Kindred’s Special: Tension on the Chess Board resembles Life

A perfect example how chess and life mirror one another come from the tension seen in emotional feelings and expression.  For the chess enthusiast, years of historical collections of such writings creates, in picture form, the building of tension patterning  conflict, plans, ideas, and decisional judgments that touch both tactical and positional motifs in chess and built into life experiences.

Tension is a key ingredient in all chess strategy and consumes much of the combatants attention.  In my analysis that led to the idea of square count, the  attack and defense squares centered around Capablanca’s fundamental idea of combined development as I saw it, being a form of pressure chess, necessitating both the art of attack and the art of defense, when facing moves that try to churn the guts of a position.

Larry Evans wrote a book explaining his thoughts on time, space, force, pawn structure and converting one positive to another with the opponent making effort to neutralize or even crash the whole venture by turning the tables.  Likewise, the writings of Dr. Emmanuel Lasker saw chess as a struggle.  Do we not see these thoughts of great writers, thinkers and players establishing a principium connection between life and chess?

Take any opening, and the very nature of pawn structure and piece movement cries out –TENSION. There is immediate tension as well as long-range tension that fester on the edge of explosive force.  Conversely, there is a  defanging tension.  Some elementary examples are:

1. e4  e6  2. d4  d5  3. Nc3 Nf6  4. e5  Nfd7  5. f4  c5  6. Nf3  Nc6  7. Be3 a6 8. Qd2 b5 9. a3  g5!? A fighting new idea. Maintaining central pawn and square tension.

1. e4  e6  2. d4  d5  3. exd5  exd5  4. Nf3  Releases the central pawn tension, a favorite of Blackburn and Capablanca.

1. e4  e6  2. d4  d5  3. e5 Releases tension over to Black.

The French Defence provides good examples of different patterns and tension.

Here is a good game I found played by Petrosian against Bobby Fischer (White) featuring the MacCutcheon system*. This radical defensive line has its moments but is rarely adopted by French players.  Features a Kingly walk by Petrosian.

1. e4  e6  2. d4  d5  3. Nc3  Nf6  4. Bg5 Bb4*  5. e5  h6  6. Bd2 Bxc3 7. Bxc3 (bxc3 is better) Ne4  8. Ba5 O-O 9. Bd3 Nc6 10. Bc3  Nxc3  11. bxc3  f6  12. f4 fxe5 13. fxe5  Ne7  14. Nf3 c5  15. O-O Qa5 16. Qe1 Bd7  17. c4  Qxe1 18. Rfxe1  dxc5  19.Be4  cxd  20. Bxb7 Rab8 21. Ba6 Rb4 22. Rad1 d3  23. cxd3  cxd3  24, Rxd3  Bc6  25. Rd4  Rxd4  26. Nxd4  Bd5  27. a4  Rf4  28. Rd1 Ng6  29. Bc8  Kf7 30. a5  Nxe5  31. a6  Rg4 32. Rd2  Nc4  33. Rf2ch Ke7 34. Nb5 Nd6 35. Nxd6 Kxd6 36. Bb7 Bxb7 37. axb7 Kc7 38. h3  Rg5  39. Rb2 Kb8 40. Kf2 Rd5 41. Ke3  Rd7 42. Ke4 Rxb7  Petrosian won.

Another game demonstrates an example of tension that again is combined with what I call pressure chess. It provides an interesting lesson in posing chess strategy as a crapshoot of sorts.  It is an interesting battle between two students from the Student Olympiad of 1962.

Eduard  Gufeld  vs.  Lubomir Kavalek   Opening: Ruy Lopez (Cordel Gambit*). Multi-tensions stir the juices of this game.

1. e4  e5  2. Nf3 Nc6  3. Bb5  Bc5  4. c3  f5?!*

Black decides to hopefully catch his opponent in a line he prepared for and consequently White does not respond with the recommended book line that suggests the best way to try and achieve an opening advantage.  It is a kin to the Schliemann Defence that goes 3…f5 a move earlier.

5. d4  fxe4 6. Ng5?!

6. Bxc6  dxc6 7. Nxe5 is a book recommendation.

6. …Bb6  7. d5  e3! 

Gufeld may have hoped for a quick win if 7. …Nce7 8. Ne6 winning the Queen!

8. Ne4  Qh4  9. Qf3  Nf6 10. Nxf6/ch gxf6  11. dxc6  exf2/ch 12. Kd1? (Kf1!) dxc6  13. Be2 Be6  14. Qh5/ch Qxh5  15. Bxh5/ch Ke7 16. b3  Bd5   17. Ba3/ch  Ke6  18. Bg4/ch  f5  19. Bh3  Rhg8  20. Nd2  Bxg2  21. Bxg2  Rxg2  22. Rf1 Rd8  23. Ke2  Rxd2/ch!!  24. Kxd2 e4  25. Bf8  f4  26. b4  Rg5  27. Bc5  Rxc5  28. bxc5  Bxc5  29. Rab1  f3  30. Rb4  Kf5  31. Rd4  Bxd4  32. cxd4  Kf6 White Resigns.

Did you notice that Black did not lose any of his eight pawns!!

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