What Do You Mean rrSoul of the Game

When I began to play chess everything seemed simple. I moved the pieces myself, blithely unaware of Hans Kmoch or Fred Reinfeld, let alone Wilhelm Steinitz and Mikhail Botvinnik. When I began to read chess books everything became confused. It wasn't just that authors seemed to speak a forbidden language bad bishops, positional error, backward pawn, and so on. Worse, they made statements which I was told were Wise Sayings which were far beyond me. About the only one that made sense to me was...

The Orthodox Exchange Formation

Kmoch named the formation in the diagram below after the exchange systems (QBPxQP . . . KPxQP) in the orthodox (read normal ) variation of the Q.G.D. It also occurs with colors reversed in the Caro-Kann (1. P-K4 P-QB3 2. P-Q4 P-Q4 3. PxP PxP 4. B-Q3 N-KB3 5. P-QB3 and . . . P-K3) and some rarer openings. What distinguishes it most is a solidity that makes it one of the safest formations to play. The board is cut in half by a spine of white and black pawns. The spine is not easily broken and...

The Pq Chain

Black has made at least one minor and one major error in the opening. He gave up his KB without compensation and unlike the Korchnoi-Barcza game just cited, it is not a bad bishop. Worse, Black adopted a passive, defensive attitude on the king-side rather than the dynamic 12. . . . P-KN3 followed by . . . With 15. P-B5 White carries forward a threat of 16. P-B6 e.g., 16. . . . NPxP 17. QPxP N-N3 18. N-N5 or 16. .7 .N-B1T7. BPxP BxP 18. KR-B1 with pressure against Black's newly revealed...

Supplemental Games

(1) White closes up the queenside to attack Black's base at QN2 with pieces. Sokolsky-Livschitz, Minsk 1956 1. P-QN4 P-K4 2. B-N2 P-KB3 3. P-N5 P-Q4 4. P-K3 B-K3 5. P-Q4 P-K5 6. N-Q2 P-B3 7. P-QR4 P-QR3 (An error similar to Rivera-Suttles. Better is 7. . . . B-Q3 8. P-QB4 N-K2 awaiting events on the kingside.) 8. N-K2 B-Q3 9. P-QB4 N-Q2 10. P-B5 (now if the Black B retreats to K2 White can continue 11. N-KB4 B-B2 12. Q-N4 with kingside play) 10. . . . B-QN1 11. P-N6 N-K2 12. QN-N3 0-0 13. N-R5...

Nqb Pkn Bk Bn Nn Nb

P-B4 Q-Bl 12. B-K3 Note that White played 7. N-N3 to prevent . . . P-Q4. Black countered with . . . P-QR4, a move that threatened to weaken White's black squares with . . . P-R5-6. When White stopped this with P-QR4 he permitted Black to occupy the QN5 square indefinitely. But Black's strategy is successful only if he prevents N-Q5. He could have done this with 12. . . . N-QN5 and 13. . . . R-Ql, threatening . . . P-Q4. But after the game continuation, 14. N-QST...

The Boleslavsky Hole

P-K4 to obtain active piece play and enough of it to compensate for his backward QP is considered a relatively new idea in the Open Sicilian-English. Actually it is one of the oldest. Louis Charles Mahe de LaBour-donnais, who died in 1840, tried it in his marathon match with Alexander MacDonnell. In that famous encounter, a predecessor of today's world championships, the French champion played 1. P-K4 P-QB4 2. N-KB3 N-QB3 3. P-Q4 PxP 4. NxP P-K4 in order to...

Nqb Pkn Bk Bn Bk Nb

P-B5 B-B5 12. NxN BxB 13. Black has succeeded in exchanging some dangerous material but he has a problem here. White has an immediate threat of P-N5 and N-Q5. Once that is accomplished the knight can be driven back only by . . . P-K3, a very weakening move. This example highlights Black's ideas in P-KB5 positions. He can stop his knight from being driven off with 14. . . . P-KR3, but this assures the opening of another file after 15. K-Rl QR-B1 16. P-N5 or 15. . . ....

The Pkb Plan

This idea contests squares on the side of the board to which White should be paying the most attention. But there is an inherent weakness to this strategy, and it was Nimzovich, naturally, who popularized it in his game with Salve at Karlsbad 1911 (Supplemental Game 5). He showed that by exchanging off both his center pawns (QPxQBP and KPxKBP) he could replace them with minor pieces. Unless Black can recapture on his QB4 and KB3 with pawns, he will surrender ideal outposts to White on...

The Caro Slav Family

By a family we mean a group of closely related pawn structures that share the same features or derive from a common opening. In the Caro-Slav family only one player has a center pawn on the fourth rank and it is on Q4. This player's opponent has exchanged off his own QP for either a KP the Caro formation or a QBP the Slav formation . These are the only center pawn exchanges made. The Caro formation The Slav formation Besides the facial resemblance the two structures also share a basic solidity...

The PK Chain

If there were no such thing as checkmate the patterns of middle-game play would be identical in the P-K5 and P-Q5 chains. But the presence of kings is clearly felt in the P-K5 chain the player with his KP advanced to the fifth rank can quickly develop a whirlwind attack. This is only partly because Black cannot in the above diagram post a knight, that excellent kingside defender, on its most natural square, KB3. White's strategic attack on the base of the chain with P-KB5 not only gains space...

The Kingside Stonewall

The pawn breaks in this closed structure come from P-QB4 and P-KN4. In a typical Dutch Defense the Stonewall is not complete because White has not played P-KB4. He can obtain good queenside play with either BPxQP or P-QB5 followed by P-QN4-5. The next two diagrams indicate the options. This is from Ivkov-Segi, Novi Sad 1955 1. P-Q4 P-Q4 2. P-QB4 P-K3 3. N-QB3 P-KB4 4. N-B3 P-B3 5. B-B4 N-B3 6. P-K3 B-K2 7. B-Q3 0-0 8. 0-0 N-K5 9. P-KR3 N-Q2 10. N-K5 QNxN 11. QBxN P-QN3 12. R-Bl B-B3 13. BxB...

The Minority Attack

The minority attack with P-QN4-5 seems antipositional. When Wilhelm Steinitz advanced his QNP against F. J. Lee at London 1899 he was criticized in this note of the tournament book Black has a capital development the open K-file, a majority of pawns on the Queen's side, without even a sign of an attack by White. The plan of attacking on the left wing practically four pawns with two should not succeed. Emphasis added. Why should White advance his qufeenside pawns when it is likely to create a...

The Wedge Formation

One of the most popular pawn configurations for attacking flayers is one in which one side has given up his QP for the enemy QBP and arranged a center with his KP on the fifth rank adjoining enemy pawns on Q4 and K3. This comes most frequently from P-K5 chain formations when the base of the chain at Q4 is exchanged off e.g., 1. P-K4 P-K3 2. P-Q4 P-Q4 3. P-K5 P-QB4 4. PxP or 4. N-KB3 PxP. It can also come out of other formations. In the Slav, for example, after Black has played . . . P-K4 a la...

Scheveningen Maroczy

While the Bind in the Dragon formation enjoyed an unsullied reputation until the 1950s, its counterpart in the Scheveningen kept its luster into the 1970s. At the height of its popularity the Bind was thought to be much stronger against a Sicilian forma-tion in which Black has weakened his QP with . . . P-K3. It ap-peared that Black had fewer chances of counterplay since . . . P-KB4 was more weakening than normal, that . . . KBxN-on-QB3 was hard to achieve since Black s B sat on K2, and that...

The Nimzobotvinnik Formation

A close relative of what we've just examined is a structure in which one player has pawns at QB4 and K4 while his opponent has a pawn at either K4 or QB4. Nimzovich was the first master to express enjoyment at having the two pawns in the center. It appeared to be another of his prejudices for what Tarrasch called ugly moves. It is ugly to concede your Q4 to enemy pieces. But when Botvinnik began to play the structure with P-K4 and P-QB4 it gained the stamp of approval. Against the Closed...

The Panov Formation

The semiclosed center with one side's pawns at Q4 and QB5 and the other's at Q4 and K3 has been popping up in games since the Queen's Gambit Declined first became popular. But it was only with the introduction of Vasily Panov's system in the Caro-Kann Defense 1. P-K4 P-QB3 2. P-Q4P-Q4 3. PxP PxP 4. P-QB4 and a subsequent P-B5 that the formation became readily familiar. And now with its occurrence in recently tested variations of the Alekhine Defense both 1. P-Q4 and 1. P-K4 players have to pay...