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Holes
Exploiting Holes Despite the Bishop

Point Count Chess, NO.88, p127-128
Pachman v. Najdorf, 1955

This is yet another example of Holes after P-KN3 (like No.86, No.87 & No.105). However, this time it's White's turn to incur these Kingside Holes.

The primary focus of this example looks at how Black exploits the Holes at White's Kingside, despite the presence of White's King Bishop (in those other three examples, just linked to above, the Fianchettoed Bishop had been taken-out, before the opposing side sent in units to occupy the Holes).

The only other differences are that White's critical Holes are, of course, at f3 & h3, rather than at f6 & h6, and they come after P-KN3 (though, in this case following White's g2-g3, instead of Black's ...g7-g6).

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the position featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.127, No.88, after 5...Bg4
  2. Result of Exploiting Holes Despite the Bishop.
  3. Summary of Exploiting Holes Despite the Bishop.
  4. PGN

Exploiting Holes Despite the Bishop
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.127, No.88, after 5...Bg4

After: 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.d3 Nc6 4.g3 Nf6 5.Bg2 Bg4

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 88 - Page 127
After: 5...Bg4

1. How White incurs critical Holes, on the Kingside, at f3 & h3x

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 88 - Holes - Exploiting Holes Despite the Bishop, After 1.e4 c5
Holes, Exploiting Holes
despite the Bishop,
After 1.e4 c5
After 1.e4 c5, we reach the position of the Sicilian Defence. This is a very common Opening and, as was the case in No.87, there's nothing wrong with either move.

However, in relation to White incurring the critical Holes at f3 & h3, and discounting White's Pieces, it should be noted that only White's g2-Pawn remains guarding both f3- & h3-squares.

That means, if White does decide to advance his g2-Pawn, it will cause both the f3- & h3-squares to become Holes, which Black can try to exploit (which is exactly what happened in this game).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 88 - Holes - Exploiting Holes Despite the Bishop, After 2.Nc3 d6
Holes, Exploiting Holes
despite the Bishop,
After 2.Nc3 d6
After 2.Nc3 d6, both sides give support to their mobilized Pawns, but in different ways ...

White develops his Queen Knight (2.Nb1-c3), to support the e4-Pawn.

Black develops his d-Pawn (2...d7-d6), forming a Pawn Chain to support the c5-Pawn.

In relation to the subject of Holes, the significance of Black's move is it also opens the c8-h3 diagonal, for the benefit of Black's light-Bishop, which already targets the h3-square (in a few moves time, following the advance of White's g2-Pawn, Black's Bc8 will be developed to the g4-square, where it will be applying pressure to, what will be, BOTH Holes).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 88 - Holes - Exploiting Holes Despite the Bishop, After 3.d3 Nc6
Holes, Exploiting Holes
despite the Bishop,
After 3.d3 Nc6
After 3.d3 Nc6, we perhaps see a key benefit of Black's decision to develop the game along the Sicilian Defence lines, as his c5-Pawn becomes the support point for an Outpost, at d4 ...

The d4-Outpost, in turn, will become the staging point for Black to send his Knight on to the f3-square (which will become one of the critical Holes in White's territory, once White's g2-Pawn has advanced to g3). This will end up causing big problems for White.

The build-up to this continues with White adding more support to his e4-Pawn, in the shape of his d-Pawn (3.d2-d3). And then Black's Queen Knight is developed (3...Nb8-c6). Note how White's development assists Black's intention to post his Nc6 to the d4-Outpost:

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 88 - Holes - Exploiting Holes Despite the Bishop, After 4.g3
Holes, Exploiting Holes
despite the Bishop,
After 4.g3
After 4.g3, White incurs critical Holes, on the Kingside, at f3 & h3, with the advance of his g-Pawn (4.g2-g3).

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The Result of Exploiting Holes Despite the Bishop...

2. How Black takes advantage of White's f3 & h3-Holes

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 88 - (RESULT) Holes - Exploiting Holes Despite the Bishop, After 4...Nf6 5.Bg2 Bg4
(RESULT) Holes, Exploiting Holes
despite the Bishop,
After 4...Nf6 5.Bg2 Bg4
After 4...Nf6 5.Bg2 Bg4, Black develops his King Knight (4...Ng8-f6), which supports his the development of Black's light-Bishop, to g4 (5...Bc8-g4).

The Fianchetto of White's King Bishop (5.Bf1-g2) primarily serves to guard both of White's Kingside Holes (f3 & h3). Remember, the focus of this example is to see how Black takes advantage of White's Kingside Holes, despite the presence of White's King Bishop.

The Fianchetto of White's King Bishop also partly prepares for White to Castle Kingside.

White's Queen is powerless to prevent Black's light-Bishop from landing on g4, and cannot take-out the Bg4, because of the presence of Black's Nf6.

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 88 - (RESULT) Holes - Exploiting Holes Despite the Bishop, After 6.Nge2 to 8.Kh1
(RESULT) Holes, Exploiting Holes
despite the Bishop,
After 6.Nge2 to 8.Kh1
After 6.Nge2 to 8.Kh1, in successive moves, Black's Queen Knight is sent all the way, via the d4-Outpost, down to occupy the h3-Hole (6...Nc6-d4 » 7...Nd4-f3+), supported by Black's Bg4.

Once White's King Knight (6.Ng1-e2) had been developed to form a shield for its Queen, against the attack by Black's Bg4, White Castled Kingside (7.O-O), sending his King into the very region containing those two critical Holes.

White was then forced to waste a precious Tempo (another benefit to Black's over game plan), in order to move his King again (8.Kg1-h1), due to the arrival of Black's Knight, onto the f3-Hole.

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 88 - (RESULT) Holes - Exploiting Holes Despite the Bishop, After 8...h5
(RESULT) Holes, Exploiting Holes
despite the Bishop,
After 8...h5
After 8...h5, Black's advances his h-Pawn (8...h7-h5), supporting the Bg4 upon arrival.

Black's h5-Pawn now takes over guard duty of the Bg4, from Black's Nf6, which is free to be used for other tasks (specifically, meeting White's potential threat to post his Nc3 onto the d5-Outpost, which, incidentally, is precisely what happened in this game).
It's at this point H&M-S point out the true scale of White's predicament:



H&M-S also point out that it would take a long time for White to regroup, in order to "shake loose from the bind" he's in, during which time, Black is likely to follow through on his threat to bust open the h-file (...h5-h4, and then probably ...h4xg3), to unleash pressure with his Rh8, against the position of White's King (Kh1).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 88 - (RESULT) Holes - Exploiting Holes Despite the Bishop, After 9.h3 e5
(RESULT) Holes, Exploiting Holes
despite the Bishop,
After 9.h3 e5
After 9.h3 e5, White tries to evict Black's Bg4, with the advance of his h-Pawn (9.h2-h3) both filling the h3-Hole and attacking Black's Bg4.

Black ignores the threat to his light-Bishop, instead choosing to advance his e-Pawn (9...e7-e5), which blockades White's e4-Pawn, stopping it from advancing to e5, where it would force Black's Nf6 to retreat to a less advantageous position (d7, g8 & h7 are the only viable squares).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 88 - (RESULT) Holes - Exploiting Holes Despite the Bishop, After 10.Nd5 Nxd5 11.exd5
(RESULT) Holes, Exploiting Holes
despite the Bishop,
After 10.Nd5 Nxd5 11.exd5
After 10.Nd5 Nxd5 11.exd5, Knights are exchanged on d5 (10.Nc3-d5 Nf6xd5), which leaves White's former e-Pawn as an Advanced Pawn on d5, as it completes the trade (11.e4xd5), but it comes at the expense of incurring Doubled Pawns, on the d-file (d3 & d5).

So, at this stage, White has weak Pawns (Doubled d-Pawns) and weak squares (the Hole at f3). Compare this with Black, who still has all of his Pawns on their own files, and no Holes, let alone any in critical locations (like White's got).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 88 - (RESULT) Holes - Exploiting Holes Despite the Bishop, After 11...Qd7 to 13.Be3
(RESULT) Holes, Exploiting Holes
despite the Bishop,
After 11...Qd7 to 13.Be3
After 11...Qd7 to 13.Be3, in successive moves, Black's Queen is mobilized to the Kingside (11...Qd8-d7 » 12...Qd7-f5), in preparation for the main assault against the position of White's King.

White sends his remaining Knight to the Queenside (12.Ne2-c3), which supports his Advanced d5-Pawn.

Meanwhile, White's dark-Bishop goes the other way, and is mobilized over onto the Kingside (13.Bc1-e3); it appears to have been given the role of helping defend the f2-Pawn, from the X-Ray threat from Black's Qf5.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 88 - (RESULT) Holes - Exploiting Holes Despite the Bishop, After 13...h4
(RESULT) Holes, Exploiting Holes
despite the Bishop,
After 13...h4
After 13...h4, Black's h-Pawn advances a second time (13...h5-h4), into White's territory, directly attacking White's g3-Pawn (the very Pawn that's played a key role in White incurring the critical Holes, which has led to his current sorry predicament).

Black intends to use his h4-Pawn to take-out White's g3-Pawn, in an exchange that will let Black's Rh8 bust through into White's territory, at h3.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 88 - (RESULT) Holes - Exploiting Holes Despite the Bishop, After 14.Ne4 Be7 15.c4
(RESULT) Holes, Exploiting Holes
despite the Bishop,
After 14.Ne4 Be7 15.c4
After 14.Ne4 Be7 15.c4, Black finally develops his dark-Bishop (14...Bf8-e7) giving additional support to his h4-Pawn, along the d8-h4 diagonal.

White's moves focus on blockading Black's other two Pawns of his Reverse-Salient, as his Knight (14.Nc3-e4) spoils the advance of Black's e5-Pawn, while the advance of his c-Pawn (15.c2-c4) does likewise for Black's c5-Pawn.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 88 - (RESULT) Holes - Exploiting Holes Despite the Bishop, After 15...hxg3 16.fxg3
(RESULT) Holes, Exploiting Holes
despite the Bishop,
After 15...hxg3 16.fxg3
After 15...hxg3 16.fxg3, Black completes on his threat to exchange Pawns on g3 (15...h4xg3), forcing White's f-Pawn to complete the trade (16.f2xg3). The move unleashes Black's King Rook (Rh8), which now applies pressure into White's territory, against White's h3-Pawn, which is supported solely by White's Bg2.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 88 - (RESULT) Holes - Exploiting Holes Despite the Bishop, After 16...Rxh3+ 17.Bxh3
(RESULT) Holes, Exploiting Holes
despite the Bishop,
After 16...Rxh3+ 17.Bxh3
After 16...Rxh3+ 17.Bxh3, Black sacrifices his King Rook, in order to break through the stretched remains of the White King's Pawn shield, with the capture of White's h3-Pawn (16...Rh8xh3+).

Black's Rh3 is then swiftly captured by White's light-Bishop (17.Bg2xh3). However, the damage is done. White's light-Bishop no longer guards either of the two critical Holes (f3 & h3).

With victory close at hand, Black continues to take advantage of the weak squares near White's King ...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 88 - (RESULT) Holes - Exploiting Holes Despite the Bishop, After 17...Qh5 18.Qa4+ Kf8
(RESULT) Holes, Exploiting Holes
despite the Bishop,
After 17...Qh5 18.Qa4+ Kf8
After 17...Qh5 18.Qa4+ Kf8, White's Bh3 becomes paralyzed by an Absolute Pin from Black's Queen (17...Qf5-h5).

White Queen attacks Black's King, along the a4-e8 diagonal (18.Qd1-a4+), but it's a futile attempt to halt Black's Kingside attack, as White's King is able to step safely behind the f7-Pawn (18...Ke8-f8).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 88 - (RESULT) Holes - Exploiting Holes Despite the Bishop, After 19.Rxf3 Qxh3+
(RESULT) Holes, Exploiting Holes
despite the Bishop,
After 19.Rxf3 Qxh3+
After 19.Rxf3 Qxh3+, White's King Rook takes-out Black's Knight on the f3-Hole (19.Rf1xf3), but then Black's Queen takes-out White's light-Bishop on the h3-Hole (19...Qh5xh3+), leading to White's immediate resignation.

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Summary of Exploiting Holes Despite the Bishop...

  1. White incurs critical Holes, on the Kingside, at f3 & h3, and a Weak-Square Complex of light-squares, overall, all on the Kingside after advancing both his e-Pawn (1.e2-e4) & g-Pawn (4.g2-g3). There was absolutely nothing wrong with White's decision to advance his e-Pawn. But, it then required White's g-Pawn to remain on its game-starting square (g2), in order not to leave those two Holes (f3 & h3), especially as White seemed intent on Castling his King toward where those Holes would be. With White's e-Pawn already advanced, White incurred the critical Holes when he chose to push his g-Pawn forward. The purpose of the g-Pawn advance seems twofold: to Fianchetto his light-Bishop (5.Bf1-g2), both to provide additional support to his e4-Pawn, while also partly clearing the back rank for Castling Kingside. However, White's Bg2 also takes on a third task, as it's now the primary guard of both the f3- & h3-Holes. It's for this reason the opposition usually seeks to take-out the Fianchettoed Bishop, but in this example, we saw that it is possible to take advantage of the enemy's Holes, despite the presence of the Bishop.

  2. Black takes advantage of White's f3 & h3-Holes:

    1. Prior to the creation of the Holes, we perhaps see a key benefit of Black's decision to develop the game along the Sicilian Defence lines, as his c5-Pawn becomes the support point for an Outpost, at d4, which in turn becomes the staging point for Black to send his Knight on to the f3-Hole.

    2. Black develops his King Knight (4...Ng8-f6), which supports the development of Black's light-Bishop, to g4 (5...Bc8-g4). Later on, supported by Black's h-Pawn, and subsequently by his Queen, Black's Bg4 becomes a major problem for White: in addition to Cramping White's development on the Kingside, it provides a support point for Black to bring his Queen Knight to the f3-Hole, and to bring his Queen through to the h3-Hole (once Black's King Rook has busted through to take out the h3-Pawn). Black's light-Bishop is so well supported, and so well position, never once has to move from it g4-square, and is still sitting there, influencing proceedings, and contributing to White final decision in the game (his resignation).

    3. In successive moves, Black's Queen Knight is sent all the way, via the d4-Outpost, down to occupy the h3-Hole (6...Nc6-d4 » 7...Nd4-f3+), supported by Black's Bg4. White was then forced to waste a precious Tempo (another benefit to Black's over game plan), in order to move his King again (8.Kg1-h1), due to the arrival of Black's Knight, onto the f3-Hole.

    4. Black's advances his h-Pawn (8...h7-h5), supporting the Bg4 upon arrival, and then ignores the threat to his light-Bishop, from White's h-Pawn (9.h2-h3), instead choosing to advance his e-Pawn (9...e7-e5), which blockades White's e4-Pawn, stopping it from advancing to e5, where it would force Black's Nf6 to retreat to a less advantageous position (d7, g8 & h7 are the only viable squares). Black then accepts the exchange of Knights on d5 (10.Nc3-d5 Nf6xd5).

    5. Also in successive moves, and also supporting Black's Bg4, Black's Queen is mobilized to the Kingside (11...Qd8-d7 » 12...Qd7-f5), in preparation for the main assault against the position of White's King.

    6. Black's h-Pawn advances a second time (13...h5-h4), into White's territory, directly attacking White's g3-Pawn (the very Pawn that's played a key role in White incurring the critical Holes, which has led to his current sorry predicament). Black intends to use his h4-Pawn to take-out White's g3-Pawn, in an exchange that will let Black's Rh8 bust through into White's territory, at h3.

    7. Black finally develops his dark-Bishop (14...Bf8-e7) giving additional support to his h4-Pawn, along the d8-h4 diagonal, and then completes on his threat to exchange Pawns on g3 (15...h4xg3), forcing White's f-Pawn to complete the trade (16.f2xg3). The move unleashes Black's King Rook (Rh8), which now applies pressure into White's territory, against White's h3-Pawn, which is supported solely by White's Bg2.

    8. Black sacrifices his King Rook, in order to break through the stretched remains of the White King's Pawn shield, with the capture of White's h3-Pawn (16...Rh8xh3+). Black's Rh3 is then swiftly captured by White's light-Bishop (17.Bg2xh3). However, the damage is done. White's light-Bishop no longer guards either of the two critical Holes (f3 & h3).

    9. White's Bh3 becomes paralyzed by an Absolute Pin from Black's Queen (17...Qf5-h5).

    10. White resigns, after Black's Queen takes-out White's light-Bishop on the h3-Hole (19...Qh5xh3+).


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PGN

[Event "Mar del Plata"]
[Site "Mar del Plata"]
[Date "1955.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Ludek Pachman"]
[Black "Miguel Najdorf"]
[ECO "B23"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "38"]

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.d3 Nc6 4.g3 Nf6 5.Bg2 Bg4 {PCC p.127 No.88} 6.Nge2 Nd4 7.O-O Nf3+ 8.Kh1 h5 9.h3 e5 10.Nd5 Nxd5 11.exd5 Qd7 12.Nc3 Qf5 13.Be3 h4 14.Ne4 Be7 15.c4 hxg3 16.fxg3 Rxh3+ 17.Bxh3 Qh5 18.Qa4+ Kf8 19.Rxf3 Qxh3+ 0-1

End.

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