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Weak-Square Complex
(2 of 2)

Point Count Chess, NO.94A to NO.94B, p134-135
Capablanca v. Mieses, 1928

In this example, Black incurs a "Dark" Complex of Weak-Squares (Holes), on the Queenside, from the Queen's Gambit (Declined).

White applies pressure against Black's Queenside weak spot, trading material to reduce Black's ability to defend this weak side of his.

White then break through Black's Queenside Pawn structure, to cause new structural weaknesses in Black's position (Doubled Pawns and Isolated Pawn structures), while appearing to be shaping up to force through a Passed Pawn, on the decimated Queenside.

While building up his offensive on the Queenside, over on the Kingside, White's King and Pawns are pushed forward to meet any potential threat from Black's Kingside force (King, 3x Pawns, 1x Rook).

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the two positions featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.134, No.94A, after 7.Rc1
  2. PCC, p.135, No.94B, after 13.Na4
  3. Result of the Weak-Square Complex (2 of 2).
  4. Summary of the Weak-Square Complex (2 of 2).
  5. PGN

Weak-Square Complex (2 of 2)
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.134, No.94A, after 7.Rc1

After: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Nf3 O-O 7.Rc1

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 94A - Page 134
After: 7.Rc1
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 94 - Weak-Square Complex (2 of 2), After 1.d4 to 7.Rc1
Weak-Square Complex
(2 of 2), After 1.d4 to 7.Rc1
After 1.d4 to 7.Rc1, we see a position in the Queen's Gambit Declined.

I highlight this because H&M-S warn that Black is vulnerable to a potential "Dark Complex of Weak-Squares, on the Queenside, in the Queen's Gambit.

In this game, the Queen's Gambit came following Black's third move (1.d2-d4 Ng8-f6 2.c2-c4 e7-e6 3.Nb1-c3 d7-d5).

Black subsequently "Declines" White's Queen's Gambit offer (4.Bc1-g5), with his fourth move, when Black decides to move his dark-Bishop (4...Bf8-e7) instead of capturing White's c4-Pawn (4...d5xc4).

There follows a few more moves (5.e2-e3 Nb8-d7 6.Ng1-f3 O-O 7.Ra1-c1), before Black makes the move that leads to him incurring a "Dark" Complex of Weak-Squares (Holes), on the Queenside.

1. How Black incurs a "Dark" Complex of Weak-Squares (Holes), on the Queenside, from the Queen's Gambit (Declined).

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 94 - Weak-Square Complex (2 of 2), After 7...a6
Weak-Square Complex
(2 of 2), After 7...a6
After 7...a6, Black's decision to advance his a-Pawn (7...a7-a6) appears to be the mistake, or at least the slight error, that leads to Black's "Dark" Complex of Weak-Squares, on the Queenside.

H&M-S mention 7...c7-c6 as being the "book" move (the move that's more often recommended).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 94 - Weak-Square Complex (2 of 2), After 9.cxd5 exd5
Weak-Square Complex
(2 of 2), After 9.cxd5 exd5
After 9.cxd5 exd5, White forces the exchange of Pawns, on d5 (9.c4xd5 e6xd5). While it leaves White with a 2-v-1 vs. Black's 4th v. 3rd, this is a side issue in relation to the current focus of the Weak-Square Complex ...

Black's d5-Pawn requires support from a Pawn, but the only one available is Black's c7-Pawn.

But, as soon as Black's c7-Pawn steps forward to form the required defensive Chain formation, it will leave Black with a "Dark" cluster of Holes (a7, b6, c7 & d6, will become the Weak-Square Complex), on the Queenside.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 94 - Weak-Square Complex (2 of 2), After 9.Qb3 c6
Weak-Square Complex
(2 of 2), After 9.Qb3 c6
After 9.Qb3 c6, Black incurs the Weak-Square Complex, on the Queenside, which is made up of the cluster of "Dark-square" Holes (a7, b6, c7 & d6).

It results from the joint pressure from White's Knight (Nc3) and Queen (9.Qd1-b3) against Black's d5-Pawn, which forces Black to support his d5-Pawn, with his c-Pawn (9...c7-c6), leaving the b7-square without Pawn support, and the c7-square without Pawn occupancy, with the already vacant a7-square adding to the cluster.

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The Result of the Weak-Square Complex (2 of 2)...

2. White trades Minor Pieces, to reduce Black's ability to defend his "Dark" Complex of Weak-Squares

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 94 - (RESULT) Weak-Square Complex (2 of 2), After 9...c6
(RESULT) Weak-Square Complex
(2 of 2), After 9...c6
After 9...c6, Black has four Pieces defending "Dark" squares in and around Black's Weak-Square Complex, on the Queenside, with the potential to add a fifth Piece, if Black can post his Nf6 to the e4-Outpost.

White will want to minimize the potential number of Black units that can be called upon to defend those weak Queenside squares, and begins coaxing Black into exchanging Minor Pieces ...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 94 - (RESULT) Weak-Square Complex (2 of 2), After 10.Bd3
(RESULT) Weak-Square Complex
(2 of 2), After 10.Bd3
After 10.Bd3, White's light-Bishop is moved into position (10.Bf1-d3) to relieve White's Nc3* from the task of preventing, or at least delaying, Black's Nf6 from being posted to the e4-Outpost.
* White's Nc3 is destined to move up the Queenside, toward Black's "Dark" Complex of Weak-Squares, as the Knight is more suited to jumping over the obstacles (Black's Queenside Pawns) than the Bishop.

White, therefore, doesn't want to lose his Knight in a potential exchange on e4 (White's light-Bishop is the expendable unit, for this task).

Right now, Black won't dare post his Nf6 to the e4-Outpost, as Black would come out of the resulting exchanges with an even more weakened position (e.g. 10...Nf6-e4 11.Bd3xe4 d5xe4 12.Nc3xe4 would leave White with a 2-Pawn material advantage, with both White Center Pawns totally unopposed by Black Pawns... and that's in addition to the Weak-Square Complex, on the Queenside).

And so, Black chooses to move his Nf6, to an alternative square, and allow the first Minor Piece swap to take place ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 94 - (RESULT) Weak-Square Complex (2 of 2), After 10...Nh5 to 11...Qxe7
(RESULT) Weak-Square Complex
(2 of 2), After 10...Nh5 to 11...Qxe7
After 10...Nh5 to 11...Qxe7, the first Minor Piece swap is made, as both dark-Bishops are exchanged.

Black relocates his Nf6 (10...Nf6-h5), effectively allowing the swap of his dark-Bishop (11.Bg5xe7), in order to bring his Queen to a more useful position, as she completes the trade (11.Qd8xe7) ...

With Black's Queen now bearing down against the e4-Outpost square, Black now has the extra Piece required to entertain the second exchange of Minor Pieces (albeit once Black's errant Knight has returned to the f6-square).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 94 - (RESULT) Weak-Square Complex (2 of 2), After 12.O-O to 13.Na4
(RESULT) Weak-Square Complex
(2 of 2), After 12.O-O to 13.Na4
After 12.O-O to 13.Na4, White Castles Kingside (12.O-O) and moves his Nc3 to within range of Black's "Dark" Complex of Weak-Squares (13.Nc3-a4).

Black returns his King Knight (12...Nh5-f6) and the position is now ready for the second of the two Minor Piece swaps ...

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Position #2, My Analysis
PCC, p.135, No.94B, after 13.Na4

After: 7...a6 8.cxd5 exd5 9.Qb3 c6 10.Bd3 Nh5 11.Bxe7 Qxe7 12.O-O Nhf6 13.Na4

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 94B - Page 135
After: 13.Na4
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 94 - (RESULT) Weak-Square Complex (2 of 2), After 13...Ne4 to 14...Qxe4
(RESULT) Weak-Square Complex
(2 of 2), After 13...Ne4 to 14...Qxe4
After 13...Ne4 to 14...Qxe4, the second Minor Piece swap is made, as Black decides to accept the loss of his King Knight (13...Nf6-e4 14.Bd3xe4), in order to remove the diagonal threat posed by White's light-Bishop (14...Qe7xe4).

But, White is the real winner from those two Minor Piece swaps, as it's significantly reduced the number of Black Pieces that had been defending the "Dark" squares in and around Black's "Dark" Complex of Weak-Squares, on the Queenside (now only partially guarded, by Black's Ra8 & Nd7).

From here, White continues to focus on further weakening Black's ability to defend his vulnerable Weak-Square Complex, by seeking to exchange more Pieces off the board ...

3. White increases pressure against Black's Queenside weakness, and also exchanges Queens, to reduce Black's ability to defend his "Dark" Complex of Weak-Squares

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 94 - (RESULT) Weak-Square Complex (2 of 2), After 15.Qb4 Qg6
(RESULT) Weak-Square Complex
(2 of 2), After 15.Qb4 Qg6
After 15.Qb4 Qg6, White moves his Queen onto the a3-f8 diagonal (15.Qb3-b4), both attacking Black's Rf8, and targeting a move to one of the Queenside Holes (d6), of Black's "Dark" Complex of Weak-Squares.

Black responds by moving his Queen (15...Qe4-g6) to guard the d6-Hole.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 94 - (RESULT) Weak-Square Complex (2 of 2), After 16.Qe7 f6
(RESULT) Weak-Square Complex
(2 of 2), After 16.Qe7 f6
After 16.Qe7 f6, White's Queen moves again (16.Qb4-e7), to maintain the pressure on Black's Rf8, one the d6-Hole, and now on Black's Nd7, which is guarding another of the "Dark" Holes (b7) in Black's Queenside Weak-Square Complex.

Black's f-Pawn advances (16...f7-f6), to allow Black's Queen a route back to her back rank, so she can be more effective in taking on White's invading Queen.
Note: By advancing his f-Pawn, Black has caused a Hole to develop at f7, within the area of the Black King's Stronghold. If Black can be forced to advance his h-Pawn, to h6, it will create a "Light" Complex of Weak-Squares, the likes of which was seen in example No.93, after 12...h6.

Since this example is about the Weak-Square Complex on the Queenside, that arises from the Queen's Gambit, I'm not going to focus on the Holes that develop on the Kingside (just remember not to forget about them entirely!).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 94 - (RESULT) Weak-Square Complex (2 of 2), After 17.Rc3 Qe8
(RESULT) Weak-Square Complex
(2 of 2), After 17.Rc3 Qe8
After 17.Rc3 Qe8, White's Queen Rook is lifted up just enough (17.Rc1-c3) so it can be shifted across to the b-file, to apply pressure to Black's b7-Pawn*.

Black continues to focus on the threat from White's Queen (Qe7), with the return of his own Queen, to Black's back rank (17...Qg6-e8), which provides extra support to Black's Nd7 & Rf8.
* The attack on Black's b7-Pawn will make it Backward, and this vulnerability will force Black to bring it forward, to b5 ... but that will subsequently give Black's c6-Pawn the Backward vulnerability, due to pressure from White's other Rook (White intends to bring his Rf1 across to the c-file, to replace the current Rc3, so that White will continue to have a Rook occupying what is likely to become a fully Open c-file).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 94 - (RESULT) Weak-Square Complex (2 of 2), After 18.Qd6 Rf7 19.Rfc1
(RESULT) Weak-Square Complex
(2 of 2), After 18.Qd6 Rf7 19.Rfc1
After 18.Qd6 Rf7 19.Rfc1, White's Queen moves onto the d6-Hole (19.Qe7-d6), within the "Dark" Complex of Weak-Squares, on the Queenside, and then brings his King Rook to the c-file (19.Rf1-c1), to enable White's Rc3 to move to the b-file, to apply frontal pressure against Black's b7-Pawn.

Black's King Rook (18...Rf8-f7) steps out of range of White's Queen, as Black prepares to accept the exchange of Queens, in order to relieve the pressure that's building up against his Queenside position.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 94 - (RESULT) Weak-Square Complex (2 of 2), After 19...Qf8 20.Qxf8+ Kxf8
(RESULT) Weak-Square Complex
(2 of 2), After 19...Qf8 20.Qxf8+ Kxf8
After 19...Qf8 20.Qxf8+ Kxf8, both Queens are exchanged, as Black brings his Queen onto the a3-f8 diagonal (19...Qe8-f8) to confront White's Queen.

And then the swap takes place (20.Qd6xf8+), with Black's King, rather than the Rf8, completing the trade (20...Kg8xf8).

4. All remaining White Pieces are focussed on Black's Queenside weakness (the "Dark" Complex of Weak-Squares), while on the Kingside, White's King and Pawns are pushed forward to meet any potential threat from Black's Kingside force (King, 3x Pawns, 1x Rook).

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 94 - (RESULT) Weak-Square Complex (2 of 2), After 21.Ne1 » 22.Nd3
(RESULT) Weak-Square Complex
(2 of 2), After 21.Ne1 » 22.Nd3
After 21.Ne1 » 22.Nd3, in successive moves (21.Nf3-e1 » 22.Ne1-d3), White's King Knight is brought over to the Queenside, in preparation for the imminent, forced advance of Black's b7-Pawn.

At this point, all White's Pieces, except for White's King, are camped on the Queenside.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 94 - (RESULT) Weak-Square Complex (2 of 2), After 23.f3 » 24.Kf2
(RESULT) Weak-Square Complex
(2 of 2), After 23.f3 » 24.Kf2
After 23.f3 » 24.Kf2, White takes time away from his Queenside activities, to begin advancing his Kingside troops.

White's f-Pawn (23.f2-f3) will provide a support point for White's g-Pawn to advance to the 4th rank.

White's King (24.Kg1-f2) prevents the invasion by Black's Re7, while also supporting the f3-Pawn, which will be without Pawn support, once White's g2-Pawn is pushed on ahead (to g4).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 94 - (RESULT) Weak-Square Complex (2 of 2), After 24...Nf8 25.Rb3 Nd7
(RESULT) Weak-Square Complex
(2 of 2), After 24...Nf8 25.Rb3 Nd7
After 24...Nf8 25.Rb3 Nd7, Black's b7-Pawn becomes a Backward Pawn, as White's Queen Rook is shifted onto the b-file (25.Rc3-b3), applying frontal pressure against Black's Pawn.

White's King Rook is now left patrolling the Half-Open c-file, applying frontal pressure against Black c6-Pawn, which will become Backward, if Black moves his Backward b7-Pawn forward (which is precisely what happened in the game).

Black appeared either reluctant or unwilling to move any other unit than his Knight, sending it to the f8-square (24...Nd7-f8), before bringing it straight back (25...Nf8-d7), following that White Rook's attack against Black's b7-Pawn.

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 94 - (RESULT) Weak-Square Complex (2 of 2), After 26.g4 b5
(RESULT) Weak-Square Complex
(2 of 2), After 26.g4 b5
After 26.g4 b5, White returns his attention to matters on the Kingside, completing his intended g-Pawn advance (26.g2-g4).

Black then transfers the Backward vulnerability from his b-Pawn, to his c6-Pawn, with the advance of his b-Pawn (26...b7-b5).

5. White makes the break-through on the Queenside, busting through Black's Backward c7-Pawn, and then trading all remaining Minor Pieces (both Knights) and the c-file Rook, to leave Black with a critically weak Pawn Structure (Doubled Isolated Pawns & an Isolated Pawn).

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 94 - (RESULT) Weak-Square Complex (2 of 2), After 27.Nac5 to 28...Bb7
(RESULT) Weak-Square Complex
(2 of 2), After 27.Nac5 to 28...Bb7
After 27.Nac5 to 28...Bb7, White moves both Knights onto "Dark" squares in the vicinity of Black's Queenside Pawns.

First, his Na4 is moved to avoid the attack that came from the advance of Black's b-Pawn (27.Na4-c5), following the advance by Black's b-Pawn.

Then, White's other Knight moves into position (28.Nd3-b4) to provide support for White's Rc1, when it comes up to make the break-through that will take-out Black's Backward c6-Pawn.

Black's Knight moves onto the b6-Hole (27...Nd7-b6), while Black's light-Bishop moves to its Fianchetto square (28...Bc8-b7), appearing to invite the exchange with White's Nc5.

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 94 - (RESULT) Weak-Square Complex (2 of 2), After 29.Nxb7 to 30.Rxc6
(RESULT) Weak-Square Complex
(2 of 2), After 29.Nxb7 to 30.Rxc6
After 29.Nxb7 to 30.Rxc6, White makes the break-through on the Queenside, after his Nc5 was used to take-out Black's Bb7 (29.Nc5xb7), in an exchange (29...Rb8xb7) that cleared the defending light-Bishop, giving the green light for White's Rc1 to take-out Black's Backward c6-Pawn (30.Rc1xc6).

Of further benefit to White, Black's d5-Pawn has been left Isolated.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 94 - (RESULT) Weak-Square Complex (2 of 2), After 30...a5 to 31...axb4
(RESULT) Weak-Square Complex
(2 of 2), After 30...a5 to 31...axb4
After 30...a5 to 31...axb4, the last of the adverse Knights are exchanged (30...a6-a5 31.Rc6xb5 a5xb4), during which Black incurs Doubled Isolated Pawns, on the b-file (b5 & b4).

The Weak-Square Complex is no longer an issue, for White, as Black's Doubled Isolated b-Pawns and Isolated d5-Pawn are sufficient weaknesses for White to take advantage of, with the aim of converting one of his Queenside Pawns into a Passed Pawn.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 94 - (RESULT) Weak-Square Complex (2 of 2), After 32.Rxb7 Rxb7 33.Rxb4
(RESULT) Weak-Square Complex
(2 of 2), After 32.Rxb7 Rxb7 33.Rxb4
After 32.Rxb7 Rxb7 33.Rxb4, Black resigns following the exchange of Rooks (32.Rb6xb7 Re7xb7) and the subsequent loss of his b4-Pawn (33.Rb3xb4).

Whatever happens, White can force his a-Pawn through to become a Passed Pawn (Black would lose his Rook, if his b5-Pawn were to capture White's ready-to-be-advanced a-Pawn).

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Summary of the Weak-Square Complex (2 of 2)...

  1. Black incurs a "Dark" Complex of Weak-Squares (Holes), on the Queenside, from the Queen's Gambit (Declined). Black's decision to advance his a-Pawn (7...a7-a6) appears to be the mistake, or at least the slight error, that leads to Black's "Dark" Complex of Weak-Squares, on the Queenside. Black's d5-Pawn requires support from a Pawn, but the only one available is Black's c7-Pawn. But, as soon as Black's c7-Pawn steps forward to form the required defensive Chain formation, it will leave Black with a "Dark" cluster of Holes (a7, b6, c7 & d6, will become the Weak-Square Complex), on the Queenside. Black's Weak-Square Complex results from the joint pressure from White's Knight (Nc3) and Queen (9.Qd1-b3) against Black's d5-Pawn, which forces Black to support his d5-Pawn, with his c-Pawn (9...c7-c6), leaving the b7-square without Pawn support, and the c7-square without Pawn occupancy, with the already vacant a7-square adding to the cluster.

  2. White trades Minor Pieces, to reduce Black's ability to defend his "Dark" Complex of Weak-Squares. The first Minor Piece swap is made, as both dark-Bishops are exchanged (10...Nf6-h5 11.Bg5xe7 Qd8xe7). The second Minor Piece swap is made, as Black decides to accept the loss of his King Knight (13...Nf6-e4 14.Bd3xe4), in order to remove the diagonal threat posed by White's light-Bishop (14...Qe7xe4).

  3. White increases pressure against Black's Queenside weakness, and also exchanges Queens, to reduce Black's ability to defend his "Dark" Complex of Weak-Squares. The increased pressure comes from both White Rooks. First, the Queen Rook is moved to the c-file, applying pressure against Black's c6-Pawn. However, White's Queen Rook is actually destined for the b-file, to apply pressure against Black's b-Pawn. White's King Rook comes across to take over the pressure along the c-file.

  4. White continues to apply pressure on the Queenside, while insuring against a Black invasion on the Kingside. All remaining White Pieces are focussed on Black's Queenside weakness (the "Dark" Complex of Weak-Squares), while on the Kingside, White's King and Pawns are pushed forward to meet any potential threat from Black's Kingside force (King, 3x Pawns, 1x Rook).

  5. White makes the break-through on the Queenside, busting through Black's Backward c7-Pawn, and then trading all remaining Minor Pieces (both Knights) and the c-file Rook, to leave Black with a critically weak Pawn Structure (Doubled Isolated Pawns & an Isolated Pawn).

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PGN

[Event "Bad Kissingen"]
[Site "05"]
[Date "1928.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Jose Raul Capablanca"]
[Black "Jacques Mieses"]
[ECO "D63"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "65"]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Nf3 O-O 7.Rc1 {PCC p.134 No.94A} a6 8.cxd5 exd5 9.Qb3 c6 10.Bd3 Nh5 11.Bxe7 Qxe7 12.O-O Nhf6 13.Na4 {PCC p.135 No.94B} Ne4 14.Bxe4 Qxe4 15.Qb4 Qg6 16.Qe7 f6 17.Rc3 Qe8 18.Qd6 Rf7 19.Rfc1 Qf8 20.Qxf8+ Kxf8 21.Ne1 Ke8 22.Nd3 Rb8 23.f3 Re7 24.Kf2 Nf8 25.Rb3 Nd7 26.g4 b5 27.Nac5 Nb6 28.Nb4 Bb7 29.Nxb7 Rbxb7 30.Rxc6 a5 31.Rxb6 axb4 32.Rxb7 Rxb7 33.Rxb4 1-0

End.

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