There is an abundance of instructive chess games and positions in Chess Parallels 1: Strategy and Tactics and Chess Parallels 2: Endgames, the new brace of books celebrating the life, games and times of Grandmaster Bora Ivkov (1933-2022). 

In this month’s blog post, we would like to draw your attention to six of the best – three from each volume. 

Position 1

Mark Tseitlin – Ivkov 

Davos, 2006 

Black to play

Tseitlin has just played 57. Rf8, hoping to exploit the pin on the night. Unfortunately for him, Ivkov now has a forced win. 


58. Qxg2 Qxg2+ 

59. Kxg2 Nxf8 The knight is no longer pinned! 0-1 

Position 2

Ivkov – Josip Rukavina 

Novi Sad, 1975 

White to play 

25. 0-0-0+! 1-0 

Sometimes castling late has distinct advantages. 

Position 3

Ivkov – Arkadij Naiditsch 

Wijk aan Zee Open, 1999 

White to play 

Black is angling for further exchanges, but after the clever 27. Rd1! White forces the win of material, thanks to the unusual pin action. (1-0, 33). 

Position 4

Stefano Tatai – Ivkov 

Praia da Rocha, 1978 

Black to play 

It looks like Black is in serious trouble, yet Ivkov finishes off in style. 


40. Rxf2 (40. Kh2 runs into 40…Rxh4 checkmate) Rxh4+!! 

0-1 If 41. Kxh4, then 41…exf2 and Black’s pawn promotes by force. The best White can hope for is a battle between a queen and two bishops, but Tatai evidently didn’t want to test Ivkov’s technique. 

Position 5

Goran Cabrilio – Ivkov 

Yugoslav Championship, 1976 

White to play 

Obviously not an endgame, but it shows how little pawns can sometimes become big heroes. 

16. Rfc1?? Nb3!! 

It must have come as a shock to White to see this move played on the board. It is a knight fork, but 17. axb3 axb3 shows Black’s other big idea, with the humble a-pawn trapping the rook. (0-1, 30). 

Position 6

Not all of the games and positions are from Ivkov’s own games. Here is a sparkling example from elsewhere. 

James Plaskett – Dragoljub Velimirovic 

Banjaluka, 1985 

White to play 

Plaskett played 40. g4?? but after 40…fxg3 he resigned. 

Ivkov points out a brilliant alternative finish, with 40. Qxh4+!! Kxh4 41. Rh7+ Kg5 42. h4 checkmate. 

A fine position with which to finish this month’s column. 

Sean Marsh 

Sean Marsh
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