17 June 2013

Slight Advantage

In the Encyclopedia of Chess Openings, there are main lines, secondary lines, variations, and sub-variations. Each stem in the tree ends with an evaluation. ECO code C53 is one of the codes for the Giuoco Piano. C53 has four lines. One of the variations in line one ends with this position.

Black to move

ECO gives the evaluation that White has a slight advantage. What is the nature of this advantage? What is the basis for the evaluation?

Black's light-squared bishop may have difficulty getting into the game. Nor is Black's knight particularly active. White's pawns and pieces occupy the center and appear slightly more mobile than Black's.

This position appeared once in over-the-board play, according to the ChessBase Online Database. This one occurance is referenced in ECO: Gyimesi -- Acs, 1996 in the championship of Hungary. White won in 72 moves. Did the result of the game affect the theoretica evaluation?


  1. The space advantage might be worth something too.

  2. I agree about the space advantage; semi-open "c" file might also be a factor.

  3. I appreciate the comments, especially because these two comments have led me to spend a fair amount of time mulling over their contribution. Having mentioned the mobility of White's pieces, and the inactivity of one of Black's, I must wonder what is added by observing space and a semi-open file.

    Greater board room (i.e. space) is one of the notation figures in Chess Informant's system of codes. It is represented by a circle in their notation. I went through every single game in Informants 1-113 that had the opening code C53 looking for this symbol. It was nowhere to be found. Perhaps if I examined every Petroff and Benoni game, I would find it. But, that task would require months.

    Then, I took another tack. I dug through my library looking for the most useful discussions of space and mobility. The consequence is today's post: Space.