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(Qualitative Pawn Majority)


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(Offside Pawn Majority)

Pawn Majorities
Offside Majority v. Minority Attack (1 of 2)

Point Count Chess, NO.186, p264-265
Capablanca v. Villegas, 1914

This example shows White succeeding with the Offside Pawn Majority, on the Queenside, versus Black's Minority Attack.

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the position featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.264, No.186, after 20...Qc7
  2. Result of the Offside Majority v. Minority Attack (1 of 2).
  3. Summary of the Offside Majority v. Minority Attack (1 of 2).
  4. PGN

Offside Majority v. Minority Attack (1 of 2)
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.264, No.186, after 20...Qc7

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 20.Rxd4 Qc7

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 186 - Page 264
After: 20...Qc7

1. White gains the Offside Pawn Majority, on the Queenside

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 186 - Pawn Majorities, Offside Majority v. Minority Attack (1 of 2), After 5.c4 and 9.b3
Pawn Majorities,
Offside Majority v. Minority Attack,
(1 of 2), After 5.c4 & 9.b3
After 5.c4 & 9.b3, White makes two important "tactical" Pawn moves , in preparation for his gaining the Offside Pawn Majority.

The signature position of this "Offside Majority v. Minority Attack" example, features White's c-Pawn (part of the "Offside Majority") being on the Half-open c-file, which benefits Black (part of the "Minority Attack").

If White is to succeed with his Offside Majority, besides the Wing being kept "mobile," H&M-S stress the importance of his c-Pawn, not only reaching its fourth rank (c4), but also being kept ahead of its fellow Pawns in the Majority group.

H&M-S say: "A tactical point in advancing the majority wing is to keep the unopposed pawn ahead or abreast of its fellows; if it falls behind, it may become backward. This consideration is the key to many positions that might be studied on the question of majority wing v. minority attack" ... and that "if the unopposed pawn can reach the fourth rank, the whole wing can generally be kept mobile;"

So, White prepares to meet the criteria, for his intended Offside Pawn Majority, by getting his c-Pawn out to the fourth (5.c2-c4), so that its ahead of its fellow Pawns in the Wing.

Next, with the advance of his b-Pawn (9.b2-b3), White makes sure his c-Pawn is as secure as possible, by forming his intended Majority Wing into the defensive formation of a Chain (a2,b3,c4).

White's trio of Pawns on the Queenside flank are now ready to meet the threat through the (soon-to-be) Half-open c-file, that will accompany Black's Pawn Minority (comprising the a- & b-Pawns).

Okay, take another breath ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 186 - Pawn Majorities, Offside Majority v. Minority Attack (1 of 2), After 11...O-O
Pawn Majorities,
Offside Majority v. Minority Attack,
(1 of 2), After 11...O-O
After 11...O-O, after further development, the game reaches a state of tension on the Queenside, and both Kings have Castled Kingside (7.O-O & 11...O-O, respectively), as White edges ever closer to gaining his Offside Pawn Majority -- all that needs to occur now is a single Pawn exchange, to take one Pawn away from the Queenside.

Note: in previous examples, e.g. No.183, No.184A, and No.185A, the Pawn exchange on the Queenside had already taken place, meaning one side already had the Pawn Majority, before the Castling occurred. Here, though, Castling took place, first.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 186 - Pawn Majorities, Offside Majority v. Minority Attack (1 of 2), After 12.Rae1 Qc7 13.e4 dxe4
Pawn Majorities,
Offside Majority v. Minority Attack,
(1 of 2), After 12.Rae1 Qc7
13.e4 dxe4
After 12.Rae1 Qc7 13.e4 dxe4, White gains the Offside Pawn Majority; Black has the Pawn Minority, and must settle for the Minority Attack.

White brings his Queen Rook across to the e-file (12.Ra1-e1), to support the advance of White's e-Pawn (13.e2-e4).

Possibly fearing the creation of an Advanced Pawn (e4-e5), which would forced Black's Nf6 to flee, Black captures White's e4-Pawn, with his d-Pawn (13...d5xe4) ...

In the process, White gains a 4-v-3 Offside Pawn Majority, on the Queenside.

However, White isn't content to settle for the Four-to-Three Wing, as not only does it make it more difficult to force through a Passed Pawn, but Black has enough force to create a Pawn Stalemate (neither side willing to advance a certain group of Pawns, as it would be to their disadvantage). Therefore, White's focus is on reducing his Offside Pawns down to a more-favorable 3-v-2 Majority.

Interestingly, Black appears intent on allowing the reduction of the Offside Majority, to 3-v-2, as he plays an active role in its creation (obviously, the possible Pawn Stalemate isn't appealing, for Black) ...

2. White's Offside Pawn Majority is reduced, from 4-v-3 to 3-v-2

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 186 - Pawn Majorities, Offside Majority v. Minority Attack (1 of 2), After 14.Nxe4 Nxe4 15.Rxe4
Pawn Majorities,
Offside Majority v. Minority Attack,
(1 of 2), After 14.Nxe4 Nxe4 15.Rxe4
After 14.Nxe4 Nxe4 15.Rxe4, the completion of the Pawn exchange, on e4, by White's Queen Knight (14.Nd2xe4), turns into an exchange of Knights (14...Nf6xe4), with White's Rook completing the trade (15.Rd1xe4).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 186 - Pawn Majorities, Offside Majority v. Minority Attack (1 of 2), After 16...c5 17.Ne5 cxd4
Pawn Majorities,
Offside Majority v. Minority Attack,
(1 of 2), After 16...c5 17.Ne5 cxd4
After 16...c5 17.Ne5 cxd4, White's 4-v-3 Offside Pawn Majority is reduced to a 3-v-2, and Black gets the Half-open c-file.

White allows Black's c-Pawn to get within range of his d4-Pawn (16...c7-c5); then, after White's Nf3 brought within range of Black's Nd7 (17.Nf3-e5), Black's c-Pawn takes-out White's d4-Pawn (17...c5xd4), reducing the 4-v-3 to a 3-v-2 Offside Majority.

The Result, below, shows how White was able to prosper, with his "Offside Pawn Majority," versus Black's "Minority Attack."

[Jump to ChessFlash Viewer]

The Result of the Offside Majority v. Minority Attack (1 of 2)...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 186 - Pawn Majorities, Offside Majority v. Minority Attack (1 of 2), After 18.Nxd7 to 20.Rxd4
(RESULT) Pawn Majorities,
Offside Majority v. Minority Attack,
(1 of 2), After 18.Nxd7 to 20.Rxd4
After 18.Nxd7 to 20.Rxd4, the remaining Minor Pieces are exchanged off the board, further Simplify the position, ready for White to mobilize his "Offside Pawn Majority," while Black tries to counter with his "Minority Attack."
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 186 - Pawn Majorities, Offside Majority v. Minority Attack (1 of 2), After 20...Qc7 21.Rfd1 Rfd8
(RESULT) Pawn Majorities,
Offside Majority v. Minority Attack,
(1 of 2), After 20...Qc7 21.Rfd1 Rfd8
After 20...Qc7 21.Rfd1 Rfd8, Black moves his Queen off the d-file (20...Qd7-c7), understandably not willing to trade his Queen for White's Rd4.

However, that allows White to bring his King Rook to the same file (21.Rf1-d1), forming a Battery, with the subsequent threat of gaining a Rook on the 7th Rank (Rd4-d7). This, H&M-S say, "forces" Black to bring his own King Rook to the Open d-file (21...Rf8-d8), suggesting this was not a move Black wanted to make.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 186 - Pawn Majorities, Offside Majority v. Minority Attack (1 of 2), After 22.b4
(RESULT) Pawn Majorities,
Offside Majority v. Minority Attack,
(1 of 2), After 22.b4
After 22.b4, the first Pawn, of White's Offside Pawn Majority, is mobilized, as White dissolves the Chain, to bring his b-Pawn up to the fourth rank (22.b3-b4), to sit in Phalanx formation, alongside the c4-Pawn.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 186 - Pawn Majorities, Offside Majority v. Minority Attack (1 of 2), After 1.x
(RESULT) Pawn Majorities,
Offside Majority v. Minority Attack,
(1 of 2), After 22...Rxd4 23.Qxd4
After 22...Rxd4 23.Qxd4, Black feels it necessary to exchange one pair of Rooks, on the Open d-file (22...Rd8xd4), and White's Queen completes the trade (23.Qe3xd4), renewing White's d-file Battery.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 186 - Pawn Majorities, Offside Majority v. Minority Attack (1 of 2), After 23...b6
(RESULT) Pawn Majorities,
Offside Majority v. Minority Attack,
(1 of 2), After 23...b6
After 23...b6, Black arranges the Pawns of his "Minority Attack" into a defensive Chain formation, with the advance of his b-Pawn (23...b7-b6).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 186 - Pawn Majorities, Offside Majority v. Minority Attack (1 of 2), After 24...Rc8
(RESULT) Pawn Majorities,
Offside Majority v. Minority Attack,
(1 of 2), After 24...Rc8
After 24...Rc8, Black forms his Rook into a Battery with his Queen (24...Ra8-c8), to apply frontal pressure down against White's c4-Pawn, which is exposed along that Half-open c-file.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 186 - Pawn Majorities, Offside Majority v. Minority Attack (1 of 2), After 25.Rc1 Rd8 26.Qe3
(RESULT) Pawn Majorities,
Offside Majority v. Minority Attack,
(1 of 2), After 25.Rc1 Rd8 26.Qe3
After 25.Rc1 Rd8 26.Qe3, the adverse Rooks swap files, as White's Rook comes off the Open d-file, to support the under-fire c4-Pawn (25.Rd1-c1) ...

Black's Rook comes of the Half-open c-file, to attack White's exposed Queen on the Open d-file (25...Rc8-d8).

White's Queen takes advantage of the frontal cover provided by Black's e6-Pawn (26.Qd4-e3), to evade the Black Rook, while at the same time maintaining its diagonal focus toward the c5-square, ready for the next advance by White's Offside Pawn Majority.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 186 - Pawn Majorities, Offside Majority v. Minority Attack (1 of 2), After 27.c5 bxc5
(RESULT) Pawn Majorities,
Offside Majority v. Minority Attack,
(1 of 2), After 27.c5 bxc5
After 27.c5 bxc5, White's Offside Pawn Majority clashes with Black's Minority Attack.

White pushes his c-Pawn into an Advanced position (27.c4-c5), to coax Black into exchanging Pawns.

If Black were to avoid the exchange, and advance his b-Pawn so as not to lose it, White's c-Pawn would become a Protected Passed Pawn ...

So, Black has no choice but to enter into the Pawn exchange (27...b6xc5). White's Offside Pawn Majority, becomes a Qualitative Pawn Majority (Black gains two Isolated Pawns), although, not for very much longer! ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 186 - Pawn Majorities, Offside Majority v. Minority Attack (1 of 2), After 28.Qe4 Rd5
(RESULT) Pawn Majorities,
Offside Majority v. Minority Attack,
(1 of 2), After 28.Qe4 Rd5
After 28.Qe4 Rd5, there is a slight delay in completing the Pawn exchange, as White moves his Queen to e4 (28.Qe3-e4) and Black's Rook denies White's Queen access through the a1-a8 diagonal (28...Rd8-d5).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 186 - Pawn Majorities, Offside Majority v. Minority Attack (1 of 2), After 29.bxc5
(RESULT) Pawn Majorities,
Offside Majority v. Minority Attack,
(1 of 2), After 29.bxc5
After 29.bxc5, White has converted his Offside Pawn Majority into a Passed Pawn (29.b4xc5), defended by the Rc1.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 186 - Pawn Majorities, Offside Majority v. Minority Attack (1 of 2), After 30.c6 to 34.c7
(RESULT) Pawn Majorities,
Offside Majority v. Minority Attack,
(1 of 2), After 30.c6 to 34.c7
After 30.c6 to 34.c7, White is able to keep his Passed Pawn on the board and advance it to within one move of gaining Promotion (30.c5-c6 » 34.c6-c7), at which point, Black resigns).

This example shows how the ability to keep the Offside Pawn Majority "mobile," is the way one is able to triumph against the Minority Attack.

H&M-S put it simply:


[Jump to ChessFlash Viewer]

Summary of the Offside Majority v. Minority Attack (1 of 2)...

  1. If the Offside Pawn Majority is to be successful, it must be kept "mobile." The best way of achieving this is to make sure the c-Pawn is pushed out to its fourth rank (c4), unopposed; and to keep the c-Pawn ahead of its fellow Pawns in the Majority (usually the a- & b-Pawns).

  2. The side with the Offside Pawn Majority is advised to reduce his Majority from the initial 4-v-3, to 3-v-2 Pawns (see The Four-to-Three Wing, for the reason.

  3. If the Pawn Minority is to carry out a successful "Minority Attack," the opposition's Offside Pawn Majority must be immobilized (prevented from advancing).

  4. The side with the Minority Attack will have the benefit of the Half-open c-file, but, it seems it will on be considered advantageous if the opponent's Offside Pawn Majority can be kept immobile.

  5. It appears both sides have a mutual interest in Simplifying the position, to ensure either their Offside Pawn Majority, or Minority Attack, will have a better chance of being successful. Though, one would assume they also need to meet their own prerequisite for success (see Summary entries #2 & #4, above).

[Jump to ChessFlash Viewer]

PGN

[Event "Buenos Aires"]
[Site "Buenos Aires"]
[Date "1914.08.19"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Jose Raul Capablanca"]
[Black "Benito Higinio Villegas"]
[ECO "D04"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "67"]

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 20. Rxd4 Qc7 {PCC p.264 No.186} 21. Rfd1 Rfd8 22. b4 Rxd4 23. Qxd4 b6 24. g3 Rc8 25. Rc1 Rd8 26. Qe3 Kf8 27. c5 bxc5 28. Qe4 Rd5 29. bxc5 g6 30. c6 Kg7 31. a4 Rd6 32. Qe5+ f6 33. Qxd6 Qxd6 34. c7 1-0

End.

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(Qualitative Pawn Majority)


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(Offside Pawn Majority)