The Amateur Eye–Lecture on Squares

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!



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