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52 votes
Accepted

Why struggle for a single pawn?

As the old poem says: For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of the rider the message was lost. For want of ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
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34 votes

Why struggle for a single pawn?

I'm not at all disagreeing with the existing answers - both sound. Indeed every pawn is a potential queen. However, one aspect of the question remaining is: why struggle for a pawn as opposed to a ...
wotnotv's user avatar
  • 541
13 votes
Accepted

Why does Black play Bh3+?

Black is going to lose the bishop regardless. White is attacking the queen in such a way that it will have to move (or be captured), and there are no available safe squares from which it can continue ...
Grant W's user avatar
  • 146
12 votes

Why struggle for a single pawn?

Another point which has not been raised by the excellent answers above is that pawns are easy to block. A pawn can be blocked by just one piece in front of it, and it cannot take the piece which ...
Orntt's user avatar
  • 221
11 votes
Accepted

Scandinavian Defence queen e5

This is a bit trivial as an answer, but too long as a comment. You claim that you can develop "as good as White" but that is simply not true. White begins by interposing the Bishop 4.Be2. You play 4.....
Philip Roe's user avatar
  • 8,230
11 votes

Why struggle for a single pawn?

Preceding answers and comments make many good points. Why struggle for a single pawn? The simple answer is: Chess games are mostly won by material advantage! Generally being up a single pawn in an ...
cousin_pete's user avatar
  • 1,237
11 votes
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How do you remove the annoying bishop on h3?

I had a suspicion (which stockfish confirmed) that weakening the kingside pawn structure is actually the best way to go about this, because black has no real attack here. After 10...Bh3, Stockfish ...
Brandon_J's user avatar
  • 2,214
10 votes

Why does Black play Bh3+?

You haven't understood the puzzle. The puzzle asks you to find the best move for white after Bxg4 by black. It does not ask you to find the best move for black after Rh1 by white. Having found Rh1 for ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
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8 votes
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Positional chess understanding in the early game

The main point of the engine recommending exd5 is because it opens up the diagonal from c8 to h3. By playing an early e6, the bad light squared bishop is really weak and has terrible scope, which is ...
dinosauce33's user avatar
8 votes

How do you remove the annoying bishop on h3?

You should have taken the bishop at the first sensible opportunity which was after you played Re1 and your opponent played O-O. The Re1 move is important because after Qxh3 it allows you to play Bf1 ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
  • 96.6k
7 votes

Defensive strategy relying on a wall of pawns

I would say that type of formation leaves a lot of weak squares, as enemy pieces can occupy pretty much any dark square they want (mainly b4, d4, f4, h4) and start an attack from there with help from ...
David's user avatar
  • 16.3k
7 votes

Can White defend and possibly win?

Avoid queen mating on g2 is easy: f3, Qg3, Qh3+ are decent options Re4, Kf1 also prevent immediate mate but are not good Winning this position is objectively speaking impossible. Black is up a piece ...
user1583209's user avatar
  • 20.8k
7 votes

Why struggle for a single pawn?

The answer by @Brian Towers is both beautiful and true, but not always true. It is perhaps true if you think of every pawn as a potential queen. However, in endings, especially in Rook endings, the ...
Philip Roe's user avatar
  • 8,230
7 votes
Accepted

When to play h5 (or h4 with white) in fianchettoed position for black

I generally don't like accepting gambits as black on principle, so the position on your diagram feels already rather uncomfortable to me, but in general, there are a few typical ways to deal with h4-...
sleepy's user avatar
  • 1,326
7 votes

How do you remove the annoying bishop on h3?

That's simply a free bishop. gxh3 is how you remove the bishop because now you're up a piece. If you're worried about your king being opened up, notice that you have a sturdy knight on f3, bishop on ...
NoseKnowsAll's user avatar
  • 5,773
6 votes

Defensive strategy relying on a wall of pawns

After searching my game base, I located 190 out of 6,168,985 games, with the pawns at: wPa4, b3, c4, d3, e4, f3, g4, h3. I discarded those games that one or both of the opponents lacked a rating, ...
djnavas's user avatar
  • 883
6 votes

Positional chess understanding in the early game

The "e" columns being open is not an issue for king safety. Your king is only there temporarely. After ...exd5, Black would probably follow with ...Bd6 and ...0-0, then at some point ...Re8 ...
David's user avatar
  • 16.3k
5 votes

Flexibility over solidity? Defending against 1. e4

It sounds like you are drawn to the pirc so try it out and see. The pirc/modern is very flexible and if you play the king's indian that you can transpose into that if White plays c4 to make a ...
Michael West's user avatar
  • 5,206
5 votes
Accepted

How to improve king safety

It's a very general question, no concrete examples (where you struggle to defend) are provided in your post, and as such one cannot really answer meaningfully. However, here are some rough hints that ...
Ellie's user avatar
  • 12k
5 votes
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Moving pawns which are defending the king

There are no advantages. The really big disadvantage is that after: 1. f4 BxN 2. bxB QxQ 3. RxQ Bxe4 you are completely lost, a clear piece down with no compensation whereas after 1. Qh5+ Kf8 2. ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
  • 96.6k
5 votes

How do strong players know opening ideas, plans, etc?

This kind of book is usually a work of synthesis. The author looks at the available games and takes notice of the various plans employed. It is a matter of noticing and making notes and then writing ...
MichalRyszardWojcik's user avatar
5 votes

What are good defenses of black King with Bishop on f8 or g7?

There are a lot of openings where Black fianchettos his king's bishop, and it ends up on g7. Versus 1. d4 you have the King's Indian Defense and the Grünfeld Defense; if White opens 1. e4 you can ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 24.8k
5 votes

Scandinavian Defence queen e5

The 3. .. Qe5+ is not a great continuation for black. Because: It does not threaten anything really. White can block with developing (!) a bishop: 4. Be2. It places blacks Queen in the center very ...
Anton Menshov's user avatar
4 votes

What next? I'm stuck!

I made it to move 10 comfortably only because the Slav defense was one of the few openings I am familiar with, having studied it when I was 13. I don't know why some of the moves in the opening were ...
user1583209's user avatar
  • 20.8k
4 votes

How to improve king safety

Apart from very obvious advice, e.g. an early castling. Believe me, I know my castling well. The first thing to note is that early castling is only recommended to complete beginners and in ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
  • 96.6k
4 votes

Flexibility over solidity? Defending against 1. e4

I recommend e6 Sicilians. You could even use the move order 1.e4 e6 2.d4 c5. There are a lot of transpositional possibilities. If you look at some great player who played the French a lot, see ...
Ywapom's user avatar
  • 6,111
4 votes

Which book should one read if they want to play like Tigran Petrosian?

One of Petrosian's greatest strengths was his prophylactic thinking; i.e., identifying threats before they arise and neutralizing them. A book which discusses this concept would be good. For example, "...
Inertial Ignorance's user avatar

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