GW-KW, Point Count Chess Raw Discussion, File #9:
Part of the Advanced Beginner's Chess Guide (Section 2)
Bent Larsen's 8-Point Method
for Assessing Moves
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.
(KW, August 16th) EVERY time there is a move, this question should be asked and answered, even if you have considered it before. Here we get into tactics, which some have estimated as being 80% of chess.
Until we get our Chess Vision to where we can see the board clearly many moves down the line, things sometimes look different once a move is actually made. The way to understand this question is to break it into four parts:
The four main questions should be asked each time. Obviously, not all these sub-questions are relevant for every piece on every move, but you should be asking several of these sub-questions each move, and they will suggest others to you that should be asked.
Right-thinking will lead to better decisions, and better chess.
Here is another tip, especially with Queen moves, and how to hinder her from gaining an advantage on a file:
In Game 4, on Move 6, we had a discussion of what Black intended ...
RECENT MOVES: 6. Nbd2 Be7
(GW, July 12th) PROPOSED MOVE: 7. e4
Reasoning: Reasoning: Simply because it completes the sequence, forming the position known as the King's Indian Attack (KIA), as discussed above.
With the current position, our e-pawn will be moving within striking range of Black's d-pawn, with Black to move. This could lead to an Exchange of pawns, via 7. ... dxe4 8. dxe4, leaving us with a pawn on e4, protected by Nd2, thus safe from Black's Nf6.
Black might seek to bring the QN down to c4, via Nbd7-b6-c4, rather than playing an immediate 8. ... Nc6, which would block the fianchettoed QB's view of the Center squares (d5,e4). So, let's see (I'm making the moves manually, in Fritz 12 - Engine OFF):
7. e4 dxe4 8. dxe4 Nbd7 ...
We could, then, push the e-pawn:
9. e5 ... Actually, no I don't think we should, as 9. ... Ne4 leaves Black's KN in a strong position on e4, with protection from Black's Bb7, and 10. Nxe4 Bxe4 doesn't seem good for us.
9. Re1 and, in fact, I'm not sure Black's QN to c4, now via b6-c4, would be viable, certainly not in successive moves, as 9. ... Nb6 10. b3 sees our b-pawn shut Black's Knight out of c4, for the time-being.
However, Black's Knight would still be stronger on b6, being able to contest and help Control, d5, in the Center, while also strengthening Black's interests at a4 and c4, respectively.
Putting it all together, one line could be:
7. e4 dxe4 8. dxe4 Nbd7 9. Re1 Nb6 10. b3 ... and then I feel I'm getting beyond the current scope of my chess-brain (such as it is; I have to note that it took me about 20 minutes to think through that, and that's with the help of manually moving the pieces in Fritz, rather than the ideal of playing it through in my mind).
If nobody's refuted the KIA - and, especially if a player as esteemed as the legendary Bobby Fischer have used it in championship matches - I see little reason to look at any other move than 7. e4, completing the KIA sequence, come what may.
We went a different way because of the various threats. Good example of looking at files and diagonals before making a move, and eliminating the intervening pieces.
(GW) On Page 8 Ken explains Bent Larsen's seventh point: 7. Can I take a step in the right direction?.
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