Making the Most of a Material Advantage:
Part of the Chess Strategies Guide (Section 1: Strategies)

Chess Strategies Guide
Section 1: Strategies
[Making the Most of a Material Advantage]

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About This Article...

Winning Chess Strategies - TeaserThis article includes my notes, additional images and interactive chess positions from my study of Yasser Seirawan's book, Winning Chess Strategies.

Winning Chess Strategies,
Revised edition
ISBN: 978-1-85744-385-1
Chapter 1. Making the Most of a Material Advantage (p14-31)

Making the Most of a Material Advantage

Chess Strategies - Section 1 - Intro - Start of GameThe player who has a Material Advantage has, collectively, more Pawns and Pieces on the board than their opponent.

For instance, both players start each game with a material force of 16 units (8 Pawns, 2 Knights, 2 Bishops, 2 Rooks, 1 Queen, and 1 King) ...

If, say, Black were to capture just a single Pawn of White's army, without reply, Black would have a Material Advantage, albeit a very slim one.

Having a larger Material force - a surplus of troops - than your opponent means you have more options, which don't usually exist when both sides have equal numbers on the board.

Two options available to the player with a Material Advantage:

  1. You have a greater variety of troops for defensive duties.

  2. You can sacrifice material, for the benefit of defending your position and still retain a fighting edge.
Chess Strategies - Section 1 - Intro - Material Advantage

Making the Most of a Material Advantage, Index

  1. Overwhelming Your Opponent (page 2)
    Material Advantages, Teaser, Overwhelming Your Opponent.There are two clear Strategies revealed in this article:

    Strategy #1: If you capture enemy material, you should consolidate your position before launching further attacks.

    Strategy #2: When attacking with a Material Advantage, you should look to find a target and try to figure out a way to attack it! Targets you plan to attack should be stationary.

  2. Throwing Away a Material Advantage (page 3)
    Material Advantages, Teaser, Throwing Away a Material Advantage.This article features two examples of "Odds" Games, which reveal how a Material Surplus can be thrown away.

    The examples highlight some Common Mistakes that can lose a game from a winning advantage.

  3. Trading Pieces for a Winning Endgame (page 4)
    Material Advantages, Teaser, Trading Pieces for a Winning Endgame.This article focuses on one specific Strategy:

    Strategy #1: If you find yourself with a Material Surplus, even if you're ahead by just a single Pawn, then don't hang about -- look for every opportunity to Exchange your Pieces off the board ... and Simplify the position, transitioning quickly into a winning advantage in the Endgame.

Moving On: Overwhelming Your Opponent (Page 2).

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