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(Offside Pawn Majority)

Pawn Majorities
Gaining the Offside Majority

Point Count Chess, NO.185A to NO. 185B, p262-263
Chajes v. Tarrasch, 1923

This example shows how Black manages to gain the Offside Majority, on the Queenside, coming from a King Pawn Opening (1.e4).

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the two positions featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.262, No.185A, after 10...O-O
  2. PCC, p.263, No.185B, after 19...Bb6
  3. Result of Gaining the Offside Majority.
  4. Summary of Gaining the Offside Majority.
  5. PGN
Additional analysis includes the:

Gaining the Offside Majority
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.262, No.185A, after 10...O-O

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.Nbd2 O-O

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 185A - Page 262
After: 10...O-O

1. The Ruy Lopez, Open Defence leads to Black's Offside Majority

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 185A - Pawn Majorities, Gaining the Offside Majority, After 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5
Pawn Majorities,
Gaining the Offside Majority,
After 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5
After 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5, the position of the Ruy Lopez, is reached.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 185A - Pawn Majorities, Gaining the Offside Majority, After 3...a6
Pawn Majorities,
Gaining the Offside Majority,
After 3...a6
After 3...a6, the Ruy Lopez continues, with the "Morphy Defence" (3...a7-a6).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 185A - Pawn Majorities, Gaining the Offside Majority, After 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4
Pawn Majorities,
Gaining the Offside Majority,
After 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4
After 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4, the Ruy Lopez, Morphy Defence continues, finally reaching the "Open Defence," variation, as Black's King Knight captures White's e4-Pawn (5...Nf6xe4).

2. Black gains the Queenside Pawn Majority

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 185A - Pawn Majorities, Gaining the Offside Majority, After 6.d4
Pawn Majorities,
Gaining the Offside Majority,
After 6.d4
After 6.d4, White develops his d-Pawn to its front line (6.d4).
This is a significant move, in the creation of Black's Offside Pawn Majority, as White's d4-Pawn is now within strike distance of Black's e5-Pawn. White goes on to capture Black's e5-Pawn, giving Black the Queenside Pawn Majority; then, when both Kings have Castled Kingside (White's already has), Black will be in possession of the Offside Pawn Majority.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 185A - Pawn Majorities, Gaining the Offside Majority, After 6...b5 7.Bb3
Pawn Majorities,
Gaining the Offside Majority,
After 6...b5 7.Bb3
After 6...b5 7.Bb3, Black's b-Pawn (6...b7-b5) chases White's Bishop back toward its own camp (7.Ba4-b3).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 185A - Pawn Majorities, Gaining the Offside Majority, After 7...d5 8.dxe5
Pawn Majorities,
Gaining the Offside Majority,
After 7...d5 8.dxe5
After 7...d5 8.dxe5, Black gains the Queenside Pawn Majority, after his d-Pawn's development into the Center (7...d7-d5) prompts White into capturing Black's e-Pawn (8.d4xe5).

That capture gives Black a 4-v-3 Pawn Majority, on the Queenside.

3. Black gains the Offside Pawn Majority

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 185A - Pawn Majorities, Gaining the Offside Majority, After 8...Be6 9.c3 Be7 10.Nbd2
Pawn Majorities,
Gaining the Offside Majority,
After 8...Be6 9.c3 Be7 10.Nbd2
After 8...Be6 9.c3 Be7 10.Nbd2, there's a period of further development, as Black develops both Bishops: 8...Bc8-e6, which Blockades White's Advanced e5-Pawn; and 9...Bf8-e7, which clears Black's back rank, ready for Castling Kingside.

White develops his c-Pawn (9.c2-c3), restricting access to the b4-square, by either Black's Nc6 or Be7); and his Queen Knight is developed to d2 (10.Nb1-d2), as its usual favorite square (c3) is currently occupied by the c-Pawn.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 185A - Pawn Majorities, Gaining the Offside Majority, After 10...O-O
Pawn Majorities,
Gaining the Offside Majority,
After 10...O-O
After 10...O-O, Black gains the Offside Pawn Majority, in the process of Castling Kingside (10...O-O).

White had already Castled Kingside, during the sequence that reached the "Ruy Lopez, Open Defence variation," (5.O-O).

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Position #2, My Analysis
PCC, p.263, No.185B, after 19...Bb6

After: 11.Bc2 f5 12.Nb3 Qd7 13.Nbd4 Nxd4 14.Nxd4 c5 15.Nxe6 Qxe6 16.f3 Ng5 17.Bxg5 Bxg5 18.f4 Bd8 19.Qf3 Bb6

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 185B - Page 263
After: 19...Bb6
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 185B - Pawn Majorities, Gaining the Offside Majority, After 19...Bb6
Pawn Majorities,
Gaining the Offside Majority,
After 19...Bb6
After 19...Bb6, Beyond those moves that gained Black the Offside Pawn Majority (as seen above, the only significant notes, from H&M-S, draw attention to Black's 4-v-3 Majority Wing ...

As was mentioned in the Three-to-Four Wing analysis; usually, the side with the numerically weaker force (numbering 3x Pawns or more), is sufficient to put up strong resistance and can be either a major hassle to break down, (in order to force a Passed Pawn), or it is of a sufficient size to "bring about a pawn stalemate."

Here, though, H&M-S say that Black's Offside Majority "is a mighty threat, even though four-to-three!" This bears out, as Black goes on to force through a Protected Passed Pawn (32...Bc5xb4), whose advance toward its Promotion square (43...c4-c3), leads to White's resignation, one move later.


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The Result of Gaining the Offside Majority...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 185 - Pawn Majorities, Gaining the Offside Majority, After 19...Bb6
(RESULT) Pawn Majorities,
Gaining the Offside Majority,
After 19...Bb6
After 19...Bb6, H&M-S draw attention to the superiority of Black's Offside Pawn Majority, (despite it being a 4-v-3, as mentioned above), versus White's Protected Passed Pawn (e5).

Specifically, it's the "mobility" of Black's Offside Majority, versus the "immobility" of White's Passed Pawn, that gives the edge to Black's 4-v-3 Pawns ...

H&M-S say "No.185, like No.183, indicates the superiority of the mobile offside majority to the Blockaded though Protected Passed Pawn."

Fast-forward through the game, and you can see how Black manages to succeed with his Offside Majority (forcing through a Passed Pawn), while White's Passed Pawn is kept immobile, long enough for Black to remove White's ability to successfully Promote his Passed Pawn ...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 185 - Pawn Majorities, Gaining the Offside Majority, After 22...c4
(RESULT) Pawn Majorities,
Gaining the Offside Majority,
After 22...c4
After 22...c4, Black appears to have reached a "Pawn stalemate," with his Offside Majority, as the advance of his c-Pawn (22...c5-c4) sees it immobilized against White's own c-Pawn.

But that's not actually the case ...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 185 - Pawn Majorities, Gaining the Offside Majority, After 25...d4
(RESULT) Pawn Majorities,
Gaining the Offside Majority,
After 25...d4
After 25...d4, the advance of Black's d-Pawn (25...d5-d4) threatens not only to create an Advanced Chain, deep in White's territory, but it would also become a Protected Passed Pawn.

Naturally, this is too much of a threat for White to allow. So ...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 185 - Pawn Majorities, Gaining the Offside Majority, After 26.cxd4 Rxd4
(RESULT) Pawn Majorities,
Gaining the Offside Majority,
After 26.cxd4 Rxd4
After 26.cxd4 Rxd4, Black sacrifices his c-Pawn to remove the aforementioned threat posed by White's d-Pawn (26.c3xd4).

The completion of the Pawn exchange, by Black's Rook (26...Rd7xd4), also completes the transition of Black's 4-v-3 Offside Majority, into a more-favorable (for Black) 3-v-2 Offside Majority.

Black now has improved his chances of forcing through a Passed Pawn, of his own.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 185 - Pawn Majorities, Gaining the Offside Majority, After 30.Qxa6
(RESULT) Pawn Majorities,
Gaining the Offside Majority,
After 30.Qxa6
After 30.Qxa6, White's Queen dissolves Black's 3-v-2 Offside Majority, as she takes-out White's a-Pawn (30.Qa3xa6). However, Black still has the resources to complete his objective ...
Note also, while Black's Queen no longer Blockadez White's Protected Passed Pawn (e5), the presence of Black's Rd8 prevents its advance towards Promotion. It's kind of like the Blockade is still in place, only without the close proximity of a Piece to keep White's e-Pawn immobilized.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 185 - Pawn Majorities, Gaining the Offside Majority, After 31...Bc5 32.b4 Bxb4
(RESULT) Pawn Majorities,
Gaining the Offside Majority,
After 31...Bc5 32.b4 Bxb4
After 31...Bc5 32.b4 Bxb4, Black gains his Protected Passed Pawn.

Black's twin attack on White's Qa3, with his Bishop (31...Bb6-c5) & Rf3, with his Queen (Qc6), forces White to Interpose with his b-Pawn (32.b2-b4).

Black immediately captures White's b-Pawn (32...Bc5xb4), converting his c4-Pawn into a Protected Passed Pawn, in the process.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 185 - Pawn Majorities, Gaining the Offside Majority, After 44...Rd8
(RESULT) Pawn Majorities,
Gaining the Offside Majority,
After 44...Rd8
After 44...Rd8, White resigns.

Despite White gaining two Passed Pawns, they're both "onside" (they're on the same side as the Castled Kings), meaning Black's King is able to reach them, in time to prevent them gaining Promotion.

Meanwhile, Black's Passed Pawn, being "offside," has support from the Rook, which will be able to chase away White's Bishop, thus enabling Black to Promote his Pawn.

White resigns, as his only other Piece (King), is too far away to prevent White's c-Pawn from gaining Promotion.


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Summary of Gaining the Offside Majority...

  1. Pawn captures cause an imbalance, which leads to one side gaining the Pawn Majority -- this often (though not always!) occurs on the Queenside, as Castling tends to take place on the Kingside (because it's quicker to complete than Queenside Castling).

  2. The side with the Pawn Majority, can only claim the "Offside" Pawn Majority, as a countable advantage, when BOTH Kings have Castled to the opposite flank -- as mentioned above, Castling tends to occur most-often on the Kingside, therefore, the "Offside Pawn Majority" will be over on the Queenside flank. However, if both Kings were to Castle Queenside, the imbalance of Pawns would need to occur on the Kingside flank, to claim the "Offside Pawn Majority."

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In No.185A, we saw Black gain the Offside Majority, from a King Pawn Opening (1.e4).

Other analyses of the Offside Majority revealed instances where the Offside Majority was gained with Queen Pawn Openings (1.d4). They include:

1. No.183; Black's 2-v-1 Offside Pawn Majority; Black Wins (0-1)

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 185 - Pawn Majorities, Gaining the Offside Majority, No.183, After 15.O-O
Pawn Majorities,
Gaining the Offside Majority,
No.183, After 15.O-O
After 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bf4 Bg7 5.e3 O-O 6.Nf3 c5 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Be5 Nxc3 9.bxc3 cxd4 10.Bxg7 Kxg7 11.cxd4 Qa5+ 12.Qd2 Nc6 13.Be2 Rd8 14.Qxa5 Nxa5 15.O-O

2. No.184A; Black's 2-v-1 Offside Pawn Majority; Black Wins (0-1)

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 185 - Pawn Majorities, Gaining the Offside Majority, No.184A, After 12...O-O
Pawn Majorities,
Gaining the Offside Majority,
No.184A, After 12...O-O
After 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Nf3 c5 8.Bb5+ Bd7 9.Bxd7+ Qxd7 10.O-O cxd4 11.cxd4 Nc6 12.Be3 O-O

3. No.186; White's 3-v-2 Offside Pawn Majority; White Wins (1-0)

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 185 - Pawn Majorities, Gaining the Offside Majority, No.186, After 19...Bxd4
Pawn Majorities,
Gaining the Offside Majority,
No.186, After 19...Bxd4
After 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3 c6 4.Bd3 Bg4 5.c4 e6 6.Nbd2 Nbd7 7.O-O Be7 8.Qc2 Bh5 9.b3 Bg6 10.Bb2 Bxd3 11.Qxd3 O-O 12.Rae1 Qc7 13.e4 dxe4 14.Nxe4 Nxe4 15.Rxe4 Bf6 16.Qe3 c5 17.Ne5 cxd4 18.Nxd7 Qxd7 19.Bxd4 Bxd4

4. No.187; Black's 3-v-2 Offside Pawn Majority; Black Wins (0-1)

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 185 - Pawn Majorities, Gaining the Offside Majority, No.187, After 15...O-O
Pawn Majorities,
Gaining the Offside Majority,
No.187, After 15...O-O
After 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.g3 Be6 7.Bg2 Be7 8.O-O Nf6 9.Bg5 Ne4 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 11.Ne5 Nxd4 12.Nxe4 dxe4 13.e3 Nf3+ 14.Nxf3 exf3 15.Qxf3 O-O

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PGN

[Event "Karlsbad"]
[Site "Karlsbad"]
[Date "1923"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "5"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Oscar Chajes"]
[Black "Siegbert Tarrasch"]
[ECO "C83"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "88"]

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. Nbd2 O-O {PCC p.262 No.185A} 11. Bc2 f5 12. Nb3 Qd7 13. Nbd4 Nxd4 14. Nxd4 c5 15. Nxe6 Qxe6 16. f3 Ng5 17. Bxg5 Bxg5 18. f4 Bd8 19. Qf3 Bb6 {PCC p.263 No.185B} 20. Rad1 Rad8 21. Kh1 Rd7 22. h3 c4 23. g4 g6 24. gxf5 gxf5 25. Rd2 d4 26. cxd4 Rxd4 27. Rg2+ Kh8 28. Qa3 Qh6 29. Rf3 Re8 30. Qxa6 Qc6 31. Qa3 Bc5 32. b4 Bxb4 33. Qa7 Rd7 34. Qf2 Rf8 35. Qg3 Be1 36. Qg5 Qxf3 37. Bxf5 Bh4 38. Qg4 Rd1+ 39. Kh2 Qxg4 40. Bxg4 Rf1 41. f5 Rf2 42. f6 Rxg2+ 43. Kxg2 c3 44. Bd1 Rd8 0-1

End.

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