A Game of Material and Activity

Here’s a game I played with the black pieces (online) which show the importance of activity of one’s pieces, or, the consequences when there is a major lack of piece activity. In short, I sacrificed material to severely limit the activity of my opponent’s knight, bishop and rook. In the end, it all payed off, as almost all of his pieces were immobilized.

1.b4 d5

2.e3 Bf5

3.Bb2 Nd7

4.a3 Ngf6

5.Nf3 e6

6.Bb5 c6

7.Ba4 Be7

After Bb3 the idea of trapping the bishop came to mind. But first finishing development.

8.O-O O-O

9.h3 b5

10.Bb3 a5

11.bxa5 c5

Here we go. Sacrificing a pawn to immobilize the white squared bishop.

12.c3 c4

13.Bc2 Bxc2

But now white’s entire Queen side becomes passive. Look at the knight on b1, it literally can’t go anywhere. The dark-squared bishop on c1 and the rook on a1 are not active either. Ideally, I want a black knight on a4, a black pawn on e4, and a black knight on d3, and those white pieces will be burried alive.

14.Qxc2 e5

Nc5 immediately may have been better as a4 is white’s freeing move.

15.Qf5 e4

16.Nd4 Nc5

17.Ra2 Na4

18.Ba1 Rxa5

19.Nc6 Qc7

20.Nxa5 Qxa5

And that’s black rook for a white knight. However, that knight (and white’s Queen) are its only active pieces.

21.g4 Qd8

22.h4 Qd7

23.Qxd7 Nxd7

24.g5 Ne5

25.Kg2 Nd3

See my comment at move 13. Mission accomplished. I’m down in material (2 points), but white simply can’t use his Queen-side forces (11 points).

26.Kh3 f6

27.gxf6 Rxf6

28.f4 exf3

29.h5 f2

30.Kg4 g6

White resigned. None of his pieces (except for the king) can move.