Monday, January 21, 2008

Strategic Planning - Knights and bases of Operation

Knights and Bases of Operation

Knights like to reside centrally, immune from attack by enemy pawns. A centrally placed knight protected from such attack could be considered as good as a Rook in many positions. In contrast, the poor positioning of a Knight can be an important detriment strategically as the well-placed Knight. Of course, poor-placed pieces naturally seek to improve their standing as soon as possible, but taking advantage of your opponent's misplaced knight is as important a strategic idea as finding squares for your own pieces.

Here the great Alekhine demostrates the strategic importance of centrally-placed Knights and the strategic detriment of poorly placed Knights:

Here alekhine proceeds to improve his Knight placement methodically with
15...Bxg3 16.hxg3 Ne7 17.b4 Qd7 18.Nc2 Ned5 19.Na3 b5 20.axb5 axb5 21.Qe2 c6 22.Nc2 Qf5 23.Rfc1 h6 24.Ra5 Rec8 25.Na1 Ng4 Diagram

And the end came swiftly:
26.Kf1 Re6 27.Rxb5 Rf6 28.Rcc5 Nxf2 29.Ke1 Nd3+ 30.Kd1 Qf1+ 31.Be1 Rf2! Diagram

This is a good example of contrast between well-placed and poorly managed Knights.

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