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Understand The Position 25: “Tear, Doggie!”

GM Ján Markoš | November 15, 2011 – 17:364 Comments | 845 views
Understand The Position 25: “Tear, Doggie!”

In late October I was organizing a little chamber Grandmaster tournament for ten young chess players in the small village located in central Slovakia. We played in a local community center, which was fully available just for us and there were only a few houses and forest around. Autumn was outside the window. Red leaves. Silence. During our walks we sometimes met sheep, sometimes cows.

Translated by: Dusan Turcer

Peaceful atmosphere was strongly contrasting with the fight on the chessboards. In particular, the winner of the tournament, a young Slovak Grandmaster Peter Michalik, behaved pretty much brutally to us. He managed to gain 8 points out of 9 and he escaped from his persecutor to a distance of 2 points.

The same way he also beat the Polish Grandmaster Miroslaw Grabarczyk:

Michalik – Grabarczyk, White to move:

The position on the board arose from Grünfeld Indian Defence. White succeeded to weaken the opponent’s king with the h2-h4 advance and the pressure on the b1-h7 diagonal and his pieces are more active. But Black has also his trumps: if he managed to transfer the knight to d5, his healthy majority on the queenside would become sound. Thus White must act quickly and resolutely.

Peter realizes that: for the next few moves, however, a description “quickly and resolutely” is a weak euphemism. Actually, a nuclear bomb will explode on the board:

29.Rxc8+ Qxc8

I have intentionally included this initial exchange in the example. We often forget that not only a check and threat, but also the exchange is a forced continuation, the continuation which forces the opponent to react in some way…


After taking on d5, White has available a very powerful e5-e6 breakthrough. Black cannot recapture on e6 with the queen, due to an unfortunate position of the knight on b8…

30…b5 31.g4!

Many club players would continue 31.d6 here and would hope for the strength of the connected passed pawn. But Black can block it on d7 relatively reliably. Moreover, the position would not get opened and it suits to the knight more that to the long-legged bishop.

31…exd5 32.e6! fxe6 33.Bxg6 Qb7 34.gxh5

Zajezovske lazy, the village, where the strongest Slovak tournament of this year was taking place

Zajezovske lazy, the village, where the strongest Slovak tournament of this year was taking place


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Comments (4)

    • Baouwzan says:

      My lnaered behaviors as they relate to games like Fiasco were already in place the interesting thing for me is watching the rest of the group adapt to the form at hand. This is not to say that I’m somehow better at gameplay like Fiasco or Zombie Cinema because of all the improv and acting training I’ve had. I’m not. And in some ways, the need to perform for other people that is a lnaered behavior for me can trip me up and put me in my head (an improv term for overthinking a move or response to the point of unnecessary delay) instead of letting me just play a game. But upon viewing the structure of a storytelling game, I instintively break down the long form, figure out the beats and queue up my bag of tricks that every improviser has in the back of their mind. Your experience with martial arts training and my experience with performance training differ immensely. It makes sense that a fighting discipline would suffer from past training. It is something that is lnaered with a pinpoint, accurate focus with skills that require repeated practice to master. Improv and acting training embrace all experiences within a person’s lifetime. It informs their ability to create characters, make interesting scenes and recognize patterns in interscene gameplay. Improv students are encouraged to absorb everything and watch everything. Actors especially those that follow Stanislavsky’s Method learn the art of observation, investigation and mimicry and put it into practice with every role they’re cast in. We are instructed to leave ourselves open and vulnerable to those whom we play out our scenes with. Our lnaered behaviors as performers are to watch, learn and adapt; to unburden our minds and lay bare our souls. The cacophany of story elements, characters and relationships that spills forth out of that inelegant mess can be overwhelming sometimes.Honesly, one lnaered behavior that gamers could take from improvisers and actors is to learn how to warm up into their game session. Even a basic conversation on topic (like we did with Misspent Youth at GenCon) can get everyone focused and ready to play a game.With all that being said, I believe that participants in storytelling RPGs have a far higher success rate in creating interesting, organic, entertaining narrative than your average improvisers or scripted actors despite all their training, practice and innate talent. I realize that statement will get feathers ruffled, but the longer I play these games the more I am convinced of this fact. For people whom no rules exist except that which is determined by the roll of a die, almost anything is possible.

  • Celiane says:

    This is what I have been saincherg in quite a few web pages and I ultimately identified it right here. Wonderful post. I am so impressed. Could under no circumstances imagine of these a point is attainable with it?I imagine you have a excellent information in particular while dealings with these kinds of topics.

  • ante says:

    great! thank you for this.very instructive!

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