Site hosted by Build your free website today!

This position was tested on several amateurs in Silman's book.

Here one can recognize the major imbalance of the position is the pawn majority imblance; White has a majority on the kingside and in the center, black on the queenside. White has an edge in space and a momentary edge in development. White would like to advance with f2-f4 to get his majority rolling. That is his basic plan. This was easily recognized by all classes of players tested.

3 players ranging from C, B, and A class all played the same move 1. 0-0 here. While this might be desirable it doesn't take into account blacks counter-plans.

After 1. 0-0, Be6 2. f4, Qd4+ 3. Kh1 (or Kh2), 0-0-0 4. Bc2, Bc4 black seizes the initiative by his counter-attack on the weak central dark squares starting with 2...Qd4+.

As Silman notes, "class players will make great strides once he realizes that the control of individual squares is as important as any other strategy.

The position in this game comes from Alekhine-Marshall, Baden Baden, 1925. Take notice of how Alekhine handled the white pieces:

1. Qd2 preparing f2-f4 as well as Q-side castling.


2. Qe3! Alekhine takes control of d4 stopping the counter-play that was achieved in the amateur example above. He also stops Q-side castlign by black here.

2...Bc6?! Marshall prepares a possible counter-attack on the white e-pawn but it seems to slow. Silman notes that better was 2...Qa5 when he can safely castle Queenside.

3. 0-0-0 By castling Queenside white is free to advance his kingside majority without worrying about the loosening of his own king position.


4. f4

Notice white now has the initiative as his majority pawn advance gains time on the enemy pieces.


5. e5 Another threat, white is snuffing any hopes of counter-play from the black position.


6. Rhe1, Rad8

7. f5! White's attack is now in full swing.


8. Qg5, Nd5

9. f6, Qf8

10. Bc4! Black is totally on the defensive now.


11. Rxd8, Rxd8

12. fxg7! Taking advantage of the fact that the Queen is the only defender of the rook on d8.

12...Nxa2+ (also hopeless was 12...Qe8 13. Bxf7+, Kxf7 14. Rf1+, Ke6 15. Rf6+)

13. Kb1!

Notice white doesnt get careless and play "automatic moves." The routine 13. Bxa2 would give black a saving check on c5.


14. e6!, Be4+

15. Ka1 (but not 15. Kxa2?? with a self-mate as 15...Qa4#) White could also win with 15. Rxe4 though black gets some temporary counter-play. Notice how Alekhine's play allows black no counterplay whatsoever.

15...f5 (or 15...fxe6 16. Bxe6+, Qxe6 17. Qxd8+, Kxg7 18. Qd4+ followied by the capture of blacks bishop)

16. e7+, Rd5

17. Qf6, Qf7

18. e8=Q+ Black resigned as mate comes in 2 more moves.