Info

Norwegian Amateurs-Nimzovich, Oslo 1921. The opening moves l.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.exd5 exd5 5.NB Bg4 6.Be2 Ne7 7.0-0 Nbc6 8.Bf4 Bd6 9-Ne5 Bxe2 10.Nxe2 Bxe5 ll.Bxe5 Nxe5 12.dxe5 led to the diagrammed situation. The position is quiet and both players can calmly try to formulate some sort of plan of action. Here the big imbalance is the mutual pawn majorities. Black's pawn majority (his c-pawn and d-pawn) can advance easily enough, but White has a problem Black will play to control the f5...

The Dark Side Of Space

An advantage in space has been shown to be a nice thing to have because it gives its owner greater room for maneuvering while simultaneously restricting the opponent. However, it can also be a double-edged sword. Since a space advantage is created by far advanced pawns, you can easily lose control of critical squares as the pawns advance. The further a pawn advances the less squares it can potentially control. This means that at times these forgotten squares can fall ito the hands of the enemy,...

Introduction

Often when I talk to players of D-A strength I am surprised to find how little they know about the game. Moreover, when I recommend a book for them to study they often tell me it was over their head that they had difficulty understanding its content. In particular, I have found that most players have problems with the following subjects 1) A lack of understanding concerning the true purpose of the opening. 2) No knowledge of planning and the thinking processes that make it happen. 3) No...

Chess Masters Closed Positions

Saidy-Silman, Paul Masson Masters 1975. In diagram 163 White intends to take the initiative with b4 followed by an eventual c4-c5 advance. Rather than bow to White's wishes and play a defensive game by castling and trying to hold on, Black decides to initiate a risky kingside counterattack. l6 h4 Black sacrifices the Exchange so that his Knight can find a nice home on f4 and the White King position will be weakened. Perhaps the best thing about the move is that Black will retain the initiative...

Bxc4 B5 How To Visualize It

I could readily imagine a draw being agreed from the position in diagram 50. Even the Rooks are going to be traded, which seems to further accentuate the position's drawish character. Now for a moment let's imagine you are Black and your opponent is rated three hundred points below you. Clearly, a draw under those conditions would not make you very happy What would you do as Black Would you set as many traps as possible and hope he falls into one Would you play on forever and hope he grows so...

Kuznecov Silman 1986

Black to play. Kuznecov-Silman, Oregon Open 1986. Black to play. Black is better due to his superior Bishop good Bishop versus bad Bishop and the fact that his Knight can make use of the weakened c5 and d4 squares while its counterpart has nowhere to go at all. What about space At the moment the territory is basically even. However, Black's superior minor pieces will eventually allow him to annex space on the kingside. His plan is this 1 Place his minor pieces...

Imbalances And The Silman Thinking Technique

To define the word 'plan' does not necessarily mean that we know how to create one in an actual game. As Golombek said, this calls for the ability to recognize the existing characteristics of a position. To successfully penetrate into the mysteries of the chess board you have to be aware of the magic word of chess IMBALANCE. An imbalance in chess denotes any difference in the two respective positions. To think that the purpose of chess is solely to checkmate the opposing King is much too...

Preventing Counterplay

At times one's advantages might be clearly defined, but instead of proceeding to utilize them it may be a good idea to curtail all of the opponent's chances and only then proceed unhindered with your own plans. One of the most common errors an amateur makes is to win a pawn or get some other type of long lasting advantage and then spoil his winning position by trying to force the issue. When you have a permanent static advantage you should solidify your position before striking out if you...

Thinking Techniques And The List Of Imbalances

A sound plan makes us all heroes, the absence of a plan, idiots. G.M. Kotov quoting a mysterious 'chess sage.' At some time or other every tournament player learns a few opening lines, some tactical ideas, and the most basic mating patterns. As he gets better and more experienced he adds to this knowledge. However, the one thing that just about everybody has problems with is planning. From class 'E' to Master, I get blank stares when asking what plan they had in mind in a particular position....