« Back to the other Point Count Chess Examples

The Advanced Chain
The Insecure Chain (1 of 2)

Point Count Chess, NO.16, p33
Kopilov v. Taimanov, 1949

Example No.15C showed White taking advantage of what can only be regarded as a successful Advanced Chain. Here, in No.16, we see White gain, then lose his entire Advanced Chain, without reaping any benefits from its creation.

White swiftly gains his Advanced Chain, at his QB5 (c5), but an attack by Black's e-Pawn, and the Backward nature of White's d4-Pawn, shows the underlying vulnerability, which makes it an Insecure Chain.

It also has to be said that White's dark-Bishop, becoming a Bad Bishop, during the formation of the Advanced Chain, doesn't help matters, either.

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the position featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.33, No.16, after 5...Qb6
  2. Result of the Insecure Chain (1 of 2).
  3. Summary of the Insecure Chain (1 of 2).

The Insecure Chain (1 of 2)
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.33, No.16, after 5...Qb6

After: 1.c4 Nf6 2.Nf3 c6 3.d4 d5 4.e3 Bf5 5.Qb3 Qb6

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 16 - Page 33
After: 5...Qb6

1. White builds his Insecure Chain, toward QB5 (c5)

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 16 - The Advanced Chain, The Insecure Chain (1 of 2), After 1.c4
The Advanced Chain,
The Insecure Chain (1 of 2),
After 1.c4
After 1.c4, White begins with the English Opening (1.c2-c4), bringing the Pawn that will be at the vanguard of his Advanced Chain, straight out to his front line.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 16 - The Advanced Chain, The Insecure Chain (1 of 2), After 2.Nf3 and 3.d4
The Advanced Chain,
The Insecure Chain (1 of 2),
After 2.Nf3 » 3.d4
After 2.Nf3 » 3.d4, White's d-Pawn takes its position in, what will be, White's Advanced Chain at QB5 (c5).

White develops his King Knight (2.Ng1-f3), prior to bringing his d-Pawn to the front line (3.d2-d4), to sit in Phalanx formation alongside the c-Pawn.

White's d-Pawn will be the first Pawn supporting the c-Pawn, when it's pushed into the vanguard position in White's Advanced Chain at QB5 (c5).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 16 - The Advanced Chain, The Insecure Chain (1 of 2), After 3...d5 4.e3
The Advanced Chain,
The Insecure Chain (1 of 2),
After 3...d5 4.e3
After 3...d5 4.e3, both sides complete their own Pawn Chain, out to their respective front line positions.

Black's d-Pawn (3...d7-d5) becomes the head of his Chain (b7,c6,d5).

White's e-Pawn (4.e2-e3) takes a supporting role in his Chain (f2,e3,d4).

However, as you can see, White's extra Pawn (c4) will convert White's standard Pawn Chain into an Advanced Chain.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 16 - The Advanced Chain, The Insecure Chain (1 of 2), After 4...Bf5 5.Qb3 Qb6
The Advanced Chain,
The Insecure Chain (1 of 2),
After 4...Bf5 5.Qb3 Qb6
After 4...Bf5 5.Qb3 Qb6, Black's dark-Bishop attacks White's Nb1, as it's developed (4...Bc8-f5).

Instead of moving his threatened Knight, White chooses to counter with an attack by his Queen (5.Qd1-b3) against Black's undefended b7-Pawn.

Black turns defence into attack, thrusting his own Queen (5...Qd8-b6) out to directly challenge White's Queen.

White has now completed his moves, in the build-up to gaining his Advanced Chain at QB5 (c5), and is now ready to, um ... do it ...

2. White gains his Insecure Chain at his QB5 (c5)

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 16 - The Advanced Chain, The Insecure Chain (1 of 2), After 6.c5
The Advanced Chain,
The Insecure Chain (1 of 2),
After 6.c5
After 6.c5, White gains his Advanced Chain at his QB5 (c5), as he moves his c-Pawn for a second time (6.c4-c5).

So far, and on first glance, White's Advanced Chain doesn't look to be all that weak (or "Insecure"), as the vanguard Pawn (c5) now attacks Black's Qb6.

As a relative beginner, as I look at White's four Pawns in the Chain (f2,e3,d4,c5), I wouldn't have been able to predict that it's flawed ...

If Black somehow got at the f2-Pawn, White would still have 3x Pawns maintaining the Advanced Chain; and if Black got the d- or e-Pawn first, there's a supporting Pawn that's able to shift up, to keep White's Advanced Chain operational.

I'll shift focus to the Result, which will expose the insecure structure of White's Advanced Chain at QB5 (c5).


[Jump to ChessFlash Viewer]

The Result of the Insecure Chain (1 of 2)...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 16 - The Advanced Chain, The Insecure Chain (1 of 2), After 6.c5 Qc7
(RESULT) The Advanced Chain,
The Insecure Chain (1 of 2),
After 6.c5 Qc7
After 6.c5 Qc7, White gains the Advanced Chain and, in the process, the advance by White's c-Pawn (6.c4-c5) forces Black's Queen to retreat (6...Qb6-c7).

At this stage, it's easy to think White's Advanced Chain is sound enough.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 16 - The Advanced Chain, The Insecure Chain (1 of 2), After 7.Nc3 Nbd7 8.Bd2
(RESULT) The Advanced Chain,
The Insecure Chain (1 of 2),
After 7.Nc3 Nbd7 8.Bd2
After 7.Nc3 Nbd7 8.Bd2, prior to Black's attack on White's Advanced Chain, there's a brief spell of further development.

White develops the Minor Pieces on his Queenside (7.Nb1-c3 & 8.Bc1-d2); Black develops the last of his Queenside Minor Pieces (7...Nb8-d7).

If they wish, both players could now Castle Queenside; indeed, Black eventually does (16...O-O-O), but White's imminent troubles deny him the opportunity to Castle.
Note: the development of White's dark-Bishop may have just drawn attention to the fact it's a Bad Bishop; but, it's been in that predicament since 4.e2-e3. At no point throughout the remainder of the game is White's dark-Bishop able to help prevent Black from tearing apart White's Advanced Chain. So, this is likely to be another factor contributing to White's Insecure Chain.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 16 - The Advanced Chain, The Insecure Chain (1 of 2), After 8...e5
(RESULT) The Advanced Chain,
The Insecure Chain (1 of 2),
After 8...e5
After 8...e5, Black attacks White's Advanced Chain, with his e-Pawn (8...e7-e5). This is a strong attack by Black, for it provides him with benefits, whatever the outcome:
  1. White dissolves his Advanced Chain, if he captures with his d4-Pawn (e.g. 9.d4xe5);

  2. Black gains his own Advanced Chain, if White doesn't find a way to halt the march of Black's e-Pawn (e.g. 9...e5-e4).

In the game, White plays to halt the further advance of Black's e-Pawn. However, this leads to the loss of both White's e- & f-Pawns, from his Advanced Chain at QB5 (c5) ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 16 - The Advanced Chain, The Insecure Chain (1 of 2), After 9.Nh4 Be6
(RESULT) The Advanced Chain,
The Insecure Chain (1 of 2),
After 9.Nh4 Be6
After 9.Nh4 Be6, White stalls the creation of Black's Advanced Chain (...e5-e4), by using his King Knight to attack Black's Bf5 (9.Nf3-h4), which causes it to flee (9...Bf5-e6).

Despite that, White still faces the prospect of Black gaining his Advanced Chain, which would severely Cramp White's development, especially through squares d3 & f3. This fear leads to the sudden reduction of White's own Advanced Chain ...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 16 - The Advanced Chain, The Insecure Chain (1 of 2), After 10.f4 exf4 11.exf4
(RESULT) The Advanced Chain,
The Insecure Chain (1 of 2),
After 10.f4 exf4 11.exf4
After 10.f4 exf4 11.exf4, White's loses the e- & f-Pawns from his Advanced Chain, within two successive moves.

White loses his f-Pawn, by inviting the attack from Black's e-Pawn (10.f2-f4 e5xf4).

White then loses his e-Pawn, as it completes the Pawn exchange on f4 (11.e3xf4).

White's Advanced Chain at QB5 (c5) is now only supported by the d4-Pawn, and its own weakness is about to be exposed ...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 16 - The Advanced Chain, The Insecure Chain (1 of 2), After 11...Ne4 12.Nxe4 dxe4
(RESULT) The Advanced Chain,
The Insecure Chain (1 of 2),
After 11...Ne4 12.Nxe4 dxe4
After 11...Ne4 12.Nxe4 dxe4, White's d4-Pawn, the base of his Advanced Chain, is exposed as being Backward -- it has no other Pawns to defend it, and cannot move forward, due to both Black's c6-Pawn and Be6.

Black provokes the exchange of Knights on e4 (11...Nf6xe4 12.Nc3xe4), knowing that White wouldn't be able to tolerate Black's Knight taking up permanent occupation on the e4-Outpost.

But, it's when Black's d5-Pawn completes the trade (12...d5xe4), that the true weakness of White's d4-Pawn is exposed (it's Backward).

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 16 - The Advanced Chain, The Insecure Chain (1 of 2), After 13.Bc4 to 24...Rxf5
(RESULT) The Advanced Chain,
The Insecure Chain (1 of 2),
After 13.Bc4 to 24...Rxf5
After 13.Bc4 to 24...Rxf5, the position is Simplified, during which the following Pieces are traded off the board:
  • Light-Bishops (14.Bc4xe6 » 15...f7xe6);
  • Black's dark-Bishop for White's last Knight (14.Be7xh4 » 15.g2-g3 » 16.g3xh4);
  • Queens (19.Qe6xd7+ Rd8xd7);
  • One pair of Rooks (24.Rg5xf5 Rf7xf5).
After further play, that whittles the material down some more, we see White's Advanced Chain at QB5 (c5) come to an end ...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 16 - The Advanced Chain, The Insecure Chain (1 of 2), After 37.d5
(RESULT) The Advanced Chain,
The Insecure Chain (1 of 2),
After 37.d5
After 37.d5, White dissolves his Advanced Chain, by pushing the d-Pawn forward (37.d4-d5), into an Advanced position, but removing it from the base of what was the Advanced Chain at QB5 (c5).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 16 - The Advanced Chain, The Insecure Chain (1 of 2), After 38...cxd5
(RESULT) The Advanced Chain,
The Insecure Chain (1 of 2),
After 38...cxd5
After 38...cxd5, White's d-Pawn is captured by Black's c-Pawn (38...c6xd5), and in the process White's c-Pawn becomes a Passed Pawn.

Has White's Advanced Chain produced a successful outcome?
Note: In this move, Black gains his own Advanced Chain, at his K5 (e4), with the e4-Pawn being a Protected Passed Pawn! But, for the current example, I'll just focus on the demise of White's Insecure Chain.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 16 - The Advanced Chain, The Insecure Chain (1 of 2), After 39.c6 and 40...Nxc6
(RESULT) The Advanced Chain,
The Insecure Chain (1 of 2),
After 39.c6 » 40...Nxc6
After 39.c6 » 40...Nxc6, White's c-Pawn, the new Passed Pawn and former vanguard in his Advanced Chain at QB5 (c5), makes a dash toward Promotion (39.c5-c6).

But it's not to be, as Black's Knight removes White's c-Pawn from the board (40...Nd4xc6).

Of the four Pawns that initially made up White's Advanced Chain at QB5 (c5), only the f-Pawn remains on the board, and it's weakness is its Isolation.

That brings an end to this example of an Insecure Chain, which White unfortunately had.


[Jump to ChessFlash Viewer]

Summary of the Insecure Chain (1 of 2)...

  1. White can quickly generate an Advanced Chain at his QB5 (c5), from the English Opening (1.c2-c4). White's c-Pawn is then just one move away from sitting in the Advanced position, at the head of the Advanced Chain.

  2. White gains the Advanced Chain at his QB5 (c5) with [1] the advance of his d-Pawn to the fourth rank (3.d2-d4); [2] the advance of his e-Pawn to the third rank (4.e2-e3); and [3] the second advance of the c-Pawn, into the Advanced position (6.c4-c5). White's f2-Pawn forms the base of the Advanced Chain, and is already in position, without ever having to be moved.

  3. The creation of the Advanced Chain at QB5 (c5), in the way laid out, turns White's dark-Bishop into a Bad Bishop. If it plays any role in White's Insecure Chain, it's that it is unable to prevent Black's successful attack against White's Advanced Chain -- for instance, if it had been developed to f4, before White played 4.e2-e3, then Black's e-Pawn would never have been able to launch its attack (8...e7-e5), which led to the loss of White's e- & f-Pawns, from the Advanced Chain (10.f2-f4 e5xf4 11.e3xf4). White's Bad Bishop remains an impotent bystander, as his Advanced Chain is swiftly cut in half.

  4. The threat by Black's e-Pawn, to become the vanguard of Black's very own Advanced Chain at his K5 (e4), leads to White's Advanced Chain being sliced in two, as has just mentioned (10.f2-f4 e5xf4 11.e3xf4). With only the d4-Pawn in support of the c5-Pawn, White's Advanced Chain is looking less secure. An Advanced Salient formation, like in No.15C (after 7.f4) would help, but in No.16 (the Insecure Chain), White never manages to bring his b-Pawn up to support the c5-Pawn.

  5. The insecure nature of White's d4-Pawn is revealed, during an exchange of Knights on e4. The presence of Black's c-Pawn, at c6, exposes White's d4-Pawn as being Backward -- it has no support from friendly Pawns, and if attacked it cannot advance, as it would be captured by an appropriately positioned enemy unit (Black's c6-Pawn, in this case). Eventually, White is forced to trade his d4-Pawn, with Black's c6-Pawn, in order to convert the c5-Pawn into a Passed Pawn. However, the during the advance of the d4-Pawn (37.d4-d5), White dissolves his Advanced Chain.

[Jump to ChessFlash Viewer]

PGN

[Event "Moscow"]
[Site "Moscow"]
[Date "1949.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "N Kopilov"]
[Black "Mark Taimanov"]
[ECO "D12"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "103"]

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nf3 c6 3.d4 d5 4.e3 Bf5 5.Qb3 Qb6 {PCC p.33 No.16} 6.c5 Qc7 7.Nc3 Nbd7 8.Bd2 e5 9.Nh4 Be6 10.f4 exf4 11.exf4 Ne4 12.Nxe4 dxe4 13.Bc4 Be7 14.Bxe6 Bxh4+ 15.g3 fxe6 16.gxh4 O-O-O 17.Rg1 Nf6 18.Qxe6+ Qd7 19.Qxd7+ Rxd7 20.Be3 Nd5 21.Ke2 Rf8 22.Raf1 Rf5 23.Rg5 Rdf7 24.Rxf5 Rxf5 25.Rg1 g6 26.Rg4 Kd7 27.Bd2 Ke6 28.a3 Ne7 29.Rg3 Rh5 30.Rb3 Rxh4 31.Rxb7 Rxh2+ 32.Kd1 Nf5 33.Rxa7 Rh1+ 34.Ke2 Rh2+ 35.Kd1 Kd5 36.Rd7+ Kc4 37.d5+ Rh1+ 38.Ke2 cxd5 39.c6 Nd4+ 40.Kf2 Nxc6 41.b3 Kc5 42.b4 Kc4 43.Rc7 Kd3 44.Rxc6 Rh2+ 45.Kg3 Rxd2 46.a4 e3 47.Re6 Rb2 48.b5 Rb4 49.Re5 d4 50.a5 Kd2 51.a6 Ra4 52.Kf3 0-1

End.

« Back to the other Point Count Chess Examples