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Lecture by A. Yuneev
THE COOPERATION OF PIECES
I. The Ways to Establish the Cooperation of Pieces.
II. The Ways to Disturb the Opponent's Pieces Cooperation.
I. The Ways to Establish the Cooperation of Pieces.
To establish the cooperation of pieces means to arrange them on such squares where the pieces could develop their maximum common activity for the required purpose, both in attack and defense. As a rule, the cooperation of pieces is an attribute of any combination and any good positional plan. The more pieces are involved in the cooperative activity the more effective the plan would be (provided the aims are real and reasonable).
In practice the three main ways to establish the cooperation of pieces can be noted:
I 1. Setting-up the Concentration of Pieces;
I.2. Setting-up the Contact between Pieces;
I.3. Expanding the Operative Space for Pieces.
It is important to stress that usually in a game all the abovementioned methods can be applied both separately and simultaneously (the latter case is more frequent), but in the following examples these methods will be separated to illustrate them more vividly.
I.1. The Concentration of Pieces.
This way to establish the cooperation of pieces is the most simple and understandable. It implies that the pieces should be gathered together near the particular object to attack or to defend it. However, as it is shown below, this method is not universal, moreover, there is a lot of cases when this way can not or must not be used. Still, it is very effective, because it permits easily to create the overwhelming superiority in material near the required area.
It is sensible to distinguish the concentration of pieces at the flanks and in the center. Although the way of setting-up is almost the same in all these cases, the tasks are different. Let us consider these cases separately and have a look at the examples.
I.1.1. The Concentration of Pieces at the King's Flank.
Here we are going to deal with the cases of pieces concentration at the flank where the opponent's King is situated (it may be Q-side if the opponent's King is long-castled). Usually the purpose of pieces concentration in such cases is to prepare and perform the attack of the opponent's King position. One of the essential conditions for success in this operation is sufficient space for the pieces to be gathered at the flank; otherwise the attacking pieces themselves would become targets. Look at the simple example:
Y. Averbach - H. Fuchs (Dresden, 1956)
1.c4 g6 2.Nc3 Bg7 3.d4 Nf6 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 O-O 6.Bg5 c5 7.d5 a6
That was one of the earliest games in this variation by its creator, Yuri Averbach, and his opponent was not informed of the ideas. Better was 6.h6.
8.a4 e6 9.Qd2 Qa5 10.Ra3!?
White combines the defense of the Q-side with the attack at the K-side The Rook is prepared to transfer to h-file in future.
10.ed5 11.ed5 Nbd7?!
Black starts the wrong plan, missing its tactical refutation. Better was 11.Bf5.
Going on the bad route against c4-Pawn. 12.Re8 was solid.
13.Qb4 appears to give nothing because of 14.Qc1! , and the Black Queen has to retire since 14..Nc4 loses after 15.Na2 while 15.a5 is threatening. Now White is clearly better.
With this move White starts to gather his pieces, as many as possible, at the K-side. Black underestimates this plan.
14.Bf3 15.Qf3 Nfd7?
After this mistake Black can hardly save his game because the concentration of almost all White's pieces at the K-side with the decisive attack is unstoppable. 15…Nbd7 would have left some opportunities for Black to struggle.
16.Ne4! Nc8 17.Qh3 Qc7 18.Qh4 Re8
[18.Bb2 19.Rh3 h5 20.Bh5+-]
19.Rh3 h5 20.Ng3
The concentration of White's pieces at the K-side is over. A bit prematurely here was 20.Bh5 in view of 20.Re4. But now the crash on h5 is inevitable.
20.Nf8 21.Bh5 Bb2
[21.gh5 22.Nh5 Ng6 23.Nf6 Bf6 24.Bf6+-]
A picturesque position. White succeeded to bring all his army before Black's King. Now 22.gf5 would lead to the same result after 23.Bf6 Bf6 24.Qf6 Qe7 25.Bf7+-.
22.gh5 23.Bf6 Ng6 24.Qg5 Ne7 25.Nh6 Kf8 26.Bb2 1:0.
Also, in the next games the winner succeeded to concentrate the pieces at the King's flank because the opponent did not pay much attention to it until it became too late.
R.Keene - A.Miles (Hastings, 1975/76)
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.e3 e6 5.d4 d5 6.cd5 Nd5 7.Bd3 cd4 8.ed4Be7 9.O-O O-O 10.Re1 Nf6 11.Bg5 Ncb4
This line gives White too much air at the K-side. More careful is 11.b6 12.a3 Nd5.
12.Bb1 b6 13.Ne5 Bb7 14.Re3
Starting the expedition to the K-side. Here, as in the previous example, black pieces appeared to be too far from his King.
14.g6 15.Rg3 Rc8?
White has prepared to hit g6, and this careless move is too dangerous. Much better here was 15.Nc6 16.Bh6 Qd4 with a pawn and active play for the exchange, although that compensation would not be fully sufficient. Now Black's position is very hard to defend.
16.Bh6 Re8 17.a3!
A very important intermediate move increasing the action of White's pieces at the K-side.
17.Nc6 18.Ng6 hg6 19.Bg6 fg6 20.Qb1!
Perhaps, Black has missed this move.
20. Ne5 21.de5 Ne4 22.Ne4 Kh7 23.Nf6 Bf6 24.Qg6 Kh8 25.Bg7 Bg7 26.Qg7#.