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Chess Strategy. Part 2

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Note:  I would like to thank all the readers who send in comments. It would be impossible for me to answer one by one. So I will answer those demanding some sort of concrete information.  But you all must know I will be eager to read all of them you can be sure I am very grateful for them.- Questchess.


Before dealing with the last two ideas “the critical turning point at the end of the theory” and “the method to evaluate a position” , I  would like to say that the number of concepts strategy contains is very big and knowing them helps the player to devise a plan : you can find plenty of material in the books I have mentioned in the  past post.

Well, we start playing a game of Chess. We play the opening and we reach a point where ,either we do not know any more theory, or it has ended. We have a position before us and have to decide a move to be played. (Let’s suppose the our opponent has not made a mistake which allows us a mating attack). To evaluate the position the method suggested by leading GMs and Chess trainers implies the following positional assessment:

1.- Material

2.- Type of  Centre

3.- Pawn Structure (strong/weak/isolated,etc. Pawns)

4.- Piece coordination and placement of the pieces

5.- Unprotected Pawns/Pieces

6.-Weak squares

7.- Opponent’s threats

8.- Own threats.

9.- Posible transformations in the character of the position

10.- Calculation of variations.

You have to make a move. You have to decide a target if any, a waiting move, etc. The type of centre gives you the first set of possibe plans. The existence of weaknesses allows you to decide  what to do, etc.

(An example to settle this matter: in the Ruy Lopez /Spanish we have the following main line:

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. 0-0 Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 0-0 9. h3 Na5 10. Bc2 c5 11. d4 Qc7  12.Nbd2 Nc6.

And now you can choose between 13. dc (Rauser) or 13. d5 (Closed)

Each one leads to a different type of centre and, consequently, to different plans -ways to treat the position- for the middlegame. The chessplayer is always taking strategical decisions as you can see. Of course, it is not necessary to go through all the above.metioned motiffs every move.You evaluate a position and decide a course of action. If the action is met by the opponent with something unexpected you will have to reassess the situation. In a sense, you are “shifting” from one position to another trying to foresee what it is going to happen and trying to appreciate the “critical turning points” in the game.

The same happens as Black. No matter if you play the French, the Caro-Kann, the Pirc or the Sicilian. All of them are strategicall based and one must know it so as to treat the ensuing positions correctly. Otherwise strategical mistakes would appear with defeat as a result. In the Sicilian, for instance, you must be aware of positions featuring Pd6-Pe6 or  Pe5-Pd6.

In most cases, same moves in different positions tantamounts to a defeat…)

Some of the  above-mentioned motiffs  may be permanent or of a transitory nature. In modern Chess it is nearly impossible to win a game with a single unidirectional plan  (though it may happen, of course). Rather many different mini-plans have to be used adapting one’s  ideas to the changing evens which take place on the board. And please let me insist : strategy and tactics must work togeher . Abrahams wrote that  :

“…in Chess good  moves win rather than good positions” . He also added that  “…the very best players rarely make any perceptible tactical error. They lose by choosing a bad strategic line and persisting in it.”

W.: Hübner (1)

B.: Olafsson (0)

Tesaloniki 1984

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 0-0 5. a3 Bc3: 6. Qc3: b6 7. Nf3 Bb7 8. e3 Ne4 9. Qc2 c5 10. Bd3 f5 11. 0-0 Nc6 12. b3 Ng5 13. Ng5: Qg5: 14. f4 Qb6 15. Bb2 Ne7 16. dc5: bc5: 17. Rfd1 a5 18. Be5 Nc8 19. Bf1! Bc6 20. Qd2 d6 21. Bc3 Rf7 22. Ba5: Rfa7 23. Bc3 Ra3: 24. Ra3: Ra3: 25. b4 Ra8 26. bc5:! dc5 27. e4! h6 28. ef5: ef5: 29. Qd8 Kh7 30. Rd3 Qe8 31. Qe8: Be8 32. Rd5 Bf7 33. Rf5: Nd6 34. Rc5: Ra3 35. Be5 Nf5 36. Bb2  Black resigned.

Strategical/positional pressure always force the opponent to create weaknesses in his camp, commit mistakes or break the coordination of his/her forces.

W.: Beljavsky (1)

B.: Yusupov (0)

Moscow 1983

Strategical theme: Minority Attack.

1. d4 Nf6  2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cd5 ed5  5. Bg5 Be7 6. e3 Nbd7  7. Bd3 0-0 8. Nf3 Re8 9. Qc2 Nf8 10. h3 Be6  11. 0-0 c6 12. a3 N6d7 13.Be7: Qe7 14. b4 Ng6 15. Rfc1 Qf6 (theatening …Bh3:) 16. Qd1 Bf5 17.b5 Bd3: 18. Qd3: Nb6 19. bc6 bc6 20. Nb1 (the plan is to put c6 under fire to win the Pawn or ,forcing Black to defend it, create tactical threats) … Rac8 21. Ra2 Nh4 22. Nh4: Qh4: 23. Nd2 Re6 24. Rac2 Qe7 25. Rc5 Rc7 26. Qb3 Qd6 27. Nf3 Nd7 28. Ne5! Nc5: 29. Qb8  Qf8 30. Qc7: f6 31. Nc6: Nd3 32. Rb1 Re8 33. Qa7:   Black resigned. Clear and straightforward.

To end the post a clash between two strategy heavyweights:

W.: Fine (1)

B.: Maroczy (0)

Nottingham 1936

1. d4 e6 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Be7 5.Bg5 Nbd7 6. e3 0-0 7. Rc1 c6 8. Bd3 h6 9. Bf4 dc4 10. Bc4: Nh5?! 11.. Be5  Ne5: 12. de5 Qd1: 13. Rd1 (Black has two bad-positioned pieces the Nh5 and the Bc8)… g6 14. g4 Ng7 15. Ne4! b5 16. h4! b5 17. Be2 c5 18. 0-0 Bb7 19. Nf6Bf6: 20. ef6 Ne8 21. g5 Bd5 22. Ne5! Nd6 23. f3 Nc4  24. Bc4: Bc4: 25. Nc4: bc4 26. Rc1  Rab8 27. Rf2 Rb4 28. a3 Ra4 29. Rc3 Rd8 30. Rf2c2 Rd5 31. f4 e5 32. Rc4: Rc4: 33. ef4 hg5 34. ef4 hg5  35. hg5 Rd2  36 Rc5: Rb2:  37. Rc8 Kh7 38. Rf8 Rb7 39. Kf2  and Black resigned. 

Tarrasch used to say that a bad-placed piece made the whole position bad!.



Written by QChess

April 6, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Posted in CHESS

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2 Responses

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  1. Thank you for sharing valuable information. Nice post. I enjoyed reading this post. The whole blog is very nice found some good stuff and good information here Thanks..Also visit my page win at chess .


    January 31, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    • Thank you very much. I hope you will like tody’s post dealing with Bobby Fischer.


      February 1, 2014 at 7:22 am

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