Chess strategy_1

Sep 4, 2012, 8:56 AM |

There are three considerations when attempting to evaluate a chess position,

1. Static strategic factors, generally revolving around pawn structure and including things like, files, half open files, isolated pawns etc etc

2. Dynamic strategic factors, control of the centre, reduce our opponents field of action, improve the placement of our own pieces, etc etc

3. Tactical elements.

All of these elements are not to be thought of in isolation and may have a direct bearing one on the other, for example, a tactical threat may be possible due to the weakness of a castled king position, itself a strategic element.

We often read that studying tactics is the best way for a beginner to improve, and its sound advice indeed, never the less, it has been my experience that beginners make the most fundamental strategic errors, pushing pawns that are best left alone, giving up the centre, conducting a premature attack when there are no discernible weaknesses in the opponents position, etc etc.  Not all positions contain clearly defined strategic elements, it is therefore up to the discerning chess player, to create them, for it is my firm belief that chess is an inherently strategic game, please consider this position,

As we can see after cxd5, exd5 the position now changes in its entirety and there are various strategic elements (static) on board.  Again consider the following diagram.  From this it is clear that the c-file is open, the e and d files are half open, the pawn on d5 is isolated, d4 is a strong square for white and h3 and d6 are weak.

We now have a clear plan of actions,

1. to control the square directly in front of the isolated pawn, with light and heavy pieces or blockade, ideally with a knight,

2. to exchange light and heavy pieces going into an endgame where the pawn may prove to be a weakness

3. to attack the pawn directly after blockading it with light and heavy pieces.

Try to create strategic elements by force in your own games and derive the joy that comes from implementing a long term strategic plan - wish you well with your chess - regards Robbie.