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The Advanced Chain
The Chain in the King's Gambit Declined (1 of 2)

Point Count Chess, NO.18, p35
Capablanca v. Allies, 1914

In this example, White gains the Advanced Chain at his KB5 (f5), instead of choosing to use his f-Pawn to capture Black e6-Pawn (both good options for White, according H&M-S).

White's f-Pawn Cramps Black's light-Bishop and prevents reinforcements coming over to stop White's intended Pawn Storm, against Black's Kingside position.

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the position featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.35, No.18, before 1.f5
  2. Result of the Chain in the King's Gambit Declined (1 of 2).
  3. Summary of the Chain in the King's Gambit Declined (1 of 2).

The Chain in the King's Gambit Declined (1 of 2)
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.35, No.18, before 1.f5

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 18 - Page 35
Before: 1.f5

1. White gains the Advanced Chain at his KB5 (f5)

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 18 - The Advanced Chain, The Chain in the King's Gambit Declined (1 of 2), Before 1.f5
The Advanced Chain,
The Chain in the King's Gambit Declined (1 of 2),
Before 1.f5
Before 1.f5, H&M-S point out that White has two "good" options:
  • 1.f4xe5, giving White 2-v-1 in the Center, plus the benefit of the Half-open f-file.

  • 1.f4-f5, giving White the Advanced Chain (c2,d3,e4,f5).
In the game, Capablanca (White), opts for the creation of the Advanced Chain ...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 18 - The Advanced Chain, The Chain in the King's Gambit Declined (1 of 2), After 1.f5
The Advanced Chain,
The Chain in the King's Gambit Declined (1 of 2),
After 1.f5
After 1.f5, White advances his f-Pawn a second time (1.f4-f5), to gain the Advanced Chain at his KB5 (f5).

H&M-S say this lays "the foundation for a king-side attack," which will include the g-Pawn's advance (g2-g4-g5).

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The Result of the Chain in the King's Gambit Declined (1 of 2)...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 18 - The Advanced Chain, The Chain in the King's Gambit Declined (1 of 2), After 1.f5 f6
(RESULT) The Advanced Chain,
The Chain in the King's Gambit Declined (1 of 2),
After 1.f5 f6
After 1.f5 f6, following White gaining the Advanced Chain (1.f4-f5), Black advances his own f-Pawn (1...f7-f6).

While this blocks any further advance by White's f5-Pawn, it also serves to reinforce Black's e5-Pawn, and to prevent White bringing his Bc1 or Nf3 up to g5.

However, Black's problem now is the Cramping effect White's f5-Pawn has, as it restricts the mobility of Black's light-Bishop ...

This may be one of the reasons why Capablanca chose the f-Pawn to f5, instead of it taking-out Black's e5-Pawn (1.f4xe5).

Note: Black's f-Pawn advance has left his King exposed on the light diagonal (a2-g8), with White's light-Bishop within attacking range ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 18 - The Advanced Chain, The Chain in the King's Gambit Declined (1 of 2), After 2.Bc4+ Kh8
(RESULT) The Advanced Chain,
The Chain in the King's Gambit Declined (1 of 2),
After 2.Bc4+ Kh8
After 2.Bc4+ Kh8, White's light-Bishop leaves the Pin against Black's Nc6, to attack Black's King (2.Bb5-c4+), which flees into the corner (2...Kg8-h8).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 18 - The Advanced Chain, The Chain in the King's Gambit Declined (1 of 2), After 3.a3
(RESULT) The Advanced Chain,
The Chain in the King's Gambit Declined (1 of 2),
After 3.a3
After 3.a3, White develops his a-Pawn (3.a2-a3), to prevent Black's Nc6 moving to b4, from where it would be attacking the base of White's Advanced Chain (c2, as well as d3).

The other benefit of the a-Pawn advance is it provides White's light-Bishop with a possible escape route (via a2), which it takes advantage of a few moves later (7.Be6-a2).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 18 - The Advanced Chain, The Chain in the King's Gambit Declined (1 of 2), After 8.c4
(RESULT) The Advanced Chain,
The Chain in the King's Gambit Declined (1 of 2),
After 8.c4
After 8.c4, as H&M-S point out, White gives himself a Bad Bishop (Ba2), when he develops his c-Pawn (8.c2-c4).

Unlike No.16, where White lost his Advanced Chain while in possession of a Bad Bishop; here, in No.18, White's Bad Bishop apparently didn't affect his game, as H&M-S say "Shortly afterward White played P-KN4-N5, and the regulation king-side attack won." (it's just a pity I can't find the game, to see how!).

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Summary of the Chain in the King's Gambit Declined (1 of 2)...

  1. Following the King's Gambit Declined, White chose to advance the f-Pawn (f4-f5), to create the Advanced Chain (c2,d3,e4,f5), instead of capturing Black's e5-Pawn. Although, H&M-S say both options are equally good, for White.

  2. The benefit of the Advanced Chain at White's KB5 (f5), is the f-Pawn's Cramping factor, which restricts the mobility of Black's light-Bishop, and also prevents Black bringing Pieces across to defend against Whtie's intended Kingside attack.

  3. It appears White CAN give himself a Bad Bishop, and still be victorious with this particular Advanced Chain.

  4. White focuses on a Kingside Pawn Storm, which comes after having gained the Advanced Chain at his KB5 (f5), and after White gives himself the Bad Bishop, following the advance of his c-Pawn (c2-c4).

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PGN

[Event "Unknown Event"]
[Site "Unknown Site"]
[Date "1914.??.??"]
[Round "-"]
[White "Capablanca"]
[Black "Allies"]
[Result "*"]
[FEN "r2q1rk1/1ppbnppp/1pnp4/1B2p3/4PP2/3P1N2/PPP3PP/R1BQ1RK1 w - - 0 1"]
[SetUp "1"]

{PCC P.35 No.18. No initial moves found.} 1. f5 f6 2. Bc4+ Kh8 3. a3 Be8 4. Be6 Bh5 5. Qe1 Qe8 6. Qh4 Nd8 7. Ba2 Bf7 8. c4 *

End.

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