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Greater Space
Expansion

Point Count Chess, NO. 137A to NO. 137B, p194-196
Spanjaard v. Van den Berg

No. 136 focussed on the importance of development (expansion) of your army, as a way to defend your Pieces, by the act of denying the enemy the ability to develop their Pieces to good squares.

Because White always benefits from a one Tempo lead in development, due to moving first in each game, Black must remain switched-on to the constant need to grab as much Space, to develop his own Pieces (this is even more critical when the Opening develops into a Closed Game).

This example -- No. 137A to No. 137B -- showcases an instance where Black overcame White's lead in development, through a cunning plan of Expansion, to out-maneuver White, in the battle to claim the advantage of Greater Space, which all happened on the Kingside ...

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the two positions featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.194, No. 137A, before 1...h5
  2. PCC, p.196, No. 137B, after 11...Nh7
  3. Result of Black's Plan of Expansion.
  4. PGN

Greater Space, Expansion
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.194, No. 137A, before 1...h5

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 137A - Page 194
Before: 1...h5

H&M-S say of this position: "Black has moved P-K4 (...e7-e5) after due preparation, and now we have the familiar situation that whoever initiates a swap of center pawns gives an advantage to his opponent. To let the pawns dangle is a greater strain on Black than on White."

Black's plan of expansion includes the following component parts:

Black's Plan of Expansion, Part 1 of 4, After 1...h5 2.h3

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 137A - Black's Plan of Expansion, after 1...h5 2.h3
Black's Plan of Expansion
Part 1 of 4, After 1...h5 2.h3
(Part 1 of 4) Luring White's h-Pawn forward ...

Perhaps fearing Black will try and land his King Knight onto the g4-Outpost, White advances his h-Pawn, to keep Black's Nf6 out of g4.

But, this serves to weaken White's Pawn guard, surrounding his Castled King. Black's subsequent play focuses on this weakness, and it appears an integral part of Black's expansion plan.

Black's Plan of Expansion, Part 2 of 4, After 2...a6

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 137A - Black's Plan of Expansion, after 2...a6
Black's Plan of Expansion
Part 2 of 4, After 2...a6
(Part 2 of 4) A possible Intermezzo ...

Black's second move (2...a7-a6) looks like it's done to buy time, until White is ready to develop his Queen, since Black reveals his true intentions, immediately after 5.Qd1-c2 ...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 137A - Black's Plan of Expansion, after 3.a4
Black's Plan of Expansion
Part 2 of 4, After 3.a4
The very act of advancing his a-Pawn (2...a7-a6) results in White advancing his a-Pawn (3.a2-a4), to contest Control of b5; followed by the development of White's Queen Bishop (4.Bc1-a3) ...

This leaves White with only his Queen not developed.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 137A - Black's Plan of Expansion, after 4.Ba3
Black's Plan of Expansion
Part 2 of 4, After 4.Ba3
White's focus may have been on gaining Superior Development, by completing development -- through the act of connecting his Rooks (after 5.Qd1-c2) -- ahead of Black's development ...

And this may have contributed to White overlooking Black's real purpose (the Discovered Attack on his h3-Pawn, that leads to the advance of Black's e-Pawn, to e4).

Black's Plan of Expansion, Part 3 of 4, After 2.h3 → 5.Qc2 Nf8

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 137A - Black's Plan of Expansion, after 2.h3 and then 5.Qc2 Nf8
Black's Plan of Expansion
Part 3 of 4, After 2.h3 → 5.Qc2 Nf8
Discovered Attack, by Black's light-Bishop (Bc8), attacking White's h3-Pawn ...

White completes his development phase, having developed his Queen off the back rank (5.Qd1-c2), which Connects the Rooks.*

* this, H&M-S suggest, is a rough indicator of completed development -- PCC, p176, first paragraph.

Based on the Tally of Developed Pieces, White could be judged to have the advantage of Superior Development ...

However, Black's subsequent Discovered Attack -- as the Queen Knight dis-covers the light-Bishop (5...Nd7-f8) -- highlights a qualitative weakness in White's development, which Black now exploits, to full effect ...

Black's Plan of Expansion, Part 4 of 4, After 3...Re8 4.Ba3 e4

IMPORTANT: Yes, I realise that the advance of Black's e-Pawn, to e4, came before the Discovered Attack took place (mentioned above). However, I'm commenting on it here because all the previous three parts focussed on the creation of the Discovered Attack, which enabled Black to safely advance his e-Pawn, and keep it on e4, to the end of the game.

Now, we see why Black's e4-Pawn is safe, considering it's twice attacked by Pieces (Nc3 & Bg2) that are less vulnerable than Black's Rook (Re8), which co-defends the e4-Pawn (along with Black's Nf6) ...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 137A - Black's Plan of Expansion, after 3...Re8 4.Ba3 e4
Black's Plan of Expansion
Part 4 of 4, After 3...Re8 4.Ba3 e4
Creation of Black's Advanced Pawn (e-Pawn) ...

Black's e4-Pawn (green square), contributes to Black's successful attack on White's Compromised King-side.

Note: in the build-up to achieving this, Black developed his King Rook (3...Rf8-e8), to support the advance of the e-Pawn ...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 137A - Black's Plan of Expansion, after 5.Qc2 Nf8
Black's Plan of Expansion
Part 4 of 4, After 5.Qc2 Nf8
After 5.Qc2 Nf8 ...

Following the Discovered Attack, on his h3-Pawn, White cannot capture Black's e4-Pawn, with his Bg2, as that would remove the defender from the weak h3-Pawn.

All of Black's efforts after that are split into maintaining the e4-Pawn in its Advanced position, while building attacks to weaken and open up White's position on the Kingside.


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Position #2, My Analysis
PCC, p.196, No. 137B, after 11...Nh7

After: 1...h5 2.h3 a6 3.a4 Re8 4.Ba3 e4 5.Qc2 Nf8 6.Kh2 Bf5 7.d5 N6h7 8.Nd4 Bxd4 9.exd4 Ng5 10.Ne2 Nf3+ 11.Kh1 Nh7

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 137B - Page 196
After: 11...Nh7

Black's Expansion, After 7...N6h7

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 137B - Black's Expansion, after 7...N6h7
Black's Expansion,
After 7...N6h7
H&M-S point out that one of the main objectives for the advance of Black's h-Pawn (1...h7-h5), was to clear the h7-square for Black's King Knight, which is involved in another Discovered Attack (7...Nf6-h7), on White's Nc3 ...

That then leads to an exchange of Pieces (8.Ne2-d4 Bg7xd4) ...

Black's Expansion, After 8.Nd4 Bxd4 9.exd4

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 137B - Black's Expansion, after 8.Nd4 Bxd4 9.exd4
Black's Expansion,
After 8.Nd4 Bxd4 9.exd4
And the exchange, in turn, leads to White acquiring the weakness of Doubled Pawns, on the d-file, after 9.e3xd4.

That's the major points covered. Now, we can analyse the result of Black's overall plan of Expansion ...


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The Result of Black's Plan of Expansion...

Let's compare the position at the start (No. 137A -- Before 1...h5) with the last position featured by H&M-S (No. 137B -- After 11...Nh7) ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 137 - Black's Plan of Expansion, Result Before Black's Expansion, after 1...h5
(RESULT) Before Black's Expansion,
No. 137A, Before 1...h5
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 137 - Black's Plan of Expansion, Result After Black's Expansion, after 11...Nh7
(RESULT) After Black's Expansion,
No. 137B, After 11...Nh7

Before Black's Expansion (above-left) ...
White had a qualitative Superior Development, with two Pawns (supported by other Pawns), having reached their front line (c4 & d4), versus only one Pawn from Black's army (e5). White's King Bishop (Bg2) also has superior mobility, compared to Black's King Bishop (Bg7), whose view across the Center of the board is blocked by Black's Nf6.

After Black's Expansion (above-right) ...
Things have changed dramatically, and in Black's favor!, as he now has the following advantages:

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 137 - Black's Expansion, Result After Black's Expansion, Advantage 1, after 11...Nh7
(RESULT) After Black's Expansion
Advantage #1, After 11...Nh7
Advantage #1: Black's Mobile Pawn Wing (Kingside) ...

A Mobile Pawn Wing gives the beneficiary the ability to convert the mobility of these Pawns into one or more advantages, such as breaking up the enemy's Pawn shield (surrounding their King), which gives your opponent the problem of a Compromised King-side, for you to exploit (which is what Black takes advantage of, after 21...h4xg3).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 137 - Black's Expansion, Result After Black's Expansion, Advantage 2, after 11...Nh7
(RESULT) After Black's Expansion
Advantage #2, After 11...Nh7
Advantage #2: Black's Greater Space on the Kingside ...

I've highlighted the board to show the territory that:
  • White can safely move his Pieces to, (green);

  • Black can safely move his Pieces to, (yellow);

  • Neither can move his Pieces to, as they're guarded by one Pawn from each army, (red)

White has only 3x safe squares, yet in this position, only his Ne2 could get onto one of them (Ne2-f4 -- and that's it!). But, in the scheme of things, that's not possible, as White's Ne2 must stick around, to help deal with the growing threat from Black's Kingside advance. To compound matters further, Black's Nf3, removes a further three squares (e1, g1 & h2), from White's Pieces.

Black, by contrast, has 7x safe squares, and as his Mobile Pawn Wing advances, they'll leave a large area behind them, for Black's Pieces ot be able to maneuver about and develop much quicker, into even more favorable positions, as required.

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 137 - Black's Expansion, Result After Black's Expansion, Advantage 3, after 11...Nh7
(RESULT) After Black's Expansion
Advantage #3, After 11...Nh7
Advantage #3: Black's strong, Advanced Pawn ...

Black's strong, Advanced Pawn, defended by the Bf5 & Re8; White's Queen is the only Piece attacking Black's e4-Pawn, but her greater value, compared to a Rook or Bishop, prevents White's Queen from taking out White's e4-Pawn.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 137 - Black's Expansion, Result After Black's Expansion, Advantage 4, after 11...Nh7
(RESULT) After Black's Expansion
Advantage #4, After 11...Nh7
Advantage #4: Black's Strong Sixth Rank Outpost ...

We've already seen how Black's e4-Pawn is kept strong and secure, by Black's Bf5 & Re8 ...

Well, they help to give strength to Black's Knight, sitting on the f3-Outpost.

White's f2-Pawn is powerless to attack Black's e4-Pawn, as it's stuck immobilized by Black's Outpost Knight (Nf3)..

Black's Connected Rooks don't look much of a benefit now, do they?


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PGN

[Event "PCC, p194-196 Diagram NO. 137A to NO. 137B"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Spanjaard"]
[Black "Van den Berg"]
[Result "*"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "1rbq1rk1/pppn1pbp/3p1np1/4p3/2PP4/1PN1P1P1/P3NPBP/R1BQ1RK1 b - - 0 1"]
[PlyCount "49"]

{PCC, p194 Diagram NO. 137A} 1... h5 2. h3 a6 3. a4 Re8 4. Ba3 e4 5. Qc2 Nf8 6. Kh2 Bf5 7. d5 N6h7 8. Nd4 Bxd4 9. exd4 Ng5 10. Ne2 Nf3+ 11. Kh1 Nh7 {PCC, p196 Diagram NO. 137B} 12. Nf4 Nhg5 13. h4 Nxh4 14. Bc1 Nhf3 15. Be3 h4 16. Qc1 Qf6 17. Bxf3 Nxf3 18. Kg2 Kg7 19. Rh1 Rh8 20. Qc3 Bg4 21. Rac1 hxg3 22. Nh3 Rxh3 23. Rxh3 Bxh3+ 24. Kxh3 Rh8+ 25. Kg2 Ne1+ *

End.

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