Chess Strategy and Chess Tactics: How they go hand in hand

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In chess, a notional value is attached to all pieces other than King (which of course is priceless!) ranging from 1 for a Pawn to 9 for a Queen. In this system, Knight and Bishop are considered at par, and the other conditions prevailing on the chessboard at any point are supposed to dictate which of them has a superior value, if any. In Basic chess strategies Part 2 and Beginner’s game plan Part 2, we have discussed what conditions or factors determine the preference for one or the other.

All said and done, the balance seems to be slightly tilted in favor of Bishops. But the following game will show that with a proper supporting pawn structure, a Knight can really become a pain in the neck for the opponent.

It is also interesting to note that while Black’s pawn structure enables his KN to take up a menacing role, it makes White’s KN an impotent piece as it cannot find a proper foothold to operate effectively! While enjoying the game, you should make it a point to study how you can make your Knight to show up in shining armor!

1. e4 e6  
2. d4 d5  
3. Nc3 Nf6  
4. e5 Nfd7  
5. Qg4 c5  
6. Nb5 cxd4  
7. Nf3 Nc6  
8. Nd6+ Bxd6  
9. Qxg7 Bxe5  
10. Nxe5 Qf6   Forcing Queen exchange to worsen Black’s game
11. Qxf6 Nxf6  
12. Bb5 Bd7  
13. Nf3 Ne4  
14. 0-0 f6  
15. Bxc6 bxc6  
16. Nxd4 c5   Note Black’s pawn dominance in the center
17. Ne2 Kf7  
18. f3 Nd6  
19. b3 e5  
20. Ba3 Rac8  
21. Rad1 d4  
22. Nc1 Nf5   The Black KN starts its prancing
23. Rf2 Ne3  
24. Re1 c4   Black captures the QBP after 25. bxc4 Rxc4 26. Ree2 Rc8

 

Position after Black’s 24th move

pawn and knight move

25. b4 Ba4  
26. Ree2 Nd1   If 26. c3 Nc2 wins a piece
27. Rf1 Nc3  
28. Ref2 Nb1  
29. Bb2 c3   30. Ba1 Nd2 31. Re1 Bxc2 wins for Black
30. Nb3 Bxb3  
31. axb3 Nd2   Other alternatives would be 31. cxb3 c2 with … d3 to follow or 31. Rxb1 Bxa2 32. Ra1 cxb2
32. Re1 Rhd8  
33. Bc1 d3  
34. cxd3 Rxd3  
35. Bxd2 Rxd2   With its job done, the Knight now lays down its life
36. Ra1 Ke6   36. Rxd2 loses
37. Kf1 Rxf2+  
38. Kxf2 c2  
39. Rc1 Kd5  
40. Ke3 Rc3+  
41. Kd2 Kd4   If 42. Rxc2 Rxc2+ 43. Kxc2 Ke3 44. Kc3 Kf2 gives winning position for Black
42. h4 Rd3+  
43. Resigns   If 43. Kxc2 Rc3+ 44. Kd2 Rxc1 45. Kxc1 Ke3 or 43. Kxe2 Kc3 followed by 44. … Rd8 and 45. … Kb2 gives a win.

 

From start to finish, a perfectly executed game by Black

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