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Greater Space
The Open Board

Point Count Chess, NO. 138A to NO. 138C, p197-198
Kramer v. Busek, 1955

When the Center of the board becomes Open, H&M-S say the "relative value of squares controlled becomes much more important than their mere number..." And it's for that reason that the focus of attention turns to squares each player manages to Control in the opposition's territory.

Advantages such as Control of the Center and Control of a Useful Open File, also play a part in determining a player's overall spatial advantage.

In this example, we see how White manages to create an Open Center and takes advantage of the space gains that arise from it.

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the three positions featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.197, No. 138A, after 10...exd5
  2. PCC, p.197, No. 138B, after 13.Bxe4
  3. PCC, p.198, No. 138C, after 19.Rxd5
  4. Result of White's Space Gains, from The Open Board.
  5. PGN

Greater Space, The Open Board
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.197, No. 138A, after 10...exd5

After: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Qb3 O-O 7.Bd2 e6 8.Bd3 Nbd7 9.O-O b6 10.cxd5 exd5

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 138A - Page 197
After: 10...exd5

H&M-S mention the problem for Black, in this position, is his Backward c6-Pawn, which is sitting on an Open File (c-file), therefore a weakness that can be exploited by White.

At present, the position is Closed in the Center. But the subsequent play shows how White successfully Opens the Center, to both capture Black's Backward c6-Pawn, and to claim the advantage of Greater Space, through "the Open Board" ...

Before moving anything, White assesses the situation. He identifies the Black units denying him access to the Backward Pawn, and what must be done:

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 138a - The Situation, after 10...exd5
White assesses the situation,
After 10...exd5
Black's d5-Pawn must be taken-out, else White won't be able to advance his d4-Pawn, to attack Black's Backward c6-Pawn.

Black's Nf6 must be taken-out, as it guards the d5-square, and will otherwise prevent the advance of White's d4-Pawn, once Black's d5-Pawn has been removed from the board.

Next, White unleashes a two-part plan to both capture Black's Weak c6-Pawn, and to gain a spatial advantage, by opening up the Center ...


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Position #2, My Analysis
PCC, p.197, No. 138B, after 13.Bxe4

After: 11.e4 dxe4 12.Nxe4 Nxe4 13.Bxe4

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 138B - Page 197
After: 13.Bxe4
This is quite useful to see, as I often can do the "developing bit", but after that I get stuck on what to do to Expand and attack the enemy.

The first part of White's plan is to use his e-Pawn to clear Black's d5-Pawn of the board, and then to follow that up with an exchange of Knights (White's Nc3 for Black's Nf6):

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 138B - White's Plan of Attack, Part 1, After 11.e4
White's Plan of Attack
Part 1 of 2, After 11.e4
White sacrifices his e-Pawn, in order to coax Black's d5-Pawn to capture it, followed by White's Nc3 capturing Black's Pawn, on e4.

Black appears compelled to capture (11...d5xe4), else White will just advance his e-Pawn to e5, creating a strong Pawn in an Advanced position, at the head of an Advanced Chain. The move will also attack Black's Nf6, forcing it to leave it current vantage point, and White will be in a strong position, Controlling the Center.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 138B - White's Plan of Attack, Part 1, After 11...dxe4 12.Nxe4
White's Plan of Attack
Part 1 of 2, After 11...dxe4 12.Nxe4
After Black's d5-Pawn completes the capture, White plays to take-out Black's Nf6, via an exchange of Knights.

This exchange is provoked by White's Nc3 completing the Pawn exchange on e4 (12.Nc3xe4); White has the light-Bishop in position to complete the trade ...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 138B - White's Plan of Attack, Part 1, After 12...Nxe4 13.Bxe4
White's Plan of Attack
Part 1 of 2, After 12...Nxe4 13.Bxe4
And the first part of White's plan is successfully completed, with both Black's d5-Pawn & Nf6 having been removed from the battlefield.

Black's Backward c6-Pawn is now exposed to an imminent attack by White's d4-Pawn.

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Position #3, My Analysis
PCC, p.198, No. 138C, after 19.Rxd5

After: 13...Nb8 14.d5 Bb7 15.Bg5 Qd7 16.dxc6 Bxc6 17.Rfd1 Qb7 18.Bd5 Bxd5 19.Rxd5

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 138C - Page 198
After: 19.Rxd5

The second part of White's plan. Now that Black's d-Pawn and Knight are dealt with, White can proceed with the second part of his plan, which is to capture Black's Backward c6-Pawn, and then position his Pieces to gain the advantage of Greater Space, across "the Open Board" ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 138C - White's Plan of Attack, Part 2, After 13...Nb8 14.d5
White's Plan of Attack
Part 2 of 2, After 13...Nb8 14.d5
Supported by Qb3 & Be4, White can afford to advance his d-Pawn immediately (14.d4-d5), and attack Black's c6-Pawn, knowing that Black's Queen isn't sufficient to repel the advance by herself.

All Black can do is prepare to complete the exchange of Pawns, on c6 (hence 13...Nd7-b8).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 138C - White's Plan of Attack, Part 2, After 14...Bb7 15.Bg5 Qd7
White's Plan of Attack
Part 2 of 2, After 14...Bb7
15.Bg5 Qd7
As Black adds more support to his c6-Pawn (14...Bc8-b7), White takes time for a little Expansion, by using the threat on Black's c6-Pawn, to move his dark-Bishop into enemy territory.

Black's Queen cannot capture (...Qd8xg5) because of the key supporting position of White's Nf3. So, Black's only option appears to be move his Queen out of harms way (even though he's in trouble, note how he does it in a way that maintains coordination with his other Pieces amassed in support of the weak c6-Pawn).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 138C - White's Plan of Attack, Part 2, After 16.dxc6 Bxc6
White's Plan of Attack
Part 2 of 2, After 16.dxc6 Bxc6
White completes the capture of Black's Backward c6-Pawn, and the Center is now Open ...

See Kotov's Five Pawn Centers, (The Open Center)

The next few moves by White are intended to secure "the Open Board", to keep his advantage ...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 138C - White's Plan of Attack, Part 2, After 17.Rfd1
White's Plan of Attack
Part 2 of 2, After 17.Rfd1
Now we see a prime example of Connected Rooks working together, as White's Queen Rook (Ra1) supports the King Rook (17.Rf1-d1) in its attack on Black's Queen, who is forced to flee (17...Qd7-b7).

White's subsequently claims the advantage of Control of a Useful Open File, with the Rd1.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 138C - White's Plan of Attack, Part 2, After 17...Qb7 18.Bd5
White's Plan of Attack
Part 2 of 2, After 17...Qb7 18.Bd5
White agitates for an exchange of light-Bishops (18.Be4-d5), with his Rd1 ready to complete the trade.

Black accepts (18...Bxd5) ...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 138C - White's Plan of Attack, Part 2, After 18...Bxd5 19.Rxd5
White's Plan of Attack
Part 2 of 2, After 18...Bxd5 19.Rxd5
And we reach the third and final position featured by H&M-S (No. 138C), who consider White to have claimed the advantage of Greater Space.

White also has overwhelming Control of the Center. The e4-square isn't contested by either side, but White claims Control over the other three Center squares, with neither Black's Qb7 & Rg7 able to assert any significant Control of their own (White's Rook & Knight combine to deny Black's Bg7; Black's Queen won't capture White's Rd5, due to White's Qb3).

Now we'll look at the Result, to see where White's space gains have been made (and equally, where Black's space has been lost) ...


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The Result of White's Space Gains, from The Open Board...

In a real game situation, H&M-S say that, to save time, they don't count space gained in one's own territory -- the important squares to count and compare are those each player controls in their opponent's territory.

In the images (below, right side), I've highlighted the squares controlled by both sides, in their own territory, plus those in their opponent's territory (just because I like to see what's going on all over the board).

However, my write-up will focus solely on the squares each player manages to control in the opposition's territory (their half of the board). Squares that neither side Control, or one where they share Control, are left un-highlighted.

My analysis, below, focuses on the three positions featured by H&M-S (138A, 138B & 138C), plus the position when the board finally became Open.

(RESULT), No.138A, After: 10...exd5,
The Board is Closed ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 138A - Result, The Open Board, After 10...exd5 -- No Highlights
(RESULT) No.138A
The Board is Closed,
After: 10...exd5
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 138A - Result, The Open Board, After 10...exd5
(RESULT) No.138A
The Board is Closed,
After: 10...exd5

The diagram (above-right) shows Black has one unit advantage of Space, as he controls 3x squares in White's territory (c4, e4 & g4), versus White's 2x squares (e5 & g5).

But, it only takes three moves for things to change, in White's favor ...

(RESULT), No.138B, After: 13.Bxe4,
The Board is Semi-Open ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 138B - Result, The Open Board, After 13.Bxe4 -- No Highlights
(RESULT) No.138B
The Board is Semi-Open,
After: 13.Bxe4
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 138B - Result, The Open Board, After 13.Bxe4
(RESULT) No.138B
The Board is Semi-Open,
After: 13.Bxe4

The diagram (above-right) shows that Black no longer Controls any squares in White's territory. By contrast, White has maintained the two squares he already Controlled, and now has a small Space advantage.

(RESULT), After: 16.dxc6,
The Board is Open ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 138C - Result, The Open Board, After 16.dxc6 -- No Highlights
(RESULT) No.138C
The Board is Open,
After: 16.dxc6
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 138C - Result, The Open Board, After 16.dxc6
(RESULT) No.138C
The Board is Open,
After: 16.dxc6

The diagram (above-right) shows that, following the capture of Black's Backward c6-Pawn, with the board now considered Open, White extends his Space advantage, claiming 7x units of Space, in Black's territory (b7, b5, d8, d7, d5, e7 & g5).

Black claims two units of Space in White's territory, but cannot do anything about increasing that, as his Bb7 & Qd7 are caught in White's Pawn Fork. This leads to the loss of Black's two units of Space ...

(RESULT), No.138C, After: 19.Rxd5,
White's Greater Space Advantage ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 138C - Result, The Open Board, After 19.Rxd5 -- No Highlights
(RESULT) No.138C
White's Greater Space Advantage,
After: 19.Rxd5
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 138C - Result, The Open Board, After 19.Rxd5
(RESULT) No.138C
White's Greater Space Advantage,
After: 19.Rxd5

The final position shows White's total domination, as he claims the advantage of Greater Space, on "the Open Board."


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PGN

[Event "Wenen AUT-NED"]
[Site ""]
[Date "1955.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Kramer, Haije"]
[Black "Busek, Hans"]
[Result "1-0"]
[NIC "SL 10.7"]
[ECO "D11"]
[PlyCount "91"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 g6 5. Nc3 Bg7 6. Qb3 O-O 7. Bd2 e6 8. Bd3 Nbd7 9. O-O b6 10. cxd5 exd5 {PCC p.197 No. 138A} 11. e4 dxe4 12. Nxe4 Nxe4 13. Bxe4 {PCC p.197 No. 138B} Nb8 14. d5 Bb7 15. Bg5 Qd7 16. dxc6 Bxc6 17. Rfd1 Qb7 18. Bd5 Bxd5 19. Rxd5 {PCC p.197 No. 138C} h6 20. Be3 Nc6 21. Rd6 Kh7 22. Qb5 Rac8 23. Rad1 Rfd8 24. h4 Rxd6 25. Rxd6 Bf8 26. Rd1 Bg7 27. h5 Qe7 28. b3 Rd8 29. Rxd8 Nxd8 30. Qd5 Ne6 31. hxg6 fxg6 32. a4 Bf6 33. a5 Ng5 34. axb6 Nxf3 35. Qxf3 axb6 36. Qc6 Bg5 37. Bxb6 Qe1 38. Kh2 Qe5 39. g3 Bf6 40. Qc7 Kg8 41. Qxe5 Bxe5 42. Kg2 Kf7 43. Kf3 Ke6 44. Ke4 h5 45. b4 Bb8 46. Be3 1-0

End.

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