On Exchanging

A short chapter whose purpose is to make clear the possible motives for exchanging

In order to show the student the danger lurking in indiscriminate bartering, we propose to enumerate the cases in which an exchange seems to be indicated. If an exchange does not come under one or another of these, it is bad. With the master the process of exchange is almost automatic. He holds files or safeguards his command of a strategically important point, and the opportunity of exchanging drops like ripe fruit into his lap. (See game No. 11, note to the 35th move).

In Chapter 1 we analyzed the "exchange With consequent gain of tempo." Again we often exchange in order not to be forced to retire, or to make time-losing defensive moves (liquidation with subsequent development). Both cases are in the last resort to be regarded as tempo combinations, though in fact the question of tempo plays an essential part in every exchange. A salient instance is the exchange of a newly developed piece for one which has wasted several tempi. In the middlegame the tempo motif finds expression when:

(1) We exchange in order to seize (or open) a file without loss of time. A very simple example. In Diagram 61a, White wants to seize (or open) a file in order to be able to give mate on the 8th rank. If to this end he plays 1 .Bf3 or 1 .Rai, Black would have time to take steps against the mate with 1 ...Kf8 or 1 ...g6. The proper course is to exchange 1.Bxc6. Black has no time to protect, for he must retake, and this "must" may also be taken in the psychological sense.

(2) We destroy a defender by exchanging. We destroy him, because we look on him as a defender. In the previous chapters we have made the acquaintance of defending pieces whose functions varied: pieces which protect a pawn obstructing the read in an open file, pieces which stand by to aid a blockader, and pawns which help io protect an outpost, etc. The destruction of any one of these is in every single case worth striving for. But by a "defender" we mean something much wider. A stretch of territory can also be defended, as for instance entry to the 7th rank, or a Possible enemy approach can be warded off, as in game No. 14 where the Ne3 "protects" the points g4 and f5. Further it is well known that a Knight at f3 defends the whole castled wing (for example, preventing ...Qh4). So. too. in the case of a centrally posted blockading piece. In the position: White: Nd4, pawns e3, f3, g3, h3. Slack: Be7, pawns d5, f7, g7, h7, the attacking radius of the Knight protects and afeguards for White a wide terrain, so that this Knight . also to be considered a "defender" in our sense. The jle therefore runs: Every defender in the narrower or -ider sense of the word must be regarded as an object f our destructive wrath. In Diagram 62 where White -ins by a series of exchanges, both kinds of motives re exemplified. A glance at the position reveals a Jack Nh2 which has more or less gone astray, and his etender the Bb8. We play 1.exd5 (opening a file rithout loss of tempo), 1...cxd5 2.Re8+ (the Rook at 8 is a defender of the 8th rank and must therefore die), ...Rxe8 3.Rxe8+ Kh74.Rxb8 (the arch defender now ills) 4...Rxb8 5.Kxh2 and wins.

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