Understanding the laws of chess has been made difficult because the stress has been on the physical pieces and pawn structures rather than addressing what I consider to be most important–the terrain which means the 64 squares on the board. As I said, I had no coaches and just loved the feel of the pieces, the art of battle laid plans, and how these all combined together on the board in front of me. My paper on the subject of chess for my English teacher which I had orally sought acceptance was met with, “I don’t know much about chess but I encourage you to explore and have faith in your own views.” As I said, I took my paper to both Drs. Herzberger, a student of Einstein, and Marchand who was a mathematician at Kodak Research and U of R. Each said it was an interesting idea but warned me that such a revolutionary concept about chess would probably not be well received by the powers that be. Still, they encouraged me to follow my dream. I have, of course, related some of this in earlier writings.
A blitz game played between Karpov and Shirov in 2006 adds fuel to the fire perhaps to lend support to my assertions of the value of giving square count, if for no one else but my readers, and to some who have said chess was too hard to learn, had no one to learn from where books left a lot of confusion.
l. d4 Nf6 2. c4 I actually prefer 2. Nf3 to avoid a gambit like 2….e5 3. d:e5 Ng4 leading to very tricky play.
2. … g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. c:d5 N:d5 5. e4 N:c3 6. b:c3 Bg7 The concept of the Fianchetto
Bishop was made popular in the England-France chess match between St. Amant of France and Howard Staunton of England. Over a hundred years, it’s refinement into many opening patterns tells us that it was a valuable tool for both roles of offense and defense.
7. Be3 c5 It is important to challenge the central complex of white’s domination of the center.
8. Qd2 Qa5 9. Rb1 b6 Here, we see the value of square count. White has established a powerful center, control of a half-open b-file by an energetic Rook. Black’s aim must be to counter this. He did so with 7…c5 and the Bishop aiming at the center.
10. Bc4 Bb7 11. f3 Nc6 12. Ne2 c:d4 13. c:d4 Q:d2+ 14. K:d2 Rd8 15. Rhd1 White pursues a plan to put pressure on the black position rather than play Bb5 to indirectly defend his pawn. Here is part of the joy of chess. White is looking to utilize his square majority influence in hopes of continued pressure on Black. Black will try to continue to focus on the center counter play. Chess play and strategy has built-in risks which often evolve out of wishes to create imbalances in positions which offer the best chances for victory by either side. Too much neutrality leads to draws.
15. … B:d4 16. N:d4 N:d4 17. Kc3 Nc6 18. R:d8+ N:d8 19. Rd1 Bc6 20. Bh6 Rg8 21. h4 Ne6 22. Rd2 Bd7 23. Be3 h5 24. Kb4 White has an active King against a passive King with almost no space to maneuver. (The lack of open/free squares.) This spells danger.
24. … Nd8 25. Kc3 Rf8 26. Bh6 Rh8 27. Bf4 Rf8 28. Bb8 Nc6 29. Bc7 White builds up the pressure wherein stress starts to play it’s role, too.
29. … Na5 30. Bb5 This move wins a piece because the Bishop is pinned since to expose the d8 square would allow Rd8 checkmate!
So we see in this game, a good example of the mission of square count possessing a key role in the conduct of the game by both sides. It does more, perhaps. The long term goal as well as devised short term plans trigger the elements of chess strategy and tactics!