GW-KW, Point Count Chess Raw Discussion, File #9:
Part of the Advanced Beginner's Chess Guide (Section 2)
KW explains How To Develop a Plan,
for Control of the Center
[July 7th 2011]
(GW) Ken's explanation of "How to Develop a Plan" came right at the beginning of Game 4, after I'd gone through the autopilot moves of the Barcza Opening, against Fritz 12.
I've included these moves, plus my comments, analysis and proposed move, as Ken uses the current position as part of his explanation ...
(GW, July 7th) The previous game, which saw us use the Barcza Opening, was set at Depth Level 5. I'm interested to see how we'd fare against Fritz 12, set at its maximum levels: Depth @ Level 50 and selecting "Optimize Strength".
Ken's Comments ...
(KW, July 7th) Boy, GW likes to give us a real challenge! At that level and strength, even strong Grandmasters have a challenging game (from what I can find, Fritz 12 is rated at 2900+ at maximum level! Gulp!!).
It will give us a good fight, and we will learn more about Center Control (hopefully by White, but also if by Black it will be very instructive).
RECENT MOVES: 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 b5 3. Bg2 Bb7 4. O-O e6
(GW, July 7th) PROPOSED MOVE: 5. b3
Reasoning: With square d5 already 3x defended (Black's Bb7, Nf6 and e6-pawn), I anticipate 5. ... d5, regardless of our 5th move, and possibly gearing up for a 3-pawn Phalanx on the 5th Rank, with 6. ... c5.
That'd be quite a formidable line-up, with further potential for an Advanced Salient with Black playing c5-c4, at some stage.
With all that in mind, my attention focuses on e4. Black already attacks this square 2x.
If 5. ... d5, Black would have a strong support point for moving the KN to e4 (such a position caused us quite a bit of trouble, in Game 3, I recall).
Moves considered ...
- 5. d4
This was the first move that sprang to mind, at the prospect of
5. ... d5, but before considering the threat to e4.
With our Nf3 already guarding the d4 square, our d-pawn would be moving to a square where it'd be 2x defended (Qd1 would come into play in the same pawn advance).
In addition, we'd also be releasing our dark-Bishop, for a potential move to g5 - perhaps the Relative Pin on Nf6 will still be available, which would effectively remove one of Black's units, attacking both e5 & d4, respectively.
- 5. d3
Because of the possible threat of Black's Nf6 moving to e4, with d5-pawn as the strong support point, my alternative plan is to temporarily postpone getting a pawn into the Center (5. d4) and, instead, create a support point with 5. d3 and then, maybe 6. e4, since 6. ... dxe4 7. dxe4 Qxd1 8. Rd1 would see both Queens removed from the board and our KR left on the Open d-file. Would Black really allow that to happen?
Another outcome might be 5. ... d5 6. e4 dxe4 7. dxe4 Bxe4 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8, leaving Black having to Manually Castle the King (costing a few moves in the process).
5. ... d5 6. e4 d4 won't happen, as that leaves Black's d-Pawn En Prise to our Nf3, with our Bg2 able to protect our e4-pawn.
- 5. b3
Instead, we could leave the Center under-contested for at least one more move and continue Flank development ...
Our b-pawn would move (b2-b3), firstly, to contest a4 and c4 with Black's own b-pawn; secondly, to enable our QB to fianchetto onto b2, from where it would threaten Black's Nf6, while also working with our Nf3 in guarding both d4 & e5 twice, respectively.
By playing 5. d3 or 5. d4, it seems we're breaking away early from the Hypermodern theory of Flank development, to put direct pressure on the Center, rather than immediately striving to occupy the Center, which was the Classicist's theory.
I am aware of Hypermoderns taking things too far with Flank development, to the detriment of their games (Larry Evans, New Ideas In Chess, page 14-15). But, I don't think we're quite at that stage just yet; we could probably go another move or two allowing Black play in the Center, while we build pressure on the Center from the outside ... then we decide how we're going to develop, to gain Control of the Center.
So, I'm looking at 5. b3, 6. Bb2, regardless of Black's 5th move.
Okay, that takes care of the build-up. Over the next four pages, KW begins by performing his own analysis of the current position (Page 2), and then uses it to explain "How to Develop a Plan" (from Page 3).