Monday, April 18, 2011

Chess960-SP287: How to play the opening with initiative

Thinking about game one of the previous post in SP287:
The first game was so drawish that it got me thinking about how to put more energy into the position. It is up to white to put the energy in, and up to black to take the energy out!

The striking features of SP287 are many:
  1. It is unlikely that g-side castling will happen
  2. It is not necessary to castle c-side in all situations
  3. Why waste the move g3 when g-side castling will not happen? Play g4!
  4. The naturally best squares for the knights are on b3/c3 (b6/c6)
  5. There is a battle to isolate the h-pawns that starts very early in the opening
  6. Black has no opening pawn move that is completely effective
  7. The edge pawns are safe else a draw becomes much more likely
  8. All bishops must stay on the board else the position becomes unbalanced
  9. White should avoid exchanging pieces to retain energy
  10. There is a long race to see who runs out of moves first
That is just the beginning of the analysis of SP287. It could well be that SP287 is drawish, but certainly there is far more energy in the starting position than game one of the previous post showed.

Once again there is not enough time for me to show all of the features of SP287. However here are the two most striking features that I can see:

SP287 - Why play f4/g3 when g-side castling is unlikely?!
The diagram above shows that the idea 1.f4 2.g3 to release the bishops is actually not the most effective opening play. It is much better to think in terms of g4 when castling g-side is not going to happen anyway.

SP287 - White does not have to play any pawns for initiative!
In this extreme example, white has simply played out the knights, castled and avoided playing any pawns until the necessary time. The point here is that although it looks like black can claim tremendous space, it is probably an illusion! Why then an illusion? Scroll to the end of the second example and follow this line:
  1.      ... Nc6  (...fxg4?!, Qg2)
  2. gxf5 ... gxf5
  3. Qh3  ... O-O-O
  4. e4!  ... dxe4
  5. Bxe4!
Wow, even I'm amazed by this last example!
Long live Chess960! 
You are the true beautiful game :-)

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