Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What I don't consider

When building a frame it is good to work together.

From the 32 points of Point Count Chess I am used to take 22 into consideration during a game. That means that there are 10 points I don't take into account. I'm not even acquinted with the ideas. Which is a pretty shocking discovery, btw. All 10 are related to pawns (well, the weak square complex only indirect). For convenience I only write about these 10 points. Since it is my take that if I reach a position in which I don't know what to do, the 22 points I do take into account are probably fairly balanced. So the difference must be made by the other 10.

Plus points
  • Mobile pawn wing
  • Qualitative Pawn majority
  • Offside pawn majority
  • Pawn on 4th vs 3rd
  • Advanced pawn
  • Advanced chain
  • Advanced salient
Minus points
  • Hanging phalanx
  • Crippled majority wing
  • Weak square complex
The book works out these points and I'm studying it. At first sight it looks like a far more practical approach to pawns then I have seen in any other book. I'm very curious. This looks like the knowledge I need to make the Polar Bear a success.


  1. I vaguely recall Point Count Chess from my youth. Another "pawn book" that made a big impression on me at the time was Pawn Power in Chess -- a classic masterpiece on the subject.

    From the reviews of the above PPIC (which uses descriptive notation and funky jargon) some people suggest Pawn Structure Chess. I'm not familiar with it but it sounds good....

    I suspect I consider all 32 of the points but I'm not completely sure that all of the terms mean what I think they mean.

    They are all great shortcuts and signposts for understanding the tactics (everything is tactics) in a position. :)

  2. Glenn,
    I'm not familiar with the book of Kmoch. I will see if I can find it.

  3. Pawn Power was a classic from my college days. I'm not sure if it was ever reprinted in algebraic notation.

  4. the infamously obscure kmoch. :) haven't had the chance to read the book, but the snippets I've seen have been incomprehensible. the guy just invented his own nomenclature out of thin air.

    I'm sure all the relevant info is in there, somewhere, but deciphering his incantations might be more work than necessary.

    here's a couple of excerpts:

    Horizontally: lee and luff Vertically: frontspan and rearspan (accompanies a diagram with a pawn in the middle and a line out to the four sides.)

    Lee and luff taken as a measure, we have what we call innerpawns and rimpawns. A rimpawn ordinarily called a rook pawn, has no lee side, covers only one square insead of two and is consequently inferior to an innerpawn.

    The lack of the lee side is a disadvantage which often shows up in the endgame, in that a rim
    pawn draws where where an innerpawn would win. Examples to the contrary are exceptions.


    It is usual to maintain the terms Q-side and K-side throughout the game, but they virtually fail to make sense when castling on the queenside has occurred. We therefore use the alternate terms of home side for the castled side and ranger side for the uncastled side, distinguishing accordingly between home pawns and ranger.


  5. wormwood:
    Yes, but...doesn't this seem the exact sort of book that tempo would love, or at least write? That is meant as a compliment, btw, as I said it made a big impression at the time.

    Kmoch deconstructs everything to its smallest pieces and examines those. Along the way he invents terminology because he has to.

    And then, he puts those pieces back together with great care and insight.

    I still remember duo, lever and the knight-center-pawn-fork-trick (ok, I do not recall his term for this one but I use it in many of my games / openings). At least I think I remember these from Kmoch -- it has been a long time. :)

  6. Kmoch did work together with Euwe, his Pawnpower ond Euwes Middlegame are close related. These both books are the chessbooks wich did impress / helped me most. Pawnpower is full of errors ( it was the time without fritz and rybka ) but Kmoch create words and find descriptions for facts/situations/pattern you should recognise and learn to judge