Posted on 09:46 PM, August 19, 2010
Chess Piece -- By Bobby Ang
Back in 2007 Garry Kasparov wrote a book on Revolution in the 70s. He makes a lot of sense:
"Glancing through the history of the development of chess thinking, we see that earlier such breakthroughs, beginning with Philidor’s ‘L’analyse du jeu des Echecs,’ were always associated with the names of titans. Steinitz created a theory of positional play and tried to place the playing of the opening onto scientific lines. Tarrasch conveyed Steinitz’s ideas to the broad masses, and Rubinstein brilliantly developed these ideas in practice. The hyper-modernists -- Nimzowitsch, Reti and Gruenfeld -- revealed to the world openings which overturned previous conceptions about control of the center and ‘correct’ pawn structure. And these openings were brought to the fore by Alekhine himself! Then Botvinnik introduced an aggressive conception for Black: instead of the usual struggle for equality, a deliberate disruption of the positional equilibrium and sharp play for seizing the initiative. Finally, Fischer demonstrated the need for the further refining and deepening of opening preparation for both colors."
In the 70 the emergence of the information area had a profound effect on the study of opening play:
"Opening preparation was imperceptibly but rapidly raised to a qualitatively different level. It no longer simply required play move by move, but the development of your ‘own’ variations, and a deep understanding of a whole class of standard positions, arising from different openings (for example, with an isolated d-pawn or ‘hedgehog’-type)."
Kasparov now went into a description of some chess battle formations which were developed in the ‘70s, like the Hedgehog, the Chelyabinsk Variation, Sicilian Najdorf with 6.Be3 (people used to exclusively play 6.Bg5), Caro-Kann with 3.e5, Sicilian 2.c3, and many more.
This modern way of playing the chess openings has already evolved further and now, heavily influenced by the information age where playing engines can check and verify analyses, many of the new wave of laptop carrying chess prodigies have gone into more concrete chess.
It is no longer enough to know the general rules of opening play like:
1. you should open the position if you are more developed;
2. knights before bishops;
3. go for the two bishops;
4. move your pieces in order to control the central squares e4,e5,d4,d5.
5. knights must be developed to f3 instead h3, to c3 instead a3. They must be developed to f6 instead h6, to c6 instead a6 for Black
6. Use rooks to control open and/or half-open lines.
7. Do not attack early. Develop all your pieces before the attack.
2009 World Cup champ Boris Gelfand has written about the new qualities:
"The availability of the information and the means of its processing changes the very process of training, and the chess becomes more intense. The purely practical skills become more important. One can see this in the games of Anand. He has brilliant talent and deep understanding of chess, but he is also a splendid practical player. And this brings the results.
"Nakamura is a player of a new generation. He does not hide, he shows off that he has not read a single book and does not know the end game theory. Instead of studying the works of Tarrasch he prefers to be 24 hours on the ICC. However, he has convincing competitive results. This is a very interesting phenomenon".
The new style is to calculate all the variations.
1. As Nigel Short said, "Modern chess is much too concerned with things like pawn structure. Forget it. Checkmate ends the game."
2. The essence of chess is seeing the move after (Gerald Abrahams)
3. Calculate one move more than you have done (Laszlo Szabo)
4. Play for surprise, not according to the rules (Domenico Ercole del Rio)
Take, for example, the following game.
Rukavina, Josip (2409) -- Hartung, Jerry (2191) [D48]
EU-ch 11th Rijeka (4), 09.03.2010
1.c4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.e3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.d4 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3
This is the starting point of the Meran Variation, an invention of the great Akiba Rubinstein. This line underwent a renaissance in the ‘80s because of the tactical subtleties available to both player. It is not enough to know the "ideas behind the opening." Here calculation and tactical alertness (concrete analysis!) reign supreme.
This game is a perfect illustration of the above. Right here Black has the choice between 8...a6 9.e4 c5, hitting back immediately before White can play e4-e5; or 8...Bb7 9.0-0 b4 10.Na4 c5 11.e5 Nd5. Take note that in both cases a swift ...c6-c5 is essential to the line. What if Black were to mix the lines? You will be surprised at how quickly this can be punished.
8...a6 9.e4 Bb7?
As can be seen from the above note correct is 9...c5. But so what? Can White exploit the mix-up? The answer is yes.
10.e5 Nd5 11.Nxd5 cxd5
[11...exd5 is both unnatural and bad. White will continue 12.Ng5! Bb4+ 13.Kf1 h6 14.Qh5 0-0 15.Bh7+ Kh8 16.Bf5 with tremendous player. The f7-pawn is attacked but after 16...Qe7 White’s attack hits home with 17.Nh7 Rfe8 18.Bxh6! Kg8 19.Bxd7 Qxd7 20.Qg5 f6 21.Nxf6+ etc]
12.Ng5 Bb4+ 13.Kf1 h6 14.Qh5 Qe7
Black can try castling into it with 14...0-0 but White has a 100% score in this line:
1. 15.h4 Qb6 (15...Qe8 16.Bh7+ Kh8 17.Rh3 Be7 18.Nxe6 1-0 Sinkovics,P (2415)-Bex,P (2175)/Biel 1995) 16.Be3 f5 17.Qg6 hxg5 18.hxg5 Rfc8 19.Rh7 Bf8 20.Qh5 1-0 De Souza, M. (2359)-Silva, T./Americana 1999.
2. 15.Nh7 Re8 16.Bxh6! (16.h4 f5 17.Bxh6 gxh6 18.Qg6+ Kh8 19.Qxh6 Kg8 20.Qg6+ Kh8 21.Qh6 Kg8 22.Rh3 f4 1-0 Buitrago,J (2160)-Martinez,J (2251)/Cali 2007) 16...gxh6 17.Qxh6 Bf8 (17...Be7 18.Nf6+ Bxf6 19.Bh7+ 1-0 Horvath, K. (2130)-Tessedik, K. (2010)/Budapest 2003) 18.Nxf8 Nxf8 19.h4 and wins.
Wesley So once played the following game.
So, Wesley (2254) -- El Taher, Fouad (2468) [C27]
Dubai op 8th Dubai (4), 26.04.2006
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 Bc5 4.Nc3 d6 5.f4 Ng4 6.f5 h5 7.Nh3 Ne3 8.Bxe3 Bxe3 9.Qf3 Bc5 10.Qg3 Rg8 11.Rf1 c6 12.Bxf7+ Kxf7 13.Qg6+ Kf8 14.f6 gxf6 15.Rxf6+ Qxf6 16.Qxf6+ Ke8 17.Ng5 Rf8 18.Qg6+ Kd8 19.Na4 Bf2+ 20.Kd2 Ke7 21.Qg7+ Ke8 22.Nh7 1-0
A quick victory, but is White’s opening play sound? Let’s look at it again.
Morano, Angel Mario (2293) -- Alvarez, Jorge Horacio (2271) [C27]
ARG Maestros7 corr Argentina (9), 15.12.1999
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.d3 d6 5.f4
Position after 5.f4
White is now vulnerable to a ...Ng4 followed by ...Qh4 attack. Haven’t you won with Black countless times already? Actually, 5.f4 is a high-level trap. Because after ...
5...Ng4 6.f5! Nf2?! 7.Qh5 g6
[7...0-0? 8.Nf3 Nxh1 9.Ng5 h6 10.Nxf7]
Too hard to resist. Retribution is swift.
10.fxg6! fxg5 11.g7 Kd7 12.Qe6+ Kc6 13.Qd5+ Kd7 14.Qf7+ Kc6 15.Bb5+ Kb6 16.Be8! 1-0
Black resigns, because after 16...Qxe8 17.Qb3+ Ka6 18.gxh8Q Qxh8 19.Qb5#