Sunday, May 15, 2016

Chess960: How to see the power of the chivalry knights

The chivalry knights in Chess960 are amazingly strong attackers that can leap forward and pounce on the opponent if they are unaware. They tend to tread on each other toes since they compete for the same color squares, but that can also work in their advantage. Here is an example position:

SP110: White creates a weak d3 square on the third rank
that either one or both chivalry knight's can leap into

If black could exchange off white's light square bishop, white would have almost no hope of preventing the chivalry knights coming forward and sitting on the d3 square. The square is so weak it can virtually be considered an outpost square for a knight already. Notice that neither of white's chivalry knights can do anything about the d3 square.

Key point: So the chivalry knights are powerless against the enemies equivalent knights!

White's idea of playing c3 with the plan of breaking with d4 and opening up the c-file for the rook, is completely flawed because white has failed to grasp the power of black's chivalry knights.

So I thought it would be a good idea, to help players visualize the outpost squares that exist for the chivalry knights, without needing to do any calculation.

The threatened outposts squares of the chivalry knights
exist on the the enemies third rank

Compare the two diagrams above. You will see that the green squares are threatening to become outpost squares for the chivalry knights if the enemy were to leave them weakened.

Key point: No calculation is needed, just remember the pattern above (it is very simple). The squares are on the same file as the knights, always on the sixth rank.

and be open to the possibility that you or your opponent can fall for the trap of letting the chivalry knights come forward and rule the position.

Good luck
Enjoy 960.