1. Joined
    15 Dec '20
    25 Apr '22 15:16
    This article concludes the "II" sub-series, which concerns a game where I was rated 1270 USCF and was Black against Pat Regan (1291) in the Edison (New Jersey, USA) First Sunday of the Month Quad on 7 April 1974.

    Part B left off at the following position, in which Black has just played 15...Rxf4.

    Although this series focuses on decisions faced by me rather than by my opponent, let's consider where White should castle. White's advanced pawns on the queenside give her a space advantage there, making that the wing where White might want to open at least one file. This suggests castling kingside so as to keep the queenside files available to White's rooks.

    Although a kingside file (the f-file) is also open, White rook's could deploy to that file irrespective of where White castled.

    It might seem risky to castle kingside, where White has so many holes. However, the pawn structure denies Black's minor pieces a way to invade White's kingside. Black's dark-square bishop is imprisoned by Black's pawns, Black's light-square bishop is denied entry by White's pawns, and Black's knight presently has no viable path to f4 or h4. Moreover, castling kingside would enable White's king to help control the many holes in that sector.

    If Black is to make progress on the kingside, it will therefore be necessary to create pawn tension there. Being that Black's h-pawn is his only kingside pawn that isn't jammed against another pawn, the move ...h5 would be Black's only possibly feasible kingside pawn break.

    A possible continuation starting with 16. O-O is given in the following chess movie.

    White actually played 16. O-O-O, and the game continued as depicted in the following chess movie.

    In the position reached in the above chess movie,

    what would be the consequences of Black's 20...cxd5 and White's replying 21. cxd5 (to maintain control of the e6-square)?

    We can discern some of them by comparing the pawn structure just before 20...cxd5,

    with that arising from 21. cxd5:

    This shows us that the pawn exchange opened the c-file, opened the a4/e8 diagonal, vacated the c6-square (which each side presently controls with a pawn), and vacated the c4-square (which neither side presently controls with a pawn).

    Returning to the position that would arise from 21. cxd5,

    Could either side exploit any of these now-open lines or squares?

    A White knight would stand well at c4, where it would control the a5-square (where Black's pawn would be pressured), the b6-square (which is a hole), and the d6-square (which is occupied by an unprotected pawn). To free this knight from protecting e4, White could trade rooks first (so that White's e-pawn would be adequately protected even after one of White's knights leaves its post).

    Therefore, Black shouldn't exchange at d5 unless he can subsequently keep White's knight out of c4, such as by playing ...b5. This suggests (after 20. Rf3) the move 20...Rb8, intending 21...cxd5 22. cxd5 b5 (because the pawn would now be adequately protected).

    Black actually played 20...cxd5, and the continuation (starting with 20. Rf3) is shown in the next chess movie.


    For all these years, I'd been wondering how Black should have conducted this game after winning a pawn in the opening. But I feel that I understand this much better from having done the analysis that went into preparing parts II-A through II-C of this sub-series. I hope that readers feel that they also have gained.

    (A list of the threads I've initiated at this forum is available at http://www.davidlevinchess.com/chess/RHP_my_threads.htm .)

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