Chess Thoughts p. 4

Chess Thoughts p. 4

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Now we will try to get the grip of basics of basics of positional means.

Positional means - way of developing piece or pieces to get the best of their potential.

By basics of basics we call situation, when we will analyze each piece potential.


When we wrote below about controlling squares, we thought about the situation, when piece is not blocked. Only his position on chessboard changing control range.


- can control 2 squares on diagonals before him (or 1 square if on the side of chessboard)

- can move 1 square only forward (or 2 squares from start position)

- when arrive at end of chessboard can be replaced by any piece exept king

Because his ability to control and to move is the shortest, it is called the most inferior of chess pieces. It is said he is worth three tempi in equal position on the chessboard.

Weak sides - inferior to rest of chess pieces.

Strong sides - inferior to rest of chess pieces, so can be perfect blocker, also hard to deal when controlling important squares, quite good as suporter of other pieces except king.

Where on chessboard he feels the best?

- on start place if there is pawn blocking his way to last rank, but

- for pawns on e-file, d-file, he usually feels better moved forward, because he is then controlling center and releases power of other pieces

- when he has way to last rank, he should go forward

- of course if there are tactical or positional references to block, support or attack pawn should work due to situation;







Very important aspect of pawn ability is a way pawns can cooperate with each other.

But there is also one important downgrade. Pawn is perfect blocker. Even too perfect. He can perfectly block your pieces the same or almost the same way he blocks your oponents pieces.





- can control 7 or 9 or 11 or 13 squares on diagonals he curently standing

- he moves on diagonals, only posible are squares he curently controlling (long ranged)

- he is blocked by any piece that standing on his way 

- he can only moves on one type of squares: light squares or dark squares (on the begginig of the game you have one light squared bishop and one dark squared bishop)

It is said he is worth three pawns. But can he stop three of them?

You can also try other configuration.

Take bishop and three pawn (without any other pieces) and check on chessboard what are configurations, when bishop can stop three pawns.

Weak sides

- he can be blocked by pawns

- if the center (e4, d4, e5, d5) is stuck usually bishops have problems with being usefull

- full potential of bishop is released when he is in center, but in opening and middlegame usually there is little chance to fix him there, so his full potential is likely to grow rather in endgame (if he survives to endgame)

- when pawn is supporting (defending) bishop, on the same time he is restricting his abilities

Strong sides

- can become monster in many endgames

- in open positions can be very strong in opening and middlegame

- there is plenty of positions where bishop can be sacrificed for pawn or two with advantage

- when competing with knight have chance to pin one and exchange blows, so owner of bishop is the one to decide if he wants to get rid of bishop for killing knight

- he is good supporter of pawns or other pieces, when he can support from distance




Where on chessboard he feels the best?

- any place where he can not be directly and reasonably attacked by pawns or knights is good: the better his x-rays there, the better the place is

- making pins that block oponent's development (not pins for pins)

Because it depends, what role bishop have to play in game, it can be hardly any square. Bishop is very kin to be part of tactics, that's the reason.






- can control 2 or 3 or 4 or 6 or 8 squares: these are squares of opposite color in distance of two squares (one step on diagonal and second vertical or horisontal [outside of source])

- he moves on square he controls, so he is middleranged

- he can not be block

It is said he is worth three pawns. Can he stop three of them just by himself? (Try it as with bishop section)

Weak sides

- middleranged, so can operate on one wing, and needs time to go on another

- middleranged! only pawn is worse and king is somehow comperable

- middleranged! the more open is position, hurts more

Strong sides

- strong in the opening (because good as it comes to fight over the center)

- hard to restrict by pawns

- there is plenty of positions where knight can be sacrificed for pawn or two with advantage

- when competing with bishop can move on square of opposite color that bishop controls and be safe

- usually very good in closed positions

- can be support by pawn without being restricted





Where on chessboard he feels the best?

He feels the best in the center or extended center (center + f3, e3, d3, c3, f4, c4, f5, c5, f6, e6, d6, c6). Because like bishop, he is used to tactics, he can feel good anywhere on tactical mission.








- can control 3 or 5 or 8 squares (in direct neighborhood)

- he move on square he controls, so is shortranged


It is said, he is worth three pawns. Can he stop three pawns by himself?

Weak sides

- his capture ends the game, so he is tacticaly very volnurable

- his capture ends the game: any other piece can be exchanged, traded, supported, defended, but not king!

- shortranged, which is mitigated by the fact, that there is always opponent's king with the same problem

- can be stalemated

Strong sides

- great pawn supporter

- can withstand attack of any solitary, singel piece

- can be stalemated, so there are stalemated positions against opponent with stronger forces

Where on chessboard he feels the best?

When there are chances to attack king with any gain, it is the best to keep him after defence lines. But in endgames, when it is hard to capture him, usually he feels the best in the center, or simply as pawn supporter. He can also support attack on other king.



- controls 14 squares verticaly and horizontaly

- moves on controlled square

- can be block

It is said, it is worth five pawns. Can it stop them by themselve? And if they had one aditional tempi? Or it depends if they are in one group or in few groups? One additional tempi for each additional group?

Weak sides

- pawns are in natural way blocking it horizontal move posibilities, so it needs pawn exchenges to develop it full potential

- it is worth more then bishop or knight, so it is quite easy in many situation to be blocked by them

- starts to play in middlegame

Strong sides

- devastating in endgame

- feels good on open file or open rank

- do not need to go to center to shine, so is good supporter for other centerliking pieces

- pawn killer

Where on chessboard he feels the best?

On open file or rank. Attacking pawns standing on one rank. Supporting other pieces in center.






- controls from 21 to 28 squares veriticaly, horizontaly and diagonaly

- moves on square which she controls

- can be blocked

It is said she is mightiest piece on chessboard. It is said, she is worth nine pawns. You can try to check if she can destroy all of them.

Weak sides

- she is the mightiest, so when attacked by any other piece, she usually can not be traded: she must run

- much of her power is as rook power, so pawns restricting it

- other part is as bishop power, so she dreams about being in center to release potential, but center in opening and middlegame is usually far too dangerous

- her power is not that much to lonely capture opponents king


Strong side

- when there is no many pawns on the board and position is open, she is a monster over any other

- she is mobile, so one need to take her under consideration in any stage of the game (tacticaly in opening)

- she is natural supporter of weaker pieces





It is said, that tactics is born from positional. Our next step will be basic tactics.


There is one more thing. Basics of basics of positional play can not be apply directly to game, because to win one need to use cooperation between pieces, and we did not arrive to this part yet.

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