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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Attacking on one colour

Pin It "I have long suspected, whenever the books I read began discussing dark-square weaknesses or an attack on the dark squares, that the subject was not only beyond my understanding, but beyond the author's as well. 'Certainly', I would say to myself, 'it must be true that the enemy dark squares will be weak if his pawns stand on the light squares and he loses his dark-square bishop. But if he then removes al of his pieces from the dark squares, what will be left for me to attack<'

Such was my of reasoning until the day I realised that a weakness of the dark squares is also a weakness of the pieces and pawns on the light squares. Light square weaknesses are also possible, resulting in a weakening of the enemy pieces and pawns on the dark squares" - David Bronstein

The quote above is one of the most famous in chess literature, found in the introduction to the first game in one of the most influencial chess book of all time, David Bronstein's Zurich International Chess Tournament 1953 (here given in Jim Marfia's translation).

Bronstein's realisation that domination one half of the board, here the dark squares, will also lead to the domination of the other half of the board, is of course an important one Still some people will probably think that although cess is not draughts will the pieces on opposite colours, this is still not that important a realisation, This is because they miss out on an even more basic point : Most chess pieces are colour blind! Bishops, knights and pawns can only control squares of one colour at a time, the queen is biased towards the colour of the square it is standing on, the rook will aim at the same colour square it is standing on, the rook will aim at the same colour square first in all four directions, and the king at the edge of the board is alos biased, Thoughthe ches board was probably divided into light and dark squares by an artistic soul, thinking in black and white shuld not be underestimated as an important tool, both in technical and in dynamic positions.

Black is weak on the dark squares as a result of having exchanged his dark squared bishop for a knight He is hoping to survive this problem by having played --f6 and thereby block the position with the pawns. But it takes more than a few pawns to stop Bronstein, one of the greatest attackers of the 20th century.

24. Qd4

White is threatening to play 25 Nxf6, demolishing the dark squares and exposing the weaknesses. This forces Black to play.

24 ... Qd6 25 Qa1!

This move keeps control of the dark squares of the dark squares and attacks the black queen , thus winning the necessary tempo.

25 ... Qa6

Black keeps an eye on f6 as well, but the queen has to leave the centre of the board to do so.

26. Rxe7!!

The tactics are not too difficult to calculate, but what I want to emphasise here is the complete destruction of the dark squares.

26... Rxe7

The most tenacious defence was probably 26 ... Ne5, although this too is not sufficient to save the game.

White wins after 27 Rxf7! Kxf7 28 Bd5+ followed by 29 Nxe5 with deadly attack.

27 Nxf6+ Kh8 28 Nd7+ 28 ...Ne5 29 Nxe5 Kg8 30 Nc6 1-0

White's strategy ins this example is so simple that few of us would actually think of it as a strategy, but rather as a variation calculated with precision.