Understanding before Moving 157: Chess history in a nutshell (39)

by ChessBase
12/24/2023 – Herman Grooten is an International Master, a renowned trainer and the author of several highly acclaimed books on chess training and strategy. In the 157th episode of his ChessBase show "Understanding before moving" Herman continues his series "Chess history in a nutshell" and continues to talk about the games and the legacy of Paul Keres. | Photo: Pascal Simon

Key Concepts of Chess - Pawn Structures Vol.1 and 2 Key Concepts of Chess - Pawn Structures Vol.1 and 2

In this two-part course the emphasis will be on typical pawn-structures.


Paul Keres (2)

We saw in the previous issue that Paul Keres was an all-round player with a preference for attacking play whenever the opportunity arose. Keres had a special ability to combine positional play with tactics.

In this episode we look at a game he played against Ludek Pachman in which, in a line of the English, Black answers 7.g2-g3 with an immediate ...h7-h5. When Alpha Zero first appeared on the scene, the programme's remarkable strategy of steaming forward with a rook pawn in the early stages of some games caused shock and initially raised eyebrows. But when several top players began to use this approach in their games, often with success, the scepticism disappeared.

In the Netherlands we were hardly surprised, because the Dutch IM Manuel Bosboom had been doing this for years. When Black played ...g7-g6 or ...b7-b6 it seemed to work on him like a red flag on a bull - it seemed to be in his nature to attack such moves with an immediate h2-h4 or a2-a4.

After presenting the Pachman - Keres game I could not resist showing two feats of the attacking genius Bosboom. He won the first game in fine style. In the second, against his fellow countryman IM Jeroen Bosch, he sacrificed a full rook to attack, which, however, turned out to be objectively unsound.

But White was under pressure and had to be precise to stop the attack for good. In the diagram position he should have played 23.Rf2, but instead he played 23.Bc3-d2?

Can you see with which "killer" Bosboom took the full point?

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