Sicilian Scheveningen: Kingside Combat

Position after 10 Qe1

The Queen is headed for g3. From there, she can trouble
Black's kingside and also support the potentially lethal
advances e4-e5 and f4-f5.


Sicilian Dragon: Flames of Fury

White's focus is a kingside attack formulated
around the following ideas:

* Moving the bishop on e3 to h6, where it can
capture the bishop on g7. If Black's bishop
takes on h6, White's Queen can recapture, and,
subsequently work with the h1 rook to attack
the h-file, once that file is opened up.
* Playing h2-h4-h5 so as to tempt ... Nf6xh5.
Thus, White opens up the h-file and enables
g2-g4 with gain of time. If Black doesn't play
... Nf6xh5, White can always play a timely
h5xg6, and still get the use of an open h-file.
Additionally, if White's bishop is still on the
a2-g8 diagonal, where it pins the f7 pawn to the
King, Black is forced to respond to h5xg6 with
... h7xg6. Thereafter, g6 is open to attack.
* Moving the c3 knight to d5, where it will take
the knight on f6, thus eliminating a key
defender of h7.

Once the h-file is opened up by the h2-h4-h5
maneuver, and the g7 bishop and f6 knight are
eliminated by Be3-h6-Bxg7 and Nc3-d5-Nxf6,
White threatens to bring his Queen to h6 and
mate Black on the h7 or h8 square.

If Black impedes the above strategy by ... h5,
White can always try to play for a timely e4-e5
central break.

Black needs to mount a queenside attack by:

* Playing ... Nc6 and ... Bd7.
* Posting the c6 knight on c4 via ... Nc6-e5-c4.
* Taking control of the half open c-file by
playing ... Rac8 or ... Rfc8. Rfc8 is usually
preferable because it allows the g7 bishop to
withdraw to h8, after White plays Be3-h6. Also,
a rook on c8 facilitates ... Nc6-e5-c4 because
it prevents an unchallenged Bxc4.
* Developing the Queen to a5 or c7. From a5 the
Queen eyes a2 and c3 and from c7 it adds to the
build up of pressure along the half open c-file.
* Advancing ... a7-a6-a5-a4 and ... b7-b5-b4 in
order to augment the g7 bishop.

* Black also needs to push ... h7-h5 in response
to h4. The idea is to slow down White's attack.

* In some instances, Black can exchange the
rook on c8 for the knight on c3 in an
effort to undermine White's pawn center.
After the exchange sacrifice, Black has
... Nf6xe4, attacking the c3 pawn and the
Queen on d2.


Sicilian Najdorf: E-Six Enchantment

Position after: 12 ... Nd7

White wants to get at the Black King by arranging an
attack on the light squares:

13 f5 Bxg5+ 14 Kb1 Ne5 15 Qh5 Qe7 16 Nxe6.

[13 f5 Bxg5+ 14 Kb1 O-O 15 fxe6 Nb6 16 Nd5 Nxd5
17 exd5 fxe6.
13 f5 Bxg5+ 14 Kb1 O-O 15 fxe6 Ne5 16 Qg3 Qd8
17 Nc6 Nxc6 18 Rxd6.
13 f5 Bxg5+ 14 Kb1 Nc5 15 fxe6 Bxe6 16 Rg1 h6
17 h4.
13 f5 Bxg5+ 14 Kb1 e5 15 Nd5 Qb7 16 Ne6 fxe6
17 Qh5+.
13 f5 Bxg5+ 14 Kb1 b4 15 fxe6 Ne5 16 Nd5.
13 f5 Nc5 14 f6 gxf6 15 gxf6 Bf8 16 Rg1 Bd7
17 Rg7 Bxg7 18 fxg7 Rg8 19 e5 d5.
13 f5 Nc5 14 h4 b4 15 fxe6 fxe6 16 Nce2 g6
17 Bh3 Rf8 18 Qe3 e5 19 Nb3 Bxh3.
13 f5 Ne5 14 Qg3 b4 15 Nce2 Bb7 16 fxe6 Bxe4
17 Bg2 Bxg2 18 Qxg2 O-O 19 exf7+ Kh8 20 Ne6.
13 f5 Ne5 14 Qg3 Bd7 15 Bh3 b4 16 fxe6 Bxe6
17 Nd5 Bxd5 18 exd5 O-O 19 Bf5 Rfe8.
13 f5 Ne5 14 Qg3 Bd7 15 Bh3 b4 16 Nce2 exf5
17 exf5 Qc4 18 Kb1 f6 19 Nf4 fxg5 20 Nd5.]

Back to: 13 f5 Bxg5+ 14 Kb1 Ne5 15 Qh5 Qe7
16 Nxe6

Black's King however, is not so easy to claim:

16 ... g6 17 Qxg5 fxe6 18 f6 Nf7 19 Qf4 g5
20 Qf3 Qb7 21 h4 b4.


Sicilian Scheveningen: E-Four Endeavor

Black's focus is an offensive on the e4 pawn.
The usual way of assault is ... Bd7, ... Nxd4,
and ... Bc6, together with an ... e5 break.
The advance ... e5 fixes the target in place.
It also threatens an exchange on f4, after
which the e-file is half open and available
for pressure against e4.


King's Indian Defense (Yugoslav/Panno Variation): Pretty Passed Pawn

Position after 19 ... Nb6

Black is looking good with his protected passed c-pawn.
His doubled f-pawns are not readily attacked and his
kingside is fully defensible.

20 Ne3 Na4 21 Qa3 Rb4 22 f4 f5 23 exf5 Bxf5
24 Nxf5 gxf5 25 Qd3.
20 Ne3 Qe7 21 f4 Na4 22 Qa3 Rb2 23 Rab1 Rxg2+
24 Kxg2 Qxe4+ 25 Kg1 Re8 26 Rfe1 Bh3 27 Qc1
27 ... Qd4 28 Rb3.
20 Ne3 Qe7 21 f4 Na4 22 Qa3 Rb2 23 Rfe1 Rfb8
24 Rac1 R2b4 25 h3 Nb2 26 Re2 h6 27 Kh2 Ra4
28 Qc3 Rab4 29 Rf2 Na4 30 Qa3 Nb6 31 Qc3 Bb5
32 Re1.


King's Indian Defense: Deflect and Declare!

King's Indian Defense: White Square Weakness?

King's Indian Defense (Classical Variation): Brawny Bishop

King's Indian Defense (Classical Variation): Sounds of Sound

King's Indian Defense (Benko System): Logical Lunge


King's Indian Defense Electronic Book (E-Book) Part I

King's Indian Defense Electronic Book (E-Book) Part II

Reti Opening: Path Finding Play

Position after 16 ... Bf8.

White's ready strike force is being taunted by
Black's noncommittal men. But, how to make
progress? The backward d6 pawn is a target.
Yet, if White gangs up on it by doubling up on
the d-file, it gives him nothing. That's because
d6 is presently covered and if need be, it can
be shielded some more. b6 is also backward.
Nonetheless, White can't easily access it.
Maybe the kingside? After all, most of Black's
men are on the opposite wing, and regrouping
them is no picnic. 17 g4, with g5 in mind,
is a possibility: 17 ... e5 18 Nd5 Qb8 19 Nxf6+
19 ... Nxf6 20 Nf5. However, there must be a
more direct approach to the attack:

17 f5

Ceding e5 but troubling e6 in the process.
It's all about giving and taking!

17 ... e5 18 Nd5 Qb8 19 Nc2 Nxd5 20 cxd5 Be7
21 Ne3 Bg5 22 b4 Qa7 23 Bc3 b5 24 Bd2 Nf6
25 Qf2 Qd4 26 h4 Bh6 27 Nf1.

17 ... e5 18 Nd5 Qb8 19 Nc2 Nxd5 20 cxd5 Rc7
21 Nb4 Nc5 22 f6 a5 23 fxg7 Bxg7 24 Nc2 Ba6
25 Qf3 Kh8 26 Ne3 b5 27 Nf5 Qb6 28 Kh1 b4.

17 g4 h6 18 a3 Nc5 19 b4 Ncd7 20 Nd5 exd5
21 cxd5 Qb8 22 Nc6.
17 g4 h6 18 h4 e5 19 Nd5 Qb8 20 Nxf6+ Nxf6
21 g5 Nd7 22 Nf5 exf4 23 Qg4 Ne5 24 Qxf4
24 ... hxg5 25 Qxg5 Qc7.



Lance said...

Thanks for this lengthy analysis, Chris.
I've looked at the Reti a bit, but never
was able to figure out where to go without
transitioning to something else. Perhaps
soon you could post a middle game plan that
results from a Reti that begins with
1 Nf3 d5 2 c4 dxc4 as I have never understood
how to play that continuation. I know that "book"
calls for 3 Na3 c5, but that move by Black seems
unintuitive and therefore an unlikely response by
any opponent who is not a theoretician
(just as 1 … d5 seems the most logical response
from lower ranked opposition -- like me!); and
even still, I don't understand the middle game goal
of this variation. Any thoughts? Thanks, Lance.

Chris said...

You’re most welcome. The analytical work is somewhat
lightened by good old silicon vision. I’ll definitely make a
post on your 1 Nf3 d5 2 c4 dxc4 Line. It should be done
shortly. Take it easy.


Dutch Defense: Fatal Focus

Position after 9 ... Bb7.

Black has given up immediate occupation of the center
for long-term control. White, on the other hand, has
set all eyes on the enemy King.

10 Qh5? (10 Kf1!)

10 ... Qe7? (10 ... Bxe5!)

11 Qxh7+

And mate is imminent.


Queen's Pawn Opening: Dominate and Demolish!

Position after 21 Rd6.

In order to maximize his position, White needs to:
(i) Exploit the d6 outpost and open d-file
(ii) Invade with a timely e5-e6.
This thrust also liberates b2 along diagonal a1-h8.

21 ... Be6 22 Rfd1 Rb8 23 Qd3 Bxc4 24 Qxc4 b5
25 Qd5 c4 26 e6 Rg8 27 Qxf5 Nb7 28 Rd7 Qc5+
29 Qxc5 Nxc5 30 Rxa7.
21 ... Be6 22 Rfd1 b6 23 Qc3 Bxc4 24 Qxc4 Re8
25 Qd3 Qf8 26 Qd5 Rc8 27 e6 c4 28 bxc4 Rc5
29 Qd4 Nc6 30 Qc3 Ne7 31 Rd8 Rc8 32 Rxc8 Rxc8
33 Rd7 a5 34 Qf3 Kg8 35 Be5 Rxc4 36 Qb7 Re4.




Pawn vs Pawn.

When two opposing pawns are situated on
adjacent verticals and each on its Primary
Base Line, that side which has not the move
wins the adverse pawn.



Knight vs. Knight.

A Knight posted at R1 or R8, and having to move,
is lost if all the points on its periphery are
contained in an adverse Knight's octagon.

The Major Tactics Of Chess


Philidor Defense: Fixed Fortune

Position after 34 ... Kxf6.

The way forward is to march the King to c2
to aid c2-c4-c5-c6-c7-c8=Q. Thanks to the
e2 rook, Black's King can't do much to
prevent White's plan.


In the opening the forces have marched up to battle array. Then, having got into touch with each other, they come into collision. How is the intelligent player to conduct a campaign that is approaching a crisis? His men, at the start so obstructed, are now rich in mobility. Possibilities for attack and defence abound. How, out of the multitude of possibilities that suggest themselves to him, is he to select the right move—or a move that, according to his standards, is intelligent?

His first consideration should be that his moves, to be intelligent, must carry the mark of intelligence, which is Connection and Plan.
A disconnected move is one made uncritically, unreflectingly, and without foresight. It suggests itself probably as being in the nature of a trap, but it is really without force. If the opponent is taken unawares the scheme succeeds, but should the opponent on his part use foresight, the attempt recoils on the schemer.

Lasker's How To Play Chess

Queen's Gambit Declined (Orthodox/Tartakower Variation): Light Square Letdown?

Position after 10 ... exd5.

Black's bishops are biting on granite whereas White's
knights are nimble. For instance, the f3 one can bother
d5 by moving to f4. As a result of 7 ... b6, Black is
slightly nude on the light squares, and, should he cover
up ... c6 style, he'll only give more meaning to a timely
b2-b4 or e3-e4 even.


Anonymous said...

How is f3's nimble knight going to get to f4 to menace
d5 in any meaningful way? By my count, it's going to
take him a minimum of 5 moves (d2-b3-c1-d3-f4) to get
there, and of course Black will not remain dormant
during that time--I like Re8 and Nc6, putting pressure
on d4 the moment the f3 knight leaves his post.

Anonymous said...

...and then AFTER drinking coffee, I realized g1-h3-f4
gets the knight there in three moves...

Dear Sir/Madam

Thank you for the feedback. It's most greatly valued.

Please allow me to introduce a continuation in which
the f3 knight makes it to f4 in a minimum of 3 moves:

11 O-O Re8 12 Ne1 Nc6 13 Nd3 Na5 14 Nf4.

But you are certainly right to question the substance
of White's d5 threats given Black's array of responses:

Position after 14 Nf4.

14 ... Bg5 15 Nh5 g6 16 Ng3 Bf6 17 Qc2.

14 ... c6 15 Bd3 Nc4 16 Qc2 Bg5 17 Bxc4 dxc4
18 Nce2 Be7 19 Qxc4 Bd6 20 a3.

14 ... Be7 15 Bd3 Nc4 16 Qe2 c6 17 Rac1 Bd6
18 b3.

14 ... Qd6 15 Bd3 Bg5 16 Nh3 Bf6 17 Nf4.

14 ... a6 15 Bd3.

14 ... c5 15 dxc5 d4 16 exd4 Bxd4 17 cxb6 Qxb6
18 Qc2 Rac8 19 Rad1 Qf6 20 Qa4 Bxc3.

14 ... Qd7 15 Bf3 c6 16 b4 Nc4 17 b5 cxb5
18 Nfxd5 Bg5 19 a4 bxa4 20 Qxa4.

And you're also right about Ng1-h3-f4!

I guess my assessment was somewhat influenced
by my preference for White's set-up.

Position after 10 ... exd5:

11 Kf1 Re8 12 Qc2 c6 13 Kg1 Be7
14 a4 a5 15 Bd3 Bd6 16 Ne5 Bxe5.
11 Qc2 Re8 12 Kf1 c6 13 Kg1 Be7
14 a4 a5 15 Bd3 Bd6 16 Ne5 Bxe5.

11 Rc1 a6 12 Kf1 Qd6 13 a4 Nd7
14 a5 bxa5 15 Na4 Bc6 16 Qc2 Bxa4.
11 b4 Qd6 12 Qb3 c6 13 Kf1 Rc8
14 Rb1 Nd7 15 a4 Be7 16 Bd3 Qf6
17 a5.

11 Qd3 c5 12 Kf1 Na6 13 Qf5 Nc7
14 Rd1 g6 15 Qf4 Bg7 16 Kg1 Rc8.
11 Qd2 Qe7 12 Kf1 Nd7 13 Kg1 c5
14 Rd1 Rfd8 15 h4 a6 16 dxc5 Nxc5
17 Rh3.
11 a3.

11 Kf1 Re8 12 Qc2 c6 13 Kg1 Be7
14 Rc1 Bd6 15 Bd3 Nd7 16 Bh7+ Kh8
17 Bf5.
11 Qc2 c5 12 Kf1 Qc8 13 Rd1 Rd8
14 Qb3 Qc6 15 Ne5 Qe6 16 Ng4 Be7.

11 Rc1 a6 12 Kf1 Qd6 13 a4 Nd7
14 a5 bxa5 15 Na4 Be7 16 Nc5 Nxc5
17 Rxc5.
11 b4 Qd6 12 Qb3 c6 13 Kf1 Rc8
14 Kg1 Nd7 15 b5 c5 16 Rd1.

11 Qd3 c5 12 Kf1 Na6 13 Qf5 Nc7
14 Bd3 g6 15 Qg4 Bg7 16 Qg3 Re8
17 Rd1 Rc8 18 Kg1.

11 Rb1 c5 12 Kf1 Re8 13 Kg1 Nc6
14 Bb5 a6 15 Ba4 b5 16 Bb3 cxd4
17 exd4 Na5 18 Bc2.

11 Qd2 Qe7 12 Kf1 Nd7 13 Rb1 Rab8
14 b4 c5 15 a3 Rfd8 16 Kg1 Qe6.

English Opening: Bickering Bishop

Position after 3 ... Bb4

After Black castles, he will attempt to grip the
center by ... Re8 and ... Bxc3. He'll also try to
get the better pawn structure in light of the
likely doubling of pawns on c3. The drawback to
this plan is that it abandons the bishop pair.

Position after 3 ... Bb4:

4 g3 O-O 5 Bg2 Bxc3 6 bxc3 Re8 7 O-O e5:

8 d3 c6 9 e4 d6 10 h3 Nbd7 11 Be3 Nc5
12 Qc2 b6 13 Rae1 Qe7 14 Nd2.

8 h3 e4 9 Nd4 Nc6 10 Rb1 Rb8 11 Qc2 a6
12 d3 exd3 13 exd3 Nxd4 14 cxd4 d5 15 Bf4.

8 e4 Nxe4 9 Re1 Nf6 10 Rxe5 Rxe5 11 Nxe5 d6
12 Nf3 Nbd7 13 d3 c6 14 Bf4 Nc5 15 Nd4.

8 Qc2 c6 9 Rb1 d5 10 d4 e4 11 Nd2 Qe7
12 Qb3 b5 13 cxb5 cxb5 14 h3 Qe6.

8 Re1 c6 9 e4 d6 10 d3 Nbd7 11 h3 Nc5
12 Be3 Qc7 13 Qc2 b6 14 Rab1.

8 Qb3 d6 9 d3 Nbd7 10 Qc2 e4 11 Nd4 Qe7
12 h3 Ne5 13 dxe4 Nxc4 14 Qb3 Nb6.

8 a3 e4 9 Nd4 Nc6 10 Rb1 Rb8 11 d3 Nxd4
12 cxd4 d5 13 Bg5 Bf5 14 dxe4.


1 c4 c5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 Nc3 d5 4 cxd5 Nxd5
5 e4 Nb4:

What's the game plan for White?

(i) Promptly displace the centralized d5 knight
through e2-e4.
(ii) Eliminate the threat of ... Nd3+ via Bb5+,
d2-d4, a2-a3
and axb4.

1 c4 c5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 Nc3 d5 4 cxd5 Nxd5
5 e4 Nb4:

What's the game plan for Black?

(i) Play ... Nb4 to threaten ... Nd3+.
(ii) Respond to White's d2-d4 strike with
... cxd4, followed by ... dxc3 and ... c2.