Part 2. The Essential.
The primary course of education starts, as usual, with the very beginning. Please have a look at the miraculous picture.
The initial position by no means resembles the picture of some forthcoming
battle. It can be hardly believed that after the several nearest moves you will
make yourself it would appear that you cannot play perfectly yet, the secrets
of chess strategy and tactics are the great mystery for you. The chess are really
much more difficult and mysterious than any other play. However these qualities
of chess are not to be overestimated. There are no extra-special complicated
secrets at all. On a chessboard the simple laws perform. It is impossible to
arrange the chess pieces better than like on diagram 1. The rigid line of the
light infantry is ahead, and behind it the materiel and commanders are located.
This very order of advance was applied by Francois Filidors in his games. He was
then the non-official World Champion and a great French composer. The musician
could not break the harmony. The future chess generations have got forever
Filidors' beloved sentence: "The Pawns are the soul of the chess-game".
Although we can always find the proper analogue in everyday life for any action
on a chessboard, there are many methods acceptable in a chess-game, but not
accustomed in real life for the well brought-up persons. For example, falling
on the lonely defenseless King with all the pieces; crowding, jostling and
lounging about the opponent's flank; picking as many opponent's pieces as
possible; capturing the opponent's piece with your both hands feeling the great
bright passion of satisfaction.
Bad behavior could be sometimes forgiven, but to obtain the fair name in chess
- master, grandmaster, champion, etc - you ought to win very much.
Chess is the legitimate field of activities where you
can play bad tricks legally while remaining a decent person with your distinguish
The kindness in chess is admissible only to
conceal the real intentions.
So you have several minutes left on your chess-clock. You are neither Fisher,
nor Tal or Capablanca yet. How to pass satisfactory the first barrier - the
beginning? The mysteries of the right first moves can be fully disclosed only
by the use of the computer chess programs.
The challenger for the World Champion title IGM David Bronstein sometimes used
to think a lot over his first move! When he was ask about the reason of so much
thinking, David Ionovich answered philosophically: "Why, the position is very
complicated". But you have not a lot of time to think, just several minutes or
several seconds to make a decision.
The simple plain approach to the beginning problems will help you to gain
easily and quickly an understanding of the most intricate situations. The center
of the chessboard is the commanding height. It is easier both to attack and to
defend from the central squares.
Please pay attention - at the edge of the chessboard the Knight is four times weaker than in the center.
However, if your piece is alone in the center and there are many enemies around
it - then it will be either lodged out or eliminated. In the center you should
have a band, concentrated powerful forces. You ought to put your pawns, Knights,
Bishops closely to the center. That procedure in the scientific language is
called the seizure of the center, the mobilization of pieces.
After that you should fluently advance with your troop. This procedure is called
the seizure of space. For instance, please imagine a garden-plot to be divided
between you and your neighbour. Your task would be to move the boundary further
lest your neighbour has no place to plant. The simple name for that method is
"the rule of boundary".
The unique visual aid for us is the non-official game between the namesake of
the World Champion, Ed.Lasker and less known amateur Tomas (played in London, in
1911). The partners started to create the chef-d'oeuvre in old-fashioned way:
1.d4 f5 2.Nf3 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.Bxf6 Bxf6 6.e4 fe4 7.Nxe4 b6 8.Bd3 Bb7 9.Ne5 0-0 10.Qh5 Qe7
DIAGRAM 3. Ed.Lasker - Tomas (London, 1911)
The well-known position has arisen.
Nowadays such a position could be obtained after 1.d4 f5 2.e4! (Staunton's
fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 6.Bxf6 Bxf6 7.Nf3 b6 8.Ne5!
(Now 9.Qh5 is threatening, and Black must not move 8
0-0 9.Bd3 Bb7 10.Qh5 Qe7.
The same position has been reached, but in a more rigid way.
With his last move Tomas hoped to defend Achilles' heel - h7 square. Now Black
is ready to meet 11.Nxf6 with 11
gxf6, and White's troop is
compelled to retreat. However, Lasker here has a huge advantage in attacking
material against Black's non-protected King. White succeeds to use all his
forces to mate with the a1-Rook not moving it.
11.Qxh7+!! Kxh7 12.Nxf6++
The double-check. There can be no cover from it. Only the vacant square could
be the shelter for the attacked King. Suppose Black has two more Queens as some
present - on squares h8 and h6, and it would be mate for Black's King, even if
his other pieces were stronger.
White needs not other pieces than the couple of Knights and the Bishop.
(The King must not return to h8: 12
13.Neg4 Kg5 14.h4 Kf4 15.g3 Kf3 16.Be2 Kg2 17.Rh2 Kg1 18.Kd2#.
DIAGRAM 5. Ed.Lasker - Tomas (London, 1911)
All the enemy forces victimize the weakest piece here, the King, and this
fact a bit decreases the aesthetic value of the game. Tomas gave up the center
to the opponent, the space and the keys to the fortress. Usually there could
not fall so much good luck in one game. However, we have been convinced that the
seizure of the central squares, space and the pieces development greatly affect
the result of the combat.
This game has remained in the history of chess forever. The outstanding works
should be recognized by sight
Lecture 2. Part 1.