Seirawan Strategy Example #4

Winning Chess Strategies, Diagram 16, p41

A recurring theme among these five examples is: "taking care to deploy your troops across the board, so you avoid creating for your opponent opportunities for counterplay, as that might result in them becoming the superior side!".

Remember, when you have the advantage, be it a Material Advantage and/or the benefit of Superior Development, the idea is to "keep your opponent helpless" by not giving them any means of counterplay.

So, first of all, we need to determine who has the Superior position ...

In Example #4, Material is EVEN (there isn't any Material Advantage for either side to gloat about), so we have to turn to Superior Development and, on balance, Black is arguably in a stronger position than White, and as a result, it is Black who has to keep White's army helpless...

Black is the one who, in Seirawan's words, is "the superior side" that has to "tread carefully to avoid giving the opponent (White) any counterplay."

To determine which is the Superior Side, by assessing "Quality of Development", see the ANALYSIS, beneath the ChessFlash player.

Now, we see what happened in the example game ...

Determining Which Is The Superior Side
by assessing "Quality of Development"

To determine whose side is superior, you need to look at the position and weigh up a number of qualitative factors:

• Development Quality of the Pawns:
What are the Strengths (+) & Weaknesses (-)?

• Development Quality of the Pieces:
What are the Strengths (+) & Weaknesses (-)?

• Territorial Quality. Are there any Weak Squares?:
Any Weak Squares that affect an army's position are a disadvantage (-) and so detract from their overall strengths.

So, let's assess Example #4, from the starting position, before 1...h5:

• Assessing White's Position...
1. (+) The Rooks are Connected;
2. (+) The d-File is Half-Open in White's favor;
3. (+) The Rooks are Connected;
4. (+) The Rook & Queen on the d-file form a Battery Attack against Black's Weak d6-Pawn, which is Backward. White has an advantage, here, although Seirawan does say that Black's Qb6 & Ke7 provide solid protection for their Weak d6-Pawn.
5. (+) The King is Castled and, on the grounds of safety, it could be argued he has the advantage of the Better King Position (although it must be noted that Black's King, despite being on its central file and off its Back Rank, isn't going to be bothered by any White troops any time soon -- providing "Black treads carefully", of course!);
1. (-) The c2-Pawn is Backward -- it's attacked to the front by Black's Rc8 and cannot move forwards because of the position of Black's b4-Pawn;
2. (-) The f2-Pawn attacked by Black's Queen and cannot move because of its King behind it on the same diagonal. This Pawn is, therefore, caught in an Absolute Queen Pin;
3. (-) The Bishop (Bg2) is a Bad Bishop;
4. (-) The Pieces in general are behind in development -- this is determined by Qd2, Ne2, Bg2 having only reached as far as their 2nd Rank, versus Black's identical Pieces (Ba6, Qb6 & Nf6) which have gone one better and made it to their 3nd Rank.

• Assessing Black's Position...
2. (+) The d6- & e5-Pawns claim 2-v-1 in the Center;
3. (+) The c-File is Half-Open in Black's favor;
4. (+) The Rooks are Connected;
5. (+) The Queen has White's Pawn caught in an Absolute Pin;
6. (+) The Pieces in general are better developed -- this is determined by Ba6, Qb6 & Nf6 on Black's 3rd Rank, versus White's identical Pieces (Qd2, Ne2, Bg2) only up as far as their 2nd Rank.
1. (-) The d6-Pawn is Backward -- it's attacked to the front by White's combined Queen & Rook, and it still be vulnerable to attack if it were to move forward, due to the position of White's e4-Pawn. Note: Seirawan points out that Black's Backward Pawn is well defended by Qb6 & Ke7. However, I've listed this as a weakness, because Horowitz & Mott-Smith consider the Backward Pawn to be a disadvantage.

On balance, before 1...h5 has been played, Black is the Superior Side.

Black is arguably in a stronger position than White, and as a result, it is Black who has to keep White's army helpless...

Black is the one who, in Seirawan's words, is "the superior side" that has to "tread carefully to avoid giving the opponent (White) any counterplay."

PGN

[Event "?"]
[Site "Vinkovci"]
[Date "1968.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Matulovic"]
[Black "Fischer"]
[Result "*"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "2r4r/4kppp/bq1p1n2/p3p3/Pp2P3/6PP/1PPQNPB1/R2R2K1 b - - 0 0"]
[PlyCount "11"]

1...h5 2.b3 Bxe2 3.Qxe2 Rc3 4.Rd3 Rhc8 5.Rxc3 Rxc3 6.Kh2 Qc5 *

End.