Sunday, July 1, 2007

Position Tactics -- Position 7

At this point we are moving to 1.d4 openings and the positions that are generally available.

If I have missed any positions that should have been included earlier, please comment so that I know and correct it.

One of the truths about Queen's pawn openings is that they are quieter, more positional, less tactical. As you can see from the diagram, and that should be obvious, is that there is only a single piece that is released from its back rank by playing 1.d4. And that piece doesn't directly attack the King, either before or after castling.

That is the Queen's bishop. The dark squared bishop. As you can see, it really only has a single tactical plan. That is to place a relative pin against the black queen.

As this is the only real thing that is available here it actually turns out to be very common. Against the million game database, I tried the pin against the knight, with queens and kings in their beginning positions and that were D00-D99 ECO codes. This position came up 45 thousand times out of about 180 thousand times.

Current theory says most of the time it is considered a general waste of time to prevent the pin with an early h6. You must still deal with the pin, but it is considered better to do so with tempo, and that in Queen's Pawn's openings that it you will be standing better if your opponent freely gives up the bishop pair.

1 comment:

Pawn Shaman said...

I play 1.d4 a lot. Using it mostly with the Colle System and the Queens Gambit. Colle plays e3 but a common variation is to pin the knight first taking care of the "bad bishop." I personally prefer to drop the knight on a3 to harass the kingside. The pin is alright but it usually gets repelled when the queens knight comes into play and blacks queen starts shifting around the back rank. I agree that tempo is the key and is usually lost when the exchange isnt necessarily beneficial. The bishop has to find a nice spot and black gets the luxury of establishing luft on your time. Sometimes it leads to the squirrely position where after ...h6 the bishop retreats to h4 and ...g5 launches a kingside pawn attack, threatens the bishop but exposes blacks kingside. Its a very debatable position but depending on the player it can be very effective. Also I find myself dropping th bishop on f4, pushing to h3 and pulling the bishop back to h2 as a hidden "sniper" position on an obnoxious diaginal. Thats my two cent. Great posts lately.