In this rapid game that I played I was surprised to see that I had made 24 excellent moves, 3 good moves, and no bad moves (at all). In this game, which I played this morning, I realised that the general ideas behind the moves that I was playing, were really simple, and I was very happy to enter an endgame a whole piece up, albeit achieved by a tactical miscalculation on my opponents part.
Highlighted in bold are the simple ideas listed.
As soon as I could send Harry (the H pawn) charging up the board, like one of Hannibal`s elephants, my opponents king-side fell apart, and his king became fatally exposed. A simple idea I played was 0-0-0, to double up the rooks easily on the g-file, and my opponent couldn`t easily contest this.
This opening is definitely one which I would recommend to beginners, since it is such a solid setup, with the pyramid structure. To play this opening, there is much less theory than in the queen`s gambit, where you have to adapt readily to the different defences black may choose, and if you drop your attention for one move, then you may well fall apart.
This is a position, which arose from a London system, and it highlights the sorts of traps that are available, for white to create. My opponent didn`t play the move exf4, seeing the danger, and instead lauched a king-side pawn storm (unfortunately too slow, with h5-h4) I doubled up on the open e file, and won the endgame.
I`m going to first of all state that I did have time odds, of 3 minutes against LonerDruid`s 1 minute, (and he did have some lag), but I managed to play another simple idea, and gain a winning position from it. I played a pawn sacrifice line, to open up the h-file, and my opponent "took the bait". A few moves later, I played a simple combination of kicking the knight away, then checking my opponent with my bishop, and this pushed my opponent`s king onto the h8 square, which was aligned to my rook on h1, and the pressure soon mounted on h7. I did make a blunder in this game, because I missed a forced win, but this only gave my opponent a little chance, because I was already winning. I played another three games against my opponent LonerDruid, and lost them all - perhaps I would have won my other game against him as white if I had played the London system again!
Summary of the main middlegame ideas
- Open up the H - file (or another file depending on the position), even at the cost of a pawn, because later on this can help your rooks become active.
- Once black has played g7-g6 a good strategic idea is often to play h4, then h5, to try to open up the king-side.
- Long castling can work well - it does for me - especially with an open h-file.
- If your opponent plays Qb6 try to play Qb3, but if you can`t play b3.
- Play Qb3 in some positions, especially after black moves his light squared bishop off the c8 square, because it can attack both b7 and f7 simultaneously, and for more of a sting aim one of your knights at the f7 square before you do this.
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