Saturday, April 12, 2014

A remarkable position {2}: Kavalek - Huebner (1979)

While reading an old tournament book about the prestigious Montreal 1979 tournament, I came across an incredible sacrifice by L. Kavalek against R. Hubner: Kavalek sacrifies a whole rook on move 15 for some initiative...This sacrifice just looks crazy, a cheap blitz swindle and yet, as we will see below, this is far from clear (courtesy of our silicon friend Stockfish)

A few takeaways:

  • When attacking, 
    • Always try to involve all your pieces (cf. 21.Re1!!)
    • Try not to exchange your attacking pieces unless there is a clear gain in sight (True that 21.Nxh8+ grabs the exchange but White still remains a piece down with a dying initiative)
    • Even if the attack is not going your way, keep trying to find resources and counter chances; even after Nxh8+, Kavalek probably misses a draw at some point in the game (28. Ba5!? instead of 28.Qf3)  
  • When defending,
    • Sit tight and calculate variations!
    • Don't be afraid to make "ugly" moves (24...Qh7; 28...Qh8) as long as they are backed up by your calculations
    • Be patient and your time will come! (30...Qxc4+)

We have to credit L. Kavalek for his inventiveness and courage to play such a bold move, what a pity that he was not able to follow up with the right idea!

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