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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Wojtklewicz - Shirov

Pin It Opening : D 13

1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 c6 3. c4 Nf6 4. cxd5 cxd5 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bf4 a6 7. Ne5

{The most testing.} ({Instead, after} 7. e3 Bg4 {Black seems to be well on the way to equality.}) 7... Qb6 $5 8. Nxc6 bxc6 9.Qd2 Bf5 10. f3 {Stopping any ideas of ...Ne4 with an eventual ...Bb4.} e6
11. e3 $6 ({Shirov suggests} 11. Rc1 Nd7 12. e4 dxe4 13. fxe4 Bg6
{with an unclear position.}) 11... Nd7 {Covering the c5-square.} 12. Rc1 Be7 13.Be2 O-O 14. O-O Rfc8 15. a3 Qb7 {
Black prepares to play the freeing move ...c6-c5.}
({Shirov avoided the immediate} 15... c5 {, as he then prefers White after}
16.e4 Bg6 ({better than} 16... dxe4 17. fxe4 Bg6 18. d5) ({, or} 16... cxd4 17.Na4) 17. exd5 {, though this looks about equal to me after} cxd4

18. Na4 Qb319. dxe6 Qxe6) 16. Na4
{Rather negative and not even holding Black's play back.} (16. e4 Bg6 17. Rfd1 {would be better, with balanced chances.}) 16... c5 17. dxc5 Bxc5 $5 18. Nxc5Nxc5 19. Qb4 {Exchanging queens and hoping that opposite-coloured bishopswill lead to a draw. However, this weakens the queenside majority
unnecessarily.} ({I suggest instead} 19. b4 Nb3 20. Rxc8+ Rxc8 21. Qb2 Rc2 22.Qxb3 Rxe2 23. Rc1 {with a balanced position. WARNING: Trying to exchangeeverything isn't the way to draw. Your opponent who will sense that you arescared!}) 19... Qxb4 20. axb4 Nd3 21. Rxc8+ {
Giving up the c-file up is another concession.} Rxc8 22. Bxd3 Bxd3 23. Rd1

Bb524. Be5 Rc2 25. Bc3 f6 26. Rd2 Rc1+ 27. Kf2 {White can't do a great deal asBlack tries to improve his position. The white queenside is devalued to theextent that he is in essence playing a pawn down.} Kf7 28. g4 Bc4 29. f4 Kg6 30. Kg2 h5 31. h3 h4 {Fixing the weakness on h3.} 32. Kf3 $6 ({
Shirov points out how Black is able to make progress against} 32. Kh2 {, i.e.}
Re1 33. Bd4 Be2 34. Kg2 Bf1+ 35. Kh2 (35. Kf2 {loses the h-pawn after} Rc1)
35... e5 (35... Kf7 36. Rc2 Ke8 37. Rc7 e5 38. fxe5 fxe5 39. Bc5 Re2+ 40. Kg1 Bxh3 {would be another try}) 36. fxe5 fxe5 37. Bxe5 Rxe3 38. Rxd5 Re2+ 39. Kg1 Bxh3 {with reasonable winning chances.}) 32... Bb3 {
Intending ...Bc2-e4, followed by picking up the h-pawn.} 33. e4 Rf1+ 34. Ke3 dxe4 35. Rf2 Rh1 36. Kxe4 Rxh3 37. Bd2 Rg3 38. g5 Bd5+ 39. Kd4 Kf5 40. gxf6 gxf6 0-1

Rook Versus Split Pawn

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It's White to play here, and as a defensive aid I think that we can pretty
much write off the white king. What is therefore abundantly clear is that if
White has to give his rook up for one of Black's pawns, then the other one
will promote. In view of that, obviously 1 Rg1? would be futile, as after 1...c2 the black a-pawn would soon join its compatriot in touching down. White
must keep his rook as active as possible. 1. Rb7+ $1 Ka2 2. Rc7 {The key is
for White's rook to check the king in front of one of the pawns and then
attack the other.} Kb3 3. Rb7+ Kc4 4. Rc7+ Kb4 5. Rb7+ Kc5 6. Rc7+ Kb4 7. Rb7+Ka3 8. Rc7 Kb2 9. Rb7+ Kc2 10. Ra7 Kb3 11. Rb7+ {The rook is rightly
relentless. Thanks to its constant buzzing about, White obtains a draw.

Moral of the Story

The rook should be kept flexible and active at all times.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Open the Diagonals For Two Bishops.

Pin It Morphy -- Amateur, New Orleans, 1858

Black Moves In this position Black is two Pawns ahead, and it is probable that he can win with proper defense. However he fails to understand the position. He should strive to keep the lines closed, for instance by Playing f6 and retreating the Knight to g6 ( after White's inevitable f4) so as to observe the key square, White's e5. White must be prevented at all costs from opening lines by f4 and e5, instead, with his next move, Black,solves the problem. Morphy has thus far been unable to solve - namely, how to open up diagonals for his two Bishops.

1... f5 2. f4 Nc6 3. Bc4+ Kh8 Qe7
5. Rde1 Rf6 6. exf5 Qf8 Qxe8 8. Qxf6 Qe7 9. Qxg7+
Qxg7 10. f6

Black Resigns

The twentieth-century neo-romantics, notably Tchigorin, Marshall and Spielmann, carried Morphy's lessons of the open game to the point of absurdity when they attempted to render Force completely subservient to aesthetics. Marshall, in particular, lacked the ability to discriminate between the beautiful and the possible , often over-reaching himself. The Romantics, in general, suffered from an inability to discipline their imaginations.

The Romantic style wa characteristic of the man loving action and quick success. The classical reaction was due principally to the character of one who disinterested in the glory of ready success. Who strove instead for lasting values -- Wilhelm Steinitz.

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Garry Kaspoarov.

Pin It After Mikhail Botvinnik regained his title in 1961, players with

positional styles once again held the highest chess titles. The world of chess was dominated by the likes of Tigran Petrosian, with his motto of 'safety First". Boris Spassky, who had an aggressive, universal style; and Bobby Fischer, who had a very clear, simple, classic style. In 1975, Anatoly Karpov won the title by default from Fischer. Thereafter, Karpov set out to prove that he deserved to be World Champion. With his refined, dry style and relentless precision, he crushed everyone in sight. People dreamed of a Tal-like player who would rise up and brighten the chess world with tactical fantasy.

The dream became reality when Garry Kasparov won the title from Karpov in 1985 at just 22 years of age! Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, Kasparov is considered by many to be a reincarnation of Alexander Alekhine. a master of all openings, Kasporav slices and dices his opponents with a combinative vision that is every bit the equal of Tal's and Alekhine's. the excitement of Kasparov's style has revitalized interest in chess.


Steinitzian King.

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White Moves : White is a Pawn ahead, but not many players today would care to defend his position. White's King is exposed in the centre and has forfeited the right to castle. ( Steinitz was so famous for moving his King in the opening that the maneuver came to be known as the "Steinitzian King" In fact Black's move, 1...Re7 would regain the Pawn with a winning
attack. Moreover, White is far behind in development.

1. Ne1

The cureious move, which seems to take a vital piece out of play, is in reality the only defense. It prepares 2 d3, bolstering the e4 and releasing the Queen-Bishop. Also, the Knight can later return into play with c3, gaining a tempo by the attack on the Queen.

1... Nb4 The idea is to prevent 22 d3 because of Nxc2 3 Nxc2 Qxe4+. However this is no more than a trap, and Black would have been better advised to reconcile himself to the loss of the Pawn by continuing with the positional 1 ...Rhe8

2. a3 Rhe8
The point of Black's little combination. the retreat of the Knight to c3 would be pointless.

3. axb4 Nxe4 4. Qf5+

This is the refutation . Ofcourse not 4 Knight x Knight?

4 ...Kb8 5. Nxe4 Rxe4+
6. Kd1

White was able to withstand the ensuing attack, and eventually he reached the endgame where his material advantage proved decisive.

Morphy was the first player who fully realized the importnce of development. He expressed this in the simple phrase, "Help your pieces so that they can help you." He was often aided by the unnecessarily timid defensive moves of his opponents, or even by their unnecessarily aggressive moves as we have seen.

Every pawn advance creates a fresh weakness.

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Kaufman -- Evans, U. S. Open Championship, 1955

White Moves .
This concept is so highly theoretical that it is comforting to find an example in practical play - even if one does happen to be on the wrong end of it!
Black has just played h6, "Putting the question" to the Bishop, White's reply comes as a rude shock!

1 Bxh6!   gxh  2 Qe3  Kg7

This move gives White his piece Back without a fight. However, there is no way to kep the extra piece.

The game actually continued with 3 Qxe7, Qxe7  4 Rxe7 and White won the pawn. Though Black succeeded in drawing the endgame, he should have lost

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Wilhelm Steinitz and the Classicists : Closed Game.

Pin It Wilhelm Steinitz (1836-1900) was a chess philosopher who hungered for

essences. He sought all his life for generl laws and loathed exceptions. When he finally revolted against Romantic doctrines, the break was sharp and irrevocable.

Steinitz doctrinaire spirit sought to rule out all human weakness. If he lost with a particular line, he would continue to try it agains and again. This peculiar tropism was due to the beilef that his failure to succeed with the line lay in his own human failure. Yet his very success was due to his passionate love of chess, his faith, his tenacity, not to his "system" It was typical of him to undertake the ungrateful task of a protracted defense for the sake of the most trifling, but permanent, positional advantage. He was the personification of the short term evil versus the long term good. Steinitz strove with might and main to impose order on the Irrational to which the Romantics wholeheartedly surrendered. he made the closed game his special domain because, unlike the open game, which is in constant flux, the
closed position is characterized by barricaded pawn structures and is thus more amenable to systematic approach.
Steinitz was the first to realize the necessity of evaluating a position - then acting on that evaluation. This objectivity forbade him from entering a speculative combination, and then trusting to luck It occured to him that the master should not seek winning demands of the position, Steiinitz felt morally impelled to to punish the demands of the position, Steinitz felt morally impelled to punish the crime. Steinitz himself made no attempt to win in the early stages of the game, as Morphy had done, because he was convincedthat this was possible only after his opponent had made an error and not before. So he sought out of the openings minute advantages which gradually added up to one of the big
winning combination. In an age where plyaing to win from the very start was considered the only honorable course, such a doctrine was assured of a sornful reception. Not surprisingly, all his victories were in fact begrudged.

In 1866 Steinitz wrested the world title from Anderssen, who promptly conceded that Steinitz was even better than Morphy. yet so bitter was the enmity against Steinitz's style of play that even after he had held the world championship for twenty years, a self appointed committee of three amateurs claimed that "Morphy could have given Stenitz Pawn and move." And a noted critic once wrote that Stenitz's two match victories over Zukertort were attributable to the fact that "Zukertort was not yet Zukertort in 1872 and was no longer Zukertort in 1886".

Steinitz held the world title from 1866 until 1894. During this period he was so anxious to vanquish those who scorned his "system" that his style became provocative. Stenitz often invited premature attacks. He made the most unusual moves in order to provoke his adversaries into playing for a win and thus overreaching themselves when the position did not really justify such an attempt. Quite characteristically, steinitz once wrote, "A win by an unsound combination, however showy, fills me with artistic horror."
A winning combination, he was the first to perceive, is possible only after one side has erred. Make no errors, therefore, and one should never lose!


Friday, July 29, 2011

The Attack On the Square f7.

Pin It Black's weakest square on the board before castling is f7 (f2 for White). Even in the opening stages, threats of a sacrificial asault on f7 (orf2) are common. ; they are usually connected with an attck on the king or even with the idea of mate, in which case the square becomes the focal-point of a mating attack.

Later on, after castling kingside, the rook protects this vulnerable sqaure and its weakness is greaty diminished, while after sactling queenside the weakness of the square has no connection with a mating attack.

The straight forward examples of assaults on f7 are to be seen at the beginning of certain open games, especially in the Petroff Defence, and the Philidor defence. We shall examine one example of this kind.

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 d6 3 Bc4 Ne7?

Let us allow Black to play this bad move so as to reach a typical crisis over the square f7 as quickly as possible.

4 Ng4 d5 5 exd5 Nxd5 6 Qf3 6 ---Qxg5

After 6 ---Be6 7 Nxe6 fxe6 8 Qh5+ Black loses a pawn and the right to castle.

7 Bxd5

and Black loses at least a pawn. If 7 ---f5 8 Bxb7 e4 9 Qb3 Qxg2 10 Rf1 and white wins.

Naturally, Various attacks can be made on the uncastled king othe than via the e-file or f7, these are only two of the commonest and most typical methods.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mating Square And Focal Point.

Pin It The mating square is that on which the king stands when it is mated, and

the mating focal-point is that from which an opponent's piece ( other than King, Knight or Pawn) mates the king at close quarters. To carry a mating attack successfully it is always useful to survey the posible mating patterns, to prepare a mating net accordingly, and to concentrate on the focal-point, that is to deprive any opposing pieces of their control over a square which woud be convenient as a focal-point.
The side diagram shows us an example of this:

White to move, observes correctly that the square d4 is a potential focal-point and that his queen could mate from there, if it were not for its being controlled by Balck's Knight and Bishop. So he clears the focal point d4 as follows.

1 Rxe2 ---dxe2 ( 1---Kd5 2 f4#, if ---Qc1 2 Qd4#, if 1---f4 2 Qd4+ Kf5 3 Qf6) 2 f4+ (forcing the Bishop away from d4) 2 ---Bxf4 3 Qd4#

Many readers will object that the patterns of mating attack shown here are so obvious, indeed banal, that they need not even have been mentioned. However, I think it is useful to strengthen just this simple kind of knowledge, since in fact there are many mistakes made precisely in this field. Here are a few instances of mistakes concerning mating patterns.

1) The attacker fials to peceive that he can neigher stop his opponent from moving his king nor drive him into a mating net, but still plays for mate. Such a course of action is naturally futiele, and though it may possibly produce perpectual check, it cannot produce mate.

2) The attacker plays on the basis of typical mating patterns, ovelooking the posibility of an 'atypical' one in a particular continuation.

3) The player sees all the possible mating patterns based on one focal-point, but fails to realize that all this is cancelled out when the king moves, and that what matters then are new mating patterns, for which he has not made preparations.

4) The player decides on a course of action based on a certain focal-point, without realizing that he cannot provide cover for it or even clear it of the influence of his opponent's pieces. Mistakes made in the selection of a focal-point will be found even in the games of the masters.

So it is useful to get to know the general pattern and structure of mating; less experienced players are especially recommended to study games to see whether a player had amde a mistake with regard to the pattern and, if so, where he has made it.

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Anatomy of Mate.

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For mate to be obtained, the KIng must be deprived of nine squares if it

is in the middle of the board, six squares if it is on the edge, or four if it is in the corner. Some of these squares may be blocked by the king's own supporting pieces, but the rest must be taken by the attacker through the agency of his own pieces or pawns. If all the squares surrounding the king are taken from it - some through being being blicked,others by being 'in check' and if the square on which the king stands is also in check and without means of defence, then the king is check-mated. This is well known, and it seems rather banal to start out from this basic pattern or anatomy of mate; but in fact certain elementary rules can be formulated only on this basis.
In the next position Black to meve, is unable to avoid mate in 4 different variations.

He is thraatened by 2 Bg7# (First Pattern)> If he plays 1---Kf6, there

follows 2 Bg7# (II Pattern), moving the knight leads to 2 Q36# ( Third Pattern) While if 1---gxf5 ,we get 2 Bg7+ Ke3 3 Qxd4# (Fourth Pattern)

The final or mating position is called the mating patten, and this term is especially useful when such a pattern is worth remembering. A mating pattern can be typical (i.e. one which frequently occurs) or atypical. We call a mate pure if none of the squares concered is covered by two or mor attacking units. Thus 1---Ne2 2 Qe6 is a pure mate, whereas 1---Kg6 2 Bg7 is not, thought it would be if we were to remove the bishop on f5. Pure mates are valued in chess problems, but in practical play they are unimportant.

In the mating pattern which we have seen, some of the black king's flight squares have been blocked by its own pieces, while the rest have been covered by the opponent's forces. The sum of these combined factors is known as a mating net.

The Original Of Castling.

Pin It Castling in chess, the most distinctive move in the whole of ches, affects the nature of mating attacks in various ways and because of its importance in

this connection, the general significance of the move is worth examining.

Castling is not of any great antiquity.It is also obvious that such a complex and distinctive operation as the modern castling move was not born in a day, but rather developed gradually from century to century with the evolution of the rules of the game themselves.

In the Indian game of chaturanga (pre-chess) there is no trace of the move, nor can it be found in the Arab Shatranj. the first traces of any unusual or exceptional movement being made by the king, out of which the castling move evolved, are to be found in mediaeval European chess, which in its first stages can be described as the first and not very significant revision of shatranj towards providing the pieces with greater mobility A historicl source attesting to this first revision is a work by the Lombard monk Jacobus de Cessolis, in which are recorded the rules governing the movements of the individual chess pieces at the time. There it is stated that king, queen and pawns have the right to make an initial move of two squares as well as the normalone. From this early reform the double opening step taken by the pawn survives to this day, while in the case of the queen it became obsolete when the piece was given its present powers of movement during the great reform of the game at the end of the fifteenth century. In the case of the king it was further developed and altered until it eventually took its present day shap as castling.

There extnesive confirmation of the introduction of the king's move from other sources after Cessolis, through the particular conditions govening the move vary. the form most frequently recorded is that where the kign moves like a knight ( 'Freudensprung')with the limitation tha it is not allowed to go beyond the second rank. The next form, which made its appearance in Italy in the sixteenth century, already included a movement bythe rook in the same move - a step nearer to the castling of today. The king's use of the knight's jump disappears at this point and the rules state that the king is free to move from e1 to g1 or h1 and the rook from h1 to f1 or e1. this type of 'free castling' or 'Italian castling' persisted in Itay right up to the nineteenth century, when it was superseded by the present rules, which were introduced in France during the eighteenth century.

This shor survey of the historical evolution of castling is a good illustration of the gradual development of the rules of chess and it makes it particularly clear that these rules have been changed and perfected with the desire of enriching the game; the general tendency towards giving the pieces more dynamic movement reflects the increased animation of social movements in Europe from the Middle ages onwards.

In addition to this general line of developement in the laws of chess, we also owe the introduction and eventual adoption ofthe castling move to the indirct influence of the great reform of the fifteenth century. This reform created a powerful queen out of the fers (which moved one square) and the modern bishop out of the alfil (which moved exactly two squares). In this new type of ches, with three long-range pieces, the fighting ability of the king declined; once in the days of pre-chess it had been the strongest piece of all. The king now became a hinderance with its slow movement, and its position in the centre of the back rank stood out immediately as a fault in the game's structure. On the one hand, it had to be safeguarded against the formidable new forces, and on the other it had to be removed from the centre so as not to hampe them. For this reason it was necessary for the king to get away from the centre as quickly as possible, and it was to this end that the king's double move was built on and transformed into the full castling move. Therefore, not only the developement of this most distinctive move can be traced through the history of chess but also its logic; it exists as the necessary complement to the reform of the other pieces' movements. We start a game of chess today with the pieces places in the ancient order which derives from chaturanga, and the we switch over by castling to a new position, which is bettwe suited to the alterations made in the game's rules.

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The attack against the Uncastled King.

Pin It Making a mating attack on a king which had not yet castled was one of the joys of chess players in the past. these days the victim of such an attack is usually someone playing a master in a simultaneous display who has

failed to castle at the right time.
The initail position of the king before it castles contains two main weaknesses. One is that it is exposed if the e-file is opened up, the second is that the square f7 in Black's position is vulnerable (f2 in White's position)since it is covered by the king alone. It is therefore natural that the vast majority of attacks on an uncastled king exploit one of these weaknesses.

The attack along the e-file,

The first and most fundamental condition for an attack along the e-file is that the opponent's king should be on that file, and that for some reason it is impossible or difficult for it to move away. If all the adjacent squares are occupied by the king's own pieces or controlled by the opponent's, its escape is absolutely imposible. However, if the player is simply being prevented from castling, but other squares are not covered, the movement of the king is only relatively restricted; in other words, it can move at the cost of losing the right to castle. Castling can also be thwarted indirectly : for instance, if the king has to guard one of the pieces which is protecting it ( e.g. on e7 in Black's case).

The second for an attack of this kind depends on the attacker's own circumstances. First of all, the e-file should be open, or it should at any rate by in the attacker's power to open it; the attacker should also either have a piece which can control a file ( a rook or queen ) on the file or be abble quickly to post one on it. Besides this, he usually needs to strengthen his pressure on the e-file, for instance by doubling rooks or by attacking one of his opponents pieces which is on the file and protecting the king.

From these necessary conditions it transpires that in an attack along the e-file there tends to be a chain of defence, and the attack is carried out against the central unit of the chain, that is, the piece protecting the king. If this piece is on the square directly infront of the King ( e7 or e2), the attacker may be able to mate bycapturing it with hsi queen ( or Rook) i.e by making the square into the focal point.

An attack on the e-file tends to occur most frequently at an early stage of the game. The following miniature is an example of how raipdly this kind of attack may develop after an openign mistake.

1 c4 e5 2 Nc3 Nf6 3 Nf3 Nc6 4 d4 exd4 5 Nxd4 Bb4 6 Nxc6 bxe6 7 g3? Qe7

Agood move, which counters White's Plan ( Be2 and 0-0 ) by attacking along the e-file. If white were now to play 8 e3, such an attack would admittedly not follow, but he would still be weakening his position.

8 Bg2 Ba6 9 Qd3 d5 10 b3 d4!
An interesting move; Black abandons his attack on the e-file for the time being, transferring his pressure to the weakened diagonal 15-e1. If White now takes the c6 pawn and then the a8-rook, Black can win a piece by ---Bxc3+ and ---Bxa1.
11 Q x d4 Rxd8

Forcing the queen to give up the defence of the kinght.

12 Bxc6+ Kf8 13 Bd5 Rxd5! 0-1
White regains, since 14 cxd5 is followed by 14---Qxe2#. Play returns to the e-file at the final point of victory. With an attack along the e-file, the main difficulty can often be the actualopening up of the file, especially if everything else has already been achieved.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Middle game strategy.

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Lilienthal - Botvinnik, Moscow 1935. Black to Play.

In the diagram You have say, Is the Black doing well or will the advantages in White's position lead to difficulties for the second player.

The imbalances here are quite clear. White has two Bishops and more centre

pawns. Black has no problem developing his forces and both his Knights are centrally placed. Probably the most important imbalances in this position, though, are Black's lead in development and the fact that White's King is still in the centre. If Black plays slowly with ---b6 and ---Bb7, White will catch up in development via Ne2 and 0-0 when the two Bishops may make themselves felt. It is clear that Black must do something quickly if he is to make use of the temporary imbalance of development. What are you to do if your opponent is behind in development and his King is uncastled? The answer is to open the position! Only in this way can your better developed army force its way into the enemy position.
This may surprise some players, since they feel that they are supposed to keep things as closed as possible if they possess Knights. This is
generally true, but clearly wrong and short-sighted in this case. the rule of opening things up for one's better developed pieces takes precedence, since by acting quickly Black keeps White off balance and actualy prevents White from using the pluses in his position.

1 ---cxd4  2 cxd4 e5! 3 dxe5

The alternatives are also unpalatable.  3 e4 Nf4 4 Bxf4 exf4  5 d5  Qh4+  6  Kf1  Ne5 When white no longer has the two bishops and Black has a great support point on e5. Even worse is  3  Ne2  exd4  4  exd4  Nxd4!  5  Nxd4  Qh4+  6 g3 Qxd4 and Black has won a pawn. This combination was possible due to White's hnging Knight on d4 and his exposed King on e1.

3 ---Nxe5  4  Be4  Nc4

Euwe says that 4--- Nf6! would have given Black an edge.

5  Qc1  Nxd2  6 Qxd2  Nf6 7  Bd3  Re8  8 Ne2  Qb6  9  Nd4!  Nd5  10 Be4  Nxe3  11  Qxe3  f5  12 0-0  fxe4  13  fxe4  Rd8  14  Nf5  Qxe3+  15  Nxe3  Bee6  16 Rfd1,
and the game was eventually drawn.

It is clear now that Black had at least equality in the starting diagram, and that a lead in development can prove to be quite potent if acted upon energetically.

Grandmaster's Game.

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A grandmaster pays attention to every slight detail and tries not to miss the slightest nuance, the least factor which might affect the assessment.
Here is the example of such scrupulous care :

Bronstein wrote this about the position of above diagram "Every positional achievement, in this case the pawn at d6 which engages the attention of the black pieces, is important not in itself but in its link with other combinational factors. In this position the factors for White are
1) The unguarded pawn at c5
2) The weakened cover of the black king
3) The constant possibility of advancing the pawn to d7.
4) Control over c7 and e7, combined with the attempt to control the e-file or c-file.

For Black the factors are :

1) The chance to surround the d6 pawn from three sides.
2) The attack on the Q-side by a majority of pawns.
3) The possibility Nh5 to drive the queen from her storng post.

By comparing and weighing the chances for each side the masters normally reach more or less objective conclusions which are called the assessment of the position.

Euwe now played 22 a3 which
Bronstein criticized as not corresponding to the demands of the position. He recommends instead 22 b3 to put brake on the advance of the Queen side pawns, or 22 Rxe6 fe 23 Qe5 with active play against Black's many weaknesses that would be full compensation for the exchange.

After 22 ---Re8 23 Ne4 Nxe4 24 Rxe4 Qd7 25 Qc5 Rd8 26 Qxe5 Rxd6 the players agreed to draw.

Anderssen : A Deadly Chess Tactician.

Pin It If we dig through the History starting with the golden age before Morphy and Steinitz, when men were men and their only object in playing chess was to win as beautifully as possible.

The crowining glory of the era was Adolf Anderssen, a teacher from Breslau in Germany. The public was stunned by the sheer beauty of his published games, two of which were so astonishing that one was dubbed 'Immortal' and the other 'Evergreen'

Both games have remained justly famous until the present day, so it is rare to find a chess-player who is not familiar with them. Nonetheless, letus look at them. Nonetheless, let us look at them briefly.

The diagram below is from the 'Immortal Game'. Anderssen targets the black queen, and is willing to leave his bishop en prise in order to gain the time to go after it .

Andersen - Kieseritzky London 1851

White to Play

11 Rg1! cxb5 12 h4 Qg6 13 h5 Qg5 15 Qf3

The threat is the lethal 12 Bxf4, so Black must either give back the piece or retreat the Knight to its starting square. He chooses the latter.

14 ---Ng8 15 Bxf4 Qf6

Black has ony his queen in play. Meanwhile, Anderssen can develop his knight to c3, with the intention of playing it to d5 with gain of time.

16 Nc3 Bc5

It is quite likely that Anderssen's keen analytical vision saw this possibility when he played 22 Rg1, and that the double rook sacrifice that follows figuered in his thoughts even then.

17 Nd5 Qxb2 18 Bd6 Bxg1 19 e5 Qxa1+ 20 Ke2

Apparently, this is the crucial position for assessing Anderssen's idea.

20 --Na6

There are many other ways for Black to play, and all of them have since been proven to fail. The mov played by Kieseritzky looks very reasonable.
Anderssen proves that it can, however, and in a way that makes the game truly immortal. He will throw in his queen as well.

21 Nxg7+ Kd8 22 Qf6+!! Nxf6 23 Be7# (1-0)

Second game is the Evergreen Game. Anderssen starts with a piece sacrifice to open up the e-file

Anderssen - Dufresne Berline 1852

17 Nf6+ gxf6 18 exf6 Rg8!

Unfortunately, the sacrifice has also opened the g-file for Black and that, combined with the bishop on the long diagonal and the queen on h5, could spell trouble for White on f3 and g2. Anderssen must hurry to finish the game or risk being mated himself. That is just the recipe for abject failure or dramatic beauty.

19 Rad1!

Anderssen leaves the kinght en prise betcause he has sen a magnificent mating finish. Understandably not seeing what is to come. Dufresne eats a hearty meal.

19 ---Qxf3?
Anderssen already two pieces behing, now throws in a rook and his queen to force a beautiful two bishop mate. Every move must be a check as Black threatens his own immediate mate.

20 Rxe7+! Nxe7 21 Qxd7+!! Kxd7 22 Bf5++ Ke8 23 Bd7+ Kf8 24 Bxe7# (1-0)

Over the following century and a half, these two games were scrutinized by many analytical talents and were found to be less than perfect.

In the Kieseritzky game, most of the moves in the opening were deemed to be weak. We can accept that. We are wel aware that modern opening play is far more sophisticated than it was way back then. However, even the later play seems to have been a catalogue of errors.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Down The Hill On the Open File.

Pin It The dog has a natural attraction to the Bone so the Rooks have to the seventh rank. Once on the seventh rank, a Rook usually attacks many pawn and often traps the enemy King on the back rank.

The above diagram shows what may look like an equal position to the untrained eye. However, White actually has a won game because his can dominate the seventh rank.

1 Rd7 Rc8 2 Kc3 Kf8 3 Kc4

simply intending Kb5 followed by Kc6.

3 ---a6

to prevent Kb5. 3 ---c6 hangs the a7 pawn. Ideas like 3---g5 4 Kb5 Ke8 lose to either 5 Kc6 or 5 Rh7.

4 Kd5 c5 5 Rd6 Rb8 6 Kc6 and Black must lose material. Loss of the game will follow.

Some books claim that control of the seventh rank is worth as much as a pawn. In the absense of more important considertions, this makes perfect sense; the seventh rank makes your Rook better, and therefore more valuable, than the opponent's piece.

White is a solid pawn ahead and has the move but the strong placement of the enemy Rook on the seventh makes a win impossible.

1 Nc3 Bf3 2 Bc2 Nd6

Its important that Black make use of all his pieces.

3 b3

This keeps the Black Knight out of c4 and makes the b-pawn immune from the Black Rook.

3---Kf8 4 a4

Getting the last queensie pawn off his second rank and preparing to open a file for his own Rook.

4---Ne4 5 Bxe4

Blacks piece get a little too active after 5 axb5 Nxf2 6 Bf5 g4 7 bxa6 Nh3+

5---Bxe4 6 axb5 axb5 7 b4

Making the White b-pawn imune from attack and fixing its oposite number on b5. It looks like White has made progress but the poor position of the White King gives Bllack enough counterplay to hold the game.


If White's Rook passively stays on the first rank then he wilno be able to achieve anything. If it journeys down the a-file for and adventure then Black will get a check on the back rank.

8 g4 Kg7 9 Kf1 Kf6 10 Ra5

White decieds to allow an immediate draw.

10---Rb1+ 11Ke2 Rb2+ 12 Kf1 1/2 - 1/2

Though the seventh rank is the ultimate goal of every Rook due to it's ability to attack pawns and the downthe enemy King, the sixth rank also has its virtues.

1) It attacks any enemy pawn on that rank;

2) Like a Rook on the seventh, it allows for domination of a file by bringing a Rook and/or Queen up behind it;

3) It is always ready to Jump to the seventh.

Open Files.

Pin It "The aim of all maneuvers on an open files is the ultimate intrusion along this file onto the seventh or eight rank, i.e. into the enemy position"


Rooks need open files if they are to become a force in the game. However, if the open files does not fit in with the overall strategic plan, then it is not at all clear if you should play to control it - each position has its own answer. In particular, putting one's Rooks on a file often just leads to the opponent doing the same, and a subsequent massive trade down this file would then be a typical result. Of course, thrdes are not to be spurned, especially if you have prevented the opponent from dominating a file that could lead to an eventual unpleasantpenetration.

Before you decide to fight for a file or simply give it to the opponent, yu should answer the following questions.

1) Is a penetration along this file possible for my opponent or myself? If it turns out to be a dead end street then why bother with it in the first place.

2) Can I afford to take the time to place my Rooks on this file or do I have more urgent business to attend to elsewhere?

3) If I place my Rooks on this file will they work with the rest of my pieces and influence the imbalances in the position?

4) Do certain factors in the position call for me to retain at least one Rook? If so, I might want to avoid the file (and a possible exchange along it) altoghthe.

The Theory of Combination.

Pin It In every game there are some rules. The rules are framed after the study of number of games. After having myriads of experiences, that players have come across during a live game are collected together and the rules are

framed. These rules are to be observed in particular situations. I will not call these a rules because rules are to be followed in toto. I would like to call it as Guidelines to act in particular situation.

We will see a game and try to reach the guidelines which will be helpful in the different complicated situations or framing combinations that lead to winning status.

Alekhine - Junge, Warsaw 1942 White to Play

If you at the diagram you will find that there are three circles. What thaught comes to your mind after looking at the encircled pieces. You can observe the following things,

1) The Black Queen is undefended.
2) Black's b6 knight and d8-Rook are not well defended because if the Queen at c7 is deflected the Knight can be captured.

What does the arrows in the diagram indicate. It indicates that,

1) The Black King is very open and unsafe.
2) White can play Qc7+ and alternatively attacks Rd8. Which increases the attacking pieces of white on d8-Rook.

After observing these things we can decide a strategy and combination thereof.
It is that we should try to deflect the Black Queen or d8-Rook.
Observing the pattern we can design different types of combinations. Then we have to see which is most advantages and apply.

The First Combination is,

1 Rxd8 Rxd8 2 Ra7 you will find what an excellent move? succeeded in deflecting the queen. 2 ... Qxa7 3 Qg5+ Kf8 4 Qxd8+ Kg7 You have done nothing but a forced trade that too in a style.

The second combination can be,

1 Bxf7 Black has four alternative moves to play,

1 ---Kh8 but 2 Qf6 checkmate.

2 ---Kxf7 2 Qh7+ and wins Queen followed by 3 Qxc7

3 ---Rxf7 2 Qg5+ and the d8-Rook falls.

and the fourth one is,

1 ---Qxf4 2 Rxd8! Black could now resign since 2 ... Rxd8 loses to something that looks remarkably like a triple jump in checkers : 3 Qxd8+ and 5 Qxb6.

2--Na4 Any other Knight move allowed 3Raa8. Now 3 Rad1 followed by 4 R1d7 is quite crushing bu Alekhine, known as the sadist of the chess board, instead tortured his opponent with a 'quiet' move. 3 b3! and Black resigned 3---Nb6 hangs the knight to 4 Qxb6. 3 ---Nxc3 4 Raa8 leads to mate 3 ---Rxd8 4. Qg5+ wins back the Rook with check and then allows White to chop off the Knight with axb3. 3 ---Qxb3 4 Rxf8 mate.

To add one more thought to the subject of combinations, GM Y. Averbach has stated that the vast majority of combinations are based in one way or another on the theme of double attack.

From the above game we can frame the guidelines for the combination as,

1) Open or Weakened King. Also includes stalemated King.
2) Undefended pieces ( this does not include pawns)
3) Inadequately defended pieces

always follow these guidelines to reach any combination which is most advantageous.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Destroying the KIngs's Bunker.

Pin It It is always said that one should take out the pieces as quickly as possible and then follow the castling. Once the castling is done the King

enters into the bunker where the safety of the King is more during the time of actual game. The three pawns and a Rook covers the King and hence it is difficult for the opponent to destroy this Bunker. To destroy this Bunker the opponent will often have to sacrifice his one or two commandos and draw out the enemy King out of its Bunker to the fighting ground. When this king comes out on the battle ground without cover it can be attacked very easily and perished.

Here see the example How white has used the chess tactics / chess strategies to take out the King on the battle field.

In the above diagram White to Play and First see the common mistake made by the White in taking out the enemy King out of the Bunker. Remember it is not sufficient to take out the king only to the second rank (Sometimes it suffice) but sometimes it is necessary to draw out the king still further otherwise the king may step back to its original position, the position of safety.

In the above diagram White player has tried,

1 Ng5 h6 2 Nxf7?! Rxf7 3 Bxf7+ Kxf7.

This is not the good maneuver for White. Black's King can easily step back to safety with 4 ... Kg8.

If you want to be successful with a capture on f7, you must draw the King even further into the centre of the board. The following example illustrates it best.

Here White finds a novel way of inviting Black's King to come to the Battle field.

1 Bxf7+! Kxf7

Bishop knocked at the door of the castle / Bunker and the Black King opened the door to see the one who is waiting at the door with the intention to attack the Knocker. He succeeds in doing so and this is the first sacrifice of the White in drawing out the enemy King. If this King succeeds in occupying the original position then with .... Kg8, then While's sacrifice will have been in vain.

It should be the part of tactics / strategy to pull him out further by the another piece hiding just near by ( I call this piece as waiting piece).

White Plays

2 Qe6+!!

Oh! White is still ready to sacrifice his Queen. Now Black retreats with 2 Kf8 loses o 3 Ng5 and Qf7 Checkmate is hard to stop.
Therefore, Black decides to capture the Queen as a Gift came on the way and steps into the middle of the board.

2 ... Kxe6

The response is 3 Ng5 checkmate.

Moral that we get from this story is that

Always try to keep the pawn cover in front of your King intact and be sure your King has room to breathe otherwise you will be the victim of back rank checkmate.

Contd .....

Dear Readers If you have such examples in your database please contribute it through comments since your comments are the most valuable assets for us.

Chess Improvement Ideas 21.

Pin It Paper, Pencil and Middle game.

Study anything and your will require paper and pencil. Without paper and pencil no one can complete his studies. So, to learn middle game

strategies be ready with your paper and pencil. You will definitely think that why one need paper and pencil.

Look at the Study Pattern.

Purchase a book of grandmasters games. Set the pieces on the board and select one game from the book. Start playing the game. Once the opening is completed close down the book. Take your paper and pencil.Think for the next move. It may take half an hour or more. Time is not the problem. Note down the candidate move that clicks to your mind. Think for the alternate moves (variations) and note down if it is there. Once you have noted down the possible candidates moves open the book and check what move the Grandmaster has played. If the move matches your selected candidate move say excellent and give a pat on you back. If it is different than think and study the advantages of that move. Check out the opponents response and continue the same for the next move. Ofcourse, it is time consuming, if your are getting bore take a break and continue the same game at the future date. Remember speed never develop your thinking process and therefore, the well known players always insist on playing long games and not blitz games. For the longer time you look at the board and the position that increases the visualisation power.

When you have gone through this process for the whole game, go ove the annotations in the book and compare them with the notes you made. See how close you came to following the logic of the game and compare any tactical operations to your own analysis. If you are going away the original game do not get depressed and keep on doing practice the same way.

One day you will find that your work is becoming more concise and accurate. You will take less time to understanding more about the position. You will get better if your at it.

You can buy a book like 'Think Like a Grandmaster' by Kotov. and read it to improve your powers of calculation.

Ofcourse it is a time consuming and hard work. Hard work is the only key for success.

Readers may write there ideas about developing middle game tactics through comment.

Your comments are the most valuable assets.

Chess Annecdotes 10

Pin It Rudolf Spielmann ( 1883 - 1942 )

Rudolf Soeilmann was a short, mild-mannered, and friendly man. Like Adolf Anderssen, Spielmann's personality had little to do with his chess style,

which was recklessly aggressive. Unlike Anderssen, however, Spielmann did not play chess in the Romantic
era, and defensive technique had become more important. Positional concepts, rather than exclusively combinational ideas, were the stock-in-trade of the masters of Spielmann's day. Crazed, attacking players were looked upon as relics from an earlier, more primitive time.

A lover of gambit openings, Spielmann played many swashbuckling games but never felt that he had reached his full potential. Finally, in the late 1920, Spielmann undertook a thorough study of positional concepts and endgames. The resulting change of style propelled him into the ranks of the world's top ten players. Reuben Fine once wrote that Spielmann's main concern in life, apart from chess, was to accumulate enough money to buy limitless quantities of beer!
Always proud of his attacking prowess, Spielmann once lamented, "I can see combinations as well as Alekhine, but I cannot get to the positions where they are possible!" This innocent litle statement is actually quite revealing and illustrates the changes the game was undergoing at the time. Of course, you could still sacrifice pieces and atac, but to successful against the strongest players, you had to master all phases of the game. The time of the one-punch knock-out artist was quickly coming to an end. However, we can still enjoy replaying some haymaker chess games. Let's look at a beautiful example from the young Spielmann. His beloved beer must have tasted good after this one.

Readers are requested to write comments if they have more information about Rudolf Spielmann.

Readers comments are the most valuable assets.

Chess Improvement Ideas Part 20

Pin It The Chess Windmill.

The Windmill, an extremely potent but rare tactic, consists of a discovered check, followed by a normal check, followed by a discovered check, and so forth. It ends only when the attacker gets what he wants out of the situation.

In the diagram above White is ready to win if he uses the windmill tactic. Black will get paralysed If White uses a mixture of checks, discovered checks, and captures. A demon of Windmill is ready to swallow the Black and Black has nothing to do in defence.

White Begins with

1 Rx d7+
The Bishop behind the Rook automatically checks the White King is called Discovered check.

1 ... Kg8 2 Rg7+

The King is again forced to occupy the same place of discovered-check position.

2 ... Kh8 3 Rxc7+ Kg8 4 Rg7+ Kh8 5 Rxb7+ Kg8 To and fro 6 Rg7+ Kh8 7 Rxa7+ Kg8 8 Rxa8+

Black is left only with King!

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Daily Chess Puzzle 31.

Pin It Daily Chess Puzzle 31.

At first glance, this position looks completely hopeless for White because he can't prevent Black from corwning his h2-pawn with check. However, White has only one pawn that can move, so he plays for stalemate with 1 h7+ Kh8 2 Bg7+ Kxh7 ( now white has no more pawn moves, but his King seems to have plenty of places to go) 3 Ba1+! ( excellent ) this move takes the a1- square away from the White King and simultaneously deprives the Bishop of any moves) 5 ... h1=Q ( forced because White threatens to stop the Promotion with Rc1; White now gets rid of his last mobile piece) 6 Rh8+! Kxh6 STalemate.

Chess Improvement Ideas Part 19.

Pin It
Understanding the King.

Throughout a chess game a player hides his King away on the sidelines where it quivers in a perpetual state of martial law exists on the chess board and a
wandering King will be quickly executed by a vindictive Queen and her cohorts.This matriarchy exists as long as the all-powerful Queens roam. Eventually though, all goes quiet; the warring factions have bludgeoned each other into oblivion and only the kings and a few faithful pawns are left ( a remaining Knight, Bishop, or Rook may also exist, acting as small dogs that bark and snap at the King's heels).

When the board is finally cleared of hostile pieces the kings finally become supreme. Now, safe from attack from the extinct larger pieces, the Kings are free to leave their respective bunkers and go for a stroll. At times what's left of the two male run armies give up hostilities and make peace - a draw is declared. More often the not though, the King, so recently freed from the bullying presence of the dominating Queen, finds himself lonely. He misses his lay and goes in search of a new one. Thus the queening of a pawn becomes his sole ambition and he roams the face of the board in an effort to turn this dream into reality.

Therefore, it is necessary to understand the basic movements of the King and the relation that the opposing Kings have to each other.


The fight between Kings to determine which one is stronger is called the opposition.

Both Kings would like to advance but they are placed in a way that prevents their counterpart from doing so. In this type of situation it is disadvantageous to have the move since you must then give up control of one of the critical 'X' squares and allow the enemy king to advance. With this in mind, we can see that White to move gives Black the opposition since 1 Kd3 allows 1 ... Kb4, ehilr 1Kb3 allows 1 ... Kd4. In both cases, Black's King is making headway into White's position.

The following diagram demonstrates the same concept, only in extended form,

This is called the distant opposition, The rule is : Whoever is to move when there is an odd number of squares between the Kings does not have the opposition. ther reverse is : Whoever is to move when there is an even number of squares between the King does have the opposition. If they continue to walk towards each other we will arrive at diagram 1 again.

These same rules also apply to diagonals. If it is White to move then who has the opposition? The answer is that white does since there is an even number of squares between the Kings. This White would play 1 Kb2 which would leave Black on the move with an odd number of squares between the KIngs.
It now should not be difficult to determine who has the opposition when the Kings connect on a rank, file or diagonal. But what if they fail to connect altogether? Does one then need to work out difficult mathematical formulas? Hardly! Let us look at the following diagram.

In nonconnecting situations the rule is : Move the King to a square or rectangel in which each corner is the same colour That is illustrated in the following diagram.

White has just Played 1 Kb2. Theconnecting points b2, b8, f8, and f2 are all dark squares and form a rectangle. After 1 Kb2 White has the opposition. Let's see if I'm telling truth,

1 ... Ke8 ( ...Kf7 2 Kb3 gives us direct diagonal opposition) 2 Kc2 Kf8 ( Kd7 3 Kd3 or 2 ...Kd8 3 Kd2 both give us direct connection)

3 Kd2 Kg8 4 Ke2 Kh8 5 Kf2 Kh7 6 Kf3 Kh8 7 Kf4 and black can no longer avoid a direct connection ( 7...Kh7 8 Kf5; 7...Kg7 8 Kg5 ; 7 ...Kg8 8 Kg4)

Note that each time someone moves , a new series of connection points are formed.


Daily Chess Puzzle 31.

Pin It

Daily Chess Puzzle 31

A hasty Player might slide home with 1 c8 = Q?? and expect his opponent to give up. However, Black's King would then be stalemated and the shocking 1 ... Qxb8+!! would deliver both a draw and a harsh dose of reality. White sees this possibility and makes a point of freeing the Black King and stopping any stalemates with

1 Rc4!

Then Black can not prevent

2 c8 = Q.

Daily Chess Puzzle 30.

Pin It Daily Chess Puzzle 30

Based on the undefended state of the Black Queen, White has this shocking continuation :

1 Ne6!! ( threatening 2 Qg7 checkmate )

2 ... N6h5 ( defending the g7 square but leaving himself open for a quick checkmate; however, Black can't capture the impudent White Knight because 1... Nxe6 2 Qxd2 drops the Black Queen, and 1 ... fxe6 2 Rxg6+ Kf7 3 Rg7+ also leads to Black's demise )

2 Qf8+ Kh7 3 Ng5 checkmate.

Annotated Games Part 12.

Pin It
The Slav Defence.

1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6

The Slav Defence to the Queen's Gambit is immensely popular at all levels at the moment. Black's idea is fairly simple; he just wants to hold the d5 point and give
no ground in the centre, but he doesnot see any reason to block his light-squared bishop in with 2...e6. It's true that his queen's knight probably isn't too thrilled at seeing the c6 square taken away from it, but Black reckons that he usually needs the c-pawn to help in the centre one way or another in the Queen's Gambit, so he does not want to go ....Nc6 and block the pawn.

3 Nf3 Nf6

Instead 3... e6 leads to the Abrahams variation of the Semi-Slav. There is also 3 ... dxc4 Which is a curious and fashionable hybrid with ideas borrowed from the Slav, the Abrahams and the Queens Gambit Accepted. White Most Principled counter is 4 e3 and then,

a) 4... b5 is not highly recommended due to 5 a4 e6 6 axb5 cxb5 7 b3 Bb4+ ( 7 ... Nf8 bxc4 bxc4 9 Bxc4 will always be at least a little better for White with the a7 target, especially after 9 ...Be7 ?! 10 Ne5 followed by Qf3 ) 8 Bd2 Bxd2+ 9 Nbxd2 a5 10 bxc4 b4 11 Ne5 intending 11 ... Nf6 12 Qa4+ as White takes advantage of his lead in development at once, otherwise this "Abrahams-type position with a pair of pieces exchanged can easily turn in Black's favour.

b) 4 ...Be6 is the vogue after which 5 a4 ( and certainly not 5 Ng5 Qa5+ which has received a surprising amount of grandmaster action as White, but you'll have to search your database for the names ...) 5 ...Nf6 6 Nc3 is correct when White should be able to obatain a decent position with a slight edge by moving hsi f3 knight somewhere sensible and going f3 and e4, for example 6 ....h4 7 Ne7 Nbd7 8 Nxc4 Bf4 9 f3

4 Nc3

4 e3 is another system, which avoids the difficulty White runs into on his next move but is rather too well met by 3 ...Bf5 or 4 ... Bg4

4 ... dxc4

Why Black should give up the centre? So what's he doing now? the answer is that he sees his idea to develop the queen's Bishop doesn't work at the moment 4 ... Bf5 5 cxd5 cxd5 6 Qb3

is very strong since 6 ... b6 7 e4 dxe4 8 Ne5 is just about winning for White, 6 ... Qb6 7 Nxd5 wins a pawn and 6 ... Bc8 While forced, clearly is not what Black was after. 4 ... Bg4? 5 Ne5 is obviously a mistake too, but meanwhile Black is a bit short of ways to aprepare the bishop development. giving up on the whole idea and playing 4 ... e6 is another entire opening complex called the semi-slav and is subject of the next chapter, while 4 ... g6 5 cxd5 cxd5 6 Bf4 is a little better for White the bishop doesn't belong on g7 in this structure for a number of reasons, chief among them that Black is bound to have to play ...e6 anyway at some stage and thus leave himself with a complex of weakened dark squares, and also he makes it harder for himself to play ...Bf5 since this piece will no longer be able to retreat along the b1 - h7 diagonal.

In fact modern theory has unearthed the clever waiting move 4 ... a6, the Chebanenko System which keeps the dream of bishop development alive and is dealth with below, but 4 ... d x c4 is the historical main line of the Slav. Black is 'giving up' the centre in a sense, but in return he gets to develop his bishop ( and thus all his minor pieces) conveniently, and also extracts an important concession.

5 a4

And here it is. If White wants to retrieve his pawn convenienty he had to do this. After 5 e4 anothe point of --- c6 reveals itself as Black continues with 5 ... b5. this is a genuine gambit, White no longer has any way to recover the pawn by force, he can play this way but theory holds that Black's chances are as good as White's. the text has always been the main line and White can now get his pawn back in peace, but he has lost a development tempo and also created a ghastly hole at b4. Slav endgames have a definite tendency to favour Black and really the whole reason for that is the structural damage White has had to do to himself to win his pawn back.

After 5 a4 Black can develop the bishop comfortably and can retain control of e4 for a while with 5 ... Bf5 which we will consider before exploring the alternatives.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Chess Improvement Ideas Part 18

Pin It
Bishop Fork ( Double Attack )

In the above diagram Black has a material advantage, but it proves to be short-lived. With 1 Bxc6 White creates a fork - a double atack on both the Black King and KNight. After 1 ... Ke7 2 Bxe4, Black thinks he has recovered satisfactorily because he is only down 1 point Two minor pieces ( 6 points ) vs. One rook ( 5 points ) But to his horror he notices that a new fork has been created! Now his Rooks on b1 and h7 are both under attack, and one must be lost. this second fork shows that a fork does not alwyas involve a chec : All pieces are vulnerable.

The Rook Forks will be discussed in the next article.