Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chess960-SP080: The Buckingham Palace Defense

Here's a really nice example of some more ideas for black. White has played g3!? which is a nice hark back to Mark's blog which talks about 1.g3 in standard chess:
Mark quotes this amazing 1.g3 game that looks like the players grew up playing Chess960:

Anyway back to SP080 what can I say about this bizarre but beautiful setup. I've resurrected it from the Advanced Chess960 group that I started and had to end last year at Chess.com. The bishops hit the queen but the queen hits the bishops! A really nice little problem to solve.....

SP080: The Buckingham Palace Defense (for black)

Why do I call it the Buckingham Palace defense??? Because Black decides to leave his center pawns on guard like the two royal soldiers out the front of Buckingham Palace. Then the knights play directly out in front of them on guard and boy what a good job they do! You would think that black blocking his center pawns has got to be bad because of the inability to create space in the center, but like I said this position is bizarre because of the playoff "Queen attacks Bishop but Bishop attacks Queen!" Just like all kingdoms or ex-kingdoms, occasionally you have to parade your queen out on the streets and put her on display but this threatens her from sniper fire. In this starting position the street is the long diagonal and the masked sniper is the opposing bishop!

Here's a summary of black's ideas:
  • Keep the long diagonals open exactly like white is trying to do
  • Deploy the knights into a fortress armed guard because they do not disturb the long diagonals. They can work offensively in combination with the bishops and totally confuse the white enemy about what black's castling intentions are! In fact because of the knights, black may not even have to castle at all.
  • Deploy the edge pawn 4.....a5! What a great idea by black. They decide to realign the dark bishop to a7 which completely bypasses white's g3 protection idea of the original dark diagonal. Note that the edge pawn can be deployed in this way because it has special properties:

The edge pawns are the only pawns that if they are removed do not break up the pawn structure into two pawn islands. In this way those little pawn guys can be creepy and annoying little covert attackers in quite a number of Chess960 SP's like "lone operatives" that can be used as suicide pawns in various situations without disturbing the central pawn organisation itself. 
However the edge pawn costs tempo to deploy....

So like I said, the amazing Buckingham Palace defense! Please oh please FIDE or whatever Chess organisation that one day might think to simplify Chess960 down into Chess18 or whatever, do not cut out this SP it is very beautiful. Matter of fact please do not cut any of them out. For us chess players all 960 of them have something to contribute.

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