Positional Advantage (Space Advantage)
There are different kinds of positional advantages in chess. Some of them are already discussed in pawn structures (connected, backward, isolated, doubled,passed pawn wedge), advantage of development, weak and strong squares, batter pawn and piece arrangement. Things yet to cover is advantage of bishop pair and space advantage. In this article we we look at space advantage.
The skill to recognize all these kinds of positional advantages comes with experience and at the start the beginner should just get acquainted with the most basic of them. In this section we will focus more about the advantage in space.
What is the advantage in space
If you examine the following position, you can understand what is spacial advantage.
The biggest part of the board is under fire of black’s pieces with comparing with white. Because of this black has achieved following
- Greater freedom of movement
- Piece maneuvering can be easy from one flank to another
- Restrict opponent movement
The side having space advantage has a good chance of winning the game as this kind of position give long term benefits. A space advantage with closed position will leads restricting opponents pieces to come to our territory. Therefore opponent can’t take any initiative in the game.
capturing space may leads to troubles for the stronger side as well. It is necessary to protect this new territory against intrusion by the opponent’s pieces.
Realizing a space advantage
The most frequent way of realizing a spacial advantage includes the following actions.
- Further constraint of the opponent’s position by advancing pawns
- Breaking open files
- Intruding the enemies camp with pieces
An example of such staged plan is represented in the following three diagrams taken from the game Lasker and Capablanca (1914). This game will be considered in more detail bellow
If above actions are not available, you should try to apply the maneuvering (rearranging pieces in order to improve their position, create and seize weak points in the opponent’s camp and disorganize his piece coordination etc.) Successful maneuvering will create new weaknesses in the opponent’s camp, while the position of the stronger side become even better.
Maneuvering against weakness is a strategical tool of very important practical value. It is applied when you have opportunity to attack a weakness with two or more pieces, while your opponent can field the same number of defenders. In order to break the defense, the active side uses its spatial advantage and better piece mobility to attack the object in different ways, compelling the opponent to occupy inconvenient positions. Step by step the defending side gets into difficulties and finally the weakness falls.
Such maneuvering can be aimed at defects in a
- Pawn configuration
- Isolated pieces
- Weakened king position
for example in the following diagram white’s maneuvers are aimed at the c6 pawn.
By attacking the c6 pawn, white ties down the opponent’s heavy pieces to its defense and distracts them from the b file. This in return, makes it easier for him to intrude along the a file and / or create a passed pawn with b4-b5.
Lets now consider some instructive examples in detail.
Hope you enjoyed the article. Rest of the strategies will be discussed in upcoming articles. So stay in touched. If you find this article useful, please do comment and share. Thanks for reading.