The mj - JT game brought up an interesting point worth discussing...is having your minor pieces chased by pawns a good thing or a bad thing?The game itself brings up two examples of it that clearly demonstrate possible advantages and disadvantages to placing your minor pieces into positions where they can be chased around. Let's take a look first at the disadvantage.1. e4 Nf6; 2. d3 d5; 3. Nc3 e6; 4. exd5 Nxd5; 5. Nxd5 exd5 Note that all that has happened to this point is that black has a bit more space than white in the center after the trades were made.6. Nf3 Bc5?JT put the question-mark after his sixth move and I don't necessarily disagree with that move. Mj's actual play was the smart 7.d4 which just chases the bishop off of c5. The discussion previous to that move was that JT felt he had more control over e5 and d4 than mj. Turns out this is not exactly true. I would actually argue that control over e5 is still up in the air, and mj (white) actually controls the d4 square, because with a knight and queen defending a d4 advance, it can easily chase the bishop away.This actually chases the bishop to a different square. The bishop has three viable options.1) Retreat to b6 - A move that may pin the bishop badly in the future. A later c3 followed by b4 advance would entomb the bishop until black's c pawn and queen move to allow it back into the game. This would turn black's bishop very bad for some time.2) Advance to b4+ - Turns the Bc5 move into a wasted move, but puts the king in check and forces white to react. This could potentially lead to an incredibly interesting "bishop vs. knight" game if white's reaction would follow 7. d4 Bc4+; 8. Nd2 Bxd2+; 9. Bxd2.3) Retreat to d6 - This was the move played. This move is also a waste of time (due to the fact that it could have been played earlier), and allows white an extra move. However, it helps black in his attempt to establish a hold on e5. White's knight can no longer use e5 as a knight's post to either sit there or use it to move Ne5 followed by Nd3 in order to guard both e5 as well as c5, which is precisely what black's bishop is currently doing.Black and white look to be struggling to control the e5 and c5 squares, but white now has an equal amount of space in the center, and after forcing black to make two moves with a bishop that he only had to move once, he's essentially gained a move.Next set of moves, a possible advantage?1. e4 Nf6; 2. d3 d5; 3. Nc3 e6; 4. exd5 Nxd5; 5. Nxd5 exd5; 6. Nf3 Bc5; 7. d4 Bd6; 8. Bg5Black knows it can chase white's bishop by a simple f6 advance, followed by g5 after the bishop retreats to h4. Basically it would look like so:8. ... f6; 9. Bh4 g5; 10. Bg3This could lead to an interesting doubled pawn scenario with 10. ... Bxg3; 11. fxg3 (or hxg3). So this could potentially be disadvantageous for white.But note black's pawn structure after those moves on the kingside. His kingside pawn structure has been broken up. Yes, black has more space on the kingside. But now a kingside castle (11. ... 0-0) leaves the king much more open to attack than a good pawn structure (pawns on f7, g6, and h7) would leave it. The h pawn would be quite weak, and white may find his best play resulting in castling to the queenside, and attempting to get his pawn off the h file (11. hxg3), double his rooks on the h file, and attack the weak black h pawn. Should black choose to advance his h pawn by h5 followed by h6, he would only weaken his king's protection further.At that point, black should be playing to break at the weak pawns on f2 and g2 due to the pawn's doubling. With an f4 advance, it strengthens this f pawn but it turns the g3 pawn weak and makes the g2 pawn nothing more than a sitting duck that likely would need constant attention from at least one if not two minor pieces.Two exceptional imbalances arising from pawn chasing. This could literally be chess at its finest. Two small imbalances, and a total war waged to see who can cash in on the imbalance first!Note: the 8. Bg5 move may be allowed to be taken back because white, not having a board to follow the game on, thought he (she?) was putting black's king in check, when the bishop was in fact threatening the queen. Black has offered white to be allowed to take the move back since white was confused as to which piece was being attacked.Thoughts around chasing minor pieces with pawns? Questions? Other scenarios?Speak up! It's what this board is about!Chris
Speak up! It's what this board is about!Great strategy discussion Chris!(mumbles to self) Jeez, I'm dead.Having the most fun on a board since I first found 77's,Clones
Though forcing a player to move pawns may weaken any castling moves, later in the game often is it those same pawns that would be in position to reclaim a captured piece.
Black and white look to be struggling to control the e5 and c5 squares, but white now has an equal amount of space in the center, and after forcing black to make two moves with a bishop that he only had to move once, he's essentially gained a move.That's it, rub salt in it, that's cool. ;-) Just kiddin' man; beatin' myself up for being an idjit.This could literally be chess at its finest. Two small imbalances, and a total war waged to see who can cash in on the imbalance first!Gotta love it!Re: weakening black's kingside castle protection by chasing white's bishopWhile moot since mj took that move back, it's still an interesting point. My gut reaction (dictated by my style I suppose) is that I would totally chase that bishop and advance those pawns, even if it leaves the h pawn weak. It seems that I put a premium on space, and having a line of pawns protecting each other is a nice thing to have. If that's how it played out I would definitely try to advance black's h pawn to h4 to extend that line, being protected by the rook (and abandoning the kingside castle - if I wanted to castle after that I'd go queenside). I'd be in trouble if white was able to quickly double his rooks on the h file, but since he would still need to advance his queen, h rook, and f bishop, then castle before he could double them, I might just have a chance to do so. At any rate, I've gotta turn off that possibility since it's moot and see where I want to go now!Great discussion Chris, I didn't think I'd really be able to go on like that, but I guess once you just start talking (typing), your brain takes over and you just keep going!Here I come, mj...JT
Having the most fun on a board since I first found 77's, ClonesI second that!JT
Though forcing a player to move pawns may weaken any castling moves, later in the game often is it those same pawns that would be in position to reclaim a captured piece.Reading this the second time brought a question to my mind, and I want to make sure mj and I are on the same page. When a pawn reaches the back rank, it gets promoted, which means it can be anything, even something that's still on the board, correct? So the default choice it to promote it to a queen, since it'd be great to have two queens at the same time. I know I used to believe you could just reclaim a captured piece, too, but then I read about what pawn promotion really means.Mj, if this isn't what you're talking about, and you're saying, "Duh JT, I knew that," my apologies.JT
I agree with you, J, about pawns being promoted. You can in fact have 2 queens but usually when you have reached that stage of the game neither team generally has a queen.I used to play against someone who would only look to promote pawns to Knights. He loved their ability to "sneak" or "trap" you.
I used to play against someone who would only look to promote pawns to Knights. He loved their ability to "sneak" or "trap" you.Ah, the dreaded Knight fork! My favorite was always to take the f pawn (either color) on its home rank, thus forking the rook and queen - course, you have to protect the knight from the opposing king, and you have to do it before much has been moved, so it's tough - but always worth it if you can sneak in on the guy!JT
JT, except for checkmate, I love nothing better than a good knight fork, but when I used to play regularly, most people I played were too smart to fall into a knight fork. I once intentionally tried to con my opponent into forking me, as in the situation we had, I'd have at least come out of it with a better position, but the guy saw through it and didn't fork me. DANG!!!
To answer some current and prior questions...1) Yes, you can promote your pawn to anything at any time, no matter what pieces are still on the board. Conventional wisdom says you promote to a queen, which I always do. Promoting to a knight can be fun, but promotions often happen in the end-game, and if any of you know an easy way to check-mate an opponent with just a knight and king, my hats off to you!2) You are still allowed to castle even if your king was once in check, as long as it is not in check, and would not be in check passing to the new square.- C -
if any of you know an easy way to check-mate an opponent with just a knight and king, my hats off to you!Totally not saying that I know how, but I believe one of the books I own and rifled through long ago had a section devoted to the endgame, where it showed mates achieved by a king-rook, -bishop, -queen, or -knight combination. If I remember and have time, I'll look it up to see what it says about the king-knight combo.JT
I am fascinated that noone questioned the timid 2.d3 move. After 1.e4 Nf6 we have Alekhine's defense,whereby Black attempts to lure white to overextend his position after moves like 2.e5 Nd5, followed by d4 and c4 ,when Black ends up with a knight on b6 and tries later on to disrupt the centre with d6.I must confess that I absolutely love having an advantage in space,and would feel very confortable playing as white,but thats a matter of preference.One thing is for sure,though, it is much harder to play based on a counterattack when your position is cramped; usually you just end up being squeezed by a strong player,therefore I would not recommend 1....Nf6 to the novices. 2.e5 is the proper reply,and by far the most popular.Back to that position:3.Nc3? can be answered by 3...d:e4 4.N:e4 N:e4 5.d:e4 Q:d1+ when white cannot castle anymore.After 6....Bc5? 7.d4 (correct)white controls the dark central squares.Black can try to dispute it with moves like c5, but that can be answered by c3 or Be3. But lets not forget that Black has a good grip on e4... :)
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