Finding my way in the chessdevelopment- and training jungle in order to improve my rating.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
. . . In my story about the 3 battles (pieces, pawns, time) BP pointed rightly out that I had forgotten about a fourth battle: the battle for the centre. One of the important aspects of dominating the centre with pawns is the manoeuvring space that you obtain behind those pawns. But why is central space more important than space on the flanks? The answer which arose was that it is because of flexibility. Tarrasch said that the threat is often stronger than the execution. I always thought that that was limited to tactics, but the same is true for the best piece placement. Aagaard already pointed out that to halt your piece development one move short before it reaches its best square is often stronger than to place it on the best square right away.
Actually I experienced that myself too. When I place a piece on its best square my opponent always takes his countermeasures right away. But when I place my piece on a flexible square from which I can reach two or more good squares on which my piece will stand active, it is much stronger since my opponent can only take countermeasures against one of my options in one single move. It has a lot of similarities with a double attack. But in stead of attacking two pieces at the same time, you "attack" two active squares at the same time.
Central squares happen to be the most flexible. That's why you should centralize your pieces. A bishop for instance can look towards active squares on both sides of the board from a central standpoint. So if you wonder where your pieces should go during development: look at the most active squares, draw a line through them and at the crospoint you will find the most flexible square.