Minority Attack

I feel as though Chesstiger’s comment at Blunder Prone is a concise summary of what I was trying to say in my previous post:

I recently talked with some of the youth players who passed the 2000 otb rating border at my chess club and with chess players who have already a long history of being a 2000+ player. They say that solving tactical puzzles help but that they also learn or search for the middlegame plans of the openings they play. With other words, they all agree that tactics are handy but that a chess game contains more. They also point out that before you have a tactic you must have a position. With other words, positional play to set up a position is also a requirment.

These middlegame chunks are exactly what I believe I benefit most from; they are the “move sequences” and “piece squares” I was referring to in my last post.

As it happens, I encountered such a middlegame chunk just yesterday: the minority attack. In a column named “Middlegame Motifs”, Nigel Davies explains the principles behind a pawnstorm with a pawn minority to undermine an enemy pawn chain.  For further reading, see this post by Chess Training.

From White’s perspective, the focus is on a favourable pawn exchange that opens attacking lines for rooks and creates weak pawns in Black’s camp:

middlegame_minorityattack1

From Black’s perspective, the focus is on preventing pawn exchanges (with either b5 or a6) and exploiting the weak square left by White’s b-pawn at c4, usually with a knight, while counter-attacking on the half-open e-file:

middlegame_minorityattack2There are, of course, more motifs to the minority attack, but these seem to be the two most important ones.

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