Hello again, in this chapter I will mainly focus on the importance of getting knights to outposts, and how to achieve this, and I`ll demonstrate a couple of examples where a knight is more valuable than a rook. Since the knight has a very unique move, it can be hard to know which squares they are best placed on, however one path you must avoid is the one that leads to your knight having no decent squares to go to, and when it plays no part in the battle.
In this next game there are a few moments that I would like to focus on:
It is worth mentioning that the knight stays on the outpost on c4 for the next 15 moves until it is captured, and it 'holds it`s ground' all the while. He was well positioned by Botvinnik, because from here the knight performs many roles. The knight blockades the isolated double pawns on the c-file, and shows them up as a weakness. This is what Botvinnik was renowned for - exploiting the positional weaknesses in his opponents position. A second major role of the knight is to cramp black`s pieces, and so both of Goldenov`s bishops remain inactive for the whole game. The bishops are hemmed in behind their own pawns; it`s treacherous!
To get a knight like this (if you play the English opening) try 6.Na3 if it`s appropriate, in one of your own games.
This outpost theme is very common, for example I played a game this morning, where my opponent gained a great knight, and I had to sacrifice the exchange just to get rid of the knight, and give me some practical chances. White to move, I played Rf2, and still lost, because my king was too exposed. If my king wasn`t so exposed I wouldn`t have had to take such drastic measures. This is an example of where the knight is worth more than the rook (this theme is also seen in figure 4, although the sacrifice is dubious at least it surprises Ginger_GM, better than gradually deteriorating.)
To conclude this chapter, here is a (3 day/move) game of mine, where the placement of the knights decided the outcome.
I hope this blog was of some interest, if it was then please check out my other articles.