IM Yaacov Norowitz teaches harmony in chess (Part 1)

IM Yaacov Norowitz teaches harmony in chess (Part 1)

IM Yaacovn
Jul 27, 2015, 2:01 PM |

Hey guys, this is IM Yaacov Norowitz. As many of you know, I have a unique approach to chess, which I use in my own games as well as to teach my students. I call it the Dacha Approach. It's based on building light and dark in harmony, With the pieces as builders and the pawns as bricks. Both the pieces and the pawns work together to achieve harmony.

In the video below, I explain how this approach can be understood with one simple example.



OK. Lets break down what we just observed.

This diagram displays the opening position:

OK, as for the builders, white uses his light bishop to control the center, and black uses his knights. What about the pawns? Black has not moved a pawn, so he has yet to show white what he plans to do with his bricks. However, white has moved his G-pawn, thus weakening his light squares, especially the long diagonal. The only reason it is safe is because he has a builder protecting the light squares, the bishop.

Great! Both players have good setups after 2 moves. However, what if white makes what might seem like a fine move, BxN? What happens to white and to black?

White loses light, in fact, a full light bishop. He also gets some light in the knight, as the knight can control some light squares, and he gains dark squares from the edge of having a knight. But which is better in this position? The bishop is much better! Without the bishop, white completely weakens his light squares, and it will be easy for black to break it down. That's right- although he doubles the black pawns after black takes the bishop, it won't help him at all!

Ok, let go deeper into the game.

White ignores the light squares and only develops his dark squares. He has nice dark pawn chains but nothing on light. He neglects light and this will cost him. It is blacks turn to sieze control of the light squares.

Black shows white, who was only concentrating on dark, that without harmony light will fall. White is completely lost. He has no harmony at all, he controls almost 100% of the dark, but absolutely none of the light, and black exposes it.


Ok. Black finally proves that white has made a long term error. Because pawns cannot go backwards, once white commits to this structure it will stay that way. Now how does black finish white off?


He attacks the pin; white is lost. 

Of course, white could have played better even after giving up the bishop. Let's see a position where white, although making the mistake of giving up the bishop, achieves light compensation.


Isn't it amazing how white uses harmony to make up for his loss? If white decides to play only for dark squares, he loses quickly, but because he makes up for his loss with light pawns chains he is fine.

I hope you enjoyed. Feel free to comment. You can view my coaching profile here:, and my email is if you want to get in contact or if you are interested in lessons.

Until next time,

IM Yaacov Norowitz