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The Advanced Chain
The Insecure Chain (2 of 2)

Point Count Chess, NO.17, p34
Shiva v. Szabo, 1955

In this example, White gains an Advanced Salient, but its overall weakness is exposed by Black, who attacks one part of the base, reducing it to an Advanced Chain structure. However, this is also insecure and quickly gets dissolved by the sustained attack from Black.

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the position featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.34, No.17, before 1...d6
  2. Result of the Insecure Chain (2 of 2).
  3. Summary of the Insecure Chain (2 of 2).
Additional analysis includes the:

The Insecure Chain (2 of 2)
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.34, No.17, before 1...d6

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 17 - Page 34
Before: 1...d6

1. White gains an Advanced Salient at QB5 (c5)

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 17 - The Advanced Chain, The Insecure Chain (2 of 2), After 1...d6 2.Nd3 d5
The Advanced Chain,
The Insecure Chain (2 of 2),
After 1...d6 2.Nd3 d5
After 1...d6 2.Nd3 d5, Black's d-Pawn attacks White's e5-Outpost (1...d7-d6), forcing the occupying Knight to flee (2.Ne5-d3).

Black continues the march of his d-Pawn (2...d6-d5), forming a Salient (c6,d5,e6) and attacking White's c-Pawn (the middle Pawn in White's 3-Pawn Phalanx).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 17 - The Advanced Chain, The Insecure Chain (2 of 2), After 3.c5
The Advanced Chain,
The Insecure Chain (2 of 2),
After 3.c5
After 3.c5, White gains his Advanced Salient (b4,c5,d4), as he pushes his c-Pawn into the Advanced position (3.c4-c5), beyond the attack from Black's d5-Pawn.

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

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 17 - The Advanced Chain, The Insecure Chain (2 of 2), After 3.c5 a5
(RESULT) The Advanced Chain,
The Insecure Chain (2 of 2),
After 3.c5 a5
After 3.c5 a5, following the creation of White's Advanced Salient (3.c4-c5), Black attacks it at its base, with his a-Pawn (3...a7-a5).
H&M-S explain: "The merit of an advanced chain or salient depends on whether it can survive the attack on its base."
The outcome reveals the insecure nature of both White's Advanced Salient, and the Advanced Chain, which it soon becomes ...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 17 - The Advanced Chain, The Insecure Chain (2 of 2), After 4.Qb3
(RESULT) The Advanced Chain,
The Insecure Chain (2 of 2),
After 4.Qb3
After 4.Qb3, White chooses to move the Queen to a safer position (4.Qa4-b3), rather than reinforce the vulnerable b4-Pawn (e.g. a2-a3).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 17 - The Advanced Chain, The Insecure Chain (2 of 2), After 4...axb4 Qxb4
(RESULT) The Advanced Chain,
The Insecure Chain (2 of 2),
After 4...axb4 Qxb4
After 4...axb4 Qxb4, Black's a-Pawn demolishes White's Advanced Salient (4...a5xb4), transforming it into White's Advanced Chain (d4,c5).

White's Queen completes the exchange of Pawns on b4 (4...Qb3xb4).

Note: Black has inflicted two weakening moves against White's Queenside Pawns, in that single capture of White's b-Pawn: In addition to the demolition of White's Advanced Salient, it has also left White's a-Pawn Isolated.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 17 - The Advanced Chain, The Insecure Chain (2 of 2), After 5...Nbd7 6.Na4
(RESULT) The Advanced Chain,
The Insecure Chain (2 of 2),
After 5...Nbd7 6.Na4
After 5...Nbd7 6.Na4, Black's Queen Knight (5...Nb8-d7) increases the pressure against the vanguard Pawn of White's Advanced Chain.

White responds, maneuvering the another Knight (6.Nc3-a4) up to add another unit of support to the attacked c5-Pawn.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 17 - The Advanced Chain, The Insecure Chain (2 of 2), After 6...bxc5 7.Naxc5
(RESULT) The Advanced Chain,
The Insecure Chain (2 of 2),
After 6...bxc5 7.Naxc5
After 6...bxc5 7.Naxc5, Black's b-Pawn destroys White's Advanced Chain, as it captures White's c5-Pawn (6...b6xc5).

White chooses to complete the exchange of Pawns, with his Na4 (7.Na4xc5), rather than the d4-Pawn, which is kept back until White can capture it across into the Advanced position at c5, which happens after 7...Bb7-a6 8.Bc1-g5 Nd7xc5 9.d4xc5.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 17 - The Advanced Chain, The Insecure Chain (2 of 2), After 9.dxc5
(RESULT) The Advanced Chain,
The Insecure Chain (2 of 2),
After 9.dxc5
After 9.dxc5, the aftermath of the destruction of White's Insecure Chain, shows White's presumed advantage has been turned into two weak Pawns (a2 & c5 are both Isolated).

Meanwhile, as H&M-S point out, Black has gained Control of the Center.
In this example, it was the initial position of White's Queen (while on a4), that H&M-S say was the critical factor in the demolition of White's Advanced Chain (and the Advanced Salient that it had previously been).

They say that White's problem arose from a failure to spot the attack from Black's a-Pawn (3...a7-a5), and that "had he done so, he would have discovered that the position of his queen compromises him badly."

So, this suggests that there wasn't necessarily anything wrong with the initial position of White's Queenside Pawns; but that it was the presence of the Queen, and her vulnerability versus a supported attack by lower-value material (such as Black's Pawns, in this case), that resulted in White's insecure Pawn structures (first the Advanced Salient, and then the Advanced Chain).

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


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Comparison of Successful vs. Insecure Chains.
No.15C (Successful) vs. No.16 (Insecure) & No.17 (Insecure)....

Why was White's Advanced Chain in No.15C successful, but his Advanced Chain in both No.16 & No.17 unsuccessful (weak, insecure)? During the comparison, three possible factors arose ...

COMPARISON 1: Is the ability to re-supply the Advanced Chain structure a factor?

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 17 -  Comparison 1, Successful vs. Insecure Chains -- Diagram No.15C
(COMPARISON 1),
No.15C (Successful Chain),
After 5...Nfd7
In No.15C (after 5...Nfd7, left), White lost his original d-Pawn (8...c7-c5 9.d4xc5), but had provided the f-Pawn as an alternative base (7.f2-f4), ensuring White maintained his Advanced Chain at K5 (e5).

Then, White was able to provide the c-Pawn as the replacement base Pawn at d4, first by capturing across to the d-file (10.Bf1-d3 Nc5xd3+ 11.c2xd3), and then pushing it forward to d4 (16.d3-d4), where it helped form an Advanced Salient (d4,e5,f4).

Because White's d4-Pawn no longer had any threats from the c-file, White could afford to lose his f4-Pawn, in a tactical exchange to remove Black's e6-Pawn (23.f4-f5 » 24.f5xd4+), and still retain the Advanced Chain at K5 (e5).

In No.16 (after 6...Qc7, below-left), White still has his 2-Pawn Advanced Chain (d4,c5), after Black has caused the removal of the two Pawns further down the Chain: White's f-Pawn was captured (10.f2-f4 e5xf4); White's e-Pawn completed the trade, removing itself from the Chain (11.e3xf4).

Of the two, it would appear the loss of the e-Pawn, from the Chain, played a large part in White's Advanced Chain becoming "Insecure" -- In No.15C, as mentioned, White was able to lose his original d4-Pawn because he replaced it with his c-Pawn. However, in No.16, White removes the e-Pawn, meaning there's nothing to replace the d4-Pawn, if/when it's captured.

At no stage does White either get to, or bother to, reinforce his Advanced Chain, with the b2-Pawn.

Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison 1, Successful vs. Insecure Chains -- Diagram No.16
(COMPARISON 1),
No.16 (Insecure Chain),
After 6...Qc7
Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison 1, Successful vs. Insecure Chains -- Diagram No.17
(COMPARISON 1),
No.17 (Insecure Chain),
After 3.c5

In No.17 (after 3.c5, above-right), it could be argued that White already had re-supplied the Advanced Chain structure, by forming the Advanced Salient. However, it's now clear that the presence of White's Queen made even the Advanced Salient vulnerable (insecure).

What's unfortunate, for White, is that he had both the a- & e-Pawns in positions where they could otherwise have advanced, to re-supply the base respective base Pawns on either side of White's Advanced Salient. But the need to get the Queen back to a position safety meant White was never able re-supply either the Advanced Salient, nor the subsequent Advanced Chain, as Black quickly caused the demolition of both structures.

Summary: Is the ability to re-supply the Advanced Chain structure a factor?

Both No.16 & No.17 showed that, at the time White had gained his Advanced Chain or Advanced Salient, he also had Pawns on adjacent files that could have been used to re-supply those Advanced structures. However, due to circumstances (e.g. Queen compromising matters; Pawns being exchanged out of range, etc.), White was never able to get reinforcements to either the Advanced Chain or Advanced Salient, before they'd been attacked. Both structures were subsequently demolished.

In No.15C, after having removed certain threats to the security of his Advanced Chain, White ensured it survived, by re-supplying the d4-base with the c-Pawn. The f-Pawn was used to maintain the vanguard e5-Pawn, while White was getting the c-Pawn to d4.

So, it would appear the ability to re-supply the Advanced Chain is a key factor in ensuring its success.

COMPARISON 2: Are Bad Bishops a factor?

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 17 -  Comparison 2, Successful vs. Insecure Chains -- Diagram No.15C
(COMPARISON 2),
No.15C (Successful Chain),
After 4.Bg5
In No.15C (after 4.Bg5, left), White gets his dark-Bishop out, so it can trade Black's dark-Bishop off the board (6.Bg5xe7).

In No.16 (after 4.e3, below-left), White has trapped his Bishop behind his Pawns. White's given himself a Bad Bishop (Bc1), which has to sit and watch as Black tears White's Advanced Chain to shreds.

Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison 2, Successful vs. Insecure Chains -- Diagram No.16
(COMPARISON 2),
No.16 (Insecure Chain),
After 4.e3
Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison 2, Successful vs. Insecure Chains -- Diagram No.17
(COMPARISON 2),
No.17 (Insecure Chain),
Before 1...d6

In No.17 (before 1...d6, above-right), neither of White's Bishops are Bad; and yet White still loses both the Advanced Salient and subsequent Advanced Chain.

Summary: Are Bad Bishops a factor?

As No.17 shows, having perfectly "Good" Bishops isn't necessarily going to prevent you losing your Advanced Chain. However, No.16 showed that because the Bad Bishop is inside the Pawn(s), it is incapable of preventing their capture, which can result in your Advanced Chain being wiped out.

No.15C showed that exchanging Bishops can help improve the survivability of your Advanced Chain, long enough for it to produce a transitional benefit (such as assisting in victory). However, for this to happen, the Bishop must first be moved so that it's not going to be stuck behind any Pawns that are advanced into the structure of the Advanced Chain.

COMPARISON 3: Is the Queen's involvement a factor?

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 17 -  Comparison 3, Successful vs. Insecure Chains -- Diagram No.15C
(COMPARISON 3),
No.15C (Successful Chain),
After 12.Qd2
In No.15C (after 12.Qd2, left), White's Queen doesn't feature in the game until some of the Black threats have been dealt with (c-Pawn & dark-Bishops, both traded off the board) ...

Also, White has re-supplied the d-file with the c-Pawn, which replaces White's original d-Pawn in, first, the Advanced Salient (11.c2xd3 » 16.d2-d4), then subsequently the Advanced Chain (23.f4-f5).

At no point does White's Queen stray into positions where she'll either be attacked, or where her position will compromise the security of the Advanced Chain.

Note: Without even having been moved, White's Queen was actually helping to support the d4-Pawn, from her game-starting position (d1). So, it's evident that White can play a role in maintaining the Advanced Chain, without compromising its security.

In No.16 (after 5.Qb3, below-left), White's Queen is brought into the game, prior to White gaining the Advanced Chain (6.c4-c5).

White's Queen comes under attack from Black's light-Bishop (9...Bf5-e6 » 12...d5xe4), at the moment the remaining base Pawn in White's Advanced Chain is revealed to be Backward. White is forced to defend the Queen and then trade Queens, with his Advanced Chain now exposed as being insecure.

White was later forced to dissolve his Advanced Chain (37.d4-d5+), without it reaping any lasting benefit.

Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison 3, Successful vs. Insecure Chains -- Diagram No.16
(COMPARISON 3),
No.16 (Insecure Chain),
After 5.Qb3
Point Count Chess - IE - Comparison 3, Successful vs. Insecure Chains -- Diagram No.17
(COMPARISON 3),
No.17 (Insecure Chain),
After 4.Qb3

In No.17 (after 4.Qb3, above-right), having an Advanced Salient still doesn't help White maintain his Advanced Chain, which had been demolished, by 6...b6xc5. H&M-S suggested White's Queen compromised both his Advanced Salient, and the subsequent Advanced Chain.

Summary: Is the Queen's involvement a factor?

Both No.16 & No.17 showed White's Advanced Chain being compromised by the exposed position of White's Queen. Her greater value means that, when attacked by adequately defended, less-valuable units (e.g. Pawns, Bishops), the Queen invariably has to be moved to safety.

The move to make the Queen safe often denies you the opportunity to reinforce your Advanced Chain, so that in the event it's attacked, it can't be re-supplied with a replacement Pawn, in time, before the Chain is demolished.

No.15C, by comparison, showed how White was able to use his Queen to support the Advanced Chain, without compromising its security.

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PGN

[Event "PCC, p34 Diagram NO. 17"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1955.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Shiva"]
[Black "Szabo"]
[Result "*"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "rn2qrk1/pb1pbppp/1pp1pn2/4N3/QPPP4/2N3P1/P3PPBP/R1B2RK1 b - - 0 1"]
[PlyCount "16"]

{PCC, p34 Diagram NO.17} 1... d6 2. Nd3 d5 3. c5 a5 4. Qb3 axb4 5. Qxb4 Nbd7 6. Na4 bxc5 7. Naxc5 Ba6 8. Bg5 Nxc5 9. dxc5 *

End.

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