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Showing posts from February, 2010

### The pieces of the puzzle fall in place

. . IS the largest. Learning. My understanding of positional chess is boosting lately. My adage used to be that piece activity is the nec plus ultra of positional play. I had discovered this by gathering a lot of positional elements (from positional exercises like PCT) like open lines, outposts etc. and formulating what these elements had in common. Now what have I learned lately? Piece activity as the foundation of all positional elements. There were some positional elements that I had neglected almost entirely. Like the center, centralization of pieces, overprotection, prophylaxe, color complexes, pawnstructure, exchanges, exchange sacrifices etc.. The question was if these elements had the same base (piece activity) as the other positional elements I mentioned or that they were founded on an entire different entity, unknown to me. I found that these elements too derive their importance from what they contribute to the activity of the pieces. Targets. Piece activity pur sang is rat

### Mr Nimzowitsch, meet mr Vukovic

. . . Black to move. In my belief to follow mr Nimzowitsch, I tried to stop whites attack by bolstering the center by playing 13. ... Bb7 here. Since the preconditions of a kingside attack are met here according to Vukovic, I was immediately lost. Whites pieces are outnumbering the black pieces by 3 on the kingside while the center is stable. (Standard recipe: trade the defenders, sacrifice then 1 of the 3 extra pieces to open the kingposition while the 2 other extra pieces deliver mate). You can clearly see that I'm experimenting with the idea's of My System: I traded dxe4 since a center square can be occupied by a piece just as well as by a pawn. I opened up the d-file in order to get an outpost on d5 and to get pressure on d4. I aimed my pieces at the center. I attacked the base of whites pawnchain with my b-pawn. In dorder to undermine d4. The advantage of moving according a system is that the system acts like a coathangerrack which helps you to hang your lessons on. Of c

### Overprotection

Nimzowitsch said: "Weak points, and even more so strong points, (in short every point which could be described as strategically important) must be overprotected! The pieces which fulfil this duty are rewarded for helping to overprotect the said strategically important points by the fact that they are wellplaced when it comes to undertaking other duties; so to express it somewhat dramatically, the importance of the strategic point envelops them in its halo." This is beautifully and poetically said, but it remains pretty vague. The book is full of this kind of poetic vagueness. The result is that every author who writes about My System will give his own explanation. Depriving the reader from the subtleties behind it. You really have to read the book yourself! When I started to dive in the examples that accompanied the text, I found the following nugget: Overprotection of an important central pawn leads to the following advantages: It is impossible for the opponent to attack you

### Making His System My System

. . . This week I finished My System for the second time. I have gotten a fairly good idea what Nimzowitsch is talking about. It is time now to really dig in and go into the details. The book in its current form is of course not usable for me. I must translate it into my own words before I can apply what he says. I must make His System My System. Otherwise it are only rules that can be applied dogmatically and everybody knows that that is bound to fail in chess. All in order to create the ultimate coathanger . This means that I will add a lot of my own findings, so if you want to learn what Nimzowitsch really said you have to read the book yourself. If I sort everything out then I find the following topics to be paramount: The targets. The attacking pieces. The roadmap. The targets. In previous thinking about the middlegame I found piece activity as the nec plus ultra of positional play. I have come to the conclusion that that is not concrete enough. Pieces can be active like hell but