Bishop Pin on g5/f6

April 25, 2012

A rule of thumb for Black when playing against Spanish/Italian openings with a knight on f6: Don’t castle when your dark-square bishop is locked out by a pawn on d6; the pin created by the bishop on g5 against the knight on f6 tends to be very strong. Of course, if you know your theory, you’ll be able to wiggle out of the pin unscathed eventually, but for the less well-versed,having to defend against the pin is extremely annoying indeed. Hence, be wary of locking out your bishop and castling prematurely.

This works in very well in conchunktion (pun drum roll, please!) with the Bindelicious chunk.

King versus Knight Checks

April 8, 2012

A useful chunk for the endgame: If your king is exposed to checks by the enemy knight, taking the “diagonal opposition” (squares highlighted in green) to the knight forces the knight to manoeuvre three times before being able to check again. Other moves allow ealier checks.



April 6, 2012

A follow-up chunk to doubling pawns at f6: create a bind on f5 to prevent the weakened f-pawn from advancing. Remember the old adage to immobilize weak pawns in the enemy’s camp!

P.S.: I’ve just reviewed all the posts I’ve published on this blog so far, and I was struck by how familiar some of the chunks have become. Some of them are so obvious to me now that it seems almost silly to have posted them; yet let’s not forget that it’s easy to misjudge the effort that goes into learning this game. Things that are perfectly apparent to us now are by no means obvious to the beginning player. I’d also say that some of the gifs have been nearly useless to me, particulary those that are either too concrete or too abstract. I don’t know how others experience this, but for me as a 1700+ player, the most satisfying and indeed most motivating routes to study are those paved with clear, simple explanations illustrated by one or two examples, avoiding over-generalisation while at the same time neglecting overly detailed variations. I simply lack the patience and the skill to absorb and judge the merit of tactical complications and in-depth variations; in the meantime, I feel as though my play is greatly enhanced by having at least some clue as to how to approach a position before starting my (admittedly modest) calculations. My goal at this point is to consolidate as many relevant chunks as possible and put them to use, and absorbing some more along the way. This is, of course, a rather lazy approach, but in my estimation a practical and, most importantly, an enjoyable one.

Don’t Open Lines For The Bishop

April 1, 2012

Pawns blocking lines of enemy bishops are an asset, especially in the endgame. Instead of grabbing more material, Black should aim at keeping the crucial diagonals of the White’s black-square bishop locked up in order to promote his pawn.