The Chess Strategy:- the mastermind strategy to win in chess

INTRODUCTORY


I. RULES OF THE GAME

A GAME of chess is played by two opponents on a square board consisting of sixty-four White and Black squares arranged alternately. The forces on each side comprise sixteen units, namely a King, a Queen, two Rooks, two Bishops, two Knights, and eight Pawns. All units move according to different laws, and the difference in their mobility is the criterion of their relative value and of the fighting power they contribute towards achieving the ultimate aim, namely, the capture of the opposing King. Before I can explain what is meant by the capture of the King, I must set out the rules of the game in full.Diagram 1 shows the position the forces take up for the contest. The board is so placed that there is a white square at the top left-hand corner. The Rooks take up their positions at the corner squares, and next to them the Knights. Next to those again are the Bishops, and in the centre the King and Queen, the White Queen on a White square, and the Black Queen on a Black square. The eight pawns occupy the ranks immediately in front of the pieces. From this initial position, White begins the game in which the players must move alternately.

The pieces move in the following way: The Rook can move from any square it happens to be on, to any other square which it can reach in a straight line, either perpendicularly or horizontally, unless there is another piece of the same colour in the way, in which case it can only move as far as the square immediately in front of that piece. If it is an opposing piece which blocks the way, he can move on to the square that piece occupies, thereby capturing it. The piece thus captured is removed from the board. The Bishop can operate along either of the diagonals of which the square on which he is standing forms part. A Bishop on a White square can there fore never get on to a Black one.

digram

img 1

The Queen commands both the straight and the oblique lines which start from the square she stands on, and therefore unites the power of both Rook and Bishop in her movements.

The King has similar powers to the Queen, but curtailed, inasmuch as he can only move one step at a time. He therefore only controls one neighbouring square in any direction.

The Knight plays and captures alternately on White and Black squares, and only reaches such squares as are nearest to him without being immediately adjacent; his move is as it were composed of two steps, one square in a straight line, and one in an oblique direction. Diagram 2 will illustrate this.

[Footnote: I should like to quote my friend Mr. John Hart’s clever definition of the Knight’s move, though it may not be new. If one conceives a Knight as standing on a corner square of a rectangle three squares by two, he is able to move into the corner diagonally opposite.]

The pawns only move straight forward, one square at a time, except at their first move, when they have the option of moving two squares. In contrast to the pieces, the pawns do not capture in the way they move. They move straight forward, but they capture diagonally to the right and left, again only one square, and only forward. Therefore a pawn can only capture such pieces or pawns as occupy squares of the same colour as the square on which it stands. If, in moving two squares, a pawn If a player succeeds in reaching the eighth rank with one of his pawns he is entitled to call for any piece of higher grade, with the exception of the King, in place of such pawn.

Each move in a game of chess consists of the displacement of one piece only, with the exception of what is termed “castling,” in which the King and either Rook can be moved simultaneously by either player once in a game. In castling, the King moves sideways to the next square but one, and the Rook to which the King is moved is placed on the square which the King has skipped over. Castling is only allowed if neither the King nor the Rook concerned have moved before, and if there is no piece between the Rook and King.

alt

Diagram 3 shows a position in which White has castled on the Queen’s side, and Black on the King’s side. Castling is not permitted if the King in castling must pass over a square attacked by a hostile piece. A square (or a piece) is said to be “attacked” when the square (or the piece) is in the line of action of a hostile unit. A square (or a piece) is said to be covered or protected if an opposing piece occupying that square (or capturing the piece) could itself be captured.

When attacking the King it is customary to call “check,” to notify the opponent of the fact; for the attack on the King
If a player has castled illegally, Rook and King must be moved back, and the King must make another move, if there is a legal one. If not, any other move can be played. A player who makes an illegal move with a piece must retract that move, and make another one if possible with the same piece. If the mistake is only noticed later on, the game should be restarted from the position in which the error occurred.

II. NOTATION

A special notation has been adopted to make the study of games and positions possible, and it is necessary for students of the game to become thoroughly conversant with it. The original and earliest notation is still in use in English, French, and Spanish speaking countries. It is derived from the original position in the game, in that the squares take the names of the pieces which occupy them. Thus the corner squares are called R 1 (Rook’s square or Rook’s first), and to distinguish them from one another QR1 or KR 1 (Queen’s or King’s Rook’s square). The squares immediately in front are called QR2 or KR2. A distinction is made between White and Black, and White’s R 1 is Black’s R 8, Black’s R 2 is White’s R 7, White’s K B 3 is Black’s KB6, and so on. K stands for King; Q for Queen; B for Bishop; Kt for Knight; R for Rook; and P for Pawn. In describing a capture, only the capturing and the captured pieces are mentioned, and not the squares.

When confusion is possible, it is customary to add whether King’s side or Queen’s side pieces are concerned, e.g. KRx Q Kt. In this notation it is necessary to bear in mind which Kt is the Q Kt, which R is the KR. This becomes increasingly difficult as the game goes on and pieces change their places. Many sets of chessmen have one Rook and one Knight stamped with a special sign, to show they are King’s side pieces. This is not necessary in the case of Bishops: a white KBis always on white squares, a white QBon black squares.

A more modern notation is the algebraic notation, which has been adopted in most countries. It has the advantage of being unmistakably clear, and also more concise. Here the perpendicular lines of squares (called files) are named with the letters a-h, from left to right, always from the point of view of White, and the horizontal lines of squares (called ranks) with numbers 1-8 as before, only with the distinction that the rank on which the White pieces stand is always called the first; thus the square we named White’s QB2 or Black’s QB7 is now called c2 in both cases. Black’s QB2 (White’s QB7) is always c7. In capturing, the square on which the capture takes place and not the piece captured is noted, for the sake of uniformity. In the case of pawn moves, the squares only are noted.
O—O stands for castles on the King’s side; O—O—O stands for castles on the Queen’s side; : or x stands for captures; + for check.

In the following opening moves, both notations are used for the purpose of comparison:

  1. P-Q 4 P-Q4 1. d4 d5
  2. P-QB4 P-K3 2. c4 e6
  3. Kt-QB3 P-QB4 3. Ktc3 c5
  4. PxQP KPxP 4. cd: ed:
  5. P-K4 QPxP 5. e4 de:
  6. P-Q5 Kt-KB3 6. d5 Ktf6
  7. B—KKt5 B-K2 7. Bg5 Be7
  8. K Kt-K2 Castles 8. Ktge2 O—O

In most books in which the algebraic notation is used, both squares of a move are written out for the benefit of the student. The moves above would then look like this:

  1. d2-d4 d7-d5
  2. c2-c4 e7-e6
  3. Ktb1-c3 c7-c5
  4. C4 x d5 e6xd5
  5. e2-e4 d5xe4
  6. d4-d5 Ktg8-f6
  7. Bc1-g5 Bf8-e 7
  8. Ktg1-e2 O—O

To conclude: I will give the denomination of the pieces in various languages:

English ………….. K Q R B Kt P Castles French ………….. R D T F C P Roq Spanish ………….. R D T A C P Enrog German and Austrian .. K D T L S O-O (O) Italian ………….. R D T A C O-O (O) Russian ………….. KP F L C K O-O (O) Dutch ……………. K D T L P O-O (O) Scandinavian ……… K D T L S O-O (O) Bohemian …………. K D V S J O-O (O) Hungarian ………… K V B F H O-O (O)

CHAPTER II
HINTS FOR BEGINNERS—ELEMENTARY COMBINATIONS
THE mental development of the chess player is a gradual struggle from a state of chaos to a clear conception of the game. The period required for such development largely depends upon the special gifts the learner may possess, but in the main the question of methods predominates. Most beginners do not trouble very much about any particular plan in their study of chess, but as soon as they have learnt the moves, rush into the turmoil of practical play. It is self-evident that their prospects under such conditions cannot be very bright. The play of a beginner is planless, because he has too many plans, and the capacity for subordinating all his combinations to one leading idea is non-existent. Yet it cannot be denied upon investigation that a certain kind of method is to be found in the play of all beginners, and seems to come to them quite naturally. At first the pawns are pushed forward frantically, because there is no appreciation of the power and value of the pieces. Conscious of the inferiority of the pawns, the beginner does not conclude that it must be advantageous to employ the greater power of the pieces, but is chiefly concerned with attacking the opposing pieces with his pawns in the hope of capturing them. His aim is not to develop his own forces, but to weaken those of his opponent. His combinations are made in the hope that his adversary may not see through them, nor does he trouble much about his opponent’s intentions. When most of his pawns are gone, then only do his pieces get their chance. He has a great liking for the Queen and the Knight, the former because of her tremendous mobility, the latter on account of his peculiar step, which seems particularly adapted to take the enemy by surprise. When watching beginners you will frequently observe numberless moves by a peripatetic Queen, reckless incursions by a Knight into the enemy’s camp, and when the other pieces join in the fray, combination follows combination in bewildering sequence and fantastic chaos. Captures of pieces are planned, mating nets are woven, perhaps with two pieces, against a King’s position, where five pieces are available for defence. This unsteadiness in the first childish stages of development makes it very difficult for the beginner to get a general view of the board. Yet the surprises which each move brings afford him great enjoyment.

A few dozen such games are by no means wasted. After certain particular dispositions of pieces have proved his undoing, the beginner will develop the perception of threats. He sees dangers one or two moves ahead, and thereby reaches the second stage in his development.

His combinations will become more and more sound, he will learn to value his forces more correctly, and therefore to husband his pieces and even his pawns with greater care. In this second stage his strength will increase steadily, but, and this is the drawback, only as far as his power of combination is concerned. Unless a player be exceptionally gifted, he will only learn after years of practice, if at all, what may be termed “positional play.” For that, it is necessary to know how to open a game so as to lay the foundation for a favourable middle game, and how to treat a middle game, without losing sight of the possibilities of the end-game. It is hopeless to try to memorise the various openings which analysis have proved correct, for this empirical method fails as soon as the opponent swerves from the recognised lines of play. One must learn to recognise the characteristics of sound play. They apply to all and any position, and the underlying principles must be propounded in a manner generally applicable. And this brings me to the substance of my subject, round which I will endeavour to build up a system compatible with common sense and logic.

Before I proceed to develop my theme, I shall set down a number of elementary rules which will facilitate the understanding of such simple combinations as occur at every step in chess.

If we ignore the comparatively small proportion of games in which the mating of the opponent’s King is accomplished on a full board, we can describe a normal, average game of chess in the following way. Both sides will employ their available forces more or less advantageously to execute attacking and defensive manoeuvres which should gradually lead to exchanges. If one side or the other emerges from the conflict with some material gain, it will generally be possible to force a mate in the end-game, whilst if both sides have succeeded by careful play to preserve equality of material, a draw will generally ensue.

It will be found a little later that a single pawn may suffice, with some few exceptions, to achieve a victory, and we shall adopt the following leading principle for all combinations, viz. loss of material must be avoided, even if only a pawn. It is a good habit to look upon every pawn as a prospective Queen. This has a sobering influence on premature and impetuous plans of attack.

On the other hand, victory is often brought about by a timely sacrifice of material.

But in such cases the sacrificing of material has its compensation in some particular advantage of position. As principles of position are difficult for beginners to grasp, I propose to defer their consideration for the present and to devote my attention first to such combinations as involve questions of material. Let us master a simple device that makes most combinations easy both for attack and defence. It amounts merely to a matter of elementary arithmetic, and if the beginner neglects it, he will soon be at a material disadvantage.

Diagram 4 may serve as an example:

–––––––––––––

8 | | | | | #R | | | #K |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | #P | #P | #Q | #Kt| #R | | #P | |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | | | #Kt| #B | #P | | | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

5 | | | | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

4 | | | | | | ^P | | |

|–––––––––––––|

3 | | ^P | | ^Kt| | ^Kt| | |

|–––––––––––––|

2 | ^P | ^B | | ^Q | ^R | | ^P | ^P |

|–––––––––––––|

1 | | | | | ^R | | ^K | |

–––––––––––––

A B C D E F G H

Diag. 4.

It is Black’s move, and we will suppose he wishes to play P-K4. A beginner will probably calculate thus: I push on my pawn, he takes with his pawn, my Knight takes, so does his, then my Bishop takes, and so on. This is quite wrong, and means waste of time and energy.

When the beginner considers a third or fourth move in such a combination, he will already have forgotten which pieces he intended to play in the first moves. The calculation is perfectly simple upon the following lines: I play P-K4, then my pawn is attacked by a pawn and two Knights, a Bishop and two Rooks, six times in all. It is supported by a Bishop, two Knights, two Rooks and a Queen, six times in all. Therefore I can play P-K4, provided the six units captured at K4 are not of greater value than the six white units which are recaptured. In the present instance both sides lose a pawn, two Knights, two Rooks, and a Bishop, and there is no material loss. This established, he can embark on the advance of the KP without any fear.

Therefore: in any combination which includes a number of exchanges on one square, all you have to do is to count the number of attacking and defending units, and to compare their relative values; the latter must never be forgotten. If Black were to play KtxP in the following position, because the pawn at K 5 is attacked three times, and only supported twice, it would be an obvious miscalculation, for the value of the defending pieces is smaller. [Footnote: It is difficult to compare the relative value of the different pieces, as so much depends on the peculiarities of each position, but, generally speaking, minor pieces, Bishop and Knight, are reckoned as equal; the Rook as equal to a minor piece and one or two pawns (to have a Rook against a minor piece, is to be the “exchange” ahead). The Queen is equal to two Rooks or three minor pieces.]

–––––––––––––

8 | | | | | #R | | #K | |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | | | #P | | #R | | #P | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | | #P | |#Kt | | #P | | |

|–––––––––––––|

5 | | | | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

4 | | | | | ^P | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

3 | | | ^P | | | |^Kt | |

|–––––––––––––|

2 | ^P | ^P | ^B | | | | ^P | ^P |

|–––––––––––––|

1 | | | | ^R | | ^K | | |

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A B C D E F G H

Diag. 5.

Chess would be an easy game if all combinations could be tested and probed exhaustively by the mathematical process just shown. But we shall find that the complications met with are extremely varied. To give the beginner an idea of this, I will mention a few of the more frequent examples. It will be seen that the calculation may be, and very frequently

–––––––––––––

8 | | | #R | | | #R | #K | |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | #P | | | | | #P | #P | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | | #P | #B | ^R | |#Kt | | |

|–––––––––––––|

5 | | | #P | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

4 | | | | | ^P | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

3 | | ^B | ^P | | |^Kt | | |

|–––––––––––––|

2 | | ^P | | | | ^P | ^P | ^P |

|–––––––––––––|

1 | | | | | ^R | | ^K | |

–––––––––––––

A B C D E F G H

Diag. 6.

is, upset by one of the pieces involved being exchanged or sacrificed. An example of this is found in Diagram 6; KtxP

–––––––––––––

8 | | | | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | | | | | | | #P | #K |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | #B | #P | | | | | | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

5 | | | #P | ^P |#Kt | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

4 | | | ^P | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

3 | | | | |^Kt | | ^B | |

|–––––––––––––|

2 | ^P | | | | | | | ^P |

|–––––––––––––|

1 | ^K | | | | | | | |

–––––––––––––

A B C D E F G H

Diag. 7.

fails on account of R X B; this leaves the Knight unprotected, and White wins two pieces for his Rook. Neither can the Bishop capture on K5 because of R X Kt. leaving the Bishop unprotected, after which BxKt does not retrieve the situation because the Rook recaptures from B6.

A second important case, in which our simple calculation is of no avail, occurs in a position where one of the defending pieces is forced away by a threat, the evasion of which is more important than the capture of the unit it defends. In Diagram 7, for instance, Black may not play KtxP, because White, by playing P-Q6, would force the Bishop to Kt4 or B1, to prevent the pawn from Queening and the Knight would be lost. A further example of the same type is given in Diagram 8. Here a peculiar mating threat, which occurs not

–––––––––––––

8 | | | #B | | #Q | #R | | #K |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | | | | |#Kt | | #P | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | #P |^Kt | | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

5 | | | ^R | |^Kt | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

4 | | | ^Q | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

3 | | | | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

2 | ^P | | | | | | ^P | ^P |

|–––––––––––––|

1 | | | | | | | ^K | |

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A B C D E F G H

Diag. 8.

infrequently in practical play, keeps the Black Queen tied to her KB2 and unavailable for the protection of the B at BI.

White wins as follows:

  1. KtxB, KtxKt; 2. RxKt, QxR; 3. Kt-B7ch, K-Kt1; 4. Kt-R6 double ch, K-R1; 5 Q-Kt8ch, RxQ; 6. Kt-B7 mate.

We will now go a step further and turn from “acute” combinations to such combinations as are, as it were, impending. Here, too, I urgently recommend beginners (advanced players do it as a matter of course) to proceed by way of simple arithmetical calculations, but, instead of enumerating the attacking and defending pieces, to count the number of possibilities of attack and defence.

Let us consider a few typical examples. In Diagram 9, if Black plays P-Q5, he must first have probed the position in the following way. The pawn at Q5 is attacked once and supported once to start with, and can be attacked by three more White units in three more moves (1. R-Q1, 2. R(B2)-Q2, 3. B-B2) Black can also mobilise three more units for the defence in the same number of moves (1. Kt-B4 or K3, 2. B-Kt2, 3. R-Q1). There is, consequently, no immediate danger, nor is there anything to fear for some time to come, as White has no other piece which could attack the pawn for the fifth time.

–––––––––––––

8 | | | | | #R | #B | #K | |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | #P | #P | | #R | | |#Kt | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | | | | | | | #P | |

|–––––––––––––|

5 | | | | #P | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

4 | | ^P | | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

3 | ^P |^Kt | | | | ^P | ^B | |

|–––––––––––––|

2 | | | ^R | | | | ^P | ^P |

|–––––––––––––|

1 | | | ^R | | | | ^K | |

–––––––––––––

A B C D E F G H

Diag. 9.

It would be obviously wrong to move the pawn to Q6 after White’s R-Q1, because White could bring another two pieces to bear on the P, the other Rook and the Knight, whilst Black has only one more piece available for the defence, namely, his Rook.

The following examples show typical positions, in which simple calculation is complicated by side issues.

In Diagram 10, the point of attack, namely, the Black Knight at KB3, can be supported by as many Black units as White can bring up for the attack, but the defensive efficiency of one of Black’s pieces is illusory, because it can be taken by a White piece. The plan would be as follows: White threatens Black’s Knight for the third time with Kt-K4, and Black must reply QKt-Q2, because covering with R-K3 would cost the “exchange,” as will appear from a comparison of the value of the pieces concerned. The “exchange” is, however, lost for Black on the next move, because

–––––––––––––

8 | #R | #Kt| #B | #Q | #R | | #K | |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | | #P | #P | | | #P | #B | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | #P | | | #P | | #Kt| #P | |

|–––––––––––––|

5 | | | | ^Kt| #P | | ^B | |

|–––––––––––––|

4 | | | | ^P | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

3 | | ^B | | | ^P | | ^Kt| |

|–––––––––––––|

2 | ^P | ^P | ^P | | | ^P | ^P | ^P |

|–––––––––––––|

1 | ^R | | | ^Q | | ^R | ^K | |

–––––––––––––

A B C D E F G H

Diag. 10

White’s further attack on the Knight by Q-B3 forces the Rook to defend on K3, where it gets into the diagonal of the Bishop, which at present is masked by White’s Knight. The sequel would be 3. QKtxKtch, RxKt (not BxKt on account of BxR winning a whole Rook), 4. BxR, and so on. A similar case is shown in Diagram 11.

–––––––––––––

8 | | | | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | #P | #K | #P | #Kt| | | #P | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | | #P | | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

5 | | ^Kt| | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

4 | | | | | | ^B | | |

|–––––––––––––|

3 | ^P | | ^P | | | ^P | ^P | |

|–––––––––––––|

2 | #B | | | | | | | ^P |

|–––––––––––––|

1 | | | | | | | ^K | |

–––––––––––––

A B C D E F G H

Diag. 11

Here, too, there is a flaw in the simple calculation, because the defending units are not secure. Beginners should devote special attention to this position, which is in practice of frequent occurrence.

It can be easily perceived that the Bishop cannot capture the pawn at B7 on account of P-QR3. But to take with the Knight would also be an error, because Black would then keep chasing away the covering Bishop.

  1. P-Kt4; 2. B-Q6, K-B3; 3. Kt-K8, B-B2; and wins one of the pieces.

Finally, one more example, in which one of the defending pieces being pinned makes simple calculation impracticable.

In Diagram 12 it seems at first sight as if Black could play KtxP: although White can pin the Knight with R-K1

–––––––––––––

8 | #R | | #B | | #K | | | #R |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | #P | #P | | | | #Kt| #P | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | | | #P | #Kt| | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

5 | | | | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

4 | | | | | ^P | ^Kt| | |

|–––––––––––––|

3 | | | | | | | ^B | |

|–––––––––––––|

2 | ^P | ^P | | | | | ^P | ^P |

|–––––––––––––|

1 | ^R | ^Kt| | | | ^R | ^K | |

–––––––––––––

A B C D E F G H

Diag. 12

and then attack it once more with his Knight, Black would appear to have sufficient protection available, with his Kt and B. White has no time to double Rooks, because if he does so, after his R-K2 Black would play the King away from his file and allow the Knight to escape.

But White can, by a simple sacrifice, bring the slumbering R at R1 into sudden action:

  1. … KtxP; 2 R-K1, B-B4; 3. Kt-B3, Kt-Q3; 4. RxKt, KtxR; 5. R-K1, and White wins two pieces for his Rook.

These illustrations will be sufficient to give the beginner an understanding of economy of calculation in all kinds of combinations. His power of combining will grow speedily on this basis, and thrive in the fire of practical experience. Where an opponent is missing, the gap must be filled by reference to such books as treat of the science of combination and give examples taken from actual play. CHAPTER II
HINTS FOR BEGINNERS—ELEMENTARY COMBINATIONS
THE mental development of the chess player is a gradual struggle from a state of chaos to a clear conception of the game. The period required for such development largely depends upon the special gifts the learner may possess, but in the main the question of methods predominates. Most beginners do not trouble very much about any particular plan in their study of chess, but as soon as they have learnt the moves, rush into the turmoil of practical play. It is self-evident that their prospects under such conditions cannot be very bright. The play of a beginner is planless, because he has too many plans, and the capacity for subordinating all his combinations to one leading idea is non-existent. Yet it cannot be denied upon investigation that a certain kind of method is to be found in the play of all beginners, and seems to come to them quite naturally. At first the pawns are pushed forward frantically, because there is no appreciation of the power and value of the pieces. Conscious of the inferiority of the pawns, the beginner does not conclude that it must be advantageous to employ the greater power of the pieces, but is chiefly concerned with attacking the opposing pieces with his pawns in the hope of capturing them. His aim is not to develop his own forces, but to weaken those of his opponent. His combinations are made in the hope that his adversary may not see through them, nor does he trouble much about his opponent’s intentions. When most of his pawns are gone, then only do his pieces get their chance. He has a great liking for the Queen and the Knight, the former because of her tremendous mobility, the latter on account of his peculiar step, which seems particularly adapted to take the enemy by surprise. When watching beginners you will frequently observe numberless moves by a peripatetic Queen, reckless incursions by a Knight into the enemy’s camp, and when the other pieces join in the fray, combination follows combination in bewildering sequence and fantastic chaos. Captures of pieces are planned, mating nets are woven, perhaps with two pieces, against a King’s position, where five pieces are available for defence. This unsteadiness in the first childish stages of development makes it very difficult for the beginner to get a general view of the board. Yet the surprises which each move brings afford him great enjoyment.

A few dozen such games are by no means wasted. After certain particular dispositions of pieces have proved his undoing, the beginner will develop the perception of threats. He sees dangers one or two moves ahead, and thereby reaches the second stage in his development.

His combinations will become more and more sound, he will learn to value his forces more correctly, and therefore to husband his pieces and even his pawns with greater care. In this second stage his strength will increase steadily, but, and this is the drawback, only as far as his power of combination is concerned. Unless a player be exceptionally gifted, he will only learn after years of practice, if at all, what may be termed “positional play.” For that, it is necessary to know how to open a game so as to lay the foundation for a favourable middle game, and how to treat a middle game, without losing sight of the possibilities of the end-game. It is hopeless to try to memorise the various openings which analysis have proved correct, for this empirical method fails as soon as the opponent swerves from the recognised lines of play. One must learn to recognise the characteristics of sound play. They apply to all and any position, and the underlying principles must be propounded in a manner generally applicable. And this brings me to the substance of my subject, round which I will endeavour to build up a system compatible with common sense and logic.

Before I proceed to develop my theme, I shall set down a number of elementary rules which will facilitate the understanding of such simple combinations as occur at every step in chess.

If we ignore the comparatively small proportion of games in which the mating of the opponent’s King is accomplished on a full board, we can describe a normal, average game of chess in the following way. Both sides will employ their available forces more or less advantageously to execute attacking and defensive manoeuvres which should gradually lead to exchanges. If one side or the other emerges from the conflict with some material gain, it will generally be possible to force a mate in the end-game, whilst if both sides have succeeded by careful play to preserve equality of material, a draw will generally ensue.

It will be found a little later that a single pawn may suffice, with some few exceptions, to achieve a victory, and we shall adopt the following leading principle for all combinations, viz. loss of material must be avoided, even if only a pawn. It is a good habit to look upon every pawn as a prospective Queen. This has a sobering influence on premature and impetuous plans of attack.

On the other hand, victory is often brought about by a timely sacrifice of material.

But in such cases the sacrificing of material has its compensation in some particular advantage of position. As principles of position are difficult for beginners to grasp, I propose to defer their consideration for the present and to devote my attention first to such combinations as involve questions of material. Let us master a simple device that makes most combinations easy both for attack and defence. It amounts merely to a matter of elementary arithmetic, and if the beginner neglects it, he will soon be at a material disadvantage.

Diagram 4 may serve as an example:

–––––––––––––

8 | | | | | #R | | | #K |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | #P | #P | #Q | #Kt| #R | | #P | |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | | | #Kt| #B | #P | | | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

5 | | | | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

4 | | | | | | ^P | | |

|–––––––––––––|

3 | | ^P | | ^Kt| | ^Kt| | |

|–––––––––––––|

2 | ^P | ^B | | ^Q | ^R | | ^P | ^P |

|–––––––––––––|

1 | | | | | ^R | | ^K | |

–––––––––––––

A B C D E F G H

Diag. 4.

It is Black’s move, and we will suppose he wishes to play P-K4. A beginner will probably calculate thus: I push on my pawn, he takes with his pawn, my Knight takes, so does his, then my Bishop takes, and so on. This is quite wrong, and means waste of time and energy.

When the beginner considers a third or fourth move in such a combination, he will already have forgotten which pieces he intended to play in the first moves. The calculation is perfectly simple upon the following lines: I play P-K4, then my pawn is attacked by a pawn and two Knights, a Bishop and two Rooks, six times in all. It is supported by a Bishop, two Knights, two Rooks and a Queen, six times in all. Therefore I can play P-K4, provided the six units captured at K4 are not of greater value than the six white units which are recaptured. In the present instance both sides lose a pawn, two Knights, two Rooks, and a Bishop, and there is no material loss. This established, he can embark on the advance of the KP without any fear.

Therefore: in any combination which includes a number of exchanges on one square, all you have to do is to count the number of attacking and defending units, and to compare their relative values; the latter must never be forgotten. If Black were to play KtxP in the following position, because the pawn at K 5 is attacked three times, and only supported twice, it would be an obvious miscalculation, for the value of the defending pieces is smaller. [Footnote: It is difficult to compare the relative value of the different pieces, as so much depends on the peculiarities of each position, but, generally speaking, minor pieces, Bishop and Knight, are reckoned as equal; the Rook as equal to a minor piece and one or two pawns (to have a Rook against a minor piece, is to be the “exchange” ahead). The Queen is equal to two Rooks or three minor pieces.]

–––––––––––––

8 | | | | | #R | | #K | |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | | | #P | | #R | | #P | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | | #P | |#Kt | | #P | | |

|–––––––––––––|

5 | | | | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

4 | | | | | ^P | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

3 | | | ^P | | | |^Kt | |

|–––––––––––––|

2 | ^P | ^P | ^B | | | | ^P | ^P |

|–––––––––––––|

1 | | | | ^R | | ^K | | |

–––––––––––––

A B C D E F G H

Diag. 5.

Chess would be an easy game if all combinations could be tested and probed exhaustively by the mathematical process just shown. But we shall find that the complications met with are extremely varied. To give the beginner an idea of this, I will mention a few of the more frequent examples. It will be seen that the calculation may be, and very frequently

–––––––––––––

8 | | | #R | | | #R | #K | |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | #P | | | | | #P | #P | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | | #P | #B | ^R | |#Kt | | |

|–––––––––––––|

5 | | | #P | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

4 | | | | | ^P | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

3 | | ^B | ^P | | |^Kt | | |

|–––––––––––––|

2 | | ^P | | | | ^P | ^P | ^P |

|–––––––––––––|

1 | | | | | ^R | | ^K | |

–––––––––––––

A B C D E F G H

Diag. 6.

is, upset by one of the pieces involved being exchanged or sacrificed. An example of this is found in Diagram 6; KtxP

–––––––––––––

8 | | | | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | | | | | | | #P | #K |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | #B | #P | | | | | | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

5 | | | #P | ^P |#Kt | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

4 | | | ^P | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

3 | | | | |^Kt | | ^B | |

|–––––––––––––|

2 | ^P | | | | | | | ^P |

|–––––––––––––|

1 | ^K | | | | | | | |

–––––––––––––

A B C D E F G H

Diag. 7.

fails on account of R X B; this leaves the Knight unprotected, and White wins two pieces for his Rook. Neither can the Bishop capture on K5 because of R X Kt. leaving the Bishop unprotected, after which BxKt does not retrieve the situation because the Rook recaptures from B6.

A second important case, in which our simple calculation is of no avail, occurs in a position where one of the defending pieces is forced away by a threat, the evasion of which is more important than the capture of the unit it defends. In Diagram 7, for instance, Black may not play KtxP, because White, by playing P-Q6, would force the Bishop to Kt4 or B1, to prevent the pawn from Queening and the Knight would be lost. A further example of the same type is given in Diagram 8. Here a peculiar mating threat, which occurs not

–––––––––––––

8 | | | #B | | #Q | #R | | #K |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | | | | |#Kt | | #P | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | #P |^Kt | | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

5 | | | ^R | |^Kt | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

4 | | | ^Q | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

3 | | | | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

2 | ^P | | | | | | ^P | ^P |

|–––––––––––––|

1 | | | | | | | ^K | |

–––––––––––––

A B C D E F G H

Diag. 8.

infrequently in practical play, keeps the Black Queen tied to her KB2 and unavailable for the protection of the B at BI.

White wins as follows:

  1. KtxB, KtxKt; 2. RxKt, QxR; 3. Kt-B7ch, K-Kt1; 4. Kt-R6 double ch, K-R1; 5 Q-Kt8ch, RxQ; 6. Kt-B7 mate.

We will now go a step further and turn from “acute” combinations to such combinations as are, as it were, impending. Here, too, I urgently recommend beginners (advanced players do it as a matter of course) to proceed by way of simple arithmetical calculations, but, instead of enumerating the attacking and defending pieces, to count the number of possibilities of attack and defence.

Let us consider a few typical examples. In Diagram 9, if Black plays P-Q5, he must first have probed the position in the following way. The pawn at Q5 is attacked once and supported once to start with, and can be attacked by three more White units in three more moves (1. R-Q1, 2. R(B2)-Q2, 3. B-B2) Black can also mobilise three more units for the defence in the same number of moves (1. Kt-B4 or K3, 2. B-Kt2, 3. R-Q1). There is, consequently, no immediate danger, nor is there anything to fear for some time to come, as White has no other piece which could attack the pawn for the fifth time.

–––––––––––––

8 | | | | | #R | #B | #K | |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | #P | #P | | #R | | |#Kt | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | | | | | | | #P | |

|–––––––––––––|

5 | | | | #P | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

4 | | ^P | | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

3 | ^P |^Kt | | | | ^P | ^B | |

|–––––––––––––|

2 | | | ^R | | | | ^P | ^P |

|–––––––––––––|

1 | | | ^R | | | | ^K | |

–––––––––––––

A B C D E F G H

Diag. 9.

It would be obviously wrong to move the pawn to Q6 after White’s R-Q1, because White could bring another two pieces to bear on the P, the other Rook and the Knight, whilst Black has only one more piece available for the defence, namely, his Rook.

The following examples show typical positions, in which simple calculation is complicated by side issues.

In Diagram 10, the point of attack, namely, the Black Knight at KB3, can be supported by as many Black units as White can bring up for the attack, but the defensive efficiency of one of Black’s pieces is illusory, because it can be taken by a White piece. The plan would be as follows: White threatens Black’s Knight for the third time with Kt-K4, and Black must reply QKt-Q2, because covering with R-K3 would cost the “exchange,” as will appear from a comparison of the value of the pieces concerned. The “exchange” is, however, lost for Black on the next move, because

–––––––––––––

8 | #R | #Kt| #B | #Q | #R | | #K | |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | | #P | #P | | | #P | #B | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | #P | | | #P | | #Kt| #P | |

|–––––––––––––|

5 | | | | ^Kt| #P | | ^B | |

|–––––––––––––|

4 | | | | ^P | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

3 | | ^B | | | ^P | | ^Kt| |

|–––––––––––––|

2 | ^P | ^P | ^P | | | ^P | ^P | ^P |

|–––––––––––––|

1 | ^R | | | ^Q | | ^R | ^K | |

–––––––––––––

A B C D E F G H

Diag. 10

White’s further attack on the Knight by Q-B3 forces the Rook to defend on K3, where it gets into the diagonal of the Bishop, which at present is masked by White’s Knight. The sequel would be 3. QKtxKtch, RxKt (not BxKt on account of BxR winning a whole Rook), 4. BxR, and so on. A similar case is shown in Diagram 11.

–––––––––––––

8 | | | | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | #P | #K | #P | #Kt| | | #P | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | | #P | | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

5 | | ^Kt| | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

4 | | | | | | ^B | | |

|–––––––––––––|

3 | ^P | | ^P | | | ^P | ^P | |

|–––––––––––––|

2 | #B | | | | | | | ^P |

|–––––––––––––|

1 | | | | | | | ^K | |

–––––––––––––

A B C D E F G H

Diag. 11

Here, too, there is a flaw in the simple calculation, because the defending units are not secure. Beginners should devote special attention to this position, which is in practice of frequent occurrence.

It can be easily perceived that the Bishop cannot capture the pawn at B7 on account of P-QR3. But to take with the Knight would also be an error, because Black would then keep chasing away the covering Bishop.

  1. P-Kt4; 2. B-Q6, K-B3; 3. Kt-K8, B-B2; and wins one of the pieces.

Finally, one more example, in which one of the defending pieces being pinned makes simple calculation impracticable.

In Diagram 12 it seems at first sight as if Black could play KtxP: although White can pin the Knight with R-K1

–––––––––––––

8 | #R | | #B | | #K | | | #R |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | #P | #P | | | | #Kt| #P | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | | | #P | #Kt| | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

5 | | | | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

4 | | | | | ^P | ^Kt| | |

|–––––––––––––|

3 | | | | | | | ^B | |

|–––––––––––––|

2 | ^P | ^P | | | | | ^P | ^P |

|–––––––––––––|

1 | ^R | ^Kt| | | | ^R | ^K | |

–––––––––––––

A B C D E F G H

Diag. 12

and then attack it once more with his Knight, Black would appear to have sufficient protection available, with his Kt and B. White has no time to double Rooks, because if he does so, after his R-K2 Black would play the King away from his file and allow the Knight to escape.

But White can, by a simple sacrifice, bring the slumbering R at R1 into sudden action:

  1. … KtxP; 2 R-K1, B-B4; 3. Kt-B3, Kt-Q3; 4. RxKt, KtxR; 5. R-K1, and White wins two pieces for his Rook.

These illustrations will be sufficient to give the beginner an understanding of economy of calculation in all kinds of combinations. His power of combining will grow speedily on this basis, and thrive in the fire of practical experience. Where an opponent is missing, the gap must be filled by reference to such books as treat of the science of combination and give examples taken from actual play.

Diag. 4.

It is Black’s move, and we will suppose he wishes to play P-K4. A beginner will probably calculate thus: I push on my pawn, he takes with his pawn, my Knight takes, so does his, then my Bishop takes, and so on. This is quite wrong, and means waste of time and energy.

When the beginner considers a third or fourth move in such a combination, he will already have forgotten which pieces he intended to play in the first moves. The calculation is perfectly simple upon the following lines: I play P-K4, then my pawn is attacked by a pawn and two Knights, a Bishop and two Rooks, six times in all. It is supported by a Bishop, two Knights, two Rooks and a Queen, six times in all. Therefore I can play P-K4, provided the six units captured at K4 are not of greater value than the six white units which are recaptured. In the present instance both sides lose a pawn, two Knights, two Rooks, and a Bishop, and there is no material loss. This established, he can embark on the advance of the KP without any fear.

Therefore: in any combination which includes a number of exchanges on one square, all you have to do is to count the number of attacking and defending units, and to compare their relative values; the latter must never be forgotten. If Black were to play KtxP in the following position, because the pawn at K 5 is attacked three times, and only supported twice, it would be an obvious miscalculation, for the value of the defending pieces is smaller. [Footnote: It is difficult to compare the relative value of the different pieces, as so much depends on the peculiarities of each position, but, generally speaking, minor pieces, Bishop and Knight, are reckoned as equal; the Rook as equal to a minor piece and one or two pawns (to have a Rook against a minor piece, is to be the “exchange” ahead). The Queen is equal to two Rooks or three minor pieces.]

–––––––––––––

8 | | | | | #R | | #K | |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | | | #P | | #R | | #P | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | | #P | |#Kt | | #P | | |

CHAPTER II
HINTS FOR BEGINNERS—ELEMENTARY COMBINATIONS
THE mental development of the chess player is a gradual struggle from a state of chaos to a clear conception of the game. The period required for such development largely depends upon the special gifts the learner may possess, but in the main the question of methods predominates. Most beginners do not trouble very much about any particular plan in their study of chess, but as soon as they have learnt the moves, rush into the turmoil of practical play. It is self-evident that their prospects under such conditions cannot be very bright. The play of a beginner is planless, because he has too many plans, and the capacity for subordinating all his combinations to one leading idea is non-existent. Yet it cannot be denied upon investigation that a certain kind of method is to be found in the play of all beginners, and seems to come to them quite naturally. At first the pawns are pushed forward frantically, because there is no appreciation of the power and value of the pieces. Conscious of the inferiority of the pawns, the beginner does not conclude that it must be advantageous to employ the greater power of the pieces, but is chiefly concerned with attacking the opposing pieces with his pawns in the hope of capturing them. His aim is not to develop his own forces, but to weaken those of his opponent. His combinations are made in the hope that his adversary may not see through them, nor does he trouble much about his opponent’s intentions. When most of his pawns are gone, then only do his pieces get their chance. He has a great liking for the Queen and the Knight, the former because of her tremendous mobility, the latter on account of his peculiar step, which seems particularly adapted to take the enemy by surprise. When watching beginners you will frequently observe numberless moves by a peripatetic Queen, reckless incursions by a Knight into the enemy’s camp, and when the other pieces join in the fray, combination follows combination in bewildering sequence and fantastic chaos. Captures of pieces are planned, mating nets are woven, perhaps with two pieces, against a King’s position, where five pieces are available for defence. This unsteadiness in the first childish stages of development makes it very difficult for the beginner to get a general view of the board. Yet the surprises which each move brings afford him great enjoyment.

A few dozen such games are by no means wasted. After certain particular dispositions of pieces have proved his undoing, the beginner will develop the perception of threats. He sees dangers one or two moves ahead, and thereby reaches the second stage in his development.

His combinations will become more and more sound, he will learn to value his forces more correctly, and therefore to husband his pieces and even his pawns with greater care. In this second stage his strength will increase steadily, but, and this is the drawback, only as far as his power of combination is concerned. Unless a player be exceptionally gifted, he will only learn after years of practice, if at all, what may be termed “positional play.” For that, it is necessary to know how to open a game so as to lay the foundation for a favourable middle game, and how to treat a middle game, without losing sight of the possibilities of the end-game. It is hopeless to try to memorise the various openings which analysis have proved correct, for this empirical method fails as soon as the opponent swerves from the recognised lines of play. One must learn to recognise the characteristics of sound play. They apply to all and any position, and the underlying principles must be propounded in a manner generally applicable. And this brings me to the substance of my subject, round which I will endeavour to build up a system compatible with common sense and logic.

Before I proceed to develop my theme, I shall set down a number of elementary rules which will facilitate the understanding of such simple combinations as occur at every step in chess.

If we ignore the comparatively small proportion of games in which the mating of the opponent’s King is accomplished on a full board, we can describe a normal, average game of chess in the following way. Both sides will employ their available forces more or less advantageously to execute attacking and defensive manoeuvres which should gradually lead to exchanges. If one side or the other emerges from the conflict with some material gain, it will generally be possible to force a mate in the end-game, whilst if both sides have succeeded by careful play to preserve equality of material, a draw will generally ensue.

It will be found a little later that a single pawn may suffice, with some few exceptions, to achieve a victory, and we shall adopt the following leading principle for all combinations, viz. loss of material must be avoided, even if only a pawn. It is a good habit to look upon every pawn as a prospective Queen. This has a sobering influence on premature and impetuous plans of attack.

On the other hand, victory is often brought about by a timely sacrifice of material.

But in such cases the sacrificing of material has its compensation in some particular advantage of position. As principles of position are difficult for beginners to grasp, I propose to defer their consideration for the present and to devote my attention first to such combinations as involve questions of material. Let us master a simple device that makes most combinations easy both for attack and defence. It amounts merely to a matter of elementary arithmetic, and if the beginner neglects it, he will soon be at a material disadvantage.

Diagram 4 may serve as an example:

–––––––––––––

8 | | | | | #R | | | #K |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | #P | #P | #Q | #Kt| #R | | #P | |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | | | #Kt| #B | #P | | | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

5 | | | | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

4 | | | | | | ^P | | |

|–––––––––––––|

3 | | ^P | | ^Kt| | ^Kt| | |

|–––––––––––––|

2 | ^P | ^B | | ^Q | ^R | | ^P | ^P |

|–––––––––––––|

1 | | | | | ^R | | ^K | |

–––––––––––––

A B C D E F G H

Diag. 4.

It is Black’s move, and we will suppose he wishes to play P-K4. A beginner will probably calculate thus: I push on my pawn, he takes with his pawn, my Knight takes, so does his, then my Bishop takes, and so on. This is quite wrong, and means waste of time and energy.

When the beginner considers a third or fourth move in such a combination, he will already have forgotten which pieces he intended to play in the first moves. The calculation is perfectly simple upon the following lines: I play P-K4, then my pawn is attacked by a pawn and two Knights, a Bishop and two Rooks, six times in all. It is supported by a Bishop, two Knights, two Rooks and a Queen, six times in all. Therefore I can play P-K4, provided the six units captured at K4 are not of greater value than the six white units which are recaptured. In the present instance both sides lose a pawn, two Knights, two Rooks, and a Bishop, and there is no material loss. This established, he can embark on the advance of the KP without any fear.

Therefore: in any combination which includes a number of exchanges on one square, all you have to do is to count the number of attacking and defending units, and to compare their relative values; the latter must never be forgotten. If Black were to play KtxP in the following position, because the pawn at K 5 is attacked three times, and only supported twice, it would be an obvious miscalculation, for the value of the defending pieces is smaller. [Footnote: It is difficult to compare the relative value of the different pieces, as so much depends on the peculiarities of each position, but, generally speaking, minor pieces, Bishop and Knight, are reckoned as equal; the Rook as equal to a minor piece and one or two pawns (to have a Rook against a minor piece, is to be the “exchange” ahead). The Queen is equal to two Rooks or three minor pieces.]

–––––––––––––

8 | | | | | #R | | #K | |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | | | #P | | #R | | #P | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | | #P | |#Kt | | #P | | |

|–––––––––––––|

5 | | | | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

4 | | | | | ^P | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

3 | | | ^P | | | |^Kt | |

|–––––––––––––|

2 | ^P | ^P | ^B | | | | ^P | ^P |

|–––––––––––––|

1 | | | | ^R | | ^K | | |

–––––––––––––

A B C D E F G H

Diag. 5.

Chess would be an easy game if all combinations could be tested and probed exhaustively by the mathematical process just shown. But we shall find that the complications met with are extremely varied. To give the beginner an idea of this, I will mention a few of the more frequent examples. It will be seen that the calculation may be, and very frequently

–––––––––––––

8 | | | #R | | | #R | #K | |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | #P | | | | | #P | #P | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | | #P | #B | ^R | |#Kt | | |

|–––––––––––––|

5 | | | #P | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

4 | | | | | ^P | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

3 | | ^B | ^P | | |^Kt | | |

|–––––––––––––|

2 | | ^P | | | | ^P | ^P | ^P |

|–––––––––––––|

1 | | | | | ^R | | ^K | |

–––––––––––––

A B C D E F G H

Diag. 6.

is, upset by one of the pieces involved being exchanged or sacrificed. An example of this is found in Diagram 6; KtxP

–––––––––––––

8 | | | | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | | | | | | | #P | #K |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | #B | #P | | | | | | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

5 | | | #P | ^P |#Kt | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

4 | | | ^P | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

3 | | | | |^Kt | | ^B | |

|–––––––––––––|

2 | ^P | | | | | | | ^P |

|–––––––––––––|

1 | ^K | | | | | | | |

–––––––––––––

A B C D E F G H

Diag. 7.

fails on account of R X B; this leaves the Knight unprotected, and White wins two pieces for his Rook. Neither can the Bishop capture on K5 because of R X Kt. leaving the Bishop unprotected, after which BxKt does not retrieve the situation because the Rook recaptures from B6.

A second important case, in which our simple calculation is of no avail, occurs in a position where one of the defending pieces is forced away by a threat, the evasion of which is more important than the capture of the unit it defends. In Diagram 7, for instance, Black may not play KtxP, because White, by playing P-Q6, would force the Bishop to Kt4 or B1, to prevent the pawn from Queening and the Knight would be lost. A further example of the same type is given in Diagram 8. Here a peculiar mating threat, which occurs not

–––––––––––––

8 | | | #B | | #Q | #R | | #K |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | | | | |#Kt | | #P | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | #P |^Kt | | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

5 | | | ^R | |^Kt | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

4 | | | ^Q | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

3 | | | | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

2 | ^P | | | | | | ^P | ^P |

|–––––––––––––|

1 | | | | | | | ^K | |

–––––––––––––

A B C D E F G H

Diag. 8.

infrequently in practical play, keeps the Black Queen tied to her KB2 and unavailable for the protection of the B at BI.

White wins as follows:

  1. KtxB, KtxKt; 2. RxKt, QxR; 3. Kt-B7ch, K-Kt1; 4. Kt-R6 double ch, K-R1; 5 Q-Kt8ch, RxQ; 6. Kt-B7 mate.

We will now go a step further and turn from “acute” combinations to such combinations as are, as it were, impending. Here, too, I urgently recommend beginners (advanced players do it as a matter of course) to proceed by way of simple arithmetical calculations, but, instead of enumerating the attacking and defending pieces, to count the number of possibilities of attack and defence.

Let us consider a few typical examples. In Diagram 9, if Black plays P-Q5, he must first have probed the position in the following way. The pawn at Q5 is attacked once and supported once to start with, and can be attacked by three more White units in three more moves (1. R-Q1, 2. R(B2)-Q2, 3. B-B2) Black can also mobilise three more units for the defence in the same number of moves (1. Kt-B4 or K3, 2. B-Kt2, 3. R-Q1). There is, consequently, no immediate danger, nor is there anything to fear for some time to come, as White has no other piece which could attack the pawn for the fifth time.

–––––––––––––

8 | | | | | #R | #B | #K | |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | #P | #P | | #R | | |#Kt | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | | | | | | | #P | |

|–––––––––––––|

5 | | | | #P | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

4 | | ^P | | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

3 | ^P |^Kt | | | | ^P | ^B | |

|–––––––––––––|

2 | | | ^R | | | | ^P | ^P |

|–––––––––––––|

1 | | | ^R | | | | ^K | |

–––––––––––––

A B C D E F G H

Diag. 9.

It would be obviously wrong to move the pawn to Q6 after White’s R-Q1, because White could bring another two pieces to bear on the P, the other Rook and the Knight, whilst Black has only one more piece available for the defence, namely, his Rook.

The following examples show typical positions, in which simple calculation is complicated by side issues.

In Diagram 10, the point of attack, namely, the Black Knight at KB3, can be supported by as many Black units as White can bring up for the attack, but the defensive efficiency of one of Black’s pieces is illusory, because it can be taken by a White piece. The plan would be as follows: White threatens Black’s Knight for the third time with Kt-K4, and Black must reply QKt-Q2, because covering with R-K3 would cost the “exchange,” as will appear from a comparison of the value of the pieces concerned. The “exchange” is, however, lost for Black on the next move, because

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8 | #R | #Kt| #B | #Q | #R | | #K | |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | | #P | #P | | | #P | #B | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | #P | | | #P | | #Kt| #P | |

|–––––––––––––|

5 | | | | ^Kt| #P | | ^B | |

|–––––––––––––|

4 | | | | ^P | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

3 | | ^B | | | ^P | | ^Kt| |

|–––––––––––––|

2 | ^P | ^P | ^P | | | ^P | ^P | ^P |

|–––––––––––––|

1 | ^R | | | ^Q | | ^R | ^K | |

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A B C D E F G H

Diag. 10

White’s further attack on the Knight by Q-B3 forces the Rook to defend on K3, where it gets into the diagonal of the Bishop, which at present is masked by White’s Knight. The sequel would be 3. QKtxKtch, RxKt (not BxKt on account of BxR winning a whole Rook), 4. BxR, and so on. A similar case is shown in Diagram 11.

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8 | | | | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | #P | #K | #P | #Kt| | | #P | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | | #P | | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

5 | | ^Kt| | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

4 | | | | | | ^B | | |

|–––––––––––––|

3 | ^P | | ^P | | | ^P | ^P | |

|–––––––––––––|

2 | #B | | | | | | | ^P |

|–––––––––––––|

1 | | | | | | | ^K | |

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A B C D E F G H

Diag. 11

Here, too, there is a flaw in the simple calculation, because the defending units are not secure. Beginners should devote special attention to this position, which is in practice of frequent occurrence.

It can be easily perceived that the Bishop cannot capture the pawn at B7 on account of P-QR3. But to take with the Knight would also be an error, because Black would then keep chasing away the covering Bishop.

  1. P-Kt4; 2. B-Q6, K-B3; 3. Kt-K8, B-B2; and wins one of the pieces.

Finally, one more example, in which one of the defending pieces being pinned makes simple calculation impracticable.

In Diagram 12 it seems at first sight as if Black could play KtxP: although White can pin the Knight with R-K1

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8 | #R | | #B | | #K | | | #R |

|–––––––––––––|

7 | #P | #P | | | | #Kt| #P | #P |

|–––––––––––––|

6 | | | #P | #Kt| | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

5 | | | | | | | | |

|–––––––––––––|

4 | | | | | ^P | ^Kt| | |

|–––––––––––––|

3 | | | | | | | ^B | |

|–––––––––––––|

2 | ^P | ^P | | | | | ^P | ^P |

|–––––––––––––|

1 | ^R | ^Kt| | | | ^R | ^K | |

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A B C D E F G H

Diag. 12

and then attack it once more with his Knight, Black would appear to have sufficient protection available, with his Kt and B. White has no time to double Rooks, because if he does so, after his R-K2 Black would play the King away from his file and allow the Knight to escape.

But White can, by a simple sacrifice, bring the slumbering R at R1 into sudden action:

  1. … KtxP; 2 R-K1, B-B4; 3. Kt-B3, Kt-Q3; 4. RxKt, KtxR; 5. R-K1, and White wins two pieces for his Rook.

These illustrations will be sufficient to give the beginner an understanding of economy of calculation in all kinds of combinations. His power of combining will grow speedily on this basis, and thrive in the fire of practical experience. Where an opponent is missing, the gap must be filled by reference to such books as treat of the science of combination and give examples taken from actual play.

cunclusion

this is the sample knowleged about the chess game and it will help you to do better in chees. this article is for only an eductional purpose so before take any step first condinate with your sports experts and our motive is to educate the audience in this field.

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