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The nature of the topography plays a very important role in all army campaigns. In the chess game, the place of the pawns in the center determines the topography in question. If this is open, then the contest assumes the caracter of deep, encircling manoevres, powerfull, storming attacks, and if these are difficult to attain then one goes over to raids in depth on the flanks. If the center is blocked by pawns then the pieces can only approach the enemy camp by the aid of a deep encircling movement from the flanks. And finally if there are no pawn at all in the center, then the long-distance pieces as, for instance, Queens, Rooks and Bishops bombard opponent position from their own bases.
Consequently, when one wants to sketch out one's plan of play, then one is forced to give carefull heed of the pawn position in the center. Should one for example try to carry out an encircling flank attack when the center is wide open, then the opponent may anticipate the attack by choosing a method of attack with direct bayonet-like thrusts.
In this article, we will shall study 5 main type of pawns positions in the center...
But in the part 1, we will only study the 2 first one the 3 other will be in part 2
Before to go into the heart of the subject, let's do a little explication of each pawn position that we will see
1-Closed center: Each player's pawns are locked with the others, thus blocking the lines for Bishops, Rooks and also the Queen.
2-Open center: There are no pawn in the center and the lines and diagonals are free for the play of the pieces.
3- Mobile center: One side has two or more united pawns in the center and endeavours to advance them.
4- Fixed center: The position of the pawns in the center is in one way or another fixed and it is really not easy to alter their position.
5- Dynamic center: The pawn position in the center is not fixed. It may be perhaps built up in some particular way and the resulting position then transposes to one of the positions we have described above.
Ok, here we go:
1. THE CLOSED CENTER
Here, no lines exist along which the Rooks may operate; Bishop diagonals are blocked by either the enemy of their own pawns. There remains therefore only one way out - play on the flanks. Usually the one player tries to open up the game on the wings and develop complicated and far-sighted plans of attack. In this case, the opponent can organize his defence passively or choose to organize a powerful counter-attack on the opposite wing.
Sometimes it is necessary to set in motion a counter-attack in the center. With a closed centre this happens most often by a piece sacrifice, with the aim of breaking down the pawn position OR else it may be done by blasting it with the aid of one or more pawns.
Look at this 3 following GrandMaster's examples in diagrams....
This game was played in a tournament at St-Petersburg in 1914 against Janowski and Nimzovich. Here, White intends to advance his pawns on the King's wing and thus exploit the fact that the center is closed. It is interesting to follow the play and see how skilfully Nimzovich prevents this, by building up blockade posts for the defence in the way of the White pawns.
IMPORTANT: DON'T FORGET TO LOOK ON THE COMMENTS WHO APPEAR IN THE BASE OF THE DIAGRAM AFTER SOMES MOVES!!
Interesting article/post! I think manoeuvres is spelled wrong though. Can't wait for part 2.
having a less than organized memory brings me to ask at each incident, however, is "back talk" allowed here? It seems to flow with your center/flank conversation.
The second game, Alekhine/Capablanca, it looks like move 16. ....Bxh4+ while not decisive for a win, does instead give Black a piece up in material.
But, I could be missing something. It looks like White would avoid g2 because after ... Qg4, the Bishop can return to guard duty at d8, but still, h3 and h2 get the Bishop drawn back to d8 with check.
You know what, though? Even if I won a Knight off of Alekhine...I'm pretty sure he could still pound me into the ground like a tent stake. Jose Raul can probably handle himself, however.
Average Ratings: OMG!
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