Kindred’s Special: Sample of Square Count/ The Killing Fields

Lets take a look at square-count applied and instances where the numerical difference is deceptive due to position of the forces and pawn structure. The main question is whether my system is flawed. It is a legitimate question and hopefully this game will illustrate when the count bears out weaknesses in the concept. Still, the illustration here shows that the culprit lies in the misplaced pieces, tie-up forces due to blocked pawn chains rather than a blame on the dependability of the system itself.

White: Korolev    Black: Zhivodov      Opening: French Defense

1.e4  e6 2.d4  d5  3.Nd2  Nf6  4.e5  Nfd7

For an example of 4…Ne4, see my game vs Mark Rosebloom in a prior column. Sq/Ct 6/3.

5.f4  c5  6.c3  Nc6  7.Ndf3  a6

Not mentioned in ECO. It represents a defensive sq/ct of keeping out an enemy unit from b5.

8.Bd3  c4  9.Bc2  b5  10.g4  Nb6  11.Ne2  g6  12.Ng3  Kd7

Black decides to bike over to the Q-side with his King for safety.

13.O-O  Kc7

White now visualizes jump moves like Ng5>Qf3>Nh3>f5. Sq/Ct 10/10.

14.Ng5  Qe8  15.Qf3  h6  16.Nh3  a5  17.f5  g5

Sq/Ct 10/12. Now it seems to me that white needed to maintain the pawn tension and complete bringing more forces into preparation for attack. Again, visualize jump moves Be3>Rae1.


While increasing sq/ct, closing the file with the idea of cramping the black forces releases the tension and chance to open lines into the enemy position at some point.

18…b4  19.Nh5  a4  20.Ng7  Qd7  21.a3  bxa3  22.bxa3  Na5  23.Ra2  Nb3  24.Be3  Bb7

The blocking pawn chains and here the Sq/Ct of 17/9 begins to show the deceptiveness of using count for the purpose of “who has the advantage?” Even so, it requires aggressive counterplay to restore the balance and the position begins to illustrate that misplaced pieces merit considerable sway in determining the Sq/Ct effectiveness. The white Knights are far astray out of the main attack for the moment and the Rook is restricted in mobility. Black has room on the Q-side to infiltrate effectively because of this. Now both sides endeavor to improve the positions of their Knights.

25.Nf2  Nc8  26.Qh3  Na7  27.Bxg5  Bxa3  28.Rxa3  hxg5  29.Qe3  Nb5  30.Ra2  Qc6  31.Nh3  Qb6  32.Bd1  Nc1  33.Rc2  Nd3  34.Nxg5  a3  35.Nxf7  a2  36.Rxa2  Rxa2  37.Nxh8

White is up material but those pesky Knights are seen far afield.

37…Nxc3  38.f7  Qb2!

The only move.  After, 38…Nxd1 39.f8(Q)  Nxe3  40.Rf7+ Kc6  41.Qe8 checkmate.

39.Nxe6+ Kb6  40.Qh3  Nxd1  41.f8(Q) Ne3 42.Re1  Nf5  43.Rf1  Nxd4

Despite the Sq/Ct difference, the importance of piece and pawn placement play a dominate role in the battle.

44.Nxd4  Qxd4+  45.Kh1  Qb2

Threatening the Bishop entry with …d4+.

46.Qb8  Nf2+  47.rxf2  Qxf2  48.Qh6+ Ka5  49.Qc7+ Ka4  50.Qd7+ Ka5  Draw  (1/2-1/2).

This game should be studied in conjunction with the review of my Sq/Ct theory in the previous column.


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