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42

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 a message the battle was lost. For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a horseshoe nail. Exactly the same principle applies in chess. ...


29

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 more decisive plan? In the games that you are watching, if they are between capable and well-matched players, very often the game will be quite well balanced with ...


11

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..Bg4. It is now a mistake to play 5.Nf3 because 5..Bxf3 spoils whites Pawns and makes his King insecure. But 5.d4! also gains a development tempo, and forces ...


11

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 blocks it. Contrast this with any other piece, which can take a piece which blocks its movement (barring other circumstances such as a pin). This property means that ...


7

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 otherwise safe position is a clear advantage, often a winning advantage. In such a situation a GM analyst might say: And the rest is technique! Of course there are ...


7

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 and white does not have sufficient compensation for it. Most players would resign if playing somebody of 1800 strength or even less. If black is a beginner and/...


6

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 textbooks will tell you not to be drawn into passive defence but to keep your pieces active, and counterattack. That being said, you may not have the choice. ...


6

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 the pawns. These pieces will never ever be kicked away. White's light squared-bishop will also suffer because he has nowhere to go, so, for that strategy to be ...


5

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 early in the game where it will be a target of the attack for many whites pawns and pieces. Square e5 is far from a permanent position for the black queen, and ...


5

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 universal system. I like the fluidity of being able to see how my opponent sets up first and then respond. I like the dynamic potential. Rather than backward ...


5

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 might help you: Pawn structure is a key factor in king safety. Any pawn move commitments on the side you've castled should be taken into account with extreme ...


4

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 positions where the center is open. Castling too early in closed or semi-closed positions can be catastrophic. It is often wise to wait until you see which side your ...


4

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, "Recognizing Your Opponent's Resources: Developing Preventive Thinking". If you want to learn more about Petrosian himself, part 3 of Kasparov's My Great ...


4

But why it's a bad move? You are moving your queen to a square where it is going to be attacked again soon and then you will have to move the queen for a third time. Meanwhile white is developing fast and you have no pieces developed.


4

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 what other defense they used; Petrosian for example. It is important to have some Sicilian understanding and if you are in a must win situation against a White ...


3

You could try Owen's defense, which is very much under-represented in all levels off chess in my opinion. Smirnov's 2-part series is nice and clear (although sometimes slightly over-simplified maybe), and he has another 2-part series about using this strategic system with the white pieces. I would recommend playing the Colle-Zukertort at white a bit, the ...


3

Petrosian's Best Games of Chess 1946-63 by P.H. Clarke, published by Bell & Sons is the obvious place to start.


3

In this question the formation is referred to as a "turtle formation", although that's in the context of Bughouse. I've also personally heard it referred to that way in the context of Bughouse when playing over the board (although not with the rooks moved to those squares.) Bughouse aside, there's a lot wrong with doing things this way. The bishops are ...


3

You should think of pawns not as individual units but as a group acting as one unit. If one pawn is one "point" then the entire pawn formation is 8 "points". This actually makes pawns one of the most powerful units in the game. The pawns are your front line and do an excellent job of defending each other in diagonal lines. If your ...


3

Qe5+ is not a blunder or a mistake but it is definitely inaccurate play. Qa5 (most popular line) keeps a check on 2 central squares as well as Qd8. Defending with bishop Also in the second line you mentioned (Bc2) after Bg4, white has an excellent move d5! Now white has a tempo in development, space as well as development whereas black is trying to ...


2

You can defend with Qg3 and Qh3 but the position is clearly disadvantageous for White, as they are one piece down


2

Another well-known example is the following: [fen ""] 1. f4 {Bird's Opening} 1... e5 {From Gambit} 2. e4 {King's Gambit} 2... d5 {Falkbeer Counter Gambit} 3. exd5 exf4 {King's Gambit Accepted} A total of 5 distinct names. Bird's Opening From Gambit King's Gambit Falkbeer Counter Gambit King's Gambit Accepted


2

Shektman has a great two-volume set on Petrosian's games, but really, to play like Petrosian you need to get very good at tactics. One of the secrets to his playing style was the way he could sniff out the tactical possibilities inherent in the position and defang them before his opponent could take advantage of them. Daniel Naroditsky wrote a little ...


2

I see your point clearly and I was once in your place as well in deciding the right opening for me. I would hate to choose the character of the position over objectivity. There are only 4 objectively sound replies to 1. e4. Those being 1...e5, 1...e6, 1...c5, and 1...c6. All the others are in theory suboptimal. I would say that the best way to get a flexible ...


1

Another possibility might be the Old Indian where Black plays d6, Nf6, c6 and aims for an early e5. You can also play like this against 1. c4. I think Nigel Davis did a Chessbase DVD on this, called "A busy person’s opening system". But I don't know it and I don't want to advertise it. Although this might be "sound" more or less, I can't recommend such an ...


1

White- Bishop's opening (very versatile). Alapin and exchange variations vs french.ck, alekhines. Main lines vs cc and nimzo. 150 attack vs pirc/robatsch. Black- vs e4 play the classical vs the Ruy and against everything else look for lines that play a quick d5. d4- Choose between either the tarrasch or dutch. Both are system-type openings in that you ...


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