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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Chess Improvement Ideas Part 19.

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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.