Basic "Positional" Chess

At this point you are probably thinking, "How long does this guide go on?!?" Well, to answer
your question - Forever. I AM trying to address the most basic things first though. :)

Weak Pawns

Weak pawns are in general pawns that can never be defended by another
pawn, and that can come under effective attack.

Doubled Pawns

Doubled pawns can be a huge pain, or a decisive strength...It depends
on where they are, and whether or not they can be attacked. Following are 2 extreme cases of
doubled pawns. In the first case, black has weak doubled C pawns, not only that but they are on an
open file leaving them easy to attack by white's rooks. In the second case black has a doubled
d pawn which gives him control of an important central square and opening the C file for his
rooks to double on that file.



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Isolated pawns

An isolated pawn is one in which he has no friendly pawn
to either side of him. I haven't played many games of kungfuchess where this has actually
happened, but it is a common occurence in regular chess. An isolated pawn is not necessarily
a weakness, but I think a detailed discussion is outside the scope of this guide. In kung fu
chess, an isolated pawn may be a distinct disadvantage due to the fact that it is much harder
to attack in kungfuchess. The square in front of an isolated pawn is usually used as a knight
outpost for an enemy piece. If you have the isolated pawn, you should try to use the open
files on both sides of it, and the general spacial freedom having it allows you, and mount
an attack. If you are playing against an isolated pawn, you should blockade it with a
knight or bishop, and bring many of your pieces to attack it in hopes of winning it.
In the following position, black has an isolated pawn.

UPDATE: Further reflection has made it obvious that an isolated pawn is almost ALWAYS a terrible weakness,
if the enemy has a pawn on either adjacent file. For ex: In the following diagram, white has a pawn on the adjacent
file (on e3.) This means that white has the option of trying to take the pawn on d5 and defending with pawn to e4
at the same time. Therefore, black should trade as FEW PIECES AS POSSIBLE in order to discourage this attempt through
tactics. Also - Black should try to keep the bishop that can TAKE the isolated pawn ON the board, and trade off the
other bishop. The ideal trade is black's bishop which CANNOT defend the isolated pawn, for white's bishop which
CAN attack the isolated pawn. If you are playing against a player who has an isolated pawn, block the pawns advance
with a pawn on an adjacent file as pictured (the pawn on e3), then trade off pieces to lesson the enemy's chance at
tactics, then win the pawn by taking and defending with the adjacent pawn. (Of course, first blockade the pawn with
a knight (in the picture, on d4) as the knight on that blockade square usually has a profound influence on the game.
(Also, pawns that can advance should generally be blockaded if the advance is some kind of threat.)



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Hanging pawns

Hanging pawns are 2 pawns that are side by side but have no possible protection
otherwise. Like isolated pawns hanging pawn positions can be very complex. In the following
diagram black has hanging pawns:

UPDATE: As with doubled pawns, hanging pawns can be a serious liability if the opponent can advance
a pawn to defend a capture of one of the hanging pawns. In the following diagram - Black must be VERY careful that
if at any time white tries to capture on d4 and then advance his pawn to e4, black is ready to advance his d pawn to
d4, saving it. Also - Depending on the position, black may want to advance his pawn to d4, leaving himself with just
an isolated pawn, but no enemy pawn on an adjacent file. When possessing isolated or doubled pawns, it is often
important that your king can be used to defend them. Therefore make sure he gets up there, as soon as possible.



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Weak squares

Often worse than weak pawns, weak squares are squares that you
cannot defend, the enemy can jump into, and will have a negative strategic impact on your game.
An entire complex of weak squares is called a 'weak color complex'. Fianchettoing your bishop
(Castling and then playing g6 and Bg7, or the equivalent moves elsewhere) and then trading off that bishop will lead to a weak series of squares in front of your king. In the following
diagram, black not only has a weak complex of squares in front of his king, but his opponent
has also posted his pieces on several other weak squares!



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Removing the defender of a weak square can be vitally important. The following diagram is from
a game of a former world chess champion, Vassily Smyslov.



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White played Bishop takes knight on f6, and removed the only possible defender of the d5
square. After that, white could post his knight there with no problems.

UPDATE: This position, also conforms to the section about good and bad
minor pieces. Go to that section for more information. What happens in this
example is that White trades off his good bishop for black's good knight.
That leaves white with a WONDERFUL knight (Dominating the board on d5) vs.
a TERRIBLE bishop for black (Blocked in by it's own pawns, behind the pawn chain
Black can try to improve the position of his bishop by getting his bishop around
the pawn chain, so that it's on the OUTSIDE and not the INSIDE, but the knight
on d5 will still be a very powerful piece, and much more important than the black
bishop will ever be.

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