Watch and Learn Chess

Breaking through a castled king’s defenses is an important skill and one we can improve by studying illustrative examples.

GM Vadim Zvjaginsev played a beautiful mating combination against a castled king during the second round of the 2022 Dvoretsky Memorial chess tournament.

In the position below, IM Aleksey Grebnev (black) has just played 42… Nc6 leaving GM Vadim Zvjaginsev with an opportunity to deliver mate by force.

Position after 42… Nc6.

The correct move here is GM Zvjaginsev’s 43. Bxh6.

Position after 43. Bxh6!

Now it’s time to watch and learn why sacrificing the bishop works.

If black had immediately accepted the sacrificed bishop with 43… gxh6 then white can simply play 44. Qf7 and black will be checkmated on move 45.
The actual game finishes 43… Nxd4
44.Bxg7+ Kxg7 45.Qf7+ Kh6 46.Qh7+ Kg5 47.f4+

IM Aleksey Grebnev resigns because if black plays Kf6…

Continuation with 47… Kf6.

White would deliver checkmate with 48. Qf7.

Even if you already understand why 43. Bxh6 destroys black’s defenses, GM Vadim Zvjaginsev beautiful mating combination is worthy of appreciation.

Published by chessmusings

Chris Torres is a nationally renowned scholastic chess coach working in the San Francisco Bay Area. His classes have attracted players of strengths ranging from rank beginners to world champions. A chess professional since 1998, Chris is widely recognized as one of the main driving forces behind the explosion in popularity and sudden rise in quality of scholastic chess in California. Chris Torres served as the President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy from 2005-2020 and currently is recognized as a correspondence chess master with the United States Chess Federation. Since 1998 Chris Torres has taught 6 individual national champions as well as led multiple school teams to win national championship titles. In addition, Chris Torres has directed and taught at 10 different schools which have been California State Champions at chess. In 2011 and 2012, several former and current students of Chris Torres have been selected to represent the United States at the World Youth Chess Championships. Mr. Torres’ hobbies include playing classical guitar and getting his students to appear on the national top 100 chess rating lists.

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