The Best Moves Never Played: Key Positions 5

  • WIM energia
  • | 15.02.2013
  • | 20314 odsłon
  • | 26 komentarzy

This article concludes our series on Key Positions! Last time, we studied how strong players from the past sacrificed pawns positionally. Really what we looked at was one strategic method out of numerous methods used by strong players to achieve good results. In an excellent book Strategic Methods in Chess, A. Terekhin collected 50 strategic methods ranging from disappearing move, two weaknesses, and Rubinstein's maneuver, to cutting off the knight. (The book is published in Russian and German but unfortunately not in English.) Today I would like to present some of the positions collected by Terekhin from the chapter on cutting off the knight that fit our theme.

Tarash's most famous observation that if "One piece stands badly, the whole game stands badly" apply here quite aptly. This is especially true if it is hard to get this badly placed piece into the game. For a knight to be badly placed, it usually has to be at the edge of the board. For example, in the following study white has enough time to bring the bishop to b4 to cut off the knight.

Sometimes an absolutely normal position can turn ugly as a consequence of poorly pieces. For example, the next position looks worse for black due to white's two bishops and the weakness on d6. Black knights do not have strong squares they can reach quickly, there is an excellent e5 outpost, but it will take about five knight moves to reach it. So what to do? One idea is to get rid of the weakness and exchange couple of pieces and possibly a pair of bishops. However, black opted for a continuation that jeopardized the knight activity.

One has to choose between two evils, such as in the next example where black has an option to have the knight locked up on g7 or on h6. In such cases one should look for prospects for the knight in future and and be mindful not to obstruct the mobility of other pieces. The knight on g7 takes away this important square from black king, whereas the knight on h6 leaves it free for the king. Moreover after f6 the knight can get into the game via f7.

The strategy for the stronger side to play, when the opponent's knight is cut off at the edge of the board: Start play on the opposite side of the board! In the classic example below, black's knight was stuck on a5 without short-term solutions. However, black has a clear long-time plan of getting the knight into the game through the b7-square. This is why Kotov starts a quick kingside attack, where black has not enough time to regroup.

Today we studied several positions where the knight was cut off from the play on the edge of the board. Practically, this was equivalent to playing down a piece - so we explored typical methods of converting such an advantage. Next week we will start with the new topic of Intuition.


  • 4 lat temu


    What in the heck are religious trolls doing on a chess server?

  • 4 lat temu



    Thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain...The Lord Jesus Christ is Awesome than that we know, One day every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that HE is LORD!! Unless or untill you taste the honey you can never feel the sweetness of it, the same way unless or untill you love the LORD, and accept Him as your saviour, you'll never understand His love towards you!!

  • 4 lat temu


    great article, too bad about the comments XD.  I am a little puzzled about the distinction here; could that not be considered tactical play, where the B cuts off the N in the first example?

  • 4 lat temu


    Thanks for the instructing article, looking forward to reading your next post.

  • 4 lat temu



  • 4 lat temu


    Useful information, Thanks. 

  • 4 lat temu


    Where can one order Strategic Methods in Chess, A. Terekhin--Amazon does not have it.

  • 4 lat temu


    10 bucks says those poondaddy puppies are stuffed.

  • 4 lat temu


    hi Wgm energia thankx for the article.

    can you explain for me like an amator player how to evaluate position should i played a center game like 1e4 e5 2 d4 c*d4 3 c3 or 1e4 c5 2 d4 c*d4 3 c3 or i played with reflexion .

    what's the stratégie that i played :

    should i not played blitz like said many grad master?

    and i evaluate position of 4 critere like said the grand master heisman?

    What i should do ?

  • 4 lat temu


    looking forward for the new series !!

  • 4 lat temu


    thanks for the article, I found it instructive.

  • 4 lat temu


    Nice moves

  • 4 lat temu


    Eenai, proverbs 3:17 does not say that at all... "Her ways are pleasant ways and all her paths are peace." don't make stuff up.

  • 4 lat temu


    He's not Mihail Tal he's Mikhail Tal Foot in Mouth

  • 4 lat temu


    Jesus sucked at chess, Poondaddy69, which is a more than awkward name choice for one who is all about the lord.

    Proverbs 3:17 "and oh doth the lord move in haste, and place his rook amongst his opponents pawns, such that he shall lose his rook, placing himself at the gates of hell, and did not his father say, "Move the queen, as it has been chosen to capture the king"

  • 4 lat temu


    wow poondaddy, get a life

  • 4 lat temu


    Poondaddy, your rating doesn't help your argument.

  • 4 lat temu


    If one really wishes to delve deeper into the depths of chess, they must first accept jesus into their lives and trust that everything will fall into place just as the good lord intends. Big ups to the big guy in the sky for holdin it down for me. And much love to all those youg boys and girls learning and loving chess everywere!

  • 4 lat temu


    poorly pieces - seems like you dropped 'placed'

  • 4 lat temu


    The last game was my favorite, Thank you

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