Tuesday, December 28, 2010

When is time on my side?

A lot of positional knowledge is related to static structures in chess. Take for instance piece activity. Only when pawns are fixed to a certain degree you can say "that bishop is bad". When the pawns are still mobile, it is useless to speak about a bad bishop, even when all your pawns are on the same color as your bishop. Just move your pawns, and the bishop becomes active.
Open files are open due to fixed elements in the pawnstructure. Hence is the activity of the rook related to the pawnstructure too. The same is true for an outpost.
Pawns are weak only when the structure is fixed.
So from a static point of view, pawnstructure is paramount. Understanding the effects of fixed pawns adds greatly to your static positional understanding. Long lasting advantages are only found in this static area.

A lot of my games have a point where the position of me or my opponent all of a sudden collapses. I'm always intrigued when this happens. How can you see it coming? How can you steer towards it? What are the critical elements? A few moments earlier, the sky still looked blue, as far as I know.

Tomorrow I will talk about dynamics, initiative and time. Time is up now.

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