Thinking Process, Improving pieces.

Hiya …

I’m just about finished with the new How to Reassess your Chess by Silman. This next example is a classic. If I had his email I would send it to him, this is exactly the sort of thinking he advocates.

I’m not sure 1800+ will benefit from this post but those below may take something from the thinking process. Well, at least I hope they will :0)

[Black to move]

This position was reached in a Blitz game I played.
I was Black and I don’t think it’ll be very difficult for any player to recognize Black’s superiority.
Okay… but how to win?
What move to play?
Should I come up with a plan??
Blah, I only have 2 minutes on the clock! How can this Silman twat expect me to consider plans if I only have 2 miserable minutes??

Firstly I’d recommend you read FM David H Levin’s “To Plan for the Middlegame, Read the Pawn Structure” articles.

You can find these 2 articles on his website at http://www.davidlevinchess.com/ under “Instruction” or on my Blog at: http://musiquewandchess.blogspot.com/p/m....-structure.html

Once you have, continue to…

Second, you need to understand that you’re not meant to find a plan and try to “fix” your position to fit it. That would be imaginary chess. You’re meant to play the board not decide the rules for yourself. :0)

How do we find that “plan” ???

Let’s start from basics… how can you, as Black, improve your pieces? Or, better yet, what piece needs to be improved first?
(The worst / most inactive piece would require your first attention)

It’s clear that Black is ahead in development, White’s g1 Knight and h1 Rook are fast asleep and his DSB on h2 is currently out of play. Had I asked you to improve White’s pieces surely you’d figure out the best plan to reactivate your DSB but it’s not my intention to “analyze” or annotate the game. NO! don’t forget, we have less than 2 minutes by now! Okay but recognizing that White has these problems is a part of that thinking process and with practice and understanding requires roughly 2 seconds doing superficially.

Third, you should realize that you (as Black) have decent amounts of pressure on the White King and should you move your Knight your Bishop will become quite active while attacking the c3 square.

Where should we go with the Knight ???
Consider its improvement to its fullest. What potential outposts you see?

The most conspicuous is e3, right? Surely your Knight would be better than any Bishop or even Rook on the 6th !! Silman taught you that already :^]
How about c4, that’s a nice one too! Hey, you can go to e3 from c4! Cool!

Fourth, now that we established the means we should adopt the how. But shouldn’t we consider tactics? with all that King side pressure surely Black can ignore his Knight and Bishop and worry about Checkmate!
Eh, meh, wait for my Blog post about the difference between Strategy and Tactics! but for now I’d say that it is only now, when finding the best way to improve your Knight that you should consider the best tactical way to initiate your plan. Plan? Quite right! Apparently we have a plan! Ha ha, you missed it haven’t you?

Why don’t you spend a second considering the best Knight Path.

Actually, b6 is also nice because it attacks the Queen which gains tempo. Right! So we have a tactical reason as well!

Fifth, to make it short you should first see the weak squares creating your stepladder.


Upon seeing these squares you should also realize that while attacking the Queen you’ll force it into concession. 
It can’t go to b3 and a3 will quite effectively demolish White’s position even more!
So the Queen will have to go back to c2. is that good for White?
Not really!
With a Knight on c4 you’ll attack b2 with your Knight and Rook. That will force White to play b2-b3 which threatens your Knight. okay… but then you’ll go to e3 (which I’m reminding was your plan the whole while anyhow!)
And from e3 you’ll fork the Queen and Rook!
Wow, that’s brilliant!

Sixth, now, just for a second there imagine the Knight path and the potential it’ll give your play. It’s not “just” the Knight we’re improving; it’s the Bishop and even the Queen as well. 


1… Nd7!!!

Now that you’ve played your first move of the plan, lay back and consider the amending pressure your pieces will have as you carry it out, both positionally and tactically.


2. Ne2 Nb6!
3. Qc2 Nc4!
4.b4 – HOLD IT!!!

Yes, you have a good move here, 4…Ne3 but as Heisman likes to say (Quoting Lasker!) when you’ve found a good move, look for a better one!

Again, consider the weak squares first.


There are many ways to win this position.
According to Rybka 4…a5 is best but what will be the most thematic and theoretical way to continue the attack and maintain the initiative?

Well I played 4… Qa3+!! And after 5. Kb1 I should have played 5…a5!! (Utilizing the pin)

At this point we have a completely winning position. There’s too much pressure by Black, his Rooks are very active, his Queen and Knight are aggressively placed and His Bishop aggravates all these threats by aiming at a1 (which cuts the Kings off completely) and threatens …Bxc3.


After a few more moves we reached this position:

Chess Problem
Black to play and win in a brilliant fashion! 
opportunity missed

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