© RogueDragon ver 1.0
Hey kids, Uncle Rogue here again with some scintillating strategy for you all.
I've already tried posting this twice, but it doesn't seem to show up in the forums so hey, third time lucky :)
Today’s topic is TACTICAL OPENINGS, including a brief section of background theory and also an introduction
to a couple of openings for you to employ.
Many fans have requested information on openings, or specific set-ups that they should use.
My answer to this is you should not seek to use one specific set up, but rather vary things
according to the initial constructs of your opponent’s position. Try to maintain a balanced position,
ensuring a secure defence and controlling space with your pawns, allowing your pieces to move onto
desirable squares and attack your opponent. There is no ‘ideal’ opening strategy; your set up should vary
by game and you should react differently to different openings your opponent might employ.
One thing I would suggest is that you decide on at least one pawn to move from the centre (c, d, e and f) pawns,
two squares forwards in order to try and establish some control of the centre.
I would suggest moving this pawn immediately at the start of the game,
and also not to move two pawns adjacent to each other as this can prove hard to defend
if your opponent has moved more quickly than you.
The following tactical set-ups are strategies designed to surprise your opponents,
and are deeply flawed and unsound. They are useful tactical weapons up to about the 2000 level,
sometimes to be used in master games as a surprise weapon, but nothing further.
“The Dragon” and associated strategies:
Being the arrogant, egotistical kind of person that I am, I have chosen to name this opening after myself.
It was one of the first openings I adopted, and I still use it occasionally to this day.
This is the Dragon opening. White maintains a tight, compact position with
a kingside overload as a possible method of assault. This position is vulnerable to attacks
on the queenside in the middle game, so stay alert to potential threats.
Our opponent has opened with two adjacent pawns, as I advised against, yet our opening has not challenged this.
This is less important, however, because we are soon to gain a decisive positional advantage.
The key square involved in this opening is e5. If we can secure an outpost for a knight on e5,
this will prevent black’s white-squared bishop from coming in to counter our kingside overload in time.
So let’s take the square, and begin our kingside attack.
1.) d4, Ne5, Nf3, h3, g4.
It looks like black could win a pawn after h5 and fxg4. But can he?
1.)…..h5, fxg4, Rh8, Rg8.
In this position, we should continue the exchange and support our pawn as much as possible, it’s in big danger here!
2.) hxg4, Bh3, Nh2, Rh1, Rg1
The key point is Black’s pawn on g6. This pawn hinders his rook advancement, and any attempt to put
a rook on h4 is easily stopped by retreating the king and moving a bishop to f2. If Black continues to exchange,
for example after hxg4, Bxg4, Nxg4, Nhxg4, Nxg4, Rxg4, white has a powerful position with good pressure
against the g6 pawn, which restricts Black’s rook activity greatly.
Note too, the prominence of the knight on e5, which has stood firm all this time.
Control of the e5 square is vital to try and stop black manoeuvring his white-squared bishop to attack g4.
If black exchanged on e5, for example with his bishop after the first black knight captures on g4,
then white can recapture with the f-pawn and play Bf4 followed by e3 to support his pawn centre.
This is the basic concept of the opening, and it should only be used if you have control of the e5 square
with your initial f-pawn advance. However, note also that your opponent does not necessarily have to take on g4.
If he elects not to do so, I would suggest capturing one of blacks kingside pawns with the g pawn
and trying to exploit the pressure down the open g-file, or if your opponent keeps it closed,
advancing the h pawn to undermine black’s pawn structure and hopefully destroy his kingside position.
As aforementioned, however, the opening is not without its flaws. The fundamental weakness of this strategy
is exploitation down the queenside. Most opponents of calibre will try to advance a
supported pawn to c4 after your d4 advance, seeking to undermine the queenside pawn structure.
The position is already looking ominous for white. To defend the queenside now, white will need to play b4 and a3,
after which ….a5 can exploit the position further. Once black captures with the a-pawn
and white recaptures also with his a-pawn, Na5 and Nb6 threatening a bishop-knight combo
on the two pawns will probably require at least one of
White’s rooks and dark squared bishop to defend against.
In such a position, White’s best strategy is to try and hold off on the queenside while he undermines Black’s kingside.
Overall, the Dragon is a highly unsound opening against a master level opponent. However,
it should certainly be sound up to 2000, perhaps 2100, and will get you many wins against unsuspecting opponents.
Indeed, this opening has proved successful on a number of occasions against 2200+ rated opponents.
“The King’s Indian Attack” and associated strategies:
So named because its basic construct mirrors the standard chess opening of the same name,
the King’s Indian Attack is set up as follows:
I advise playing this position against a two adjacent pawn advance on the kingside, with your
opponent’s light-squared bishop located on b7.
The reasons for this should become apparent as the strategy is explained.
For some strange reason, a two adjacent pawn opening like Black’s in the following position is surprisingly common.
I would not recommend doing this myself, but if your opponent gives you the time and space
there is no reason why not to take it yourself.
By far the most common reaction to the following position, is to play the following:
1.)….f4, g5, h6.
The position looks cramped for white. However, he can respond to this with a deadly sacrifice.
2.) Nxg5!! Gxf4, h4, Bh3, Nf3, Rdg1
Now, if black has been slow to react to this threat,
white gains supported passed pawns on the kingside which should prove decisive.
2.) … hxg5, exf4, Kd2
Now the importance of Bh3 becomes clear, and the absence of a bishop on the c8-h3 diagonal,
which could have taken it out of the game:
3.) hxg5, Bxf4, Bf5, Qe3
The white bishop on f5 blocks against possible rook capture on f4.
Any move to undermine this position during these lethal exchanges,
for example a knight to h5 to try and undermine f4, or a bishop to h6 to try and recapture the pawn,
is impossible as the white rook dominates the h-file.
White now has the chance to retreat the dark-squared bishop and his knight, in order to advance a pawn to f4,
creating supported passed pawns that should prove unstoppable from this position.
Perhaps Black’s best chance of a counter would be to take the f5 bishop with a rook,
or bishop if he has had the foresight to move it back to c8 in time to do so, and then capture on e4
with a knight, winning a pawn. However, white always has the chance to move his remaining knight to h4,
negating the validity of this sacrifice.
Remember also that your opponent doesn’t have to advance the pawn to f4. He can quite easily capture on e4,
after which a series of exchanges might ensue. Even in such a scenario,
white’s position should remain fairly solid as he can finally recapture with the e-pawn leaving an open d-file
for his rooks, after which black is left with a bad bishop, but the open f-file as compensation (See diagram)
The resulting position is roughly even. Play could continue by one player
opening up the queenside with a pawn advance, or white exchanging his good bishop for black’s rook,
which would free black’s bishop after recapturing with the e-pawn.