How do you beat an expert in a chess tournament? What can you do if you are rated below 2000 while your opponent is rated above 2000? Higher rateds win 10 to 1 depending on the actual rating differences. Four scenarios threaten to defeat the expert.
First, you develop safely and try to stay alive until the expert fails to defend his king. You sneak in and checkmate him. Unlikely.
Second, you develop safely and you outplay the expert tactically. You win material and beat the expert in an endgame. Possible.
Third, you develop aggressively with a gambit and threaten the expert’s king. You force checkmate or die. You are dangerous.
Fourth, you develop aggressively and attack several weak points with full energy. Your threats succeed. You become an expert. This fourth option works best if you are young and well-prepared.
William Chandler played Justin Alter in the Colorado Open 2016. Chandler chose a French Defence Alapin-Diemer Gambit 3.Be3. Black played well, but still Chandler forced his opponent to think about real checkmate dangers. Experts miss some checkmates. White made a good practical choice given his four alternatives.
Chandler (1689) - Alter (2027), Colorado Open (1), 03.09.2016 begins 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Be3 dxe4 4.Nd2 Nf6 5.f3 exf3 6.Ngxf3 Be7 7.Bd3 Nd5 [White would love the game to proceed something like this: 7...0-0 8.0-0 Nbd7 9.Qe1 b6 10.Qh4 Bb7 11.Bg5 h6 12.Bxh6 gxh6 13.Qxh6 Re8 14.Ng5 Nf8 15.Rxf6 Qxd4+ 16.Kh1 Bxf6 17.Bh7+ Kh8 18.Nxf7#] 8.Qe2 Nxe3 9.Qxe3 Nd7 10.c3 [More common would be 10.0-0 c5 11.c3 cxd4 which transposes to the game.] 10...c5 11.0-0 cxd4 12.Nxd4 [12.cxd4 0-0 13.Nc4 Nf6 14.Nce5 Nd5 15.Qe4 forces Black to deal with the threat of mate in one.] 12...e5!? [12...0-0=/+] 13.Qf3 [Here is White's chance! 13.Nc4! 0-0 (13...exd4? loses to a mate in six: 14.Nd6+ Kf8 15.Rxf7+ Kg8 16.Bc4 Ne5 17.Qxe5 Bf6 18.Rxf6+ Be6 19.Bxe6#) 14.Nxe5 Nxe5 15.Qxe5 Bf6 16.Qe4 g6 17.Bc4 Bxd4+ 18.Qxd4 Qxd4+ 19.cxd4=] 13...Nf6 14.Bb5+? [After this there is no good defense for White. Chandler suggested 14.Nf5!? This would keep the game going.] 14...Kf8! 15.g4 exd4 16.g5 dxc3 17.gxf6 Bxf6 18.Ne4 Qb6+ 19.Kh1 Qxb5 20.Nxf6 gxf6 21.Qxc3 Qc6+ 22.Qxc6 bxc6 23.Rxf6 Be6 24.Re1 Ke7 25.Rf4 Rhg8 26.h4 Rg7 27.Rg1 Rxg1+ 28.Kxg1 Bxa2 [Chandler noted that "resignation came a few moves later."] 0-1
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