GW-KW, Point Count Chess Raw Discussion, File #2:
Part of the Advanced Beginner's Chess Guide (Section 2)

GW-KW, Point Count Chess,
Raw Discussion, May 19th 2011,
What I Needed Ken To Clarify,
[+] Control of a Useful Open File

May 19th 2011, additions to that discussion ...

Referring to Ken's comments, May 18th, regarding Control of a Useful Open File ...

(KW, May 18th) No. It is ANY open file. The point is counted if you have a Rook on an open file, and "if it cannot be immediately challenged by an adverse Rook"(Summary, p. 238). Two Rooks facing one another on the same file are challenging one another, and there would be no point. But to move a Rook to a file which is already occupied by the "adverse" Rook is difficult and constricting. So the point would go to your opponent.

May 19th 2011 - Control of Useful Open File - Ex.1

(GW, May 19th) So, in Ex.1, White's c1 Rook wouldn't get the plus point since either Black Rooks could move onto the C file (c8 or c6, respectively), with support from Black's Queen AND b7 Pawn, to challenge White's c1 Rook.

Ken's Comments ...

Actually, I would give White the point, and here is why:

(Assuming it is Black's move) After ...Rc8, Rxc8 Qxc8, Rc1 White still controls the file, as even with the b7 pawn, he will be behind the exchange if ...Qc6, Rxc6 bxc6. In this case, control of the open c file has been converted to an open b file with White's Queen, and White is ahead in material. He would have a winning advantage.

Or from the starting position, ...Rc6, Rxc6 Qxc6 (not bxc6, as Black now has a backward pawn on a potentially half open file, as well as White's Queen controlling the b file), Rc1 and now Black's Queen has to move (Rc8 loses to Rxc6 Rxc6, Qxb7).

So this is the combination of tactics with strategy. If from the position you find yourself in, you can maintain control of the file no matter what, or it can be converted to even greater advantage (greater material advantage or two advantages for one, as here), give yourself the point. I do not see another line that would give Black undisputed control of the file, even though he has 3 pieces and a pawn that can play on the file. White's c1 Rook makes Black's play "difficult and constricting". I would much rather play White than Black in this position.

Continuing with a second example ...

May 19th 2011 - Control of Useful Open File - Ex.2

(GW, May 19th) However, in Ex.2, Black's c8 Rook would get the plus point, since neither of White's two Rooks can immediately challenge it? Or, would Black's c6 Knight have to move, for the Rook to be classed as being "useful" on the Open file?

Ken's Comments ...

Right now the battle is for d4. Black has 3 pieces attacking, and White has 3 defending. If it is Black's turn, he cannot go through with the exchanges, as he would at the end lose 2 Knights and his Queen against White's pawn, Knight, and Bishop.

White would be vastly ahead. Black is attacking d4 as the base of the pawn chain. White's next two moves could be Nd2 and Rc1, and the file would be contested. White's Knight would then like to get to b3 to further support d4, and threaten attacks on the Queenside or get an outpost on c5, blocking the Rook's control on the open file.

While Black's Rook is on the "useful" file, at this point I don't think he controls it, and so no point (yet).

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