May 20, 2001

chess chess

Alexander Shashin

Let me tell shortly about myself.
1962. The USSR champion among the students.
1967. The national master.
1968-1979. After I finished the university, I worked as a teacher of physics in different institutes in Leningrad.
1968-1981. The multiple participant and the prizewinner in the championships of Leningrad and national society ''Burevestnik'', the participant in the semifinals of the national championships.
From 1979 I work as a chess coach for children.
From 1992 - the chess publications come out regularly.
My coaching achievements: G. Kamsky (I coached him more than one year, than passed him to another coach), the multiple prizewinners of Russia and Latvia championships among the boys and girls of different ages. >From 1992 three of my student regularly participate in world and Europe championships among the boys and girls. I teach personally and by correspondence.

It is me - the chess master, the chess coach, the author of many chess publications. But not only this. Probably, the best game of a chess player is his best business card. Here it is!

Shashin - Korchnoi
USSR, 1973

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 c5 6. Nf3 d5 7. O-O Nc6 8. a3 cxd4 9. exd4

It is the most preferable 9.axb4.

9...Bxc3 10. bxc3 dxc4 11. Bxc4 Qa5 12. Bb2

This natural move at that time was something like a theoretical novelty.

12...e5 13. Re1 Bg4 14. h3 Bxf3 15. Qxf3 Rad8 16. Ba2

This is good move.


The following doesn't look bad 16...exd4 17. cxd4 Nxd4 18. Bxd4 Rxd4 19. Qxb7 Rd2 with threat 20...Rxa2.

17. Re2

In order to improve the Bishop on b2. White is ready to give up the Pawn 17...exd4 18.cxd4 Rxd4

17...Rfd8 18. Rae1 exd4 19. cxd4

19...Nxd4? is impossible because of 20. Bxd4 Rxd4 21. Re8+ with the mate.

19...Qb6 20. Qc3

Leads to the brain-breaking complications. For the Pawn White is opening the big diagonal for the Bishop and invading on the seventh rank with the Rook.


It was enforced, because 21. d5 with defeat was threatened. But if 20...Qxd4 21. Qg3+- or 20...Rxd4 21. Qg3

21. Re7 Rxe7 22. Rxe7 Nf5 23. Rxf7

If White would make the next move, it will be enough to destroy the opponent's defensive. It is difficult to overvalue the force of the multi-barreled battery Rf7+Qc3+Bb2+Ba2. But it is White's turn to move!

23...Rd1+ 24. Kh2 Qd6+

It looked like 24... Ng4+ 25. hxg4 Qd6+ was leading to draw (25... Qh6+ 26. Qh3 Qf4+ 27. g3 Qxf2+ 28. Qg2 Qxg2+ 29. Kxg2 Rd2+ 30. Kh3 Rxb2 31. Be6 Nd4 32. Rxb7++- is losing) 26. Qg3 Nxg3 27. Rd7+ Kf8 28. Bxg7+ Ke8 29. Rxd6 Nf1+ 30. Kg1 Nd2+ with eternal check. If 31. Kh2 Nf1+ 32. Kh3, then after 32...Rxd6 33. g5 Rd2 34. Bg8 Rxf2 35. Bxh7 Ra2 Black, according to the world champion A. Khalifman, has the advantage. But what is in the game?

25. g3

After 25. Qg3? Nxg3 26. Rxf6+ Kh8 27. Rxd6 Nf1+ 28. Kg1 Rxd6 29. Kxf1 Rd2 Black is winning.

25...Ng4+ 26. Kg2

26. hxg4? Qh6+ 27. Kg2 Qh1#.

26...Nh4+ 27. gxh4 Qh2+ 28. Kf3 Qxf2+ 29. Ke4

29. Kxg4 Rg1+ 30. Kh5 g6+ 31. Kh6 Qxh4#.


This move is losing. 29... Re1+ 30. Kd5 Rd1+ 31. Kc4 Kxf7 is more powerful. If now it will be 32. hxg4, then 32...Ke8 (according to A.Khalifman) and the win can't be seen. During the game I saw 30. Kd5 and superficially the option after 30...Qxf7+. Then it is the win: 31. Kd6 Rd1+ 32. Kc5 b6+ 33. Kb4 a5+ 34. Ka4 b5+ 35. Kxa5, and Black doesn't have the check on the fifth file. After 30... Ne3+ fantastic options are arising. The most beautiful from them are following: 31. Kd6 Nc4+ 32. Qxc4 Qb6+ 33. Kd7 Rd1+ 34. Bd4 Rxd4+ 35. Qxd4 Qxd4+ 36. Kc8 and 32...Rd1+ 33. Kc7 Qb6+ 34. Kb8 with the victory. Now, after the diagonal checks 34...Rd8+ 35. Qc8 Qd6+ the game would finish very quickly: 36. Rc7+ Kf8 37. Bxg7+ Ke8 38. Bf7#.

This position is unique and very beautiful. It really proves that our game is very rich. It proves more than the expectative and even logically blameless discourses, which rationalises the reality of chess infinity. But the aesthetic doesn't contradict the logic. The first one is wider. The second one is more dependable. The fantasy and the logic complete each other.

After the move in the game (see 29...Qe2) the struggle is finished.

30. Kf4 Rf1+ 31. Kg5 h6+ 32. Kg6 Ne5+ 33. Qxe5 Rg1+ 34. Qg5

If the Pawn would not on h4, it would be... another universe!

34...Qxb2 35. Rxg7+


Probably after this game V.Korchnoi noticed me. Three years later, just before he left USSR, V.Korchnoi invited me to collaborate with him. It was my first experience as a coach.

The study course includes the following cycles:
1. The combination (tactics) + the attack;
2. The positional play;
3. The defence;
4. The psychology of the chess fight.
The result of effective technique - it is ''mass production'' of strong candidates for masters. It was the high point in 1996: 5 of the 6 members of a school team - are my students! I go now to the main part - the declaration of opportunities. What can I suggest you?
The first. The wide chess - psychological characterization of the player by his 15-20 last games. I make up the chess ''portrait", define the strong and weak sides of the player's creation and give recommendations on the perfection. The method was tested on the grandmasters, masters and the players of the common level. It is advisable to have additional information with games (the age, the time trouble. the external circumstances before and after the game and so on).
The second. The methods of the search of the move in any positions:
a) an attack (the Tal's algorithm);
b) the strategic attack (the Capablanka's algorithm);
c) the defence (the Petrosian's algorithm).
The essence of these methods - is the all-purpose method of search of move. How it works - see below: the comments to the fragment of the game A.Adorjan - P.Lukacs. How it will be - our prospective collaboration? You will send me your games, I will comment on them, this means that I will explain mistakes and, from the point of view of the all-purpose method of search of move, I will calculate the strongest moves.

Comments on the games or fragments of the games of outstanding players are available.
The third. ''The chess and metachess''. This is the draft name of my future book. This book was composed a long time ago and part of the accrued material was published in the articles in the magazine ''Chess Peterburg''.The shape of the book: the logical, mathematical, spatiotemporal and energetic levels of the rationalization of the chess play. The critique of V. Stainz and his disciples was supposed to be in this book. In one part of the book I suppose to open and put to rights the chess continuum. Like a result I come to the practical appendixes: we are looking for the strongest move! That is to say, I created the new concept of the chess theory and devised the new methods of the search for the strongest move in any positions. Let me mark, that my theory uses the newest achievements of the natural science of XX century and first of all the achievements of the modern theoretical physics. Now, the comments: A.Adorjan-P Lukacs, Hungary, 1970, which I promised to you.

The White's move.
The all-purpose method of the search of move - is the method of five "consideration" and three "casting - off". Let me start from review of the chess material, time and space. The material. The balance. The chess time. White has a lead: their total mobility of the pieces is more. In particular, 36>28. Let me explain. The mobility of the piece - is the quantity of it's all possible moves, allowed by the chess rules. Let say, the King is on g1: the possible moves are: on f1, g2, h1. All together -three moves. This number defines the mobility of the piece. The Queen on h3 has 13 of such moves, The Rook has 12 and so on. Then the sum of the mobility of all white pieces and all white Pawns equal of 3+13+12+8=36. Black has: 3+14+6-5=27. Then, the space factor. Let us give the King oh g1 number 1, since it located on the first file. The same is with the Rook on e1. The Pawns on the second file will get each 2, together - 5x2=10, the Queen - 3 and so on. Let us make out the sum 2x1+5x2+1x3+1x4+1x5=24. Together is 10 pieces and if everything is like this, then 24/10=2,4 - the number which defines the center of gravity of white pieces. Black 2x1+3x2+4x3+1x4=24. The center gravity is 24/10=2,4. The parity! The next move. I need to cast off ineffective algorithms of the search of moves. For this the position on the diagram I will... encode, which means describe it's valuation. The code is "=", "+", "-". Each of three signs can take one of three possible meanings. They are "+", "=","-".Theoretically possible the third power of 3 - 27 kinds of the move. Now I need just remember: which of the algorithms is the most effective in my case or, which is easier, which algorithms are extra. It is clear, that player whom I teach already has passed the lowest steps of the teaching: the algorithms of Tal, Capablanka and Petrosian, that is the algorithms of the attack of the material targets, strategic attack and defence. You, dear reader, need only to believe: when we have more time (we are playing White) the Petrosian's algorithm is extra. That's why we cast it off. "Tal" and "Capablanka" remain. What is extra? Or differently speaking, which of two leftover algorithms we should choose? Adorjan has chosen the first one.

1. Qb3+

The Tal's algorithm or the algorithm of the attack of the material targets is defined by the four following elements. 1. The direct and open threats. 2. The optimal co-location of the pieces (the development). 3. The sacrifice. 4. The winning of the material. White, after reviewing all 4 elements, can easily cast everything off, except the first one. Then, being inside of the first element of Tal's algorithm, they cast off all threats, except the threat on the King. To attack in the right way - it means to attack in the right order. Here it is: the King, the Queen, the Rook, the Bishop or Knight, the Pawn, the empty squares. The foundation of this important principle is outside the topic of the lecture. Shortly speaking I will say: the thermodynamic principle: "linea minoris resistentae". The average chess power of the pieces dwindle from the left to the right. That's why, if we have a choice, attack the King, then the Queen and so on.

Adorjan, attacking, is formally blameless: the King, then the Queen are exposed for the open threats (see 2. Qd3 in the game), then again the King (see 3...Re7+ of the option after 2...Qd3). Another thing - White is too radical: he has more time, but it not so big. White has the real opportunity to force the position, according to Capablanka, to force it without the fights: 1.Qe3 Qe4, Kg2, Re2, then c4, b3 and so on to the center.

The Capablanka's algorithm is defined by four following elements: 1. The optimal position of the pieces. 2. The movement of the Pawns. 3. The exchange.4. The zugzwang. We will see how it works. What is in the game?

1...Kg7 2. Qd3

The purpose of White becomes clear: after

(I) 2...Qxd3 3. Re7+ Rf7 4. Rxf7+ Kxf7 5. cxd3

he hopes for victory in the gainful for him Pawn's endgame.

The endgame is probably won. This is the proof (the fragments of the A.Khalifman analysis)


If 5...Ke7 6. Kg2 Kd6 7. f4 gxf4 8. Kf3 Ke5 9. d4+ Kxd4 10. Kxf4 h6 11. h4 with idea 12. g5 with the win.

6. Kg2 h5 7. h3

7. gxh5 Kg7 and then Kh6, c6=

7...hxg4 8.hxg4 Kg7

Black needs to wait:

he threat f2-f4 is deadly dangerous.

9. Kf3 c6 10. Ke4 Kh7

If 10... Kf7, then 11. f4 gxf4 12. Kxf4 with the win.

11. a4 a5

11...Kg7 12. d4 cxd4 13. a5+-

12. f4 gxf4

If 12...Kh6, then 13. Kf3 Kg7 14. fxg5 fxg5 15. Ke4 Kf6 16. d4 cxd4 17. Kxd4 and so on.

13. Kxf4 Kh6 14. b3 b5 15. Ke3 Kg7

Or 15... Kg5 16. Kf3 Kh6 17. Kf4 b4 18. Ke3 Kg7 19. d4 cxd4+ 20. Kxd4 Kh6 21. Kc5 Kg5 22. Kb6 with the win.

16. d4 bxa4 17. bxa4 cxd4+ 18. Kxd4 Kh6 19. Kc5 Kg5 20. Kb6 Kxg4 21. Kxa5 Kxf5 22. Kb6 c5 23. Kxc5 Ke6 24. Kc6

Excellent! After 24...f5 25. a5 f4 26. a6 f3 27. a7 f2 28. a8Q f1Q 29. Qe8+ Black loses the Queen.

(II) 2... Qd5

It is bad. Black needs to defend himself, but not to play actively.

2...Rf7 is more powerful. Now in case of 3. Qxa6 the following is powerful: 3... Qd4. It is the important option: 3. Qxd7 Rxd7 4. Re6 c5 5. Rc6. White going to play "according to Capablanka": Kg2-g3 (the item 1 of strategic algorithm), f3 (the item 2) and h4 (the item 3) with good chances for victory. That 's why the next: 5...Kg8 (Pointed by Khalifman), and if 6. Rxf6, then 6...Rd2 with excellent countergame. We can draw a conclusion: 3.Qe4 is more powerful, then Kg2, Re2, c4, b3 and so on. White starts to attack the squares, but not material targets.

3. Qxd5 cxd5

Before the exchange on d5 black Pawns had been inside of the rectangle a6-a7-c7-c6, the 6 squares side, and now there are in the 12 squares side rectangle.

There is the Rook endgame, with a big advantage to White and White starts with the active move

4. Re6

The code of the position from point of view of White is: "=", "+", "+", because 24>19 (it is the mobility) and 26/9<24/9 (there are the centers of gravity). The Tal's algorithm is almost completely over. The last reserve is 6. Rc6. The attack of the material targets is finishing. Now we have a task: to activate the King and the Pawns. Adorjan starts to play "according to Capablanka."

4...Rf7 5. Kf1

The King is going on d4.

5...h5 6. h3 hxg4 7. hxg4 a5 8. a4

Not only the pieces are "standing up", but the Pawns as well (the item 2 of the strategic algorithm).

8...Rd7 9. Ke2

Otherwise 9...Kf7 and not 10. Ke2 because of 10...Re7. Black needs one tempo!

9...Kf7 10. Kd3

If the Pawns would stand on the c-file, but not on d5, the move would be impossible, and White, probably, wouldn't win the game. But now - White is winning.

10...Rd8 11. Rc6 Rd7 12. Kd4 Kg7 13. f3

Item 2 of the strategic algorithm is working.

13...Kf7 14. c3 Ke7 15. b4

White has forced maximally his position, that's why he starts to go to the exchanges - the dynamic part of the struggle: item 3 of the strategic algorithm.

15...axb4 16. cxb4 Kf7

Black is almost into the zugzwang. He doesn't have even minimal resources for the defence. He will shred from a tiny touch.

17. a5 bxa5 18. bxa5 Re7 19. a6

The centers of gravity are 28/6 and 17/6. Differently speaking, (19. a6) = 28/6 - 17/6=1,8. Let us compare with (4. Re6). Over there (see above) 26/9-24/9 = 0,2. The result is (19. a6) (4. Re6) = 1,8-0,2 = 1,6. The most important conclusion is: the blameless strategic attack is connected with the pieces' acting closer to the Queening square. In thermodynamic terms it means that the position is filled with potential energy! Soon or later the Pawn will become the Queen and White will trade the potential energy of the Pawn for the energy of the rest mass of the Queen.


"Before the endgame the gods have placed the middlegame!"

"The essence of chess is thinking about what chess is."
David Bronstein.

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