How to Play Chess: Functions in position play

This example carries forward the SqCt theory but also stresses the role of function and central tension.

Botvinnik vs Keres  featuring The English Opening

1c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e5 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 [White can also choose 4.d4 which leads to a different type of game.] 4…Bc5 [Aggressive with alternatives perhaps being either g6 or d5.] 5.Nxe5 [Inviting black to either sac with Bxf2+ or 5…Nxe5 6.d4 Qe7! setting a pretty trap for if 7.dxc5 then Nf3 mate!! The K has no free square which to move nor can the N be captured. So, then White has to play 7.dxe5 Qxe5 8.Bg2 with central control of d5.] 5…Bxf2+ [Leave it to Keres to play for a sharp position even in the opening!] 6.Kxf2 Nxe5 7.e4 [Stopping d5 that would give black about equal chances.] 7…c5 8.d3 d6 9.h3 [Here is an example of SqCt defense of one’s own position guarding the g4 square.] 9…h5 10.Be2 [A two point idea that adds defense to g4 and Q protects the KR.] 10…Ng7 [Inviting White to capture the h pawn which would be a major mistake because after Ng5, Black gets an attack.] 11.Kg2 h4 12.g4 Ng5 13.Be3 Bd7 14.Qd2 Ne6 [Now placing a Rf1 is in accordance with SqCt seems the natural move but should it be played right now? Look around for alternative ideas was advice by Lasker among other great exponents of the game. For many of us, the chess clock tends to curb this vital search in the belief it saves time. Can White open lines or strengthen the center directly? The answer is yes and SqCt is advanced as well.] 15.b4! b6 [If 15…cxb4 16.Nd5 gives White increased control over the center. Now White starts a series of maneuvers to strengthen his position as Black has little he can do but wait to see how White will continue.] 16.Rab1 Bc6 17.Rhf1 Bb7 18.Kg1 Nc6 19.Nd5 Ncd4 20.Bd1 f6 21.Kh2 Bc6 [21…Bxd5 22.cxd5 Ng5 23.bxc5 dxc5 24.Ba4+ is winning for White.] 22.a4 a5 [Keeping with Keres philosophy to avoid passive play. I would suggest mayb Rb8 to keep the defense compact.] 23.bxa5 bxa5 24.Qf2 [Eying the h pawn requiring the Q to guard it and pressuring the Kside in general.] 24…Ra7 25.g5 0-0? [How often does castling appear to be a bad choice? Black should consider the position as White’s Nd5 outpost is his most dominate piece that influences squares deep in the enemy lines. The Kt should be hacked off with Bxd5!? no matter the consequences.] 26.g6 f5 [Black has to protect the h4 pawn but here we have an example from my lecture that illustrates a combination of tactic to remove a defender with a deflection.] 27.Rb8!! Qxb8 28.Qxh4 Qb2+ 29.Kh1 [There is no defense against mate in a few moves at most.] 1-0.

What are the lessons to be learned from this exciting battle and very instructive game to study? First we see a short range plan to secure a strong center by White. For Black, he chooses a plan to weaken the K position that included a neat little trap. Still, the physical structure curtails any real attack against the King and white is left with his strong center intact. No successful attack is good without central counterplay and White has seemingly shut that down completely. The black Queen is a perfect example of having a double function, to protect h4 and to guard the back rank. She cannot do both in the position as White demonstrates with the shocker Rb8.


6 Responses to “How to Play Chess: Functions in position play”

  1. two cents Says:

    How to Play Chess: Functions in position play: Mistake in tenth move of black How to Play…

  2. two cents Says:

    19. Kd5 the funniest move ever.

    via Without Decree: How to Play Chess: Functions in position play.

  3. kindredspiritks Says:

    two cents, I have given at least a few, if not more, examples of square count and even how I created it from my study of both Alekhine and Capablanca game play. My column started in July 2007./Don.

  4. Ruben Cristo Says:

    I drop a comment each time I like a guide on a website or if I have something to valuable to contribute towards the conversation. It’s a result from the fire communicated in the submit I browsed. And after reading this guide I was essentially moved enough to drop a comment here

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