Unbalanced Material

Unbalanced Material

| 0 | Strategy

Sometimes, the point score doesn't tell the whole story. A queen and a pawn might add up to ten, but it's not always equal to two rooks. In this series, IM Daniel Rensch and GM Ben Finegold explore the many variations of unbalanced material and how to play both sides. 

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Unbalanced Material: Minors Vs Rook Part 1 International Master Daniel Rensch begins a new video series today on the subject of "material imbalances" in the game of chess. What you need to know: In many cases where the "points" add up to be the same (or close to it) the entire story of the position, what you should do, who is better and why, etc. is simply not being told. Learn the key factors to correctly evaluating these trades, and become an "Unbalanced Master"!

Unbalanced Material: Minors Vs Rook Part 2 In the second video of his new series, IM Rensch takes the reverse perspective against the knight and bishop, reviewing one of his own losses where the rook grabbed the initiative and never looked back. Watch as the Rook, using multiple open files, targets several weaknesses and quickly earns a concrete material advantage. Improve your technique this weekend, and enjoy yourself while mastering the principles of the initiative... 

Unbalanced Material: Minors Vs the Queen Part 1 The minors or the queen? The most important, most discussed, most controversial topic in the history of chess will be answered in this video... or at least you'll have fun! IM Daniel Rensch brings us the third installment in his 'unbalanced material' series. Though this won't be the last time we debate "minors vs queen", it will be hard to find many other games that pack in as much excitement... Buckle up!

Unbalanced Material: Minors Vs the Queen Part 2 Today we learn something incredible: The knight and bishop can outplay the queen! Yes, there were several other critical factors—namely the isolated pawns, weak white king, and black's initiative—that lead to IM Daniel Rensch's comeback victory over another local Arizona Master in this game, but the "meat" of the video proves a knight and bishop are capable of coordinating and outplaying the "First Lady" of chess... Oh yeah, Danny also free-style chess raps!

Unbalanced Material: Minors Vs Queen, Example Game IM Rensch continues his series by reviewing an epic battle between GM Jaan Ehlvest and one of our own... International Master David Pruess made the decision to sacrifice his queen for an insane initiative! Unfortunately, after missing a powerful opportunity to capitalize on his strong play, the game spun out of control, leading to horrific time pressure and a practical mess! How did the game finish, and what will you learn today about playing pieces against the queen? Watch and find out...

Unbalanced Material: Practical Exercises! You thought you were working "for" the weekend? It's time to work this weekend! That's right, your personal coach—IM Daniel Rensch—has put together a series of practical test positions on the subject he's been teaching you for that past few months: Unbalanced Material positions. Your goal is simply to apply the knowledge you've acquired about playing with the initiative, correctly determine the "true" value of your material, and watch out for tricks along the way. Enjoy!

Unbalanced Material: Principles In Practice! IM Rensch continues his video series on the study of material imbalances with a recently played, highly interesting game of his own against a fellow International Master from the Berkeley International. The idea in this video is to see the principles of playing these positions in practice. Try evaluating the positions yourself as the game develops, attempting to correctly weigh the material vs the initiative, and don't miss your shot for a defensive sacrifice!

Unbalanced Material: Queen Vs Two Rooks! Today we make our transition into arguably the most common type of material imbalance in chess: The "first lady" vs the "towers of power"! Learn what the critical points are in evaluating these positions, and keep your own "mental list" of criteria to weigh before deciding which pieces are better and why. Try to solve the positions as the video progresses, and further solidify the principles of these positions in your own thought process..

Unbalanced Material: Rooks Vs Queen! To follow up on the "First Lady's" dominance over the Rooks a couple weeks ago, we now get to see the "Towers of Power" coordinate, infiltrate, and completely dominate the queen! Two games from the personal library of Vladimir Kramnik provide the necessary material, while IM Daniel Rensch's principled teaching approach guides the learning process.

Unbalanced Material: Minor Pieces Vs Pawns! International Master Daniel Rensch brings his latest topic to a close today, with the tenth and final lecture in the Unbalanced Material video series. Here our final discussion is that of the minor pieces vs three or more pawns. In general, the initiative and the ability to create threats is still important, but as you will see, unless the pawns are particularly dangerous, they really don't stand a chance...

Unbalanced Material: BONUS: Pawns Win! Just when you thought you had escaped IM Rensch's "unbalanced" and sometimes rather unstable claims in this video series, he throws you a curve ball you can't ignore! Check out this exciting bonus video where Danny proves his own theories about the pawns vs the pieces wrong (with a little help from fellow video author Sam Shankland). If you watch this, you are officially a graduate of these crazy positions!

Playing with Material Imbalances: Part 1 When asked by a group of top juniors for one of his best games, GM Ben Finegold only had to go back a few weeks in his memory bank to dig out a beautiful win over a promising youngster. Reminiscent of the Frankenstein-Dracula Opening, the grandmaster offers his queenside rook, several pawns, and then eventually pitches the lady en route to exposing white's king! Watch and see how top players know that dormant rooks lose to active minor pieces every time.

Playing with Material Imbalances: Part 2 GM Ben Finegold sacrifices the exchange again in another brilliant combination. He channels his inner 19th-century persona and acts like Morphy in his stylistic treatment of the Sicilian. The tactic is far from obvious, and is pleasing in that black has many options but no path to fully extricate his king. And like many games from long ago, we even end with multiple queen possibilities and stalemate traps. Now that's a full game!

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