The value of threats


There are lots of familiar and easily assessable positional features -- bad pawns (isolated, doubled, backward), the bishop pair, central occupation, knight outposts, rooks on open files and the 7th rank, king safety -- and there are some that are much tougher to put our finger on. What exactly is the initiative and how do we use it? How can I tell if my pieces are coordinated or getting in each other's way? And what do I do once my pieces are coordinated? I know that mobility and activity are good, but how do I make use of them practically.


I'd like to share a game, where the easier to describe positional advantages were not in my favor. I managed to win based on active threats -- and the threats scaring my opponent off from making the best move. I think my opponent should have been able to hold off my attack at a few points, but failed to cover the right weaknesses.

So here is an example where just enough piece activity directed as just enough of a weakness induces a mis-step that allows a succesful attack.