GW-KW, Point Count Chess Raw Discussion, File #8:
Part of the Advanced Beginner's Chess Guide (Section 2)

Game 3, GW-KW v. Fritz 12 (Level 5), for Control of the Center[June 7th 2011]

Commentary

RECENT MOVES: 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 e6 4. O-O b5

(GW, June 7th) PROPOSED MOVE: 5. d4

Reasoning: Black's three pawns have all been advanced onto light squares, potentially making for a dark-square complex (or, "Weak Square Complex" on the dark squares).

White's Nf3 is already attacking the two dark squares (d4,e5), so it would make sense to advance White's d-pawn to d4, where it would block Black's d5-pawn; it would also receive protection from both White's Nf3 and Qd1; add a second unit of pressure to e5; guard c5, keeping out Black's dark Bishop; and opening the c1-h6 diagonal for White's dark Bishop.

(KW, June 7th) The move d4 is a good move here.

Apparently, Fritz believes that c4 is the best 5th move for White, so Black has double protected the square with two pawns. The move c4 would have attacked the center pawn d5, which is one of the main targets for White in the Barcza Opening, as the White King Bishop is on that diagonal.

An extra pawn at c4 would have possibly created an Isolated Pawn later in the center, so Black is hindering this plan. One advantage of the move is that Black's Queen Bishop has a route to develop, and may be able to influence the center.

However, Black's plan does carry its own weaknesses and difficulties. The b5 and d5 pawns, not being adjacent, do not coordinate well other than on d4, and do not defend one another. Holes have been created at a6, a5 and c6, c5. The pawns a7 and c7 are now Backward (no points here until we are able to take advantage of any of this.). If Black moves Nc6, the Knight would not be protected by a pawn. All of this we may be able to utilize later in the game.

I would label Black's move as b5!? because of its risky nature. The pawn move b5 generally weakens the entire Queenside and, as GW points out, creates the opportunity to create a Weak Square Complex for Black on the dark squares (we are not at the place to claim a point, as it is not controlled or under attack - yet).

In contrast, the move d4 occupies one dark square, it is well protected at this point, and attacks c5 and e5, limiting Black's options in the center. It also prepares an Outpost for the Nf3 to move to e5.

As the game progresses, we may have a couple of ways to still attack d5 and move to c4. The Bc1 has the opportunity to attack the pawns at a7 and c7, as well as pin the Knight on f6. We will see if any of these can be used later. But for now, d4 is a good developing move. The one drawback is that e4 will be left unprotected by any available pawn until the Nf3 moves, allowing for f3 if needed. We could move our Nb1 to the square's defense, but we need to be careful of its timing in this position, as piece (and pawn) coordination is important.

Summing up the Small Center following 5. d4, the squares d5 and e4 are controlled by Black. White controls d4 and e5. The game is somewhat even at this point, but White's position is more solid and compact, and has fewer weaknesses. White just needs to take advantage of that. I like White's position better.

SELECTED MOVE: 5. d4

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