Scandinavian Defense Part 4

Scandinavian Defense Part 4

Aug 5, 2016, 10:08 PM |

The 4th summary of the Tournament, and there will be more games ahead soon! This time, we will focus on seemingly standard chess positions. The first is just a question for you to ponder about. Here it is:

The reason I pose this question, is that we all run into positions where we seem to get stuck. Who recognizes the following thought patterns? 

  • 'Shall I move my bishop to attack his knight? But this doesn't do anything...'
  • 'I developed my pieces, and castled. But what next?'
  • 'How the hell do I continue now?' 
  • 'Ok, what to do? Where should I move my pieces? What should I do now? Wait, I will move this knight to attack him and... NOOOOOO - I lost my pawn...'

We all have these thoughts from time to time. The funny thing is, that we all have played games where we just don't know what to do. Here is a great example of a position where White loses his initial initiative, and finds himself in dire straits just 5 moves later. Let's look at the game step-by-step. 

Position 2. Black has developed his knight to f6. White to move. What is your plan? Again, this is about visualising where you want your pieces to go. In the first game we saw how fast White lost the coordination between his pieces. This time, Black seems out of balance. How can you make further use of this, without winning material?

Ok, so what could be solid reasoning here? Let's move forward from the thinking patterns in game 1 and ask better questions:
  • 'Black has developed his knight, and he attacks mine. What should I do?'
  • '1. I keep on developing my pieces, and play Bd3. Is this a good idea?'
  • '2. I take the knight on f6. What will happen next?'
1) Bishop d3 defends the knight, but makes it impossible for the queen on d1 to defend the pawn on d4. Also, it doesn't activate a new piece, we only move the same bishop twice. That's not necessary. 
2) On the other hand, taking the knight on f6 gives Black something to think about. If Black takes with the pawn, he has created weaknesses in his pawn structure. If he takes with the queen, we can develop a new piece with White. Bg5! is active and forces the Black queen to an unwanted position.
So, analysing these 2 questions, we see White can gain tempi by playing this second line. But let's see what happened in the game.

So two games where white had good chances straight out of the opening. But, and you will see this happen often, when entering the middlegame it can be difficult to continue, because we 'want to make something happen'. When this happens, try to focus on some simple principles:
- Attack! If you spot a nice idea, follow through on it and see what happens. Attack is almost always fun, and it puts the pressure on your opponent.

- Develop your pieces to better squares. Are your pieces on their best possible squares? Move them around, find new targets in your enemy's lines, and zoom in on them. as you saw in the last game, just trading knights can give you an advantage by activating your pieces. 
Part 5 will be up soon. Cheers!