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]


Bent Larsen's 8-Point Method
for Assessing Moves

  1. What type of pawn structure is it?

  2. What is good and what is bad about my position?

  3. Which pieces do I want to exchange, and which do I want to keep?

  4. Which side of the board should I play on?

  5. What is my dream position?

  6. What does my opponent want to do?

  7. Can I take a step in the right direction?

  8. Which moves are worth taking a look at?


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

(KW, August 16th) Moves worth taking a look at:

Candidate Move 1: 13. Nd6 Bxd6 14. exd6 Qxd6 ...

... loses a pawn, and opens the Kingside to Black.


Candidate Move 2: 13. a3 Nxe5 14. Nxe5 Qxe5 15. Qf3 Nf6 ...

... and Black has successfully captured the center and a pawn, and protected the Kingside.


Candidate Move 3: 13. h4 Nxe5 14. Nxe5 Qxe5 15. Qf3 Nf6 ...

... and again Black has successfully captured the center and a pawn, and protected the Kingside.


Candidate Move 4: 13. Ng5 Bxg5 ...

... Strategically it is sound, but tactically it does not work.


Candidate Move 5: 13. Nxc5 Bxc5 ...

... loses Knight for a pawn. Not a good trade, but keeps center intact.


Candidate Move 6: 13. Ned2 ...

... We will lose 2 tempi, but the position is salvageable. Need to go the other way on the Kingside, Nd2-f1-h2-g4, as in regular King's Indian Attack. 2 tempi is better than a pawn (generally =3 tempi) in 13. Nd6 variation, and keeps the center closed. The Knight also defends light squares. Also hinders a c4 push by Black. Pieces are better coordinated.

Candidate Move 7: 13. c4!? ...

... (an intermezzo move taking advantage of the fact that this Knight has few squares to move to - move derived from the Point Count analysis above, and that we need to remove possible defenders of the Kingside).

Now, Black has several choices:

KW explains Bent Larsen's 8-Point Method- Point 8
After 13. c4!?
  1. 13...dxc3 (e.p.) 14. Nxc3 Nxc3 14. Bxc3 - White now protects e5 with his Bishop, and can further protect by 15. d4. White will have 2 pawns to one in the center, a definite advantage. The Bishop can retreat to b2 as needed.

  2. 13...dxc3 14. Nxc3 Nb4 15. a3! putting the question to the Knight.

  3. 13....bxc4 14. bxc4 Nb4 15. a3 with the same problem in the last variation, and now there is an open b-file. White will be able to get his Rook on b1 before Black can get a Rook on the b-file.

  4. 13...bxc4 14. bxc4 Nb6 15. Rb1 with an advantage for White on the b-file.

  5. 13...Nb4 14. a3 with the same problems.

  6. 13...Nb6 and 14. cxb5!? forcing the second Knight to move to a worse position, and winning a pawn.

  7. 13...(any other) 14. cxd5 with a complicated position. Getting rid of this Knight means no Nf6 on the defense of the Kingside once pawn on e5 moves or is captured. We are well placed to attack on either flank.

(KW, August 16th) OK, I've changed my mind. We should move c4!? as it seems to be the best.



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