c/o Max Vitek

c/o Max Vitek

In a 1924 International Chess Masters Tournament filled with most of the top names at the time such as Capablanca, Lasker, and Tartakower, Richard Réti unveiled a new strategy he created, aptly named the Réti opening. In the 12th round he played with the white pieces again Efim Bogoljubow, a German-Russian player who would later compete without success against Alekhine for the world championship.

After a Réti opening by white and a lot of aggression in the middle, white had an absolutely crushing sequence of moves that practically ended the game on the spot. As a side note, Réti was awarded the first brilliancy prize for the beautiful move he displayed in this sequence.

Last Week’s Solution:

1.exf5 gxf5 2.g4 fxg4 3.Ne4

Pinpointing the key to the position with devastating precision, Petrosian establishes firm control over the vital e4 square and then lands his knight there with a crash. Even after sacrificing a pawn with 3… gxf3 4. Rxf3 Rxf3 5. Qxf3 white’s position is still completely winning, thanks in large part to the monstrous knight on e4.

Half-credit for finding or considering the moves 1. f4, which attempts to control the same square, albeit less effectively, 1. Rb5, preparing to double rooks on the b-file, or 1. a5, sacrificing a pawn for active play on the queenside & recognizing that the b5 square is also an excellent outpost for the knight.

Max Vitek can be reached out mvitek@wesleyan.edu.

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