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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Short and Sharp

     Usually when a King has lost the right to castle an attack against it is in order, but not always. To be successful with an attack against an uncastled K there must also be other weaknesses in the K's position such as weak squares around it or open files or diagonals that lead to it.       
     In some cases going hog wild with violent moves and checks won't work; the attacker must take time to make sure the K can't escape or he must slowly build up a mating net.  In this game Chistiakov prudently prepares for action against Belavenets' K starting at move 12.       
     It should be noted though that even though this game was used as an example of such by Vladimir Vukovic in his excellent classic, The Art of Attack in Chess, his analysis is superficial. As often happens in such games a careful analysis will reveal that they were not the grossly one-sided slaughters that they appear.   They are often a titanic struggle of ideas or sometimes as happens here, the loser is in the game right until the end when he makes a mistake that brings about a sudden decision. In this game Belavenets was still in the game when he overlooked his opponent's reply on his 22nd move and lost immediately.       
     Sergey Belavenets (July 8, 1910 – March 7, 1942) was a Soviet master, theoretician, and chess journalist. He was born in Smolensk to a noble family and along with fellow master Mikhail Yudovich were known as the Smolensk twins because they had been close friends since meeting in a school match in 1925. Over the next few years they studied with Belavenets's uncle, Konstantin Vygodchikov.
     He finished 4th in the 1925 Belarusian Championship and throughout the 1930s and early 1940s he participated in tournaments held in Moscow, always finishing well. He was killed in an action at Staraya, Russa in 1942 while fighting with the Soviet Army. Staraya was occupied by the Germans between August 9, 1941 and February 18, 1944. Totally destroyed during the war, it was later restored. Since 1984, international chess competitions "In Memoriam of S.V. Belavenets" have been held in Smolensk. His daughter Liudmila held the title of women's world correspondence chess champion from 1984 to 1992. 
     His opponent, Alexander Chistiakov was born in Moscow on January 22, 1914 and died in 1990 at the age of 76, gained the Soviet Master title in 1938 and shared the Moscow Championship in 1950 with Yuri Averbakh.

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