Holes: Part of the Advanced Beginner's Chess Guide (Section 1)

Point Count Chess: [-]

About This Article...

Advanced Beginners Chess Teaser pccThis article includes my notes, additional images and interactive chess positions from my study of Horowitz & Mott-Smith's book, Point Count Chess.

Point Count Chess,
Chapter 11. Holes (p124-136)

Point Count Chess, Examples:
  • The Holes after P-N3
  • The Holes after P-KN3
  • Exploiting Holes Despite the Bishop
  • Holes in the Center
  • The Hole at Q3

A Hole is either:

  1. a square left unguarded by Pawns, due to those Pawns having advanced or gone missing (due to capturing enemy, or having been captured themselves);

  2. a square that lies in a sensitive area of the board (such as in front of the Castled enemy King);

  3. a square of such importance that one would typically expect it to be guarded by a Pawn, only there is no longer any Pawn guard for that square (as such, it can allow the enemy to exploit the unguarded square, either by bring Pieces through to invade, or to setup an Outpost for Pieces).

In Diagram 1, below, the green arrows highlight which squares are guarded by White Pawns, based on their diagonal capturing method, while the red arrows highlight squares guarded by Black Pawns. The yellow highlighted squares are the Holes:

Holes, Image 1, Advanced Beginners Chess Guide
Diagram 1: White has more Holes
in his territory (3), than Black (1)
Ignore any Hole that develops as the natural consequence of having to advance Pawns into their desired/necessary formations.

The actual Holes to look out for (those that H&M-S would count as a minus point in their Point Count system) arise in the Center, between the 3rd and 6th Rank, and also in front of the Castled King.

If you can put a Piece on a Hole inside your enemy's half of the board, with no enemy Pieces or Pawns to guard the weak square, your Piece is invulnerable to attack. So that Piece is more powerful as it cannot easily be dislodged, and whatever enemy unit you are attacking, with that Piece, is more susceptible to attack. An example of this can be seen in the following sequence:
Such a threat as placing a Piece on a totally unguarded Hole in the enemy's territory, will often draw a defender from another area away from its defense (a Tactical theme of removal of guard, as seen in 9. Rxe6 Qxe6, in the above sequence; this can also work against an Overworked Piece), with an advantage.

Here's another example ... In the following sequence, below, the invulnerable Piece, again getting up to occupy the Hole at h6, actually proves to be the game-winning move:

Also, a Hole "can probably be exploited by the opponent as an avenue or a post for pieces" (see PCC, p.124) and "the areas that are, in general, always sensitive are (a) in front of a castled King and (b) the center" (see PCC, p. 125).

Moving On: PCC Examples, Holes (Page 2).

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