Trading Pieces for a Winning Endgame
Seirawan Strategy Example #3

Winning Chess Strategies, Diagram 8, p29

This example is different from both #1 & #2, in that it's taken from a real game, rather than being a hypothetical position set by Yasser Seirawan.

In the position shown (far below), Material is EVEN, so there's currently no Material Surplus for either army to contemplate trading down to Simplify the position.

Looking at the position closely:

All-in-all, White probably has an advantage due to Superior Development. We'll see in a moment whether it was good enough to claim the victory, or whether Black was able to figure out a way to play his way into a winning advantage!

Now we get to the crux of this Strategy Example...

Black is behind in development and is being tempted by the undefended b2-Pawn (would give Black the Material Surplus) that Seirawan points out has been left by White as "BAIT". Before plunging ahead, Black should remind himself of the following TWO Questions...


IF behind in development AND your opponent has left a Pawn/Piece available for capture, ask yourself the following 2 Questions, first:
  1. "Will I be able to close the gap in development after capturing the Pawn/Piece?"

  2. "By capturing, I know my attacking Pawn/Piece will open paths for enemy forces to gain access ... Can I complete the capture and consolidate my position, without being compromised?"


[Event "Ervin Memorial"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1987.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Gormon"]
[Black "Silman"]
[Result "*"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "r3kb1r/p2bpppp/1qpp4/6B1/3NP1n1/2N5/PPP2PPP/R2Q1RK1 b kq - 0 0"]
[PlyCount "45"]

1...Qxb2 2.Qd2 h6 3.Bh4 g5 4.Rab1 Qa3 5.Rb3 Qa5 6.Bg3 Bg7 7.h4 gxh4 8.Bxh4 Bxd4 9.Qxd4 Qe5 10.Qxe5 Nxe5 11.Rb7 f6 12.f3 Bc8 13.Rb4 Rg8 14.Kh1 Kf7 15.Rfb1 Rd8 16.Bg3 c5 17.Rb8 Rxb8 18.Rxb8 Nc6 19.Rb2 Rd7 20.Bf4 h5 21.Nd5 Rb7 22.Bc1 Rxb2 23.Bxb2 Be6 *