Two (three) types
The first thing that pops into the mind, is that there are two types of PoPs.
The first type is where there is a a piece on the square which is under pressure. The first twenty positions in my database appeared to be of that type. Only when I started to look at positions that have a 300 point higher rating, I noticed the first PoP with no piece on it. PoP-P can be solved with the three motifs encircling, geometry and function.
The second type has no piece on the PoP. It's just an empty square. For instance a7 in the diagram below is such PoP-S. To exploit a PoP-S, you need an extra motif: the assault motif.
I theorize that there must be a third type, which is actually a PoP-S, but accidentally there stands a piece on the square. The main subject of the attack is not about the gain of the piece though, but about the assault of the king.
It is important to realize, that there can't be a combination without a PoP.
A characteristic of a PoP is that it is always B.A.D. (Barely Adequate Defended), if it is defended at all. A PoP is about outnumbering the opponent on a square.
Contact with a target
The PoP must always be in geometrical contact with a target. Either by that the target stands on it, or the target has a geometrical connection with the PoP. Which means, that the target will be attacked directly from the PoP, when an attacker conquers it. In the diagram below, a7 is a PoP, the king is directly in geometrical contact with it. When white conquers a7, the king is attacked.
Contact with an attacker
The PoP must be in direct contact with an attacker. There is a geometrical connection between the attacker and the PoP
Exploiting a PoPWhen you already outnumber the PoP, you can go on winning. But usually you are in a situation where the PoP is only B.A.D. (Barely Adequate Defended). Which means you have some work to do before you outnumber the opponent on the PoP square. Most of the time, it is necessary to make use of some kind of immobility.
Chess pieces are volatile. In a balanced game, any attack can be answered. This means that you can only find a combination in an unbalanced position. When, for some reason, the pieces of the opponent are hampered. Only then it might be possible that your attack can't be answered. The main cause for lack of possibilities is immobility. Only when your opponents pieces are immobile to a certain degree, there is a chance to carry out your vicious plans. Immobility must be seen in the minds eye. Looking at the pieces alone can bring you only sofar. But what is directly visible on the board, might be deceptive. You look at a knight, you see where it can move to. But when it is immobile, it can no longer do its knightly things. The ability to see immobility before your minds eye is paramount. That can't be stressed enough. This way you can win games. When you see things your opponent doesn't. There are three categories of immobility.
- Immobility by function
- Immobility by lack of space
- Immobility by bad piece placement
Immobility by function
When a piece has a function to fulfill, it must stay in contact with its function. The white queen in diagram 1 has to stay in contact with b2. So it is partly immobile. The queen can't move along the c2-h7 diagonal. So the interesting attacking squares e4 and h7 are out of reach.
Immobility by lack of space
The black king in diagram 1 has lack of space. When it is attacked, it can't flee into safety.
Immobility by bad piece placement
The black pieces are well placed for an attack on the white king, but badly placed for defense of the black king. The road from defender to PoP is too long. I.e. takes too much time.
|Diagram 1. white to move|
How to exploit the PoP
As you see, I use the same position as in the posts before. It shows both types of PoPs.
c3 is a PoP-P square. Black is outnumbered on c3, and there is a piece standing on it. But immobility vision will change this assessment.
Look at the defenders
When you consider a PoP, you must first look at it's defenders. c3 is B.A.D., and the first attempt to exploit it is to have a look at the defenders. The defenders Qa5 and Rb5 are partly immobilized by function. Qa5 must stay in contact with c3, and Rb5 must pin b2. But there is no time to harass the defenders, since the white queen is hanging.
You always start with looking at the defenders, since they are partly immobilized already. Adding attackers can only be successful when your opponent can't keep up by adding defenders. Here you would like to unpin the pawn for instance. But that can't be done together with preserving the initiative. It stumbles upon the same problem: the white queen is hanging. So c3 is not the PoP that is going to lead you to glory.
I will continue with the other PoPs in the next post.