Saturday, October 09, 2010

Backward analize this!

Let me try to analyse backwards in order to find the seeds of my positional demise in a recent game. I belief that retrograde analysis is a term with a well specified meaning in chess, so in order to not annoy the few esoteric souls that are occupied with that I will use the term backward analysis in stead.

In the graph above you see the appreciation of Rybka of a game of me as white. Somewhere around move 19 I was pretty lost, allthough it took me a long time to say goodbye to the point.
What is so bad in the position of move 19 and how did it came about?

Let's have a look at the diagram.

I just moved Rad1.
What are the elements that make my position bad? That I feel obliged to give up the exchange?
  • My knight is pinned.
  • The diagonal d6 h2 is weak.
  • The diagonal c5 g1 is weak.
  • My knight has no place to go (besides that it is pinned).
  • My knight is bound to the defense of pawn e4.
  • The square e5 is firmly in the hands of the enemy.
  • The f-file is in the hands of the enemy.
  • My queen is bound to the defense of the knight.
  • My queen has very little space.
  • The d-file is of no use to me.
How is it possible to give so much away in 19 moves while not even being aware of it?

  • 1. e4 weakens the c5 - g1 diagonal. No big deal at this moment :)
  • 7. Bxc6 gives black a mobile pawn which he can use as a battering ram later on.
  • 10. Ne2 heading for the weak postion on g3.
  • 12. d4 weakening my e-pawn, give diagonal d6-h2 away, freeing blacks bishop and giving black a possible outpost on e5.
  • 14. Nxe6 opening the f-line for black, exchange the defender of the c5-g1 diagonal, allowing Qh4
  • 15. h3 weakening my knight
  • 18. c3 taking away space of my Queen.
  • 19. Rd1 giving up the exchange.


  1. Move 13: Bxd4 instead? Lets you fight for e5 and maybe trade off dark-square bishops?

  2. Thanks for posting this, I will have to read it this week at work sometime, it looks great.

  3. Is your notation in the game correct since after 33. ... Rd1 34. Rxd1 Qxd1 i am baffled that white plays 35. Qe3 and not Qxd1. Am i missing something?

  4. Nice to see you are still trying to solve the game of chess. 8)

    I want to ask the same question as chesstiger.

  5. That's an error indeed. My course for my work is finished, so I hope to elaborate on this soon. Yesterday we subscribed for the Tata chess tournament 2011, so I have a reason to dig in again.


  7. Uwe,

    so you finally discovered that my real name is David Small? :)

  8. I wouldn't have played BxNc6.

    Monday morning quarterback suggests the move Kh1 instead of Rad1, but why not f4, why not sac a pawn for activity? If it hadn't been for the loose b2 pawn, when you had to play c3, an e5 sac would have been nice, too.

    Prize development over material a bit more, perhaps, once it's decided that the fight will be for a draw.