GW-KW, Point Count Chess Raw Discussion, File #9:
Part of the Advanced Beginner's Chess Guide (Section 2)

KW explains Bent Larsen's
8-Point Method for Assessing Moves

[August 16th-22nd 2011]

(GW) Ken's explanation of Bent Larsen's 8-Point Method came about during Ken's explanation of his own 2-Point Principle for Assessing Moves, following my analysis and proposed 13th Move (13. h4) during Game 4. I've published my analysis, for that move, below, as it helps tie-in Ken's explanations.


(GW, August 5th) PROPOSED MOVE: 13. h4

Reasoning: It creates another Support Point for one of our Knights, this time, to get onto g5.

Other Candidate Moves I looked at, were:

  • 13. a3
    Simply to defend the b4-square.

  • 13. Qe2
    Forming a Queen-Rook Battery along the e-file, which also serves to Connect our two Rooks. The Queen could either be moved on, after that, to f1, while we possible double Rooks on the e-file, in support of our e-pawn ...

    Or, we might be able to play for an Exchange, with 14. Neg5 Bxg5 15. Nxg5.

Ken's Comments ...

(KW, August 7th) Hold on! I think you missed what the move Qc7 accomplishes. There are now TWO units attacking e5 to our ONE Unit of defense. Moving h4 will allow Black to capture on e5, and the Queen would be able to enter its defense of the Kingside. It also defends the QB, and supports an attack opening the c-file.

(GW) Ken first linked to his own 2-Point Principle for Assessing Moves before continuing with ...

Try Bent Larsen's method of 8 questions:

  1. What type of pawn structure is it?
    This is the skeleton of the position. If there are no pawns in the Center, Kingside or Queenside, then the pieces gain in importance on that part of the board. If Center pawns are blocked, then play to break through on the flanks.

    Kotov's Think Like a Grandmaster and Play Like a Grandmaster, as well as Euwe and Kramer's The Middlegame (Book 1) & (Book 2) go into this in greater detail.

  2. What is good and what is bad about my position?
    This is where Point Count comes in handy.

  3. Which pieces do I want to exchange, and which do I want to keep?
    If your opponent has a strong piece and you have a weak one, then you do not mind an exchange, and vice versa.

  4. Which side of the board should I play on?
    Your opponent's weakest spot should be attacked, but also you should play on the side of the board where you have the most pieces to use.

  5. What is my dream position?
    Ask, "If I were allowed to make several moves in a row, what would they be?"

  6. What does my opponent want to do?
    If your opponent has an obvious plan, it is good to hinder it. You take the sting out of the attack before it even begins.

  7. Can I take a step in the right direction?
    When you find an overall plan, find partial goals to achieve the overall plan.

  8. Which moves are worth taking a look at?
    These are your candidate moves. Analyze them more deeply and make the best move.

(GW) On Page 2 Ken begins with Bent Larsen's first point: What type of pawn structure is it?, using the current Game 4 position (up to 12. Ne4 Qc7), to help with his explanation.

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