What can you learn from this game?
• Never, ever give up!!
• Initiative is more valuable than material in many cases. Use it wisely.
• A pawn is equal to approximately 3 moves.
• Don’t go grabbing material if you have to waste lots of time to do so.
• Don’t counter-sacrifice material. The more material you have, the easier it is to win.

Victorian Junior Championships, 1996
Ladislav Zeve 1762
David Cordover 1845
Sicilian Defence, Pelikan Variation

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.Nd5 f5 11.exf5 Bxf5 12.c3 Bg7 13.Nc2 0–0 14.Nce3 Be6
All this is pretty standard opening theory. White has chosen a lesser known line.
15.Bd3 f5 16.Qh5 e4?
Playing e4 is a little premature here, as it leaves the ‘f4’ square very weak.
17.Bc2 h6?! 18.Nf4
Making use of the weak square.
18…Qf6??
Totally missing his threat.
19.Nxe6!
Of course, if Qxe6 then Bb3 will win the Black queen.
19…Rf7 20.Nf4 b4!
I probably should resign, but decided to play on, sacrificing more material to gain a small initiative. The initiative is a very powerful weapon and should never be underestimated.
21.Bb3 bxc3 22.Qxf7+
Greedily taking all the material offered.
22…Qxf7 23.Bxf7+ Kxf7 24.Rb1
Already Black has some threats. If White captures the pawn on c3 then Bxc3, Ke2, Nd4+ will win the entire rook back.
24…Be5 25.g3?!
The intermezzo has now created holes all over the white camp.
25…cxb2 26.Nc4 Bc3+ 27.Kf1 Nd4 28.Nxb2?
It is unnecessary to sacrifice material, but that is the problem that the person with a material advantage has. He has to decide if the initiative is strong enough to warrant a counter-sacrifice to take off some of the pressure. Here White felt that the pawn on b2 was quite a menace.
28…Rb8 29.Kg2 Rxb2!
You shouldn’t swap pieces as a rule when you have a material disadvantage, but at the same time, don’t be afraid to swap. The initiative can be particularly useful in the endgame.
30.Rxb2 Bxb2 31.Rb1 Ba3 32.Rb6 a5 33.Ra6 Bb4 34.Nd5 Ke6 35.Nxb4 axb4 36.Rb6 Nc2
White has managed to totally nullify any chances that Black formerly had. But now the endgame is here White plays poorly.
37.Rb5 d5 38.Rb6+ Ke5 39.Rxh6
Gaining material, but losing a lot of time in doing so. Three tempi are worth one pawn.
39…d4 40.Kf1 d3 41.Rb6 Kd4 42.h4 Kc3 43.h5 Nd4
Still lost for Black, but his pawns are creating counter chances.
44.Rd6!
The only move. Now if Black plays d3-d2 White will win instantly with Rxd5!! Can you see how he will subsequently win the king and pawn ending?
44…Nb5 45.Rc6+ Kb2 46.h6 Nd4 47.Rc4?
Rooks work best from a distance. The rook should be sitting as far away as possible.
47…Nf3 48.h7??
Why give up the rook when you don’t have to? He was a little too eager to get a new Queen.
48…Nd2+ 49.Ke1 Nxc4 50.h8=Q+ Kxa2
Again the material balance is way in favour of White. But never forget about the initiative! If you learn anything from this game it is simply to never give up. The smallest initiative can blow out into quite a force.
51.Qc8 Kb3 52.Qxf5 Kc3 53.Qxe4 b3
Zeve-Cordover
Position after 53…b3

White has taken plenty of material, but lost a lot of TIME. The black pawns now create enough threats to draw! Who would have thought that in the diagram White could only draw??
54.Qb7 Kc2 55.Qd5 Kc3 56.Qb5 b2 57.g4 Na3 58.Qe5+ Kb3 59.Qb8+ Kc3 60.Qh8+ Kb3 61.Kd2?
White should just take the perpetual check.
61…Nc4+! 62.Kxd3 b1=Q+ 63.Ke2 Qe4+ 64.Kd1?? Nb2+ 65.Kd2 Qd3+ 66.Ke1 Qd1# 0-1
An unfortunate way to loose, as 64.Kg1 would probably still have held a draw.

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