More about Tempo in Chess - Gaining Tempo by making forcing moves

| 13 | For Beginners

The earlier article on Time/Tempo/Tempi in Chess focused on NOT WASTING TIME when you make moves. How about gaining tempo/tempi/time? Well, a way to look at it is, if you HAVE time, you can use it however you want. If you don't have time, you are forced to do stuff. It is true in life, it is no less true in Chess. So, if you want to gain time on the board, you do it by taking time away from the other guy. (Bosses do it, parents do it, good Chess players do it!) You take away time from your opponent by making him do things that he would rather not do! For example, if you threaten to capture a piece and your opponent would have no compensation for it, he has to stop and address that threat. If you threaten checkmate, your opponent has to address that situation if he does not have checkmate himself. So the simplest way to gain tempo in Chess is to create threats or give checks. (Of course, if you give a useless check, you would be wasting time, and you would be punished for it!)









One of the most famous Openings, The Ruy Lopez, has its strength in the "forcing" opening moves.











One of the most beautiful checkmates in all of Chess - the smothered mate. If White had seen this, he would have played a different move to parry the mate threat. Mate threats are more forceful that all other threats.










The French defence can get pretty complicated very quickly. As you can see from the advance variation, White had to start making some tricky decisions around move 4 or 5 and on and on... the main reason is that Black's moves, though simple and obvious, are not necessarily easy to meet, unless you have a clear head or a booked up head!



Last but not least, gaining time, to get out of trouble!









See the annotation to the moves if you have questions on what's happening.


So, those are a few examples on how you can gain tempo/time in Chess.


Your suggestions and comments are welcome. 

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Kasparov wins in 14 moves! (Now annotated.)

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