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Piano lessons

IM Malcolm Pein IM Malcolm Pein
September 9, 2023


THE huge popularity of the Giuoco Piano has led to a proliferation of move orders.
It needs a huge amount of work to keep abreast of all the nuances.
At the FIDE World Cup in Baku, one of the elite, Arjun Erigaisi of India, fell into a bad line and his compatriot, Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, took full advantage.
Pragg went on to win the match in the ninth game and qualified for the Candidates.

A Erigaisi – R Praggnanandhaa
FIDE World Cup, Baku
Giuoco Piano 5+3


1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.0–0 a6 7.Bg5 Ba7 8.a4?! h6 9.Bh4? (9.Be3 was essential)
9…g5 10.Bg3 Ne7! (a4 and Bg5 don’t go together. Instead of a2-a4, Nb1-d2 was best so that
10...Ne7 can be met by d3–d4! and Nxe4 is not possible)
11.d4 (11.Nbd2 Ng6 12.d4 Qe7 13.Re1 Nh7! is a great theme to note. Two points, the queen covers the g-pawn allowing h6–h5 to come and after g5–g4 White cannot play Nf3–h4 so if 14.Nf1 g4 15.N3d2 h5)
11...Nxe4 12.dxe5 d5 13.Bd3 Bf5
(13...h5! 14.Bxe4 h4! 15.Bd3 hxg3 16.hxg3 g4 17.Nh4 Nc6 18.Re1 Rxh4! wins)
14.Nd4 Qd7 (14...h5!)
15.Kh1? h5

16.h4 (16.h3 Nxg3+ 17.fxg3 Bxh3 wins) 16...0–0–0
17.Qe2 Bg4 18.Qe1 Nf5 19.Bxe4 dxe4 20.Qxe4 Bxd4 21.cxd4 gxh4 22.e6

(After 22.Bh2 Qe6 d4 falls, then 23.f3 Rxd4 24.Qe1 h3 25.fxg4 hxg2+ 26.Kxg2 Qd5+ 27.Kf2 hxg4 wins)
22...Nxg3+ 23.fxg3 Bxe6 24.gxh4 Rhg8 (It’s a mystery to me how White failed to develop his pieces)
25.Nc3 Qxd4 26.Rf4 Qd2 27.Qf3 Rxg2 28.Ne4 Rh2+ 29.Kg1 Rg8+ 30.Ng5 Bd5 31.Rd1
The game ended 31...Rh1+ 0–1

Can you see a mate in two after White's 31.Rd1?

See the Answer

31...Qf2+ 32.Qxf2 Rh1#.

©Telegraph Media Group Limited 2023

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