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  1. 24 Jan '10 15:20
    Below you see a very familiar pin with white forcing the issue.What I'm looking for is to formulate a guideline for when it's good to capture and when it is not.
    Of course it depends on the position but isn't there some rule of thumb?Signs?Other elements telling you it's good or bad?

  2. Standard member orion25
    Art is hard
    24 Jan '10 15:54
    Originally posted by Ajuin
    Below you see a very familiar pin with white forcing the issue.What I'm looking for is to formulate a guideline for when it's good to capture and when it is not.
    Of course it depends on the position but isn't there some rule of thumb?Signs?Other elements telling you it's good or bad?

    [fen]4Q3/1PP5/P1N5/1b6/8/8/8/8 w - - 0 1[/fen]
    It will depend pretty much on wheater it is better to keep the bishop pair or remove the knight from the board. If the position is closed you should probably take. If the position open or very open retreat (unless you can inflict great structural damage). But this is very generic. It would depend very much on the position...
  3. 24 Jan '10 15:57 / 4 edits
    I am not sure there is any general, abstract rule. but you can be sensitive so several things:

    taking with the bishop implies:

    1. suppressing the white knight and
    1 bis. very usually, losing your black bishop.

    and usually,

    2. gaining one tempo for black.
    3. moving the white queen to f3, except if white takes back with the pawn
    4. free white queen (because it does not have to protect the knight anymore).

    Then it is interesting to suppress white knight, usually :

    due to (1),
    - to put pressure on specific squares of the center the knight was defending.
    - more generally, if you consider that the knight will be better (for instance, in a closed game).

    - due to (1bis), to get rid of a bad bishop.
    Knowing that bishop are a bit more interesting, in general, there must be a reason to do so. this can be the case, if the bishop has no good square to be. more precisely, when black have a fancietto structure h7-g6-f7, to avoid the bishop from being trapped. (after g4).

    - due to (2) to gain one tempo.

    - due to (3) to bring the queen on f3 where it might be bad. for instance if white's plan is to push f4, bringing his queen on f3 will make him lose another tempo. or if you can threaten the queen on f3 (by developing a knight on a good square around, for instance.) gaining tempi again.

    on the contrary, it might be bad to do so when you see that the white queen would not otherwise be able to move from d1 (or e2), without being exposed to BxN g2xN which destroys white king's defense.
    (and this is true only if opening the g file for white, is not a problem for black.).


    other possibilities for black after h3 are:

    - moving the bishop back on h5, which keeps the pin. the obvious threat is then g4; but in most situations, that just weakens white's defense.

    - or moving the bishop somewhere on the h3 c8 diagonal. this might be interesting, if you want to put pressure on h3, for instance preparing a sacrifice of the bishop on it, after having put the queen on the same diagonal. But this re-orients your strategy from the center (when you pin the knight protecting the center) to the king side.

    So I would say, more generally, that it depends on about three things: the respective values of knights and bishops; the tempi you can gain or lose; and the strategic orientation of the game on one side of the board.
  4. 24 Jan '10 17:09
    Originally posted by orion25
    It will depend pretty much on wheater it is better to keep the bishop pair or remove the knight from the board. If the position is closed you should probably take. If the position open or very open retreat (unless you can inflict great structural damage). But this is very generic. It would depend very much on the position...
    Yes,the fact it depends so much on the position at hand,and it often is not very clear wether it's good or bad,is why I struggle to formulate a good rule of thumb.
  5. 24 Jan '10 17:18
    Originally posted by Macpo
    I am not sure there is any general, abstract rule. but you can be sensitive so several things:

    taking with the bishop implies:

    1. suppressing the white knight and
    1 bis. very usually, losing your black bishop.

    and usually,

    2. gaining one tempo for black.
    3. moving the white queen to f3, except if white takes back with the pawn
    4. free whit ...[text shortened]... mpi you can gain or lose; and the strategic orientation of the game on one side of the board.
    Very well explained.Thanks.

    I asked here because the question was brought to me by a friend who is starting out at chess.I started explaining pretty much what you posted but halfway through he stopped me saying he already lost track.

    I think I'll tell him
    -open position retreat,closed position capture
    -capture when you can inflict great structural damage
    -capture when you can gain valuable tempi

    And then I'll probably have to explain what tempi are,when the strucutral damage is great enough and what are open/closed positions
  6. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Gonzalo de Córdoba
    25 Jan '10 00:52
    Take a look at Thread 124664. A very pretty little combo becomes available (I missed it though) from this sort of situation.

    Also, I'd look up that Fischer game where he won via the Exchange Variation.
  7. 25 Jan '10 01:36
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Take a look at Thread 124664. A very pretty little combo becomes available (I missed it though) from this sort of situation.

    Also, I'd look up that Fischer game where he won via the Exchange Variation.
    Yes,I know.I pointed at that combo

    The problem is not how to deal with the pin but how to formulate a useful guideline to a beginner.

    The Fischer game,what exchange variation do you mean?Ruy?French?QGD?Are there others?
  8. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Gonzalo de Córdoba
    25 Jan '10 01:51 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Ajuin
    Yes,I know.I pointed at that combo

    The problem is not how to deal with the pin but how to formulate a useful guideline to a beginner.

    The Fischer game,what exchange variation do you mean?Ruy?French?QGD?Are there others?
    Ruy Lopez. I think it was a World Championship game.

    This might be it:

    http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1044018

    Robert James Fischer vs Svetozar Gligoric
    "Stock Exchange" (game of the day May-20-07)
    Habana ol 1966 · Spanish Game: Exchange. Gligoric Variation (C69) · 1-0
  9. 25 Jan '10 02:38
    Hi there, I encounter this pin a lot and here's another point.

    In Caro-kann and Slav structures the pawns are always on light squares. the main difference with those openings and the French and queen's gambit declined is that the light squared bishop gets a chance to develop outside the pawn chain, so your bad bishop gets a shot at activity early on. However, having a bad bishop outside the pawn chain makes it especially vulnerable to pawn storms and some other attacks gaining tempo (for example, in the main line Caro-Kann advance variation). I guess what I'm getting to is that when you play an opening that is based on winning an endgame, it's not a bad decision to exchange that bad bishop for a knight. With a few other favorable trades, for example if you end up with a good bishop vs a bad bishop you'll have an extra advantage in the endgame(''extra'' because your pawn structure too should be better). Also, you can usually get a sweet outpost for your knights on d5, so having two knights is usually a pleasure, especially if it can't be captured, like in a knight vs black square bishop situation, with no white pawn on the c file.

    In more attacking games, like the portuguese variation of the Scandinavian, you don't want to make this exchange, mostly for the reasons explained above, to keep the pressure and keep as many pieces as possible on the board.

    Don't forget however that tactics always override any strategic decision!

    my 2 cents