A Foundation for Beginners Seventy One

Last week, we started analyzing a game using our newly developed skill set. As I mentioned in the previous article, your job is to analyze each move (by both players) and determine that move’s merit based on the games principles. While I haven’t covered the endgame in this series of articles, the game we’re playing through will end before a more traditional endgame takes place. We left off at move five for Black. Here’s the game to play through online. However, I suggest playing through it on a physical board and pieces. I suggest using an actual board and pieces because it will make analyzing a position easier when playing another human being. Let’s get started!

Black’s Queen is now under attack! This is why you don’t bring the Queen out early! The Queen becomes an easy target during the opening and slows down your opening play if you bring her out prematurely! Rather than making a good developmental move that is principled, Black has to tend to the Queen and plays 5…Qg6. White follows with 6. Bd3, attacking the Black Queen once more. One of the things you can do when your opponent makes a bad move (such as bringing the Queen out early) is to punish them. Attacking the Queen again certainly does that, but you still have to consider making principled moves every time it’s your turn. Is White’s sixth move principled? Since opening principle two tells up to develop our minor pieces towards the board’s center, this move is principled. It develops the Bishop to a more centralized square giving it greater mobility! Remember, your long distance pieces, such as the Bishop, need room to move or mobility.

Black counters with a move that proves the old adage, “never capture pawns and pieces unless it helps your game.” Black decided to capture a pawn and move his Queen further into White’s territory. Let me ask you, why is this capture such a mistake? Think about how White can respond! Well, if you didn’t find White’s best move,it’s 7. Rg1, which again attacks the Black Queen. Are all of the White pawns and pieces immediately surrounding the Black Queen protected? Yes they are. This is a good example of pawn and piece coordination. One thing I cannot stress enough is to coordinate your pawns and pieces, positioning them in a way that allows them to work together. In this position, there’s only one safe square for the Black Queen and Black finds it, playing 7…Qh3. Now the Black Queen is stuck (for the moment) while White can further his development and gain a stronger control of the board’s center.

White plays 8. Rg3, attacking the Black Queen again. What do you think of White’s last move? Is is good or bad? Put aside the idea of punishing Black’s early Queen move and think about the game’s principles, specifically those relating to the opening. White’s last two moves have limited his ability to castle. Since the King-side Rook has moved, White will have to castle on the Queen-side. This leaves White’s King in an unsafe position. Opening principle three tells us to castle our King to safety. While Paul Morphy was an extremely strong player at the time, he could still pay a steep price for this Queen chase had he been playing a much stronger player!

Black plays 8…Qh5 and White attacks the Queen again with 9. Rg5. Black’s Queen runs for her life with 9…Qh3. Look at both players minor pieces. White has three activated and in the game while Black has no minor pieces in play. While White’s Rook moves are problematic, White has his forces near the enemy King which is a problem for Black. White’s pawn and pieces in the game are also well coordinated. Always coordinate your material because it strengthens attacks as well as any defensive positions you encounter.

White plays 10. Bf1, going after the Black Queen again. I want you to think long and hard about this move. White has just moved the light squared Bishop back to it’s starting square. Was there a better move? I want you to make a list of the move’s good points and bad points. Ask yourself questions like, “is there a better square for this Bishop?” Look at every square the Bishop could occupy and determine whether it’s activity would improve on that square. Is there a bigger threat White could make other than attacking the Queen? Did the multiple attacks on the Queen with the White Rook improve White’s overall activity and make up for losing the right to castle on the King-side? The point in simple: Ask as many questions as you can think of for each move made in a game you’re analyzing. Next week, we’ll going through the next five or six moves. The position is going to quickly change in White’s favor!

This is a simple example of an all out attacking game that is really over the top. However, it serves to demonstrate the power of attacking chess. When we get into endgame studies, we’ll be examining much more subtle forms of attacks. Try to avoid the temptation of playing through to the end of this game because I want you to have a sound analytical foundation going into the next set of moves. See you next week!

Hugh Patterson

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Hugh Patterson

Author: Hugh Patterson

Prior to teaching chess, Hugh Patterson was a professional guitarist for nearly three decades, playing in a number of well known San Francisco bands including KGB, The Offs, No Alternative, The Swinging Possums and The Watchmen. After recording a number of albums and CDs he retired from music to teach chess. He currently teaches ten chess classes a week through Academic Chess. He also created and runs a chess program for at-risk teenagers incarcerated in juvenile correctional facilities. In addition to writing a weekly column for The Chess Improver, Hugh also writes a weekly blog for the United States Chess League team, The Seattle Sluggers. He teaches chess privately as well, giving instruction to many well known musicians who are only now discovering the joys of chess. Hugh is an Correspondence Chess player with the ICCF (International Correspondence Chess Federation). He studied chemistry in college but has worked in fields ranging from Investment Banking and commodities trading to Plastics design and fabrication. However, Hugh prefers chess to all else (except Mrs. Patterson and his beloved dog and cat). View all posts by Hugh Patterson

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