Friday, October 12, 2007

Transportation of shocks

Thanks to Nimzowitsch, my eyes are opened for new structures in the game. Take for instance the following position.

Black to move.

There are two focal points in the position: White occupies the square d5, while blacks pieces converge at h3. Notice how the white squared bishops are in contact with both focal points. Focal points are the result of openingsplay. It is often not so easy to change focal points fast during the game. White for instance is working for a new focal point at b7, but that will take quite some time and it is the question if it is going to manifest at all. In order to know what is going on in a position a look at the focal points and the pieces that are in contact with them tells a lot. Black would like to play Bh3 in order to trade an important attacker and defender. But he can't since the threat is 1. ... Bh3 2.Bxh3 Qxh3 3.Nxc7. Right now he can't play Nxd5 to prepare for the manoeuvre because Nc6 is in contact with the focal point too. 1.. ...Nxd5 2.cxd5 forking the knight and bishop. You see how an overprotected strongpoint tend to transit the threats when traded. In the game black played 1. ...Nd8. Now the knight on d5 can be traded. You see that Rf1 is in contact with h3 too. So if white wants to prevent the trade of bisshops, he has to break this contact by Re1. If then 1. ...Bh3 2. Bh1 will save the bishop.

A close study of how all action is related to only a very few points should prevent a lot of promising looking but in fact useless moves to enter the candidate list. Further it helps you to see how a move as Nd8 is related to Bg2 in a simple manner.

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