vendredi 21 mars 2014

Opening principles - Space

Many of you have downloaded Attacking lessons of Paul Morphy. If you have not yet done it, feel free to download it and share it with whoever you like.

Now I am starting a 3-lessons series about the generic principles of the opening that are Space, Time and Material.
This first post is about managing space in the opening, it is aimed at beginners to intermediate players looking for sound opening pieces of advice.

This lesson can be found in its interactive format in the Chess Trainer app for free.

Managing space correctly in the opening is a lot similar to managing the center correctly: getting a grip on the centre of the Chessboard is crucial.

 If you play as White, a simple and sound move is to open sither with the "d" or "e" pawn, these pawns stake a claim in the center immediately.
Note that there are many other possible (and very good !) moves to start with, but they are probably trickier and cannot be recommended to the very beginner.

We are looking here for simple solutions in the opening.

Now the question is: what to play as Black ?
You would actually be surprised by the number of good replies to either d4 or e4. We will detail every basic opening in another lesson.
My advice to you: on the first move, play symmetrical ! This is a very safe and sound reply.

Remember not to do that automatically on the next moves though !

Controlling the center without the Knights is a challenge: you need to move your Knights early to support your central pawns. But where to move them ?

As a general rule, put Knight in the center when possible: they are generally more powerful this way.
Another point to be highlighted: always try to keep at least one pawn in the center of the Chessboard. The following example shows how neglecting the center can lead to a bad position.

 1. e4 g6
a bit exotic, but why not ?
2. d4 Bg7 3. Nf3 b6
but now Black starts to get into trouble because of a lack of control in the center. Why not d6 to play e5 on the next move ?
4. Bd3
on the other hand, White continues developing harmoniously.
4... Bb7 5. O-O

To sum up on the first principles of space in the opening:
- Control the center
- Move either et d or the e- pawn first
- Support your pawns with Knights

In the next lesson, we will see how to deal with material in the opening.
Time for training now ! Why not downloading Chess Trainer to try a few tactical puzzles ?

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