For all its intellectual pedigree, chess is still a war game, where the object is to kill the king, as in the following game.

Every now and then, I enjoy watching excessive violence on the chessboard, and this game did not disappoint. It was very instructive to see how an elite player dispatched a master.

Wang Hao vs. Gerber, R.
32nd ECC Open 2016 | Novi Sad SRB | Round 1.5 | 06 Nov 2016 | ECO: B76 | 1-0
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 Nc6 8. Qd2 O-O 9. O-O-O
9. Bc4 This move is usually played to prevent d5  )
9... Nxd4?! This move does not have the best reputation.
9... d5! Black can and should make this key central advance.  )
10. Bxd4 Be6 This position looks dangerous for White with all of Black's pieces pointed toward the queenside, but with some accurate moves he dispels Black's attacking ideas
11. Kb1! Preventing Qa5.
11. h4 Qa5! and Black wins an important tempo.  )
11... Qc7
11... Qa5 12. Nd5! The point of White's play.
12... Qxd2 13. Nxe7+! This intermediate move allows White to win a pawn.  )
12. h4 Rfc8 13. h5 Qa5 Black got his queen to a5, but it cost him a valuable tempo. White is going to be able to open lines toward the Black king.
14. hxg6 hxg6? After this move, Black loses rather quickly.
14... fxg6 This move was a bit more resilient. Le Quang Liem of Vietnam played it against me in the final round of the world youth under-18 division in 2008. White would still be better, but he needs to play accurately to maintain his edge.  )
15. a3 White prevents tricks like Rxc3 followed by Qxa2+
15... Rab8 Black is ready for b5-b4 with a violent attack, but Wang is faster.
16. Bd3 b5 17. Qg5! Preventing b4. During the rest of the game, White is one step faster than Black.
17... Qc7
17... b4 18. Qxa5  )
18. e5! dxe5
18... b4 19. exf6 bxc3 20. fxg7 And White wins by one tempo  )
19. Bxe5 Again Black is too slow for b4
19... Qc5
19... b4 20. Bxc7  )
20. f4! Another very strong move. White defends the bishop on e5 and gains a tempo.
20... Rb7
20... b4 21. Bxb8! This is now possible since the queen is defended.  )
21. Bxg6! White's attack is too fast for Black.
21... b4
21... fxg6 22. Qxg6 b4 23. Rh7! And White mates  )
22. Rh7! bxc3
22... Nxh7 23. Bxh7+ Kf8 24. Qxg7+ Ke8 25. Qg8#  )
23. Bxf7+! Kxh7
23... Kxf7 24. Qxg7+ Ke8 25. Rh8+ Bg8 26. Rxg8+ Nxg8 27. Qxg8#  )
24. Rh1+


Samuel Shankland is a United States grandmaster ranked No. 4 in the country. He is a professional player and recipient of the Samford Fellowship in 2013, the most prestigious award in the United States for young chess players. He was also a member of the team that won the gold medal at the 2016 Chess Olympiad. He is at @GMShanky on Twitter and is also on Facebook.