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KIMPLODES: Lines--Part VI of IX, A Way to Analyze Games

L - Lines; files for the Rooks and diagonals for the Bishops, both for the Queen; sometimes it's a rank for the major pieces (Hogs rooting on the 7th comes to mind)

A simple system for evaluating each element of KIMPLODES

This week, the L-factor, lines--i.e., files, ranks and diagonals. Who controls them, when does it matter, and an example or two from my practice, since at least I can credibly explain what I was thinking when I made decisions during the course of the game based on what I felt were the important Lines (not a series of moves).

The basics

A fantasy position, but it makes the point that a pair or Rooks on the 7th rank are a formidable force
A classic example of how a Bishop can dominate lines in such a way that a piece theoretically equal (the Knight) is completely dominated under certain circumstances.
Taken from one of my tournament games. I was White, and this made for a nice quick round. Suprisingly (to me) this position showed up as a puzzle on the Tactics Trainer. Considering that when I played this game I was rated somewhere between 1500 and 1700, it was nice to see my problem made the cutWink

Lines in the middle game
A simple example of one side (White) not understanding the value of Lines, and the other side taking advantage of every miscue by the opponent to maximize access to Lines. Moves 4-11 see both sides positioning themselves for activity along various Lines, in particular the: d-file; the a8-h1 diagonal; and the f6-a1 diagonal. Prophylactically, Black kills White's attempt to increase his L-factor, by playing d7-d6 in reponse to the White Bishop on f4, letting the piece bite on concrete. With moves 13 and 14 White demonstrates a poor understanding of Lines by placing both his Rooks on the d-file, with a pawn structure that guarantees Black never has to agree to opening the d-file. Though that shifts the L-factor towards -/+, White is still fine until move 18 when he completely voluntarily allows Black to open the a-file for Rooks to penetrate. The L-factor immediately merits a very strong =/+ assessment, perhaps even -+. But Black needs another weakness, and finds it with his 23d move to open Lines on the K-side--the L-factor has swung irrevocably to -+. By move 26 Black has a Rook on the 7th rank (heaven for hogs), and one move later is sacrificing material to open more Lines on the K-side. Shortly thereafter, White resigns as Black continues to remorselessly exploit his vastly superior access to key Lines (and forgive me the play on wordsInnocent).

A long title for this game would be, The Problem with Castling into a Ready Made Attack. Some misunderstandings by Black in the opening actually assure White an edge, but not enough for Black to lose. By move 18 White has a significant edge, though the L-factor has swung only slightly in his favor to +/=. Then Black blunders with 19 ... O-O-O?? and the L-assessment immediately swings to +- because White is poised for a Q-side attack, while Black has no play in any sector of the board. Watch as White forces lines open and Black struggles in vain to stanch the bloodletting, till he resigns by move 30.

Lines in the end game

The first two diagrams in this blog showed endgame examples of Line domination. Any good endgame instructional manual will do the same.


  • 15 months ago



  • 15 months ago


    Would have been better if I figured out how to draw lines on the boards...visuals always present better than wordsCry

  • 15 months ago


    That is interesting

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