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1 Woman Army - Material "points" don't Matter!

Jan 2, 2012, 5:09 PM 2

The Queen, the first Lady of chess is indeed a 1-woman havoc-wrecking machine, the terror of the chessboard, striking fear amongst enemy ranks in any sector of the battlefield! The ability to create multiple threats with multiple targets is what the queen does best, when they enemy has too much to defend and 1-by-1 pieces fall...

I am about to show you a game of my own, which I have had analyzed and will include every fault - but the purpose of the game, in particular the second half of the game is to show that when your enemy has unco-ordinated pieces, in this case a rook, a knight, a bishop and a 2 pawns (13 material "value" points), the queen (9 points) will always reign supreme.

When the pieces have a chance to co-ordinate and achieve full co-ordination, depending on the pawn structure the pieces should outplay the queen, and that is exactly what I needed to prevent...

Here, witness the full power of the first Lady in chess!! Cool

So, the game was full of inaccuracies, mistakes and blunders from both sides - isn't it amazing what GrandMaster level analysis can show!? But the game carries an important message... when you are playing with a material imbalance, you will have completely different goals to your opponent. In my case with the queen, it was to prevent my opponent from reaching full co-ordination with his pieces and perhaps getting a queen himself...
However this game does only show one side of the story. It shows a situation where the queen, with a lot of space, prevents full co-ordination of the enemy troops by creating multiple threats that other pieces simply cannot do. There are of course many situations where the pieces outplay the queen, but there need to be multiple targets to attack on both sides, where 2, 3 or 4 pieces will co-ordinate and strike at the enemy, while the side with the queen cannot do much, as she is too valuable. If everything is protected and there is harmony amongst the pieces, the minimum that side can expect to achieve is a draw, with a win being very possible...
But as this example game of mine shows, as a general rule-of-thumb, the queen will more often than not, outplay the pieces! I hope you enjoyed reading this and can hopefully be of a benefit to lower-rated players trying to improve their game.
For thought - the end position, I am "just 2 points" in material value better, but have a +10.1 advantage from the analysis. What does this show? That chess is indeed not about "material value" but about controlling vital squares and being able to improve your position so your positional advantage becomes overpowering enough to checkmate or get a resignation. When deciding if and when to play a material imbalance, which side of the material imbalance will favour you? We are all human and make mistakes, but as a general rule, if your king is safe and don't have weak points in your defence, the queen will outplay the 2 or 3 pieces, and the rook will outplay 2 minor pieces. Hope this helps Wink

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