Weaker players can often surprise!

Weaker players in chess pose more problems than most people might imagine. For one weaker players play unexpected moves getting us out of theory very quickly and putting our thinking caps much earlier than expected. The other problem is that sometimes when you believe someone to be a weaker player you can let your guard down and take unnecessary chances, play inferior moves and then sadly lose the game.

It would appear that weaker players sometimes trouble even strong grandmasters. Hikaru Nakamura one the top Grandmasters in the world and rated 2701 lost to A Samsonkin, a player rated more than 300 points below him. The game was a tactical adventure, full of sacrifices with Nakamura on the black side. After the initial sacrifice of a Knight on e6, Samsonkin played brilliantly for the remainder of the game. Check out the game below.

[Event “PWC Open”]
[Site “Toronto CAN”]
[Date “2009.04.19”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Samsonkin, A.”]
[Black “Nakamura, Hi”]
[Result “1-0”]
[WhiteElo “2379”]
[BlackElo “2701”]
[ECO “B43”]
[PlyCount “61”]
[EventDate “2009.04.17”]
[EventType “swiss”]
[EventRounds “5”]
[EventCountry “CAN”]
[Source “Mark Crowther”]
[SourceDate “2009.04.20”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. Nc3 a6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Qc7 6. Bd3 Be7 7. O-O Nf6
8. a4 b6 9. Qe2 d6 10. f4 Bb7 11. Bd2 Nbd7 12. Rae1 Nc5 13. b4 Nxd3 14.
cxd3 Nd7 15. Rc1 (After this move I think white has an advantage) Qd8 16. f5 e5 17. Ne6 (This for me is the bolt from the blue. This move threatens the black Queen, prevents castling and threatens  a pawn on g7.  Black has no choice but to capture and hope that white messes up things later on. )  fxe6 18. Qh5+ g6 19. fxg6 Nf6 20.
g7+ Kd7 21. Qf7 Qe8 22. gxh8=N Qxh8 23. Ne2 b5 24. Bg5 Qg8 25. Rxf6 Qxg5
26. Qxe6+ Kd8 27. Rc7 Qe3+ 28. Kf1 Kxc7 29. Qxe7+ Kb6 30. Qxd6+ Ka7 31. Qc7
1-0

For the reason that sometimes weaker players can trouble top GMs,  lower rated players can make tournaments much more interesting. Sometimes the tendency among GMs is to have quick, boring draws but the lower rated players it’s a different situation. The stronger GM want to prove a point and sometimes lose a point in the process.

Bruce Mubayiwa

I am the founder and editor of Africa Chess Net. I have been playing chess for over 25 years and love writing about the game. Our goal is simple, to get more people playing chess in Africa! The game of chess is not only absorbing but a great deal of fun.

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