M m u

m mwmmz leads to the position with the blocked pawns on d4 and e5 under constant threat.

These two openings are regarded as quite reliable and lead to complex manoeuvring in the middlegame. Those who like scrupulous work at the chessboard and who can patiently bide their time would do well to study one of these openings. But I personally prefer the Caro-Kann Defence with a free development of Black's pieces, whereas in the French Defence the black bishop on c8 is hemmed in by its own pawns.

The course of events is much slower if White starts the game with the advance of the queen's pawn — 1 d4. Here, after the First opening moves the plans for both sides are unclear and concealed from the opponent. All chess openings starting with 1 d4 are called 'closed' or 'semi-closed'. To play them well and efficiently, one must have a certain understanding of position and some experience. Therefore I advise you to play, at least for a year, 'open' games, and only after this can you start playing 'closed' games.

Analogous to 1 e4, the most fundamental reply to 1 d4 is 1 ... d5. And 2 c4 leads to different variations of the Queen's Gambit. By replying 2 ... c6, the Slav Defence or xiliiPfl

or Tarrasch Defences, Black will try to strengthen the outpost on d5, whereas White will be methodically creating favourable conditions for the king pawn's advance to e4, In this century other methods of development, aimed at providing Black with less straightforward counterplay in the centre, have evolved. In the Nimzo-Indtan Defence (1 d4 iJffi 2 c4 e6 3 £c3 £b4)

and the Queen's Indian Defence (1 d4 ®f6 2 c4 e6 3 b6)

2 ... e6 leading to the Orthodox xilii

^ nAMAMA

Black tries to fight for control over e4. In the King's Indian Defence (1 d4 Qf6 2 c4 g6 3 &c3 Ag7 4 e4 d6)

and the Griinfeld Defence (! d4 ftf6 2 c4 g6 3 £ic3 d5 4 cd £xd5 5 e4)

Black permits White to build up a powerful pawn centre and then embarks on an undermining strategy. And that is the end of our

short outline of the basic chess openings. When you read one of the numerous chess manuals available, don't be confused by the multitude of variations you may come across. They reflect all that might be of importance in tournament practice, in other words, the basic laws of opening strategy. We have already dwelt upon it, and it is a must for the beginner.

Lesson 12: The Art of Planning

Before embarking on an activity, almost every person, in order to achieve his object, contemplates what operations he will have to perform and figures out the best sequence for these operations.

I firmly believe that chess is, to a certain extent, a model of life, and therefore planning is an essential feature of this game.

What is planning in a chess game? It is a well-considered order of operations aimed at achieving a definite and concrete objective, the order taking into account the situation on the chessboard and constantly modified by the opponent's actions.

The plan should not be confused with the object of the game. Some amateur may say 'I want to checkmate, therefore I play for a mate from the very start. So I play according to a plan.* This is an utterly wrong approach. In the initial position there are no real conditions for mating the opponent's king. The mate is the ultimate and most desired object of the game, and 'play for mate from the first move' is a wish to satisfy this desire.

Firstly, you develop your pieces according to a certain pattern to achieve some superiority in a certain area of the chessboard.

Then you increase your pressure in order to obtain concrete positional or material advantages in the middlegame.

And finally, you carefully exploit all your advantages in the endgame, obtaining a material superiority that renders any resistance impossible.

The defending side does not play in a free-wheeling fashion either; he also plays according to a plan, taking into account all dangers, threats and weaknesses in his camp and trying above all to get rid of the weaknesses.

The plan is built up on the basis of a concrete evaluation of the position and its peculiarities. Therefore, it is important to be able to analyse the fighting formations of both sides and to understand all the subtleties of the position. The ability to build up a plan and to carry it out consistently on the board is one of the most attractive aspects of chess; sometimes it is more gratifying than, say, a direct attack on the enemy's king. And if you remember that quite often chess players camouflage their intentions by employing distracting manoeuvres, you will understand that playing according to plan is a great art.

Of course, it takes a long time to learn your operations at the chessboard. Serious and smalt mistakes are inevitable. But to my mind it is better to learn from your mistakes than to do without any plan whatsoever.

To illustrate this, let us consider the following examples.

A.Suetin-I .Bondarevsky Moscow 1963

1

e4

e5

2

3

¿b5

a6

4

Aa4

d6

5

0-0

This is one of the oldest variations of the Ruy Lopez. Having completed the first half of the plan in the opening (evacuation of the king from the centre), White is planning to create a pawn centre by continuing c2-c3 and d2-d4 and exerting pressure on the e5 pawn. Black ordinarily tries to hold the outpost on e5 by playing £ig8-e7-g6 followed by A.e7. It is also possible to build up another defensive formation:... £lg8-e7,... g6,... j«Lg7. Both sides seem to be Teady for slow positional manoeuvring. Suddenly Black makes an impulsive anti-positional move.

Energetic actions in the centre should be regarded as the best reaction to Black's premature kingside escapade The best way to exploit effectively Black's slow development is to open up the centre. White's 6th move is a good example of timely correction of the previously envisaged plan prompted by the hazardous actions of the adversary.

Another positional concession. Labouring under the illusion that the advantage of two bishops permits him to open up the centre, Black, still conspicuously underdeveloped, makes serious concessions in the centre.

9 Wxd4 Wf6

10 Wa4 t,c7

One more correction to the opening plan. This position does not require the advance of the pawn to c3, and this square is now occupied by the knight which gets involved in the struggle for the centre —

tile decisive sector.

12 Wa5!

White modifies his plan and uses the weakness of the c7-pawn to deter Black from castling, thereby frustrating his opponent's intention to mobilise his pieces. The loss of a tempo is more than compensated by the disharmony of Black's pieces.

This is part of White's plan aimed at organising an attack against the uncastled Black king. The quickest way is to clear the field in the centre.

After 14 ... de 15 £lc5 there is no defence against Sdl.

15 Sel d5

The only way to save the game is to avoid opening up the d-file. However, the weakness of the squares in Black's camp turns out to be a decisive factor.

16 &e2 Eig6

19 We8

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