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Control of a Useful Open File
The Fight to Open a File (2 of 2)

Point Count Chess, NO. 165, p235-236
Pachman v. Toran, 1955

The g-file is the "useful" Open File, in this example.

Actually, it's not the only file that becomes fully Open -- both e- & f-files become Open in the moments just before the g-file is cleared.

With all three files Open (e, f & g), it's no wonder White chose to Castle Queenside. Black, er, didn't. Black lost.

So, just to clarify, the main focus of this example is the Open g-file, and how White makes best use of it, to win the game.

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the position featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.235, No. 165, after 13...Ra7
  2. Result of the Fight to Open a File (2 of 2).
  3. Summary of the Fight to Open a File (2 of 2).
  4. PGN

The Fight to Open a File (2 of 2)
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.235, No. 165, after 13...Ra7

After: 1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 g6 3.e4 d6 4.d4 Bg7 5.f3 O-O 6.Be3 e5 7.d5 c5 8.Qd2 Nh5 9.O-O-O f5 10.exf5 gxf5 11.Bd3 a6 12.Nge2 b5 13.Rdg1 Ra7

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 165 - Page 235
After: 13...Ra7

1. Creating the Half-open g-file

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 165 - Control of a Useful Open File, The Fight to Open a File, After 8.Qd2
Control of a Useful Open File,
The Fight to Open a File (2 of 2),
After 8.Qd2
After 8.Qd2, White develops & expands his army, creating an Advanced Salient formation (c4,d5,e4), to interlock the Center Pawns. (Play through moves 1.c4 to 7.d5, to see how White creates his Advanced Salient).

The bulk of the lock-down occurs on the Queenside, which is important, as White will then be able to focus on his efforts over on the Kingside, to Open the "useful" g-file.

The space that appears to be available for Black, down the a- & b-files, is actually not that great, when you note that White's c4-Pawn & Nc3 combine to restrict Black's mobility, preventing Black's Pawns advancing through a4 & b5, respectively. By the time Black makes his attack to remove White's c4-Pawn (17...b5xc4), White is two turns away from gaining the "useful" Open g-file (18.g4xf5).

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 165 - Control of a Useful Open File, The Fight to Open a File, After 9.O-O-O
Control of a Useful Open File,
The Fight to Open a File (2 of 2),
After 9.O-O-O
After 9.O-O-O, White Castles Queenside, just like in No.164, to take his King away from the Kingside action, while simultaneously bringing his Queen Rook inwards, so it's prepared and in position to be brought across to sit on g1 (13.Rd1-g1), to control the "useful" g-file, when it becomes Open (19.g4xf5).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 165 - Control of a Useful Open File, The Fight to Open a File, After 9...f5 10.exf5 gxf5
Control of a Useful Open File,
The Fight to Open a File (2 of 2),
After 9...f5 10.exf5 gxf5
After 9...f5 10.exf5 gxf5, the g-file becomes Half-open. Virtually anywhere else, and this could benefit Black, as he'd have a gap to post his Rooks and bring them out, to attacking White's position.

But, in this case, it has weakened the Pawn Guards surrounding Black's Castled King.

Black has a Compromised King-side, a weakness that White will be able to exploit, as soon as the g-file becomes Open, and he has his Rook in command of it.

2. Creating the "useful" Open g-file

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 165 - Control of a Useful Open File, The Fight to Open a File, After 11.Bd3
Control of a Useful Open File,
The Fight to Open a File (2 of 2),
After 11.Bd3
After 11.Bd3, White's light-Bishop is moved into position, ready to be sacrificed in an exchange (18.Bd3-f5 Bc8xf5), which helps Open the g-file (19.g4xf5).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 165 - Control of a Useful Open File, The Fight to Open a File, After 12.Nge2 and 13.Rdg1
Control of a Useful Open File,
The Fight to Open a File (2 of 2),
After 12.Nge2 » 13.Rdg1
After 12.Nge2 » 13.Rdg1, White's King Knight is moved off the back rank (12.Ng1-e2), to enable his Queen Rook to be posted at the base of the g-file (13.Rd1-g1).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 165 - Control of a Useful Open File, The Fight to Open a File, After 13...Ra7
Control of a Useful Open File,
The Fight to Open a File (2 of 2),
After 13...Ra7
After 13...Ra7, note that Black's b5-Pawn is in position to take-out White's c4-Pawn.

However, White lets this go ahead, sacrificing the c4-Pawn, for the bigger prize that will be gained, through being able to Open the "useful" g-file -- especially now White's Queen Rook is in position, at the base of the g-file (Rg1).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 165 - Control of a Useful Open File, The Fight to Open a File, After 14.g4 fxg4 15.fxg4
Control of a Useful Open File,
The Fight to Open a File (2 of 2),
After 14.g4 fxg4 15.fxg4
After 14.g4 fxg4 15.fxg4, the f-file is first to become fully Open, following an exchange of Pawns, on g4 (14.g2-g4 f5xg4 15.f3xg4).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 165 - Control of a Useful Open File, The Fight to Open a File, After 15...Nf4 16.Nxf4 exf4
Control of a Useful Open File,
The Fight to Open a File (2 of 2),
After 15...Nf4 16.Nxf4 exf4
After 15...Nf4 16.Nxf4 exf4, the e-file is second to become fully Open, following an exchange of Knights, on f4 (15...Nh5-f4 16.Ne2xf4).

The completion of the exchange, by Black's e-Pawn (16...e5xf4), opens the e-file, but semi-closes the f-file. Although, not for long ...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 165 - Control of a Useful Open File, The Fight to Open a File, After 17.Bxf4
Control of a Useful Open File,
The Fight to Open a File (2 of 2),
After 17.Bxf4
After 17.Bxf4, White's dark-Bishop captures Black's f4-Pawn (17.Be3xf4), re-Opening the f-file.

There are now two fully Open files (e & f), on the Kingside.

And soon, the "useful" g-file will be Open, too.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 165 - Control of a Useful Open File, The Fight to Open a File, After 17...bxc4
Control of a Useful Open File,
The Fight to Open a File (2 of 2),
After 17...bxc4
After 17...bxc4, the inevitable capture of White's c4-Pawn takes place (17...b5xc4). The subsequent attack on White's Bd3 serves to accelerate the creation of the "useful" Open g-file.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 165 - Control of a Useful Open File, The Fight to Open a File, After 18.Bf5 Bxf5 19.gxf5
Control of a Useful Open File,
The Fight to Open a File (2 of 2),
After 18.Bf5 Bxf5 19.gxf5
After 18.Bf5 Bxf5 19.gxf5, the "useful" Open g-file is created.

White uses the need to move his light-Bishop, away from the attack by Black's c4-Pawn, as the catalyst to launch his Bishop into an exchange with Black's Bc8 (18.Bd3-f5 Bc8xf5).

The completion of the exchange, by White's g-Pawn (19.g4xf5) creates the Open g-file, but also semi-Closes the f-file -- although, not for long ...
Why Black must accept that Bishop Exchange ...

H&M-S say, "Black cannot well refuse to exchange, for White threatens 6 BxB, QxB; 7 BxP (19.Bf5xc8 Qd8xc8 20.Bf4xd6) and also 6 B-K6ch, BxB; 7 PxB (19.Bf5-e6+ Bc8xe6 20.d5xe6) and wins the queen pawn."

So, let's see (note, I've had to guess at Black's 18th move -- the one that avoids the exchange) ...

Variation 1: 19.Bf5xc8 Qd8xc8 20.Bf4xd6


Variation 2: 19.Bf5-e6+ Bc8xe6 20.d5xe6

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 165 - Control of a Useful Open File, The Fight to Open a File, After 19...Rxf5
Control of a Useful Open File,
The Fight to Open a File (2 of 2),
After 19...Rxf5
After 19...Rxf5, Black's King Rook captures White's f-Pawn (19...Rf8xf5).

Now, three of the four Kingside files (e, f & g) are fully Open.

White's decision to Castle Queenside is totally evident, just by looking at the vulnerable situation Black's King finds himself in.

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The Result of the Fight to Open a File (2 of 2)...

White makes use of the "useful" Open g-file, until it's no longer necessary to his victory ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 165 - Control of a Useful Open File, The Fight to Open a File (2 of 2), After 20.Bh6 Kh8 21.Bxg7+
(RESULT) Control of a Useful Open File, The Fight to Open a File
(2 of 2), After 20.Bh6 Kh8 21.Bxg7+
After 20.Bh6 Kh8 21.Bxg7+, White trades dark-Bishops, removing another layer of defence from Black's King.

This leads swiftly into another exchange ...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 165 - Control of a Useful Open File, The Fight to Open a File (2 of 2), After 21...Rxg7 22.Rxg7 Kxg7
(RESULT) Control of a Useful Open File, The Fight to Open a File
(2 of 2), After 21...Rxg7
22.Rxg7 Kxg7
After 21...Rxg7 22.Rxg7 Kxg7, one set of adverse Rooks are exchanged, as Black first takes-out White's Bishop (21...Ra7xg7). White's Rg1 takes Black's Rook (22.Rg1xg7), and Black's King is there to complete the trade (22...Kh8xg7).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 165 - Control of a Useful Open File, The Fight to Open a File (2 of 2), After 23.Rg1+ Kh8
(RESULT) Control of a Useful Open File, The Fight to Open a File
(2 of 2), After 23.Rg1+ Kh8
After 23.Rg1+ Kh8, White, once more, has a Rook controlling the "useful" Open g-file (23.Rh1-g1+), which drives Black's King back into its corner (23...Kg7-h8).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 165 - Control of a Useful Open File, The Fight to Open a File (2 of 2), After 1.x
(RESULT) Control of a Useful Open File, The Fight to Open a File
(2 of 2), After 24...Qf8 to 28...cxd4
After 24...Qf8 to 28...cxd4, Queens have been exchanged, and White's Rook has switched to the f-file, as the the Open g-file has served its usefulness. White begins to close out the game.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 165 - Control of a Useful Open File, The Fight to Open a File (2 of 2), After 29.Rf8+
(RESULT) Control of a Useful Open File, The Fight to Open a File
(2 of 2), After 29.Rf8+
After 29.Rf8+, White invades with his remaining Rook, along the f-file to Fork Black's King and Nb8 (29.Rf1-f8+).

White goes on to win the Knight (30.Rf8xb8), further depleting Black's army, who cannot compete with Rook vs. Rook & Knight, and eventually resigns.

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Summary of the Fight to Open a File (2 of 2)...

  1. During the Opening phase, White develops his Pawns into an Advanced Salient, positioned predominantly on the Queenside.

  2. White Castles Queenside (9.O-O-O), taking his King away from the Kingside attack, while bringing his Queen Rook across, so it will can be posted on what will be the "useful" Open g-file.

  3. The g-file becomes Half-open, during an exchange of Pawns ()9...f7-f5 10.e4xf5 g6xf5). The benefit to White is it gives Black a Compromised King-side, in addition to moving one stage closer to gaining the "useful" Open g-file.

  4. Two other Kingside files become fully Open, before the g-file. First, the f-file (14.g2-g4 f5xg4 15.f3xg4), and then the e-file (15...Nh5-f4 16.Ne2xf4 16...e5xf4 17.Be3xf4).

  5. The g-file become fully Open, following an exchange of light-Bishops (18.Bd3-f5 Bc8xf5 19.g4xf5). Black was unable to avoid this exchange, as it would have resulted in White gaining a Passed Pawn, on either the d- or e-file.

  6. White makes use of the "useful" Open g-file, Simplifying the position by first exchanging dark-Bishops (20.Bf4-h6 Kg8-h8 21.Bh6xg7+), and then one set of adverse Rooks (21...Ra7xg7 22.Rg1xg7 Kh8xg7).

  7. White regains Control of the "useful" Open g-file, with his King Rook (23.Rh1-g1+ Kg7-h8), and keeps it there until it's no longer necessary -- which occurs just after the exchange of Queens (24...Qd8-f8 to 28...c5xd4), when White switches his Rook to the Open f-file and then snares Black's Knight & King in an Absolute Fork (29.Rf1-f8+).

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PGN

[Event "Mar del Plata"]
[Site "Mar del Plata"]
[Date "1955.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "2"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Ludek Pachman"]
[Black "Roman Toran Albero"]
[ECO "E87"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "79"]

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 g6 3. e4 d6 4. d4 Bg7 5. f3 O-O 6. Be3 e5 7. d5 c5 8. Qd2 Nh5 9. O-O-O f5 10. exf5 gxf5 11. Bd3 a6 12. Nge2 b5 13. Rdg1 Ra7 {PCC p.235 No.165} 14. g4 fxg4 15. fxg4 Nf4 16. Nxf4 exf4 17. Bxf4 bxc4 18. Bf5 Bxf5 19. gxf5 Rxf5 20. Bh6 Kh8 21. Bxg7+ Rxg7 22. Rxg7 Kxg7 23. Rg1+ Kh8 24. Ne4 Qf8 25. Qc3+ Re5 26. Nd2 Qf4 27. Rf1 Qd4 28. Qxd4 cxd4 29. Rf8+ Kg7 30. Rxb8 Re1+ 31. Kc2 d3+ 32. Kc3 Rc1+ 33. Kd4 Rc2 34. Ke3 Kf6 35. Rb4 a5 36. Rxc4 Rxb2 37. Ra4 Rb5 38. Kd4 h5 39. Ra3 Rb4+ 40. Kxd3 1-0

End.

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