(GW, January 2nd 2012) This is where I get a bollocking, pastor-style ...
(KW, June 6th)
***. We are looking at the SQUARES!
That quote you use is important in many ways. I think it needs to be interpreted like this: "The Weak-Square Complex: A whole series of squares of one color." PERIOD
. "may become holes" means a hole is not a hole unless the "Hole Square" is attacked and cannot be defended by a Bishop or Queen (that is, it is Vulnerable to an opposing pawn or piece). By saying "MAY BECOME
holes through the DISAPPEARANCE
of the bishop tied to squares of that color.", the MAY BECOME
shows that the Bishop can still be around. The MAY BECOME
is talking about the general weakness of a HOLE
), not about the Weak Square Complex.
Let's try to define it a different way to elucidate: ANYTIME
you move a pawn, you are creating what could be a hole on a different square (if you start a game e4, you have created at least one potential hole on e2). A Hole is a square that cannot be defended by a pawn. Most of the time, when you create a Pawn Chain, it is strong because you have a Bishop or Queen to protect the holes on diagonals (squares) that the pawns in the pawn chain cannot defend.
If the pawns in the Pawn Chain are on dark squares, they cannot attack a pawn or piece that lands next to it on a light square, because a pawn can only attack diagonally on the same color that it is currently on. Because they cannot attack that pawn or piece that is next to them, they need a piece (usually Bishop or Queen, who can move on the diagonals) to defend /attack for them.
But suppose your opponent places pawns or pieces in such a way that a Bishop could not defend the holes (As in Dan Heisman's Elements
book, p. 38, what I will call diagram A (I will go with page number followed by A,B,C depending where it came on the page).
Here, both sides have Pawn Chains. Both sides have Bishops. Both sides have holes (White: b2,c3,d4,e5,f6; Black:f7,d7,c6,b5,a4 - these are the holes that can be attacked - a true hole. There are holes at f5 and h5 for White and f6 and h6 for Black, but these wouldn't count a point for a hole, because they cannot be attacked). And both sides have Weak Square Complexes (White: a Weak Dark Square Complex; Black: a Weak Light Square Complex).
Both side's Bishops have good Mobility, but they do not have Flexibilty, because any square they move to, they are Vulnerable. This is truly one of the best diagrams to show all these factors I have ever seen. Go over this diagram and this paragraph until this makes sense, and reread Heisman around this diagram.
So, practically, the way to determine Weak Square Complexes is 2 fold:
- Count how many pawns on each side are on light squares, and how many are on dark squares (in our game we are discussing and at this position, looking at White, 3 and 5).
If there is an imbalance, that does NOT
mean you have a Weak Square Complex. You need to look at step 2:
- How many pieces of the opponent are attacking squares and CONTROL squares on the color that are weak? (upon Black's next move, 3...Nf6, Black attacks and COA Controls e4 and g4. Thus there is a Weak Square Complex that Black is controlling White's Weak Squares (light squares e4 and g4). This is an advantage and is countable. Note again that all Bishops are on the board.
Really this is about all there is to Weak Square Complexes. Go through steps 1 and 2. Take advantage of whichever shade (light or dark) your opponent is weaker by placing your pawns and pieces to increase your Mobility on their weak shade, limit your opponent's Flexibility, and increase your opponent's Vulnerabilty to their weak squares.
COA Control does step 2 well (it could do it even better if it reported light and dark squares separately), but ignores step 1. When we discuss Vulnerability, and are able to add it to COA, you will have a powerful analysis program.