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Changing the balance

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 In the diagram below, the central square d5 happens to be weak. How do you fight for it? Only the minor pieces within the red circles can contest the square d5. If you trade them for the pieces within the green squares, you are left with a good knight against a bad bishop. When you place that knight on d5, it can't be challenged. It gives you central dominance.

First try to get some focus

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 The strategy for black and white around the conquest of the center might differ a bit. For white: ideal is d4 d5. Or even c4, d4, e4, f4 pieces behind the pawns pieces cover c4, d4, e4, f4 (the pawns) pieces cover c5, d5, e5, f5 (where the pawns want to go) white has more space when your center disappears, block the center pawns of black with pieces For black: black allows a broad pawn center pawn moves (to build a broad center) let white lag in development black blows the center open as soon as possible the white pieces aren't ready yet for a confrontation (the price for pawn moves) black opt for imbalances in order to play for a win (that's my choice) black plays slow openings (my choice) and must play highly aggressive because of that the white pawn closest to black is a logical target blowing open the center may cost a pawn or two focus on e4 and d4 (from blacks perspective) b5 can be played to harass Nc3 which weakens whites center always be on the lookout for queen trade

Brainstorming

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  I watched a video of GM Yasser Seirawan and GM Aman Hambleton who were solving chess problems together. It gives a good idea how they do that and at which speed. They use pattern supported logical narratives. Exactly as I had theorized. So that gives a lot of confidence in my method. It gives an impression how much work it will take to reach such level. The good news is, that there is no reason to think that it is out of reach when you are willing to work for it. My first attempts to battle for the center has lead to exiting games. I'm definitely convinced that the combination of fighting for the center and improving tactics will lead to a quantum leap forwards. Yet I struggle to find the beginning. Let me start with the first step. Black to move rnbqkb1r/pppp1ppp/4pn2/8/3P4/2P2N2/PP2PPPP/RNBQKB1R b KQkq - 0 3 From the Chessable course of IM Andras Toth: Reinhardt, Bernd - Svetushkin, Dmitry Ditzingen 2009 1. d4 f6 2. f3 e6 3. c3 This is a typical case of a move where we can'

Frequency of occurrence

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 Slowly the big picture of a whole chess game emerges. 250 scenarios for the opening 50-150 scenarios for the middlegame 50-150 scenarios for the endgame 50-150 scenarios for tactics with one week per scenario it takes somewhere between 7.5 and 13.5 year to master the game to a certain degree. This leads to the question: with which scenarios to start? With the scenarios that have the highest frequency of occurrence. The scenarios that happen in each and every game. Every game: Middlegame scenarios battle for the center development pawn structure piece exchanges activate your pieces bury your opponents pieces Tactical scenarios Not every game: Openings Endgame scenarios

Development

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 I have adopted five new openings in the past few years. It is rare that both me and my opponent follow a book line. Often one of us deviates early in the game. Most of the time due to a lack of knowledge of the book lines. Usually I am standing bad after the opening. When I'm out of book, my opponent is out of book too. Not because we reached the end of the book variation, but because somewhere along the way I don't know how the book line goes again. That is the price of replacing five openings at the same time. And when I deviate, my opponent has reached the end of the line too, of course. Often I am able to fight my way back into the game. But there are clearly a few holes in my bucket here. Of course I can blame that on my limited book knowledge, but since my opponent is out of book too by definition when I deviate, that cannot be the reason. I identified three holes in my bucket between the opening and the kingside attack or the endgame: Pawn structure The center Piece dev

Why the isolani?

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  The isolani is known for its contrast of dynamism vs pawn structure. But how does that piece dynamism looks like? And why does it favor the side with the isolani? And how winnable is the endgame for the side that is fighting against the isolani? Those were the questions I had when I started this investigation. I have replaced my openings repertoire in the past years, and in a lot of the openings there was a battle going on between the side with the active pieces versus the side with the best pawn structure. So I wanted to know why good pawn structure seems to be opposite to piece activity. What is the origin of that piece activity and why has the side with the good pawn structure no good piece play? Sofar I found the following answers: There are a few reasons why the side with the isolani has more piece activity: Behind the isolani is more space When the isolani is mobile, it leaves even more space behind there is much space on the kingside blacks e6 pawn cuts blacks army in half. Th

Isolani for black

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 Robert did the same for the black pieces: Same position Numbers for the dark squared bishop Bf6 is the better position for the bishop.  The reference square h8 where the bishop exerts little influence scores a measly minus 0.92 Would the bishop be on b4 he would be able to gain wood immediately. Same position Numbers for Nd5 The Knight seems to be reasonably placed on d5. f6 is slightly better, but the bishop is even better place there. Same position Numbers for Nc6 The knight is on its best square. Same position Numbers for the Queen The Queen seems to have two better squares. I hope to have some time tomorrow to think about what all these numbers mean. I'll keep you posted. Robert thanks for the effort!

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