How to Avoid Blunders, Part 5
Last week, when we discussed the way to avoid time trouble, one of the suggestions was "Prepare your openings! Besides an obvious benefit of playing good moves in a theoretical position, you'll also save some time on your clock in the opening!" Now imagine that you did your home work, spent a fair amount of time on the opening you play, followed the theoretical recommendations and as a result... you lost the game almost instantly. Impossible, right? And yet, this is exactly what happened in the games we are going to analyze today in this category of blunders.
The next funny story from GM Eduard Gufeld's book describes this kind of blunders very well. It happened a long time ago, in the 1950-ies when Gufeld played in junior competitions. At that point the main source of opening knowledge was a book by Alexey Sokolsky " Modern Chess Opening". It was a true chess Bible for any competitive chess player and therefore most of the top Soviet juniors knew it by heart. Gufeld found a 'hole' in one of Sokolsky's recommendations and decided to catch his next opponent (a future Master Yuri Nikolaevsky) in the trap. In order to do it, Gufeld played the Philidor Defense for the first time in his life! The game quickly reached the next position:
Here Nikolaevsky played 9. Nf3 and left the board for a walk. Immediately a bunch of other participants circled him and yelled at him: "How could you play such a lemon?" "Don't you read chess books?" "Sokolsky showed a forced win for White there", etc. So in a minute or so Nikolaevsky already knew about the missed opportunity. He was very upset, came back to the board and said: "You are such a lucky guy, Eduard!" Gufeld pretended that he didn't know what was going on and Nikolaevsky explained that he could've just won the game by force. "No way!", Gufeld said. "If you allow me to take my move back, I'll show you", proposed Nikolaevsky. And after a gentleman's agreement of no complaints and no tears after Gufeld's inevitable defeat, Nikolaevsky played Sokolsky's 'winning' combination. Unfortunately for him, when the game reached the position where Sokolsky claimed that White was winning, Gufeld showed the fruit of his analysis. Try to find this simple refutation.