02 July 2013

Instructive Position

The game Capablanca -- Mattison 1929 is often remembered for the smother checkmate that ends it, but Irving Chernev's discussion brings out strategic aspects that helped decide the game long before checkmate.

Black to move

In Logical Chess: Move by Move (1998 [1957]), Chernev explains White's compensation for his doubled c-pawns. Black moved his dark-squared bishop four times in eleven moves to exchange itself for a knight that moved once.

1. Active minor pieces
2. All minor pieces in play.
3. Connected rooks.
4. Secure king.
5. Active, centralized queen.
6. A plan to open lines in the center through a pawn exchange, which favors the player (White) whose "development is superior" (163).

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