GW-KW, Point Count Chess Raw Discussion, File #9:
Part of the Advanced Beginner's Chess Guide (Section 2)
How To Develop a Plan
(KW, July 7th) The following is how to take the current position, and develop a plan. Each choice is a pattern of moves (or system) that can be applied where they fit best. Let's look at each of these choices in order, as they would be developed:
(i) 5. d4, a Queen's Pawn Opening.
The move (5. d4) would be a possibility, but we are already occupying one square (d4) and attack another square (e5) that we are already attacking with Nf3. See Diagram 4-2a, above.
White is occupying d4 and attacking c5 and e5. Remember, when we occupy, we do not control. So only c5 and e5 are influenced by this move. This is not a strong way to Control the Center.
The advantage it has is that it does occupy and attack dark squares, on which currently Black is slightly weaker (look at the Pawns, and the KB that is not directly influencing the Center). This is not our best move.
(ii) 5. c4, The Reti Opening.
The Reti Opening (5. c4) is a good choice whenever Black moves to d5.
In Diagram 4-2b, above, it is obvious that the c4 pawn could be taken immediately. Our c-pawn is probably worth twice as much as Black's b-pawn, and if he takes, he will have 2 c-pawns to 0. He will have much better Control of the Center.
But how would White retake? Normally, White could retake with the Queen by checking on a4 (Green squares) because the d-pawn would have moved from d7.
But here it hasn't, and after 5. ... bxc4 6. Qa4 (White's 1st move with the Queen) Black would play 6. ... Nc6 (developing with tempo) 7. Qxc4 (2nd move) 7. ... d5 (developing with another gain in tempo) and no retake would be possible.
Black has developed better than White, and White's Queen will have to move a 3rd time.
Same thing happens if White moves Qc2 (6. Qc2 d4) protecting the Pawn. Now Qa4+ (2nd move) Nc6 and Black makes developing moves while White is losing tempo with no real plan.
Black could continue with Bc5 (and Black is prepared to castle), and if attacked, Bb6 serving as a long range Pawn covering b7 and attacking White's Kingside with a Bishop battery, and having excellent Piece control of the Center, after castling.
The other option would be with Nb1, which could move to c3, or in this case, to a3 attacking c4. But the same problem happens as with the Queen. d5 solves Black's problems, and is up a Pawn, and would return it when favorable (such as when White tries d3 or d4).
I think we would have an uphill battle if we wanted to fianchetto our QB, and the move c4 now seems dangerous. Maybe I am missing something, but I can't recommend it here. See the Repertoire Suggestions for more on the Reti.
(iii) 5. b3 and 6. Bb2, The Nimzo-Larsen Opening.
The two greatest proponents of this system are A. Nimzovitch (My System fame) and Bent Larsen, both of whom played this way many times.
The main idea which is obvious is to get a Bishop on the long diagonal of a1-h8. When combined with the Barcza Opening, it can be a powerful force to criss-cross the Center and gain control.
Look at Diagram 4-2c, above. The QB is on a good diagonal, and both Bishops will strike the Center (as Green squares show), but currently Black's QB is controlling the a8-h1 diagonal (Yellow arrow). The King's Knight on f3 will still be pinned.
White is attacking a few more squares, but is it enough? We'll keep this in the back of our minds as we look at others.
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