My Favorite Classic Games, Part 6

My Favorite Classic Games, Part 6

| 26 | Strategy

This series is all about the classic games that, as a young teen (15 years of age), affected me in a profound manner. In general, they were positional games since, for a kid that grew up on attacking chess and combinations (12 to 14 years of age), strategic considerations were left behind and, as a result, were alien.

Thus, when I was finished studying games by Anderssen, Morphy, Spielmann, Marshall, Alekhine and Tal, I decided to check out less extreme players and broaden my chess horizons.

The games I will share might or might not be masterpieces; the criterion for this series is that they taught me an extremely important lesson(s) that made me well rounded and much stronger. I’m hoping that these games will teach you the same lessons, thereby improving your positional understanding and helping you become a better player.

This week, we’ll take a look at one of the most famous “space” games ever played.

A different kind of chess space via Universe Today

Once you get a taste of the wonders of space, you’ll toss away the junk food (i.e., traps and the eternal search for tactics) and announce your vows to become a positional guru.

Why did Black give up? Let’s see... White has claimed almost all the space on the queenside, center, and kingside. His king is a mighty fighting piece while Black’s king is groveling on the eighth rank. Black’s bishop is a tall pawn while White’s knight is dominating the board. And Black’s rook is a purely defensive piece, while White’s rook is about to break through on the b-file.

Carl Schlechter via wikipedia

Here’s a proposition: Get the strongest chess engine you can find and take the White pieces after 50.b5. Once you beat the machine 10 times in a row, you’ll be ready to leave this chess monastery and share your chess wisdom with the masses of the world.



  • Always be on the lookout to create a minor piece that’s better than your opponent’s.
  • Grab as many “small” plusses as you can. Eventually your opponent’s position will break under the weight of all those “small” things.
  • Often an opening battle can be won by “winning” one square. In this game that one square was e5.
  • Once you win one square, don’t be shy! Grab as many others as you can! In this game White grabbed (and occupied) e5, f6, and h6.
  • If you have a space disadvantage, it’s often a good idea to try and exchange as many pieces as possible.
  • When your opponent is helpless, why rush? Instead, calmly bring all your pieces to their optimum squares. Once you do that, it’s time to look for the decisive breakthrough.
  • Grabbing territory/space is one of the most popular strategies among grandmasters. However, it’s not that difficult and, with a little study and practice, you will find that you can do it too!


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