The STONEWALL: Part II
Greetings chess fans and players! This is the sequel to my previous blog “The STONEWALL”. If you haven’t read it, you can HERE. In that blog, I focus on the importance of building a strong STONEWALL. Now, I will try to show you how to build a flexible STONEWALL.
In my first game example, you will see that everything went as planned. If it didn’t, it was changed to work.
As you can see, this game flowed perfectly. Defense played its part excellently and attack flowed with the situation. It was a STONEWALL that went from strong to stronger.
In this game, I had everything; position, pieces, and every intent on winning. This STONEWALL had everything going for it. So why did I lose? The STONEWALL was thrown up hurriedly and very inflexibly. As discussed in my previous blog, the only way to break a STONEWALL is to out think its complexity. MEXIMARTINI did this splendidly. (What really caused me to lose was my multi-tasking, I think.)
THE HINGE PIN
Now this wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the important role of Knights in a basic or flexible STONEWALL. In both type’s, they are unbelievably dangerous to your opponent. This game shows what I mean.
Jgci06 had the game all in his favor, but because of my wicked Knight, he lost. (I stalemated the game FYI.)
To give you an example of how to make a flexible, strong and, efficent STONEWALL, I took some time with my chessboard and this is what I came up with. (Made top-down view for easier reference.)
This STONEWALL has everything in its favor. It can put a fatal attack on both d and e rows with not more than two or three moves. The King is safe. The pawns on the ends can extend attack, if desired, by moving to the 4th rank. In any battle, white will come out with four or more pieces on the center, and the minimum of two pieces protecting his King. Yes, indeed, this a perfect STONEWALL.
To sum it all up:
1. Build your STONEWALL so that it can easily put a strong attack on your opponent’s kingside. Even if you don’t have a spectacular attack plan pushing your pieces into your opponent’s kingside will make even the toughest players edgy.
2. Keep your Rooks on the center. If this isn’t done, a totally "won" game can fall apart before your eyes. Even if the board is crowded and it’s obvious that you could use your Rooks for defending, get them to guard the center through the battle that will typically follow. You will want someone guarding the center.
3. Don’t be afraid to “overextend” your Bishops. This might sound weird, but a great way to frighten your opponent enough to cause a blunder is to hang a Bishop on his doorstep with a Knight watching his back. Your opponent will try to remove him thinking that it will upset your plans. If he doesn’t, well then it would be your turn to be worried.
4. Watch both sides of the board. This is so important but at the same time it should be obvious.
In this game, I was so focused on attacking that I didn’t pay attention to the obvious. (I did have a feeling that I should play 16. d4. Always listen to this prompting)
With these few thoughts and improvements added to your STONEWALL knowledge, go play some good chess!
Until next time.