Passionate About Squares: Oddities
In this article we’ll take a look at "deep squares" (6th, 7th, and even the 8th!). So far we’ve used knights as the conqueror of squares, and most of the games will indeed highlight knights. However, this time I’ll also give examples of bishops moving into holes in the enemy camp, and even a rook.
Remember: repetition is critical in any form of learning, and chess demands endless repetition until the ideas are permanently burned into your brain.
So the more you recognize weak squares and how powerful the pieces can be when they annex a hole in the opponent’s camp, the stronger you’ll become.
BEHOLD THE CHESS OCTOPUS
A DEEP-SEA OCTOPUS DIVES TO THE 8th RANK
Black, who has been completely busted for quite a while, decided to try and get some counterplay by ...d5-d4. However, the octopus on d6, Black’s extremely vulnerable king, and the fact that White’s queen can teleport into the kingside in two epic leaps, adds up to complete disaster for Black.
ANOTHER SUPER-POWERED d6-KNIGHT
It’s Black to move but nothing can save him. One might think that’s odd since normally a black knight on the d5-square is a very good thing. However, an enemy knight on d6 is much, much better. Still, one would guess that Black should be able to put up some resistance. But, there is no resistance to be found due to White’s killer d6-knight, the vulnerable placement of the h7-king, and the undefended knight on a6.
Let’s take a look at all his defenses.
AN OVERABUNDANCE OF SQUARES
You might think that this position is all about the many squares White’s knight can make use of. And in a way that’s true. However, the actual killer piece will be the c6-pawn. Don’t believe it? Then check it out.
THE BULLETPROOF KNIGHT ON THE 7th RANK
WHITE’S KNIGHT DOES A SWAN DIVE
THE MONSTER BISHOP GLARES AT THE d6 SQUARE
The main battle in this position is White’s passed d-pawn and whether or not he will be able to push it. Of course, Black will do his best to keep it on d5. This means that the d6-square is critically important for both sides. Since the main blocking piece for Black is his dark-squared bishop, White will strive to trade off the dark-squared bishop, leaving Black’s poor queen as the blockading piece.
What these examples tell us is that you should only claim a weak square if it’s in the vicinity of the battle. Also, though knights are usually the recipient of holes or weak squares, a bishop (and even rook!) might find a new home there as well.