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Breaking your opponents balance

Breaking your opponents balance

robbie_1969
Nov 29, 2014, 1:49 PM 3

If an opponent pushes against you and you push back or try to hold your ground, you are resisting him.  In this situation, the stronger person will win.  However, if you yield to him and pull him in the direction he is pushing, you can easily gain control of his movement.
     The same is true if the opponent pulls you towards himself.  If you yield to his force and push him in the direction he's pulling, his balance is easily broken and he can be brought under control without too much difficulty.
     In both cases the object is to yield to the opponent's force and thereby displace his centre of balance.  Once that's achieved, he's helpless unless he is able to regain his balance.

The above is of incredible interest to a chess player because normally in chess we try to unbalance the position to our advantage through the use of force. We play the most forcing lines not only because these are easier to calculate but because it makes sense to reduce our opponents choices and mobility.  The above concept is quite different, its advocates disengagement and using the force or inertia of our opponents attack to break their balance.

Like an Akido master, the chess player welcomes the attack, knowing that with minimal effort they can disengage from the point of attack and use the force and inertia generated to unbalance their opponent.  The following games illustrate the concept.

The first is a brilliancy played by Indian Grandmaster Ankit Rajpara against Arkadij Naiditsch in the recent tournament in Qatar. The young Indian Grandmaster undevelopes his Kings knight after it comes under attack by an aggressive pawn thrust on g4 and uses the advanced configuration of pawns created by the attack to launch a scintillating reply.  The second is National Master Rene Philips who employs the London system against the then current US open champion Gabriel Schwartzman to tempt the Grandmaster into attacking him and then utilising the force of the attack to undermine his pawn structure and eventually deliver mate. 

Its the hope that the video encourages amateur players like myself to consider the importance of balance in chess and to become aware of situations that we may utilise to break our opponents balance.

Many thanks also go to these artists and for all the programmers in open source software who provided the programs and operating system to make the production of this chess video possible, you are pure awesome.

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