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Lajos Portisch vs Borislav Ivkov
Amsterdam IBM (1969), Amsterdam NED, rd 4, Jul-18
Formation: King's Indian Attack (A07)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-26-06  notyetagm: Ivkov makes an incredibly instructive error with 20 ... ♖ce8??.

The key tactical point is the following: <if you form a battery on a line along which there is opposition from an enemy line piece, then your lead piece in the battery is half-pinned to this line by the enemy line piece>. That is, forming a battery in the presence of enemy line piece opposition creates a <SELF-PIN>.

Here Black forms a battery of rooks along the e-file with 20 ... ♖ce8??. The problem for Black is that the White e1-rook -now- half-pins the Black e6-rook to the Black e8-rook down the e-file!

Since the Black e6-rook is now pinned to the e-file, it cannot also defend the Black d6-bishop like it was doing before Black <SELF-PINNED> it with 20 ... ♖ce8??. White then simply exploits this <PIN> with 21 ♘xd6! as the Black e6-rook only pretends to defend the Black d6-bishop.

For another great example of the dangers of forming a battery in the presence of opposition along the line, see my comments in the game Tarrasch vs Vogel, 1910. In short, in that game Black could not double his rooks along the d-file because there was already a White rook on the d-file (opposition) and doing so anyway would have <SELF-PINNED> the lead Black d7-rook to the rear Black d8-rook.

As I like to say, <the lead piece of a battery is also a pinned piece if there is opposition on the line>. Ivkov did not realize this pinning idea until after 21 ♘x♗! and he was down a piece.

Aug-06-12  King Crusher: The comments above are all quite correct but black's position was already quite dismal by move twenty. If after 20...Nf6 white simply trades minor pieces and emerges with an extra pawn and a more active position. Faced with a protracted and prospectless defensive task Ivkov may have mentally switched off.
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