Primary Bases

T F the student has familiarized himself with the foregoing principles and positions, thus learning how to handle the several individual pieces in the opening of a game, he is now prepared to enter upon a consideration of the scientific methods of developing all the pieces, regarded both individually and collectively, and with reference to their mutual interdependence.

When, in the actual play of a game, all' the pieces have been thus developed, the student has reached the limit of what the art of minor tactics can teach him, and for the future he must depend either upon his natural skill or upon his acquired proficiency in those higher branches of the science, major tactics and grand tactics. To such a position of the pieces as exists when the play makes this transition from minor tactics to the broader field of strategics, we apply a generic term, and lay down the following definition and corollary: —

A complete and consistent dispositio?i of all the pieces in the opening of a game, preliminary to the play of the mid-game, is called a primary base.

In the co7istruction of a primary base it is, therefore, necessary to effect the formation of a P integral, and to combine with it consistent units of all the superior pieces.

In order that the student may immediately gain a clear idea of the appearance, characteristics and properties of a primary base, we give a diagram of such a position, which the learner will of course copy with his board and men: —

This diagram represents a primary base in which, as the student will readily perceive by the exercise of knowledge already acquired, the first open P integral is combined with the first open Kt unit, the first open B unit, the first open R unit, and the first open Q unit. By reference to the table of integrals of the superior pieces (p. 123), you will find that each of these units of the several superior pieces is here consistently combined with the first open P integral; you will see that all the pieces are properly posted, and you are informed, furthermore, that this is the ??iost efficient disposition of the forces possible in the development of the open game. The P integral and all the units of the superior pieces are of the first rank, and as a preparation for the play of the mid-game along the lines of an open attack the position cannot in any detail be improved. Having made this statement of the merits of the open primary base 1 A (as we shall call the formation of Fig. 33), the authors are disposed to answer a query that the student may very naturally propound at this stage of his progress: namely, " Will it be easy for me in actual play, if I have the white pieces, to get them into this position?" To this we reply that you will probably be unable to obtain the primary base 1 A exactly, but the more closely you approximate to it, the better opening you will have, the more difficult it will be for any opponent to win the game from you, and the easier it will be for you to win the game from any opponent. In a word, the open pri mary base iA is a model of the disposition of the forces for the open attack, and when you have the white pieces and elect to play the open attack (that is, to play K P - K 4 as your first move), you should aim at the construction of a position which will conform as nearly as possible to this model, in spite of what your opponent may do. You must not for an instant suppose that your opponent can gain any advantage from your efforts to establish this primary base, or another of lower rank, provided, of course, that you apply your efforts in a judicious and careful manner; on the contrary, the early precipitation of a counter-attack on his part is more than likely in the end to assist, rather than to retard, the development of your forces, and, perhaps, to open for you what we shall call an accide?ital line of attack, by which, on account of your opponent's errors, you are enabled to depart from your purpose of constructing a primary base, and proceed immediately to the assault of his position, with the certainty of winning the game. The most that your opponent can do, if he, on his side, plays as scientifically as you, is to force the exchange of a few pieces, and thus to destroy a few of the positive merits of your position, without creating in it any positive defect; or else to delay the perfection of your development, by compelling you temporarily to adopt somewhat inferior units of Ps and superior pieces instead of the very best. Against a weaker or less soundly schooled opponent, you will encounter little difficulty in establishing a primary base very similar to the model, and against a stronger or more experienced opponent you will certainly be able, if you obey the injunctions of this theory, to make a firmer and more hopeful stand than you could by many times the same amount of study bestowed on the ordinary give-and-take openings of " the books." If you are driven to deviate from the best course of development, in order that you may know how to accomplish your chief aims in ways as nearly as possible identical with those of your first intention, it will be necessary for you thoroughly to understand the functions and properties of the several units and integrals, to which we shall accord detailed and exhaustive treatment in the following pages.

As the first lesson in this study we present a table of primary bases (p. 129), similar in arrangement to that of the integrals of the superior pieces ; in the present table, however, each formation includes all the elementary formations given on a particular line, and, consequently, all the pieces, either of one side or of the other. It is convenient to rank the primary bases first according to the P integrals that enter into their construction, and then according to the comparative values

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