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Jun 22,2002

chess chess

Lecture 1.

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 intellect.
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 gambit) 2…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…Bb7) 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…Kh8 13.Ng6#)

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.

Bulat, Ante - Janosevic, Dragoljub (Ljubljana, 1960) White to move and win.

"He who fears an isolated queen's pawn should give up chess". Siegbert Tarrasch

"The most powerful weapon in chess is to have the next move"! - David Bronstein

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