Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wasting Moves (Time) in the Opening

You have two weapons when you start a chess game; Time and Material. With these, you try to gain more of both of those, and add another weapon; Space!

We all know that wasting material (losing pieces) is a quick way to lose. But if you waste your moves (Time), it is just as bad!

Wasting your moves allows your opponent to get more "material" into an attack on you, and also gain Space in your territory. Now your opponent has all three weapons working and you only have some of your Material working. Not a very successful way to fight a battle.

Vince shows how to exploit the advantage his opponent gave him early in the opening:
White: The Villian
Black: Vince V. (LCCC)

1. e4   d5
2. exd5   Nf6
3. Bc4   Nxd5
4. d3     ……..
[Vince: "Why not d4?"] Ed. Note: Good question Vince. But d3 is playable, even if it does allow Black’s more aggressive next move.

4. ….   e5
5. h3 ?!  
There is no reason to weaken the King-side pawn structure for no reason. White should be developing his own pieces and not be worrying so much about stopping Black from making moves.

5. ….    Bc5
6. Nf3   Nc6
7. O-O    O-O
8. a3?   ……

After 8. a3?

A waste, like White’s move #5. Only this time instead of giving Black a slight lead in development, it allows Black the attacking initiative. Wasting moves is never a good idea.

8. …..    Nf4
9. Nc3   Nxh3+

This sacrifice looks pretty, but may not be sound. White should be able to turn the tables with 10. Ng5! Bxf1, 11. Qh5 h6, 12. Bxf7+ and Black is in some trouble of his own.

10. gxh3   Bxh3
11. Re1    Bg4
12. Kf1??  …..
The losing move. 12. Be3 was needed to prevent any more of Black’s troops from arriving. And look at what little SPACE White seems to have to move around in.

12. …..    Nd4!
13. Bd5   c6
14. Be4   f5
15. Ne2   ……

[Vince: Now it looks like any way Black captures it wins!]

15. …..     Nxf3
16. Bxf3   Bxf3

And the pin on White's Queen is still there!

17. Qd2   Qh4
18. Ng3   Qh3+
19. Kg1    Qg2 mate

Moral of the game: Develop your pieces, and don’t fall behind in that race. Vince simply got more soldiers into the game than his opponent did, and did it faster!

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