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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bird’s Opening (3), painful pawns

Today’s game is a USCF rated game at the club played at G75 with a 30 second increment, a time control which enhances the endgame. My opponent is a class-E player who occasionally uncorks a good game. Unfortunately for me, it was this night. The opening is the Bird and 4.b4 creates the Orangutan variation.

An after-game discussion with a class-A member who saw much of the game evoked a suggestion that Andrew Soltis’ Pawn Structure Chess may improve my game. I examined today’s game, concentrating on my pawn play. It was terrible as my game comments emphasize. .

When my opponent grabbed my a-Pawn, it gave me the chance to force a draw with repetition of moves. I was 2 pawns down at this point and (truthfully) tired of defending.

The variations and move evaluations are Houdini’s (1.5 32-bit), diagnosed with ‘Scid vs PC’ at 15 seconds per ply and a 0.6 error threshold. The verbal comments are my thoughts during the game and my interpretations of the analysis provided by Houdini. The score chart is at the bottom of this entry.

I do not like Soltis’ writing. I did open my copy of Hans Kmoch’s Pawn Power and already am learning new (or is it old?) principles and techniques. Web comments rate Pawn Power at 1300-1700, whereas Pawn Structure Chess is rated ?-2300. I definitely need to improve my pawn play.

I printed an online dictionary of Kmoch’s neologisms to facilitate the study of Pawn Power. I am using SCID on my nexus 7 to duplicate and explore the book’s examples. Stay tuned to see if it makes my list of ‘Chess Books that have Helped Me the Most’ at the bottom of the blog.

Today’s endgame study: taken from chapter 3 of Pawn Power in Chess by Hans Kmoch, where the 1925-26 Hastings tournament game between Alexander Alekhine and F. D. Yates is used to illustrate dynamic monochromy. The position is taken from where Black resigns and is used as an exercise in endgame technique. Although White is ahead by only one pawn, Black’s Bishop is virtually useless.

Take the endgame FEN and paste it into your favorite engine and try to repeat the win. My opponent was Houdini set at full strength.

FEN "4bk2/8/4PK2/p7/2pP2p1/2N3P1/P7/8 b - - 0 1"

1 comment:

  1. You realy dont like your black-squared bishops. At this game you did realy everything to make it bad, bad, bad. Pawnstructures are important, but without pieceplay it dont work at all.
    You should keep the strategy of development in your mind:

    Dont move too many pawns
    very few! pawnmoves related to the center ( usually c-d-e pawns or fianchetopawns )
    bring all pieces out to a save square where they have influence
    dont move a piece twice in the opening
    Then castle
    then conect the rooks

    And THEN start playing chess

    so i suggest:
    1) learning the rules/principles/strategy of the opening
    2) Pawnstructures