Learning Chess Part I - Open/Closed Games
Unlike my other blogs, I hope to make this collection in hopes to teach others my own knowledge, learn more myself, and help people gain a basic knowledge of intermediate/advanced tools that could be used when playing and improving.
As most players I have played on this site seem to be quite skillful, oftentimes belonging in a higher rating than it shows (at least in live chess), my material is for those who are having problems getting up there. (Up there is referring to about 14-1500.)
With this, hopefully I can establish some format that achieves maximum benefit for the reader in understanding and learning. If you have any ideas of how I might be able to do this, please respond!
To start off with my very first of the series. We can start with a rather simple concept, and a personal favorite:
------Open games versus closed games-------
In order to understand how to make use of the information that will be presented shortly, one must know the terms themselves. Open games have an open center, in reference to the pawn structures in the game, as compared to closed games, which are "closed" or more clearly, restricting much movement of other pieces.
An Example of an "Open" Game
An Example of a "Closed" Game
These two examples are very exaggerated cases of an open and closed game, but is merely meant to demonstrate what they are. So, you know the term by now, but what's the purpose of knowing it?
The simple quick-cut answer: To determine Bishop vs. Knight. Taking a look at the open game, which piece is maximizing it's use? The Bishops or Knights?....................Hopefully you came up with the Bishops as they are maintaining a strong hold across the board from a safe distance.
Now we take a brief look at the closed game. Clearly the bishops are having a hard time making themselves useful, but bless them they're trying! Course it doesn't look like the Knights are doing much either right? Well maybe for now, but closed games create (more often than open games) another term called an outpost. An outpost is a square that can be held by a strong piece without needing to have much worry about being taken.
Knights can make strong use of outpost points during closed games as they are capable of hopping inside, kind of like peeking inside the enemy territory.
There are 2 outpost points in this closed games that could be made of use here. Can you find them?.....................The two that I am aware of is the one at f6 and b3. This is what Dozy made use of during the game and beat me to the punch of reaching it, making the solid win for him as White.
A Closed Game Played Out