

  ( both sides have consolidated after some white initiative and I thought we're now in for a phase of manoeuvring )

31... Re7 32. Bxc5

[32. Rf6!!?? but declining leaves White committed]

32... bxc5 33. Ne4

 

-T-+-+j+
+d+-TxLx
-+-X-+x+
X-XpS-P-
p+p+nR-P
+pR-+-+-
-+-+-+b+
+-+-+qK-

( This move cheered me up a little; I felt I had some chances for the initiative )

33... Rd8 34. Nf6+ Bxf6!? 35. gxf6 Ree8 36. Re4 h5 37. Rce3 Kh7 38. Qf4

 

-+-Tt+-+
+d+-+x+j
-+-X-Px+
X-XpS-+x
p+p+rQ-P
+p+-R-+-
-+-+-+b+
+-+-+-K-

( I couldn't see a way of winning after what I thought was the best line, ...Qb4, but I didn't have to lose either. White can try to contrive a lever with Bh3, Qg5 and now Bf5, but ...Qb4 and ...Rg8 (forces Kh1) slows or stops it)

38... Qc8 39. Bh3 Qb8

  ( if the knight moves don't work this is probably best )

40. Kh1 Qc7?! 41. Bf5 Qb8

  ( I immediately thought this was too resigned: 41...Rh8)

42. Qg5

  ( mates in six )

1-0

 


Manoeuvring in club play: with extra space (II)

Regis,D - Tunks,D (1935) [B06] Portsmouth Open #6, 1984

1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 4. Nge2 Nd7 5. g3 e5

[too early]

6. Bg2 Ne7

[doesn't look quite right here]

7. O-O O-O 8. Bg5 f6 9. Be3 Kh8 10. Qd2 Ng8 11. f4 c6 12. Rf2

[12. a4]

12... Qe7 13. Raf1

 

t+l+-TsJ
Xx+sD-Lx
-+xX-Xx+
+-+-X-+-
-+-PpP-+
+-N-B-P-
pPpQnRbP
+-+-+rK-

Black has only defensive plans available - White tries to keep it that way.

13... Nb6 14. b3 Be6 15. a4 Rad8 16. a5 Nc8 17. d5 Bf7 18. Bh3 c5 19. f5 g5 20. Ra1 Be8 21. Na4

 

-+sTlTsJ
Xx+-D-Lx
-+-X-X-+
P-XpXpX-
n+-+p+-+
+p+-B-Pb
-+pQnR-P
R-+-+-K-

White probes on each side - the key manoeuvring idea.

21... Qc7 22. Bf1 h5 23. Nec3 a6 24. Ne2 Nh6 25. h3 Rg8 26. b4 cxb4 27. Qxb4 Bb5 28. Nec3 Bxf1

[I'm not sure who this exchange favours - I thought White at the time]

29. Kxf1 Rd7 30. Nb6 Nxb6 31. Bxb6 Qb8 32. Ra3 Bf8 33. Na4 Be7 34. Rc3 Kg7 35. Qc4 Bd8

 

-D-L-+t+
+x+t+-J-
xB-X-X-S
P-+pXpXx
n+q+p+-+
+-R-+-Pp
-+p+-R-+
+-+-+k+-

White doesn't quite know what to do with the Queen's side...

36. Qe2

  Tacking about from side to side is the hallmark of manoeuvre

36... Rh8?!

  Black manfully gives up a Pawn but White has been looking to get in on the light squares... the pattern of the game looks like the infiltration of the Lasker-Tylor game rather than the tacking about of Petrosian.

[36... g4! 37. Rb3!? / 37. Rh2!? when there is still a lot of play left for both sides]

37. Qxh5 g4 38. Bxd8 Qxd8 39. Nb6 Rc7

[39... Rf7 40. Rc8]

40. Rxc7+ Qxc7 41. Qg6+ Kf8 42. Qxf6+ Nf7 43. Qe6

 

-+-+-J-T
+xD-+s+-
xN-Xq+-+
P-+pXp+-
-+-+p+x+
+-+-+-Pp
-+p+-R-+
+-+-+k+-

1-0

  (Black said he was relieved when it all ended!)

  idea was 44 Nd7+ and 45 Qg6 mate;

  43 ... Qe7; 44 h4!

[43. Qe6]

  43... Rh6

[43... Qe7 44. h4 Nd8 45. Nc8 Nxe6 46. fxe6+ Ke8 47. Nxe7 Kxe7 48. Rf7+ Ke8 +-]

  44. Nd7+ Kg8 45. Qe8+ Kh7

[45... Kg7 46. f6+ Rxf6

[46... Kg6 47. Nf8+ Kh5 48. Rf5#]

47. Qf8+ Kh7 48. Nxf6+ Kg6 49. Qg8+ Kh6 50. Qh7+ Kg5 51. h4#]

  46. Qxf7+ Kh8 47. f6 Rxf6 48. Qxf6+ Kh7 49. Qf7+ Kh8 50. Qh5+ Kg7 51. Rf7+ Kg8 52. Nf6#

  1-0


See also the material on Space in the Canon

Chess Quotes

"Some part of a mistake is always correct."
— -- TARTAKOVER