The Principle of Space and the Space Count System:
Part of the Beginner's Chess Guide (Section 2)

The Principle Of Space &
The Space Count System

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When doing battle on the Chess Board, the most common strategy a beginner has in mind is to go out, attack the enemy and capture as much of the opposing army as possible.

There's nowt wrong that - it's an aggressive option and, if you're facing an opponent who is careless with positioning their pieces, it can be a quick and lucrative strategy.

Space Count - Graphic However, there will come a time when you're facing a more-cunning and tactically savvy opponent ...

Such a player will likely be observant about what you're up to and so deploys their army in positions that make your attacking ambitions more difficult.

Against such a foe, you need to change tack and deploy your own units with a bit more thought behind their placements ... In other words, you need to adopt a different, more-patient, positional Strategy.

The Strategy you're being introduced to, on this page, makes use of the Principle of Space ...

Space and the Space Count System Index

Cherry-pick your way through the following articles, or read them in the order they've been laid out:

  1. The Principle of Space (page 1)
    Space is defined by the area - or territory - on the Chess Board, controlled by each player. The more space your army has to 'safely' operate, the less space your opponent has to operate ... thus, you have a Space Advantage.

  2. The Space Count System (page 2)
    According to Yasser Seirawan's 'Winning Chess Tactics book, Space Count refers to: "A numerical system used to determine who controls more space, in which 1 point is allocated to each square ..." - take a deep breath - "... on one player's side of the board that is controlled by a piece or pawn belonging to the other player".

  3. How to use a Space Advantage (page 3)
    The key to using any Space advantage lies in the correct use of your Major Pieces (Queen and Rooks) and Minor Pieces (Knights and Bishops), respectively.

  4. Gaining a Space Advantage in the Opening (page 4)
    From your very first move, all your focus should be on developing your Major- and Minor- Pieces to positions where their range of movement will be most effectively exploited ... Your Pawns, on the other hand, should be advanced to positions so they support your Pieces.

  5. Defending Against Opponent's Space Advantage (page 5)
    If you find yourself disadvantaged, with your opponent holding the Space Advantage, here's what you should do, as per the recommendations of the legendary Jose Raul Capablanca: "Seek to Trade your way out of the restricted position, either with a single Trade, or a series of Trades."

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