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The Confined King (2 of 2)

Point Count Chess, NO.168, p241
Capablanca v. Hodges, 1915

This example shows how Black inadvertantly enables White's light-Bishop to keep Black's King Confined to his corner square (h8).

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the position featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.241, No.168, after 30...Nxg6
  2. Result of the Confined King (2 of 2).
  3. Summary of the Confined King (2 of 2).
  4. PGN
Additional analysis includes the:

The Confined King (2 of 2)
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.241, No.168, after 30...Nxg6

After: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.O-O Be7 5.Nc3 d6 6.d4 Bd7 7.Re1 exd4 8.Nxd4 O-O 9.Bf1 Nxd4 10.Qxd4 Bc6 11.b4 Kh8 12.Bb2 Ng8 13.Nd5 f6 14.Nf4 Qc8 15.Re3 Qg4 16.g3 Qc8 17.Bc4 Bd7 18.Qd5 c6 19.Qh5 Qe8 20.Qd1 Nh6 21.Ne6 Bxe6 22.Bxe6 Qg6 23.Kg2 Bd8 24.Qxd6 Bb6 25.Re2 f5 26.exf5 Nxf5 27.Qd3 Nh4%2B 28.Kh1 Rxf2 29.Rxf2 Bxf2 30.Qxg6 Nxg6

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 168 - Page 241
After: 30...Nxg6

1. How Black's King becomes Confined (to his Kingside corner)

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 168 - Better King Position, The Confined King (2 of 2), After 1.e4 to 6.d4
Better King Position,
The Confined King (2 of 2),
After 1.e4 to 6.d4
After 1.e4 to 6.d4, White launches his d-Pawn (6.d2-d4) into an attack on Black's e5-Pawn.

Combined with the Bishop Pin on Black's Nc6 (2...Nb8-c6 3.Bf1-b5) and the position of White's Nf3 (2.Ng1-f3), White has set the scene for a series of exchanges, that will leave his Queen at d4, on the a1-h8 diagonal ...

This is important, as Black is preparing to Castle Kingside, and White's Queen and dark-Bishop will combine to cause Black's King problems on that long diagonal.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 168 - Better King Position, The Confined King (2 of 2), After 6...Bd7 7.Re1
Better King Position,
The Confined King (2 of 2),
After 6...Bd7 7.Re1
After 6...Bd7 7.Re1, Black's light-Bishop (6...Bc8-d7) eases the Pin, by adding an extra layer of protection for its King (Ke8), which is in line with White's light-Bishop (Bb5).

Note that White is content to allow Black to make the attack on his d4-Pawn, choosing instead to move his King Rook (7.Rf1-e1) to support White's e4-Pawn.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 168 - Better King Position, The Confined King (2 of 2), After 7...exd4 8.Nxd4 O-O
Better King Position,
The Confined King (2 of 2),
After 7...exd4 8.Nxd4 O-O
After 7...exd4 8.Nxd4 O-O, Black proceeds with the exchange of Pawns on d4 (7...e5xd4), which leaves White's Nf3 on d4. See, now it's in position for an exchange of Knights, which will leave White's Queen on d4 (on the a1-h8 diagonal).

Following the Pawn exchange, Black Castles his King to the Kingside (8...O-O). At this point, it doesn't appear obvious that Black has Castled his King into mortal trouble.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 168 - Better King Position, The Confined King (2 of 2), After 9.Bf1 Nxd4
Better King Position,
The Confined King (2 of 2),
After 9.Bf1 Nxd4
After 9.Bf1 Nxd4, White, removing the Bishop Pin (9.Bb5-f1) encourages Black to enter into the Knight exchange on d4 (9...Nc6xd4). White's Queen is now ready to complete the trade.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 168 - Better King Position, The Confined King (2 of 2), After 10.Qxd4 to 12.Bb2
Better King Position,
The Confined King (2 of 2),
After 10.Qxd4 to 12.Bb2
After 10.Qxd4 to 12.Bb2, White puts his Queen (10.Qd1xd4) and dark-Bishop (11.b2-b4 » 12.Bc1-b2) into the pattern of a Battery formation (which will be realized, when White's Nc3 moves out of the way), on the a1-h8 diagonal, pointing in the direction of Black's King (Kh8), which had been pushed into the corner (11...Kg8-h8).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 168 - Better King Position, The Confined King (2 of 2), After 12...Ng8 to 13...f6
Better King Position,
The Confined King (2 of 2),
After 12...Ng8 to 13...f6
After 12...Ng8 to 13...f6, Black might have made the core mistake that leads to his King being kept Confined on his back rank, while Black goes on to lose the game.

Black relocates his Nf6 (12...Nf6-g8), to strengthen the Pawn defence along the a1-h8 diagonal, with the advance of his f-Pawn (13...f7-f6), but this opens the a2-g8 diagonal, for the benefit of White's light-Bishop, which is one of the main White Pieces that keeps Black's King Confined on his back rank.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 168 - Better King Position, The Confined King (2 of 2), After 17.Bc4
Better King Position,
The Confined King (2 of 2),
After 17.Bc4
After 17.Bc4, White sends his light-Bishop back out, posting it to the a2-g8 diagonal (17.Bf1-c4), where it now targets the g8-square and the Black Knight that currently occupies it.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 168 - Better King Position, The Confined King (2 of 2), After 17...Bd7 to 20.Qd1
Better King Position,
The Confined King (2 of 2),
After 17...Bd7 to 20.Qd1
After 17...Bd7 to 20.Qd1, White appears to anticipate a threat to his Queen, so removes her from the a1-a8 diagonal, albeit not directly.

It all begins after Black's light-Bishop steps out of the way (17...Bc6-d7) to uncover the c7-Pawn, which prompts White to get his Queen back on the move.

Note how White could have dropped his Queen backwards, but instead pushes her forwards (18.Qd4-d5), and then on a tour around the Kingside, before returning to her home square (d1), as Black chases White's Queen away from his territory (18...c7-c6 19.Qd5-h5 Qc8-e8 20.Qh5-d1).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 168 - Better King Position, The Confined King (2 of 2), After 20...Nh6
Better King Position,
The Confined King (2 of 2),
After 20...Nh6
After 20...Nh6, Black re-develops his King Knight (20...Nh8-h6), immediately after White's Queen has been chased back to d1.

The move prevents its loss to White's light-Bishop (Bc4), but White's Bishop is still left guarding the g8-square, preventing Black King (Kh8) from moving out of the corner, and this remains the situation, all the way to the end of the game, when Black resigns.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 168 - Better King Position, The Confined King (2 of 2), After 21.Ne6 to 22.Bxe6
Better King Position,
The Confined King (2 of 2),
After 21.Ne6 to 22.Bxe6
After 21.Ne6 to 22.Bxe6, White removes another Black defender (light-Bishop), to leave his light-Bishop on its final square, keeping Black's King Confined in his corner.

White forces the sacrifice of his Nf4, in order to take-out Black's light-Bishop, which leaves White's light-Bishop on d6, where it remains all the way to the end of the game, keeping Black's King stuck in his corner.

White takes advantage of the potential Knight Fork on c7, to force Black into exchanging his light-Bishop (21.Nf4-e6 Bd7xe6), which allows White's light-Bishop to complete the trade on that key d6-square (22.Bc4xe6).

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The Result of the Confined King (2 of 2)...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 168 - Better King Position, The Confined King (2 of 2)), After 22.Bxe6
(RESULT) Better King Position,
The Confined King (2 of 2),
After 22.Bxe6
After 22.Bxe6, White's light-Bishop completes an exchange (22.Bc4xe6), taking-out Black's light-Bishop and finishing the trade on e6, where it keeps Black's King trapped in his corner.

At no point, in the remaining moves of the game, was Black able to get his King away from h8. Black appeared unable to push either the g- or h-Pawns forward, to try and give his King an escape route: the g7-Pawn had to remain, else it would leave the f6-Pawn vulnerable to White's Bb2.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 168 - Better King Position, The Confined King (2 of 2)), After 22...Qg6 to 30...Nxg6
(RESULT) Better King Position,
The Confined King (2 of 2),
After 22...Qg6 to 30...Nxg6
After 22...Qg6 to 30...Nxg6, there follows a period of activity, which leads to the position being Simplied, as one pair of Rooks and the Queens are traded off the board.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 168 - Better King Position, The Confined King (2 of 2)), After 1.x
(RESULT) Better King Position,
The Confined King (2 of 2),
After 1.x
After 31.Rf1 Rf8 32.Rd1, Black resigns, unable to prevent White lifting his Rook on the 7th Rank, for a game winning invasion.

Despite being undefended, White's light-Bishop is still keeping Black's King Confined in his corner square. White's dark-Bishop also still maintains pressure on the long diagonal (a1-h8) against Black's g7-Pawn.
Even though this example hasn't shown White's King gain a Better Position, it's clear that, while his Bishops kept Black's King Confined to his corner, White would have been able to begin pushing his King up the board, to help with the Endgame victory (even if it's just the additional threat of converting a Passed Pawn and help its push for Promotion).

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Summary of the Confined King (2 of 2)...

  1. White forms a Battery on the long diagonal (a1-h8), with his Queen (10.Qd1xd4) and dark-Bishop (12.Bc1-b2), to apply pressure and a mating threat, which targets Black's Kingside Castled King, and the Pawns in front of their King, on that diagonal. The potential mating threat from White's Bishop-Queen Battery forces Black to push his f-Pawn onto the long diagonal (13...f7-f6), which opens the a2-g8 diagonal.

  2. White's light-Bishop (17.Bf1-c4), on the a2-g8 diagonal, is the primary Piece that keeps Black's King Confined to his Kingside-corner square (h8).

  3. White's dark-Bishop (12.Bc1-b2), on the a1-h8 diagonal, provides a secondary threat, which applies pressure against Black's f6- & g7-Pawns, preventing their advance, which could have enabled Black's King to escape his Confinement from the corner.

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Comparison of the key Pieces that can
keep an enemy King Confined....

A quick comparison of one position from both No.167 and No.168, shows the Bishop and the Rook, respectively, are key Pieces for keeping the enemy King Confined, either to a specific square, or on his back rank, unable to join in as his army is taken apart.

In No.167 (after 30.Rh7, below-left), White gets a Rook on the 7th Rank, to keep Black's King Confined to his back rank.

Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison, The Confined Kingx White's Rook Confines Black's King to his back rank -- Diagram 167, After 30.Rh7
(COMPARISON) The Confined King
White's Rook Confines
Black's King to his back rank,
No.167, After 30.Rh7
Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison, The Confined King White's light-Bishop Confines Black's King to his Kingside corner -- Diagram 168, After 22.Bxe6
(COMPARISON) The Confined King
White's light-Bishop Confines
Black's King to his Kingside corner,
No.168 After 22.Bxe6

In No.168 (after 22.Bxe6, above-right), White gets his light-Bishop into position, to prevent Black's King Confined to that corner square (h8).


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PGN

[Event "New York"]
[Site "New York"]
[Date "1915"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Jose Raul Capablanca"]
[Black "Albert Hodges"]
[ECO "C66"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "63"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Be7 5. Nc3 d6 6. d4 Bd7 7. Re1 exd4 8. Nxd4 O-O 9. Bf1 Nxd4 10. Qxd4 Bc6 11. b4 Kh8 12. Bb2 Ng8 13. Nd5 f6 14. Nf4 Qc8 15. Re3 Qg4 16. g3 Qc8 17. Bc4 Bd7 18. Qd5 c6 19. Qh5 Qe8 20. Qd1 Nh6 21. Ne6 Bxe6 22. Bxe6 Qg6 23. Kg2 Bd8 24. Qxd6 Bb6 25. Re2 f5 26. exf5 Nxf5 27. Qd3 Nh4+ 28. Kh1 Rxf2 29. Rxf2 Bxf2 30. Qxg6 Nxg6 {PCC p.241 No.168} 31. Rf1 Rf8 32. Rd1 1-0

End.

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