Coiled Spring

Coiled Spring

| 20 | Middlegame

Openings like the Réti and Reversed King's Indian became popular in the 1920s when the hyper-modern players like Réti, Nimzowitch, Breyer, and Grünfeld came into the limelight. They introduced a revelation: central control need not be only established by placing one's pawns in the centre, but can also be achieved by means of piece pressure from the flanks.

The game I'm about to show you can be considered a Pirc Defense reversed. These kinds of positions were described by Capablanca as a coiled spring. White usually develops slowly but harmoniously in his own territory, his whole setup building up potential energy like a coiled spring. Usually such play is underestimated, and Black often decides to "punish" White by undertaking operations in the centre.

Aron Nimzowitsch | Image Wikipedia

Timing is very important in chess, however, and more often than not, Black, in the process of trying to punish White, overreaches - giving his opponent's pieces the dynamic potential that lies latent in his structure. This is exactly what happened in the following game, Black opens the centre at the wrong moment and White uses crisp tactics to transform his positional advantage into a material one. 

Some thoughts on the tournament situation surrounding this game:

Today's featured game was played in the evening of a double round day. I had finished my morning game quite late and had also analyzed it with my opponent. I did not get much time to prepare for the next game. Therefore I just decided to avoid main lines and instead transfer the weight of the struggle to the middle game. My opponent's game against Georg Meier in the previous round gave me an impression that he was not too experienced with these setups, so I decided to give this a try.

In presenting this game, I wanted to show you that the ideas of the great masters of the past still hold value even in our computer era! So, dear readers, do work on your classics, both for improving your game, and also for sheer fun!


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