Threat vs. Execution

The threat is stronger than the execution. – variously attributed to Aaron Nimzowitsch, Siegbert Tarrasch, Savielly Tartakower, James Mason and Karl Eisenbach (Winter, “A Nimzowitsch Story“)

What chessplayer, from beginner onwards, has not heard this maxim?

Still, last night at the Denver Chess Club, it seemed like a themed tournament dedicated to the proposition that “the execution is stronger than the threat.”

Take, for example, this position from a Category 3 player game.

position from a Category 3 player game,fen=2r5/1p2qppk/pQ5p/7n/8/1NPR2PP/2P5/6K1]

Here, Black played 1 … Qe1+ which isn’t that bad, but why not  1 … Rxc3 instead?

Later, in the same game after the rooks and a c-pawn or two were off, Black gave check on the long white diagonal to protect his b-pawn against White’s knight, which couldn’t have in any case take the b-pawn because the check would have picked up the knight subsequently.

My own game from Denver Chess Club last night featured the same theme, with me as the “executioner”.

Jacques Delaguerre


Author: Jacques Delaguerre

Jacques Delaguerre is a Colorado musician and chessplayer.