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...
This article includes my notes, additional images and interactive chess positions from my study of Yasser Seirawan's
book, Winning Chess Strategies
Winning Chess Strategies,
Chapter 1. Making the Most of a Material Advantage (p14-31)
The 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:
- You have a greater variety of troops for defensive duties.
- You can sacrifice material, for the benefit of defending your position and still retain a fighting edge.
Making the Most of a Material Advantage, Index
- Overwhelming Your Opponent (page 2)
There are two clear Strategies revealed in this article:
If you capture enemy material, you should consolidate your position before
launching further attacks.
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.
- Throwing Away a Material Advantage (page 3)
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.
- Trading Pieces for a Winning Endgame (page 4)
This article focuses on one specific Strategy:
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).