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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chess Improvement Ideas Part 14

Pin It In the previous article Chess Improvement Ideas Part 13 we have see that, 

It is not a good Idea to leave your Queen opposite a Rook.

Today we will see one of the guiding strategic principles of chess,

When you are ahead in material, it is a good idea to make even trades.

You will definitely ask Why? Because as the number of pieces you have on the board decreases, the relative importance of a material advantage - even of only a pawn - increases.Observe the following diagram,

Black to Play

In the above diagram Black is a pawn ahead and would like to exchange pieces. In his attempt to force an ending without Queens, Blck plays 1... Nd6. Is it a good move? By attacking white's rook, Black has forgotten that his Queen is completely undefended. (Remember Silman's Rule of Recognition)

with 2 Re8+!, White places his Rook on a hopeless square, but thereby allows the White Queen to uncover an attack on its counterpart on d5. Black must get out of check, but after he captures the offensive Rook with 2 ...Nxe8 or 2... Rxe8, White snaps off the Black Queen with 3 Qxd5, for hefty 3-point material advantage ( 9 for the Queen vs. 5 for the Rook plus 1 for the extra pawn.).

Was Black wrong to want to trade pieces ? No, but he went about it in an unfortunate way. The correct route is simple 1 ... Nxe3! because then 2 Qxe3 will leave Black with a solid extra pawn. Note that White's discovered check tactic no longer works. To 2 Rxe8+??, Black responds with 2...Rxe8. Then 3 Qxd5 fails to 3 ...Nxd5 because the knight on e3 is protecting Black's Queen. The moral of this story is,

Dn't leave your stuff unprotected. It might get chopped off!