56 Game 9: Znosko-Borovsky - Mackenzie
One of the chief objectives in king's pawn openings is to advance the d pawn to the centre as soon as circumstances permit, just as in queen's pawn openings it is desirable to get the e-pawn to e4 when there is an opportunity to do so.
White again threatens to win the e-pawn by the double attack on it.
Black gives his pawn further support and develops his queen at the same time. It would not do to exchange by 10...exd4 11 cxd4 cxd4 12 ^xd4 as it surrenders the centre and leaves Black with an isolated centre pawn. "An isolated pawn." says Tartakowcr. "casts gloom over the entire chessboard." White would benefit too in that his knight, standing firmly in the centre of the board, could not be dislodged by unfriendly pawns.
To prevent the pin ...iLg4. which might embarrass the knight and the piece it shields, the queen. Both pieces arc needed for the protection of the d pawn and the maintenance of the pawn formation in the centre.
An exchange ol the white knight by ...&xf3, and the recapture by the queen, removes at one stroke two supports of the d pawn.
Is White violating principle in moving one of ihe pawns near his king? Maybe, but one must know when to slight conventions as well as observe them. In this particular situation it is important to prevent an attack on the knight, its subsequent exchange and the break-up of White's pawns in the centre. The move of the h-pawn is weakening, but a lesser evil than would result from permitting the pin. But wait a moment' Is it a weakening move if
Black is unable to benefit bv it? Is it
detrimental to the position if Black cannot exploit it by a kingside attack?
The answer is no! A move is weak only if the opponent can turn its imperfections to his advantage. The entire position is strong or weak only o\ relation to the position of the opponent. In this case, the move of the h-pawn is expedient as it conforms to the requirements of the specific position.
The knight returns and adds weight to the pressure on the d-pawn.
Black threatens a series of exchanges by 12...exd4 I3cxd4cxd4, resulting in the gain of a pawn, as the further sequence 14 £}xd4? £}xd4 15 #xd4 !fxc2 would cost White a piece Black hopes to tempt White into playing 12 d.S to meet this threat. This looks good, as it would evict the c6-knight from a good post, but it has the drawback (for White)
oi releasing the tension in the centre, as well as making d5 unavailable for the use of his pieces.
12 £e3 White is in no hurry. He brings aid to the d-pawn by developing another piece.
X i m iiii
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