Creepy crawlies (1)

One category of chess move which club players rarely ever consider is the so-called “creeping” move,, Kotov being one of the very few writers to deal with the subject. It is not an easy concept to discuss in isolation, without an example, so we will look at today’s game.

In the position after 21.hxg3, it looks as though Black has no choice but to allow his knight to be driven back to the miserable square a6. However, he finds 21…Qe4, fighting against this, and reaching the critical position. It now appears that White only has two choices: either capture on c5 or e4. However, neither is entirely clear – 22.bxc5 Qxe5 leaves Black with active counterplay against the WK, whilst after the exchange on e4, the attack on the f2-pawn is not easy to meet in a convenient fashion.

Instead, Vidmar finds a neat solution, with the “creeping move” 22.Qd4! Now the Ne5 is defended, and Black cannot avoid his knight being driven offside after all. He loses within a few moves.

Steve Giddins