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Better King Position
Mobility of the King

Point Count Chess, NO.180, p255-256
Johner v. Euwe, 1934

This example shows when and how Black gets his King mobilized, to beat White's King to the Better King Position, which enables Black to win the game (with the threat to Promote a Pawn).

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the position featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.255, No.180, after 27...Kd7
  2. Result of the Mobility of the King.
  3. Summary of the Mobility of the King.
  4. PGN

Mobility of the King
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.255, No.180, after 27...Kd7

After: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Be7 10.Re1 O-O 11.Nbd2 Nc5 12.Bc2 d4 13.cxd4 Nxd4 14.Nxd4 Qxd4 15.Qe2 Rfd8 16.Nf3 Qc4 17.Qxc4 Bxc4 18.Be3 Ne6 19.Be4 Bd5 20.Bxd5 Rxd5 21.Red1 Rad8 22.Rxd5 Rxd5 23.Kf1 Kf8 24.Rc1 c5 25.Ke2 Ke8 26.Rd1 Rxd1 27.Kxd1 Kd7

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 180 - Page 255
After: 27...Kd7

1. Black gets his King to safety, inside his Kingside Stronghold, and keeps him there while the main battle goes on.

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 180 - Better King Position, Mobility of the King, After 1.e4 to 10...O-O
Better King Position,
Mobility of the King,
After 1.e4 to 10...O-O
After 1.e4 to 10...O-O, Black Castles his King, tucking him into the Kingside Stronghold, behind the Kingside Pawn Guard (f7-, g7- & h7-Pawns).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 180 - Better King Position, Mobility of the King, After 11.Nbd2 to 14...Qxd4
Better King Position,
Mobility of the King,
After 11.Nbd2 to 14...Qxd4
After 11.Nbd2 to 14...Qxd4, Pawns and Minor Pieces are exchanged, which causes the d-file to become fully Open.
Black's King will go on to exploit this Open File, gaining the Better King Position, en route to Black's victory.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 180 - Better King Position, Mobility of the King, After 15.Qe2 to 17...Bxc4
Better King Position,
Mobility of the King,
After 15.Qe2 to 17...Bxc4
After 15.Qe2 to 17...Bxc4, the position is further Simplified, as both Queens are exchanged. Black also takes the time to post a Rook to the Open d-file.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 180 - Better King Position, Mobility of the King, After 18.Be3 to 22...Rxd5
Better King Position,
Mobility of the King,
After 18.Be3 to 22...Rxd5
After 18.Be3 to 22...Rxd5, the position is even further Simplified, as light-Bishops and one set of adverse Rooks are exchanged on the Open d-file.

The trade leaves Black in Control of the Open File, with a Rook occupying it. White hasn't got the Pieces in positions to trade the last set of Rooks, and must be careful, as Black's Rd5 threatens a Back Rank Mate.

Black's Rook, on the Open d-file, is what enables Black to mobilize his King and gain its Better Position, versus White's King.

2. Black mobilizes his King, to the Open d-file

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 180 - Better King Position, Mobility of the King, After 23.Kf1 Kf8
Better King Position,
Mobility of the King,
After 23.Kf1 Kf8
After 23.Kf1 Kf8, both Kings mobilize their Kings toward the Open d-file. But, it's Black's King who can continue his journey to the opening, because of the protection afforded by his Rd5, which prevents White's long-range threats (Ra1 and Be3) from attacking Black's King.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 180 - Better King Position, Mobility of the King, After 25.Ke2 Ke8
Better King Position,
Mobility of the King,
After 25.Ke2 Ke8
After 25.Ke2 Ke8, White does lift his King to a higher position, than Black's King, which is still on his back rank. But, White's King has reached its current limit, due to the blockage by his own Pieces (Be3 and Nf3), and because of the long-range threat from Black's Rook on the Open d-file.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 180 - Better King Position, Mobility of the King, After 26.Rd1 Rxd1 27.Kxd1
Better King Position,
Mobility of the King,
After 26.Rd1 Rxd1 27.Kxd1
After 26.Rd1 Rxd1 27.Kxd1, White forces the exchange of Rooks, removing the last of the heavy Pieces (all Rooks and Queens are now gone), as White's King completes the trade.
It's after this that Black's King is brought fully out into the open.

3. Black's King gains the Better Position

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 180 - Better King Position, Mobility of the King, After 27...Kd7
Better King Position,
Mobility of the King,
After 27...Kd7
After 27...Kd7, Black's King gains the Better Position, via the Open d-file, leaving his back rank, while White's King is back on his own back rank.

4. Black continues to push his King forward, along the Long Diagonal (a8-h1), increasing its Better Position over White's King

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 180 - Better King Position, Mobility of the King, After 28...g5 to 32.gxf4
Better King Position,
Mobility of the King,
After 28...g5 to 32.gxf4
After 28...g5 to 32.gxf4, Black's Kingside Pawns do battle with White's Pawns, which results in the opening-up of the Long, light-square Diagonal (a8-h1), along which Black's King can further increase his Better Position, and invade White's territory.

Note: White has the wrong-color Bishop to prevent the advance of Black's King, along the light-squares of the a8-h1 diagonal. This fact prompts Black to go after and exchange off the board, the only other potential threat to his King (White's remaining Knight).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 180 - Better King Position, Mobility of the King, After 32...Nd4 to 36.hxg3
Better King Position,
Mobility of the King,
After 32...Nd4 to 36.hxg3
After 32...Nd4 to 36.hxg3, Black succeeds in exchanging Knights off the board, while increasing the Better Position of his King, which has now invaded White's territory.

White's King gets no further up than his second rank.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 180 - Better King Position, Mobility of the King, After 36...Kf3
Better King Position,
Mobility of the King,
After 36...Kf3
After 36...Kf3, Black's King reaches a point where he can begin to do damage to White's forces, beginning with an attack on the weakest point of White's Advanced Chain (the g3-Pawn).

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The Result of the Mobility of the King...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 180 - (RESULT) Better King Position, Mobility of the King, After 37.Kd3 Kxg3
(RESULT) Better King Position,
Mobility of the King,
After 37.Kd3 Kxg3
After 37.Kd3 Kxg3, the third rank is the furthest White's King reaches, before Black's King takes-out White's g-Pawn, which converts Black's h-Pawn into a Passed Pawn.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 180 - (RESULT) Better King Position, Mobility of the King, After 38...h5 and 39...h4
(RESULT) Better King Position,
Mobility of the King,
After 38...h5 » 39...h4
After 38...h5 » 39...h4, Black keeps his King deep inside White's territory, and brings his h-Pawn down, threatening to get it Promoted, with Black's King in place to escort it down to h1.

Note: Beside the fact Black can adequately defend the his h-Pawn, as it journeys south, White has the wrong-color Bishop, the Promotion square for Black's h-Pawn is a light-square, but White's remaining Bishop is restricted to dark-squares.

White eventually resigns, when his dark-Bishop is lost, and his attempt to Promote a Pawn of his own comes to nothing (the Queen that's gained, is soon taken-out.


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Summary of the Mobility of the King...

  1. Both Kings were mobilized and began to emerge from their respective Strongholds (23.Kg1-f1 Kg8-f8), after both Queens and one set each of adverse Rooks, Knights and Bishops, had been exchanged off the board.

  2. Black was able to bring his King out through the Open d-file (27...Ke8-d7), but only because he had Control of the Open File, with a Rook.

  3. Black attacked White's Kingside Pawns, first with his g-Pawn (28...g7-g5 » 30.g2-g3 » 31.f2-f4 g5xf4 32.g3xf4), to begin a series of exchanges that caused the h-file to become Open (35...Nf5xg3 36.h2xg3), and it also made safe the light squares on the long diagonal (a8-h1), for the benefit of Black's King.

  4. Black gains his Better King Position, versus White's King, and continues to improve its position, as it's brought into White's territory, down the clear a8-h1 diagonal (29...Kd7-c6 » 30...Kc6-d5 » 33...Kd5-e4 » 36...Ke4-f3), to come to a halt beside White's vulnerable g3-Pawn, which is at the Base of White's Advanced Chain (e5,f4,g3).

  5. Black's Better Positioned King converts his h-Pawn to a Passed Pawn, as the King takes-out White's g3-Pawn (37...Kf3xg3).

  6. Black keeps his King in White's territory, and brings down the h-Pawn (38...h7-h5 » 39...h5-h4 » 44...h4-h3), on the Open h-file. Black's King, at the very least, provides the threat to help escort his h-Pawn, all the way to its Promotion square (h1).

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PGN

[Event "Zurich"]
[Site "Zurich"]
[Date "1934"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Hans Johner"]
[Black "Max Euwe"]
[ECO "C83"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "90"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Be7 10.Re1 O-O 11.Nbd2 Nc5 12.Bc2 d4 13.cxd4 Nxd4 14.Nxd4 Qxd4 15.Qe2 Rfd8 16.Nf3 Qc4 17.Qxc4 Bxc4 18.Be3 Ne6 19.Be4 Bd5 20.Bxd5 Rxd5 21.Red1 Rad8 22.Rxd5 Rxd5 23.Kf1 Kf8 24.Rc1 c5 25.Ke2 Ke8 26.Rd1 Rxd1 27.Kxd1 Kd7 {PCC p.255 No.180} 28.Nd2 g5 29.f3 Kc6 30.g3 Kd5 31.f4 gxf4 32.gxf4 Nd4 33.Nf1 Ke4 34.Kd2 Nf5 35.Ng3+ Nxg3 36.hxg3 Kf3 37.Kd3 Kxg3 38.f5 h5 39.Bh6 h4 40.f6 Bd8 41.e6 fxe6 42.f7 Be7 43.f8=Q Bxf8 44.Bxf8 h3 45.Bxc5 e5 0-1

End.

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