October 2015 Grandmaster Spotlight: Li Chao

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GM Li Chao

Welcome back everyone; we’re happy you’re here. After the total roller coaster that was the World Cup we are back with another GM Spotlight. This month we are examining the games of GM Li Chao. Chao earned the GM title in 2007 at the age of 18. Since earning the title he’s climbed to a peak rating of 2756. He’s slipped a bit recently and is currently rated 2748. He’s played on ICC before using the handle chess-awp. To my knowledge he and I have never played on ICC.

The first game I found is the sort of game that makes you smile. The trick at the end is quite impressive and a bit unusual. The ability to spot these motif’s is what separates GM’s from weaker players.

This next game involves an impressive queen sacrifice. The power of the sacrifice comes from the passed a-pawn that starts rolling down the board.

This next game is a great example of one player creating a weakness (the king) and exploiting it to the maximum. Chao goes after the white king and forces his opponent into a zugzwang position. At the end white resigns as he has no good moves to make.

In this game Chao creates a masterpiece after once again sacrificing his queen. This time his sacrifice was somewhat unclear although he had great compensation. One important thing to remember when making a sacrifice is king safety. In this game, Chao’s king is well protected. This is why his opponent has a tough time drumming up counter-play.

Our final game involves a beautiful punch/counter-punch combination at the end. Chao completely turns the tables on his opponent. His opponent immediately resigns after he snatched a poisoned pawn. Of course if white tries to capture the rook on h3 Black delivers mate on h2 :).

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