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Mobile Pawn Wing
The Cramped Position

Point Count Chess, NO. 48A to NO. 48B, p75-76

Principle: "If your move is no good,
your game is no good"
(PCC, p75)

The focal point of this example is that a Mobile Pawn Wing can be used to good effect, to storm an enemy's cramped position.

In the Herman vs. Persitz, 1958, below, White has gained a Mobile Pawn Wing, after 8...Nc6. It's at this point that H&M-S identify Black as having the "cramped position" ...

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the two positions featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.75, No. 48A, after 8...Nc6
  2. PCC, p.76, No. 48B, after 17.Qg4
  3. End of the Mobile Pawn Wing;
  4. Result of the Mobile Pawn Wing.
  5. PGN

The Cramped Position
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.75, No. 48A, after 8...Nc6

After: 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 b6 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.O-O c5 6.d3 Be7 7.e4 O-O 8.Nc3 Nc6

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 48a - Page 75
After: 8...Nc6

Let's begin by confirming how White qualifies for a Mobile Pawn Wing ...

There are three diagrams to look at, below: the first two assess the two requirements for claiming the Mobile Pawn Wing; the third diagram highlights the trio of Pawns that White chose for his Mobile Pawn Wing.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 48A - 1. Control of the Center, by White
1. Control of the Center,
(White's Advantage)
Diagram 1 of 3, assesses Control of the Center:

I've highlighted all of the Pawns and Pieces that directly attack at least one of the four Center squares, as well as the two sets of adverse Center Pawns, which all want prime spots in the Center.

The units highlighted in green squares cancel out the threats of the adverse units that attack the same or similar squares (e.g. two Knights, Nc6 & Nf3, both attack d4 & e5; the two c-Pawns attack enemy territory in the Center) ...

That just leaves us to compare the positions of the two adverse sets of Center Pawns. I've added a red dividing line as it really helps to show that White's two Pawns (d3 & e4) are collectively further advanced than Black's two Pawns (d7 & e6):

Based on all of these comparisons, White has Control of the Center.

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 48A - 2. Superior Developmen, by White
2. Superior Development,
(White's Advantage)
Diagram 2 of 3, assesses Superior Development:

All the adverse Pieces highlighted in green squares share pretty much identical positions. But, it's the two dark-square Bishops that cause the imbalance ...

With Greater Space, and without even having been moved, White's Bc1 is in a superior position than Black's Bad Bishop (Be7). Later on, this becomes an issue for Black's subsequent development.

The red dividing line between the two sides helps to draw your eyes to the positional difference between the two sets of adverse Center Pawns ... White's two Pawns, being further advanced, are considered to be better developed than Black's two Pawns.

The two factors combined (superior positions of the Bishops & Pawns) is enough to say White has the advantage of Superior Development.

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 48A - 3. White's Mobile Pawn Wing
3. White qualifies for a
Mobile Pawn Wing.
Diagram 3 of 3, confirms White has a Mobile Pawn Wing:

Unlike in the Typical Morphy Attack example, where Space was equal on both halves of the board (Kingside & Queenside), this time it's clear that White has Greater Space on the Kingside, so the trio of Pawns on the Kingside are chosen as his Mobile Pawn Wing.

Another factor is Black's King has Castled Kingside. This adds to White's decision to storm Black's position with his Kingside Pawns.

Incidentally, it seems not to matter that White's Mobile Pawn Wing consists of the same three Pawns that currently guard White's own Kingside-Castled King.

As soon as the Wing is advanced, it's going leave White's King with a large amount of Space between himself and his (former?) Pawn Guards.

I just thought this was interesting to see, as I'd have previously been loathe to break the Pawn structure, in front of the Castled King, in such an extremely exposed way.

I'd always thought, once in position, the Pawns guarding the Castled King should remain where they are, either unless they need to advance to repel an attack, or until the game reaches the Endgame phase of play (when the King must take a more proactive role in toward the Center of the board).

This situation adds a whole new dimension to using your army (the Pawns, especially).

Anyway, for the Mobile Pawn Wing to gain its mobility, White's Nf3 (green square) just has to get out of the way! And it does precisely that, on White's next move (9.Nf3-e1), which we'll look at shortly (here, if you're in a hurry).

But, before that, we need to look at ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 48a - Black's Cramped Position - 1
Black's Cramped Position
1 of 3 (After: 8...Nc6)
Black's Cramped Position,
(1 of 3) ...


White has developed his pieces (red squares) so that they're coordinated to attack across five squares in Black's territory (yellow squares).

Because Black has the inferior development, this is giving his army expansion problems, as Black still needs to complete his Opening phase development phase ...

Black's is all too aware that he must keep up with the battle to gain Control of the Center, while simultaneously not compromising the effectiveness of his army at the point when the Middlegame battle begins ...

(Still looking at the diagram, above), the Black units highlighted in green squares are the candidates Black would, ideally, prefer to move, as Black's other Pawns and Pieces appear to have already been moved into decent positions (or they're in good positions without having to have been moved, such as Ra8 protecting the a7-Pawn), and moving them again would violated the principle of only moving one piece per turn, in the Opening.

The trouble is, Black has a dilemma about how to develop those three units (Be7, d7-Pawn & e6-Pawn), as the following two diagrams show ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 48a - Black's Cramped Position - 2
Black's Cramped Position
2 of 3 (if the Pawns move)
Black's Cramped Position,
(2 of 3) ...


If the Pawns were shifted up one square each (...d7-d6, followed by ...e6-e5), they'd equal things up in their Center battle with White.

But, Black's Be7 would become the baddest of Bad Bishops, locked-in on all sides with its only real hope of mobility coming if/when Black's Nf6 moves away.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 48a - Black's Cramped Position - 3
Black's Cramped Position
3 of 3 (if the Bishop moves)
Black's Cramped Position,
(3 of 3) ...


If the Bishop was moved to d6, not only would it gain greater mobility (...Be7-d6), it wouldn't become that dreaded Bad Bishop, as seen above. In addition, it would be targeting White's g3-Pawn, which is involved in both White's Mobile Pawn Wing and being one of the Pawn Guards of the Castled King.

The obvious drawback is it would inadvertently blockade the d6-Pawn, stopping it from taking part in the battle to Control the Center.

So, that is why Black is said to have a "Cramped Position" -- he has few moves to make and very few options, if any, to make good moves that won't compromise his current position.

As we look through Position #2 (below), we'll also take a look at how Black's dilemma was resolved ...


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Position #2, My Analysis
PCC, p.76, No. 48B, after 17.Qg4

After: 9.Ne1 Qc7 10.f4 Rad8 11.g4 Nd4 12.g5 Ne8 13.f5 g6 14.Bf4 Qc8 15.f6 Bd6 16.Bxd6 Nxd6 17.Qg4

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 48b - Page 76
After: 17.Qg4

There are parts leading up to the above position that need looking at in a little more detail, first ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 48b - After 9.Nf3-e1
After: 9.Ne1
Okay, so after 9.Nf3-e1 (red arrow), as the diagram shows, (left), White's Mobile Pawn Wing (yellow squares) is ready to be advanced.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 48b - After 10.f2-f4
After: 9...Qc7 10.f4
First of the three Wing Pawns to be advanced: f-Pawn to f4 ...

Seems the most-logical of the three Pawns to move first, as it now sits securely at the head of a 3-Pawn Chain (h2,g3,f4), which takes away more attacking options from Black along the dark-square diagonal (b8-h3).

In addition, White's f4-Pawn is supported as it waits its next move, (f4-f5 or g3-g4) ...

Once in position at f4, White's f4-Pawn could either form an Advanced Chain (a PCC Advantage), by moving forward one more square to f5 (d3,e4,f5) and be in position to form an Advanced Salient (after g3-g4) ...

Or ... another option is White's f-Pawn could remain on f4 to become the support for g3-to-g4-and-then-g5, forming an alternative Advanced Chain with its fellow Mobile Pawn Wing member.

I guess the main point is White now has multiple good options, to make the most of his Mobile Pawn Wing, from that very first move (10.f4).

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 48b - After 11.g3-g4
After: 10...Rad8 11.g4
The second of White's three Wing Pawns is advanced to the frontline: g-Pawn to g4 ...

This answers my speculation after 10.f4, about which of White's two Wing Pawns would be moved next.

With the Qd1 already in a supporting position (green arrow), White advances his g-Pawn into a formidable 3-Pawn Phalanx (e4,f4,g4), an attacking formation that guards five squares in a row in Black's territory.

I've highlighted the six squares (red squares) that the four White Pawns collectively attack (yellow arrows). This really shows off Black's cramped position, and how awkward it is for Black to develop his army so that they can take up stronger positions to work with efficient coordination.

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 48b - After 12.g4-g5
After: 11...Nd4 12.g5
White's g-Pawn has been advanced for a second time in a row: g-Pawn to g5 ...

Again, this takes us back to my speculation after 10.f4.

White lets Black take the Strong Outpost Station, with 11...Nc6-d4, as White has a better attack with his g-Pawn, which attacks Black's Nf6, as it becomes the head of an Advanced Chain (f4,g5) ...

Black's Knight will be forced to retreat, with the only available (safe) space being on his Back Rank, at e8 (yellow arrow). This will weaken the Rook pair, as they'll no longer be Connected. This is an effective attack, by White, and worth moving the g-Pawn for a second time.

Note: White's h-Pawn, in the Mobile Wing, hasn't even been moved. This reveals that you don't have to move all three Pawns, just because they're collectively a part of the Mobile Pawn Wing.

Still looking at the last image (above), I've kept the red-square highlights to show how the influence of White's Pawns has dynamically changed the scope of Black's cramped position.

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 48b - 14.f4-f5
After: 12...Ne8 13.f5
White's f-Pawn also gets advanced for a second time:
f-Pawn to f5 ...


The two Pawns in White's Mobile Pawn Wing further squeeze back the cramping effect in Black's Kingside territory.

The green arrows may look a bit confusing at first, but they point to all the Pawns and Pieces that are, in some way, coordinated to help support White's two Advanced Pawns of the Pawn Wing.

And still, White's h-Pawn remains at home, not joining in the efforts of the Mobile Pawn Wing.


[Jump to ChessFlash Viewer]

The End of White's Mobile Pawn Wing...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 48b - 13...g6 - White's Mobile Pawn Wing, Ends
White's Mobile Pawn Wing, Ends
After: 13...g6
Black's g-Pawn, is pushed out to g6, which blockades White's g5 Wing Pawn. This causes White's Mobile Pawn Wing to come to an end, as one element (the g6-Pawn) is no longer Mobile.

Contrast this with the example in the Typical Morphy Attack, where White was responsible for ending his own Mobile Pawn Wing, when one of the Wing Pawns took itself off the Wing (to capture enemy material).

[Jump to ChessFlash Viewer]

The Result of White's Mobile Pawn Wing...

As always, at the end of any Mobile Pawn Wing, whoever had the benefit of it should have converted it to another advantage -- or a whole host of them!

The full effect, at the end of White's Mobile Pawn Wing, doesn't come to fruition until after 14.Bf4 Qc8 15.f6, when White advances his f-Pawn again, becoming the head of a new Advanced Chain (g5,f6) ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 48b - Mobile Pawn Wing Result - After 15.f5-f6
After: 14.Bf4 Qc8 15.f6
White's f6-Pawn increases the Cramp surround the position of Black's King, while also attacking Black's Be7 (the Bad Bishop).

White's Bf4 ensures that Black's Qc8 will NOT be joining in any attempt to quash White's attack. This also serves to deny Black's trapped Rd8 any mobility.

All throughout, White's Bf4 continues to support the g5-Pawn, which is in turn supporting the cramp-increasing f6-Pawn.

And it doesn't end there! White maintains his initiative with the following game-winning moves ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 48b - After 16...Nxd6
After: 16...Bd6 16.Bxd6 Nxd6
White trades dark-Bishops ...

The attack from White's f6-Pawn forces the Exchange of dark-square Bishops, after 16...Bd6 16.Bxd6 Nxd6. This takes away a dangerous Piece that could have undermined White's Advanced Chain (g5,f6) on the dark squares.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 48b - After 19.Qh6
After: 17.Qg4 Ne8 18.Qh4 e5 19.Qh6
White's Queen takes advantage of Black's Weak Square at h6 ...

Black has no answer to defending his weak Kingside position and this enables White's Queen to move up into an advanced position, to occupy the Hole at h6.

This shows the danger in creating Holes in the regions surrounding your Castled King ... they become an exploitable weakness!

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PGN

[Event "Haifa/Tel Aviv"]
[Site "Haifa/Tel Aviv"]
[Date "1958.??.??"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Reshevsky, Samuel Herman"]
[Black "Persitz, Raaphi"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo ""]
[BlackElo ""]
[ECO "A30"]

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 b6 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.O-O c5 6.d3 Be7 7.e4 O-O 8.Nc3 Nc6 {... (START) White's Mobile Pawn Wing begins ... PCC p.75 No. 48A} 9.Ne1 Qc7 10.f4 Rad8 11.g4 Nd4 12.g5 Ne8 13.f5 g6 {... (STOP) White's Mobile Pawn Wing ends ...} 14.Bf4 Qc8 15.f6 Bd6 16.Bxd6 Nxd6 17.Qg4 {PCC p.76 No. 48B} Ne8 18.Qh4 e5 19.Qh6 Ne6 20.Ne2 Qc6 21.Rf3 Bc8 22.Nc2 d6 23.Ne3 N6c7 24.Nf5 1-0

End.

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