mia analisi: Il
La lezione del GM Schwartzman: I am delighted to present another guest Lesson in my Academy. This
particular position comes from one of GM Ron Henley's games, and here is what he had to
say about it. Enjoy!
This position came from my game with the White pieces against National Master Mark Kurtzman in a New York Open from a few years ago.
At first sight this position may appear fairly level, as material is in balance. Some may even take the view that Black is really doing well as he has the "Bishop Pair", the half open e-file and appears to be advancing on the kingside in menacing fashion! HOWEVER, A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF CHESS STRATEGY and the principles of ARON NIMZOVICH (MY SYSTEM) will reveal certain deficiencies in the Black position that White will be able to exploit! The first thing we need to realize is the position is SEMI-BLOCKED! Bishops need nice long open diagonals to operate at maximum efficiency. In a blocked or semi-blocked position, the hip-hop agile knights actually have the advantage in mobility and flexibility over the tall bishops who keep stubbing their toes on pawns blocking their diagonals!
The Russian chess players I know, actually refer to this as the "ADVANTAGE OF THE KNIGHT PAIR"! One clear advantage White has is the domination by the knight on b6 of the Black bishop on d7. Note that any time that White chooses, he may capture the Black bishop on d7 with his knight (even if the bishop moves to c8). Note the White pawns on a4 and d5 help to dominate this bishop by taking away the b5, c6, and e6 squares. Thus the only "safe" square on the chessboard is e8, where the bishop serves no useful function, and simply interferes with the coordination of his own rooks! Meanwhile, the White knight on b6 is virtually unassailable as the only black pieces that can attack him (K, Q, g7B) are on the other side of the board! The only chance Black has to improve the scope of his bishop on d7 is if he can execute the f5-f4 pawn advance. In addition, note that Black has doubled f-pawns, and the pawn on f5 can no longer be protected by an adjacent pawn, as his neighbor has advanced to g5.
The task for my fellow Internet Chess Academy students in this position is to use the principles of Aron Nimzovich (1 - Restrain, 2 - Blockade, 3 - Destroy), to lay the next brick in the strategical foundation that White is building in the fight against the Black bishop pair and doubled f-pawns.
This absolutely meets the strategic goals we outlined for White, as the Black pawn is
blockaded on f5, which in turn denies the Black bishop on d7 any hope of freedom. Let's
see how the game continued ..
The game continuation, which weakens the f5 point. Black was entertaining the idea of moving his queen, playing f7-f6 (which kills his g7-B!), and then "activating" this bishop to g6 or h5. More testing was doubling on the f-file with 1...Rde8 2.Nf3! (Taking tactical advantage of the loose bishop on d7, to leave the pawn on e3 under-protected.) 2...Bh6 3.g3 (3.Qd2? g4) when White has an impregnable position with many plans for progress beginning with Qd1-d3, after which g5-g4 will be met by Nf3-h4, Nxd7, and Qxf5 etc. Black would therefore have to sit back and let White dictate the course of events, for example: 4...g4 5.Nh4 Bxf4? 6.Nxd7 winning.
In time trouble Mark was so focused on his plan of "activating" his e8-B, and attacking my f4-pawn, he became totally oblivious to the weakness of his own f5-pawn.
3...Qg6 4.Qc2 gxf4 5.exf4 Rxe1+ 6.Rxe1 Bh6? 7.Nxf5
Threatening the royal fork with 8.Ne7+.
Discouraged by his pawn deficit and the growing number of White threats, Black resigned. A continuation which demonstrates the superior coordination of the White pieces is 9...Qf6 10.Qxe8+! Rxe8 11.Nd7+ Kg8 12.Rxe8+ Bf8 13.Rxf8 mate.