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De Groot C

  • #1

    Here's my protocol on it and the position.  It is black to move:









    My protocol:

    Okay, first that that comes to mind is this is a position from the Dutch Defense, black played Qe8 in typical Dutch fashion and probably played Qc6 to provoke c4, loosening the king.  However, the king seems relatively safe due to the relative lack of piece activity.  The c4 pawn also has a nice grip over the d5 square.  The queen also defends c7, which is attacked by a knight.


    -Materially equal, two knights and a lightsquared bishop and all major pieces for each side

    -Open f-file for black, e-file for white in typical Dutch fashion

    -Black’s Ra8 and Bc8 are passive.  Anyway I can get them into the game?

    -Pin against Nf3 and the Bh3 in turn pins the e-pawn

    -Tactical pressure at e6 from queen and bishop.

    -b3 is a weak pawn base, could benefit black in a rook endgame, especially with the hole on f3. I envision white’s king being tied to its defense in the future. 

    -Weak light kingside squares

    -Nb4 keeping a watch over the d5 square.

    Position is unclear, probably equal.  In unclear positions try finding winning continuations first.

    Based on this information, we can arrive at six candidates: 1…Re8 1…h6 (preventing Ng5) 1…Ne4 (blunting the queen’s file) 1…e5 1…Qe4 and 1…Bd7

    1…Re8 takes it off the open f-file and assigns this rook to passive defense, certainly not the first priority but if nothing is better I’ll have to settle for it. 

    1…Qe4 I usually don’t like exchanging queens, but this looks great for black as it neutralizes the pressure against e6, offers trades when cramped, makes an e5 push look better, and gives black serious tactical pressure on f2.  White certainly isn’t forced to trade however, and Rhe1 looks bad for black, time to eliminate this, 1…Qe4 2.Rhe1,Qxe2 merely substitutes one attacker on e6 for another, this time without anything to support a knight to blunt its pressure in case Ne4 is good.  The c7 point is also attacked.


    This brings us to 1…e5, puts an isolated pawn on an open file and I don’t like these exchanges. Gives up a pawn for some activity, but the rook doesn’t do much from c8.  Still, if  I have nothing better I can come back to it. I like this better than Re8 now.

    1…h6 is prophylactic, but weakens the light squares around the king.  Still, if white’s rooks become active enough the king can hide behind g7 in an endgame. 

    Think, if there weren’t any pieces other than pawns who would be winning?  Probably a draw with 1…Kf7 or 1…d5, the pawns are restricted enough, white's f-pawn keeps the e-pawn from being a viable passer.  So need to find a way to win the f-pawn somehow, not now, but what can I play that would make it a realistic possibility?  I want to keep a rook and at least one pair of knights on, they’re my best bet to pressure f2. 

    1…Ne4: it opens the line for the rook, pressures f2, and increases the activity of my pieces while also playing a defensive role.  2.Ng5 also isn’t possible as g5 is covered by my knight.  2.Rhf1,Nc3 3.Nxc3,Qxc3 4.Qxc3,Rxf3 knight is gone, but so is the pressure on e6, while still committing a piece to the defense of f2.  My primary variation exploits the weakened kingside light squares nicely, though it’s still a bit unclear, bishop still needs to come out, but immediate concerns taken care of.  

    Can of course eliminate 1…b6 immediately because the bishop would remove itself from the defense of e6, and Bb7 is simple hope chess, white's trying to find his best too after all. 

    1…d5 just gives white an easy win with 2.Ne5 exploiting the hole and gaining activity pressuring some weaknesses.

    Because I can’t find anything better or honestly come to a decisive resolution of the position I’ll keep things unclear with the seemingly reasonable 1…Ne4 so that’s my final move.

    De Groot was a chess psychologist who recorded the thought processes of chess players.  Thought process is perhaps the most important skill that's overlooked in chess, with perhaps technique coming in at a reasonable, yet not quite close nor too distant second.  

  • #2

    is this some random page from one of his books or something? 

  • #3

    The position is taken from Heisman's Improving Chess Thinker, who in turn got it from a De Groot book.  Max Euwe has a really good protocol on De Groot A.  Most of the protocols in Improving Chess Thinker come from De Groot A and I only remember one from B.  The B one was really hard, black had a rook and two bishops and four pawns against two rooks and seven pawns.  Normally two bishops work really well against pawns as they control diagonals in front of them and usually are stronger than a rook but two passed pawns with rook support are hard to deal with.

  • #4

    Here's a link to the positions:


  • #5

    by 'protocol' do you mean the material you write when you do a stoyko exercise? thanks TGOB


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